SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio — Area pet owners seeking relief from skyrocketing pet-food costs can take part in a Community Pet Food Pantry hosted by Summit County Animal Control.
A drive-thru to distribute the free pet food and supplies to residents and nonprofit pet rescues is set for 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Summit County Animal Control, 250 Opportunity Parkway in Akron.
Following the February event, a pet-food distribution event will take place the last Tuesday of every month at the animal control facility, the county said.
The price of pet food is more than 83% higher this year than it was in 1997, a difference of $16.63, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate of inflation for pet food has averaged 2.36% per year, which the labor bureau said is “significant.”
The biggest increase in pet-food costs came in 2011 when prices rose 11.08%, followed by a 10.24% increase in 2022, the bureau said.
Summit County’s pet-food pantry, launched last year, is part of its GOODS Program, developed through a partnership with Greater Good Charities, a global nonprofit working to help people, pets and the planet, according to its website.
The GOODS Program provides pet rescues and local food pantries with low-cost pet food and litter, the county said. The food and supplies are donated in truckloads, shipped to local warehouses and distributed in Summit County through a partnership with Peanut’s Pet Pantry.
Since the launch of the GOODS Program, Summit County Animal Control has received 115,715 pounds of food, litter and supplies, and put 70,000 pounds back into the community, the county said.
Pet supplies have been donated to several area nonprofit groups, including One of Kind Pet Rescue, Maggie’s Mission, Humane Society of Summit County, Meals on Wheels, A.R.T., Whispering Acres Farm Animal Sanctuary, Fox Tale Sanctuary and Geauga Mama Dogs and Pups, the county said.
To participate in the GOODS Program, a pet organization must be a 501(c)3, have a website and a mission statement, and have a profile on GuideStar, the county said. The group also must list spayed or neutered animals for adoption online and agree to a site visit.
Nonprofit groups must fill out an online application to be considered for the GOODS Program.