By Shannon Traphagen

Southtowns Animal Hospital in West Seneca, NY, is helping pet owners in need feed their pets. The Animal Food Bank of WNY is a non-profit organization dedicated to supplying food for animals in need.

For many, when economic times get tough or a loss of a job occurs, the first thoughts are, “How am I going to feed my family, my pets?” It becomes a choice of paying bills or feeding the family–which for many includes their animals. The idea of having to give up a beloved and cherished pet, or “fur-baby” as many call them, is traumatizing, especially when a financial situation has occurred that is beyond their control.

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent a total of $23 billion on pet food, $14 billion on supplies/medicine, $15.73 billion on vet care, $2 billion on live animal purchases and $5 billion on pet services like grooming and boarding. The average cost to feed animals such as, cats and dogs can cost anywhere from $1,000-$1,900 a year. For those who are going through difficult financial struggles, this cost can become overwhelming.

The Southtowns Animal Hospital is hoping to alleviate some of this burden and worry for pet owners. Spearheaded by Dr. Kim Jacobi and Kevin Jacobi, the mission of the animal food bank is to acquire food and other resources through donations from the general public, support agencies, and private entities such as, Corporations, business owners, individuals, families and other non-profit organizations. These collections then get distributed directly to the families of the animals in need.

Dr. Kim Jacobi says, “Anyone can come into the Hospital and donate food or related pet items. We then sort and store the items until they are needed. We have support agencies that help us distribute the food. We couldn’t do this without support from our communities.”

For more information on how you can help feed our WNY fur-babies, and other pets, visit, call 716.290.6883/716.824.4108, or stop by the Animal Hospital, 154 Orchard Park Rd. West Seneca NY.