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  • Writer's pictureWe the Dogs

Are You a Furloughed Pet Pawrent?

With three of the five founders of We the Dogs DC being government employees, the current government shutdown hits very close to home. As 800,000 federal workers and many thousands of federal contractors are facing their second missed paycheck with no end in sight, many people across the country are looking for ways to continue feeding their families. Pets are often key parts of these families and caring for them can become expensive.

We’ve scoured the internet and put together a list of places all over the US where furloughed pet owners can find assistance. If you are not impacted by the shutdown, please consider reaching out to your local animal shelter or pet food pantry to make a food donation.

If you know of an organization or business that is helping others during the shutdown that is not included on this list, please share by reaching out to us at with their information so it can be included. We want to make sure that this is a helpful resource to impacted pet owners so that they can find the support they need in their local area.

Washington, DC Area

Kriser’s Natural Pet

If you live in the DC area, you can show your government employee ID at a Kriser’s location and receive a free bag of pet food.

Bark! Pawsitive Petfood

Show your government employee ID at any of the 8 locations around Maryland, and you will receive a free bag of food.

World Central Kitchen

World Central Kitchen, where furloughed workers cab receive a free hot meal, has team up with multiple partners to open a Resource Center for Federal Employees. The International Fund for Animal Welfare has partnered to enable furloughed workers to receive pet food from the center.

Friendship Hospital for Animals

4105 Brandywine Street, NW Washington, DC 20016


While the government is shutdown, emergency exam feeds are waived for furloughed employees. Also, a deferred/extended payment plan is being offered to impacted pet owners.

The Dog Park

705 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

With a government or contractor employee ID, furloughed workers can receive 20% off all dog and cat food.

DC Pet Pantry

The Pet Pantry operated by the Humane Rescue Alliance supports DC residents by providing free pet food to those in need. The pet pantry operates on a regular schedule posted on the website and is open to any pet owners residing in DC.

Animal Welfare League of Arlington

2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive, Arlington, VA 22206

The Pet Food Pantry is open to all Arlington County/Fall Church City residents with a government employee ID. Food donations to the pantry can also be dropped off to support the community.

Baltimore Humane Society

1601 Nicodemus Road, Reisterstown, MD 21136

Furloughed employees with a federal ID can receive free food while supplies last at the Bmore Kind Pet Food Bank located in Reisterstown.

SPCA of Anne Arundel County

1815 Bay Ridge Ave, Annapolis, MD 21403

The SPCA location in Annapolis has a food bank program available to Maryland residents.

Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County

12 Park Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

The AWL’s Chompers Pet Food Bank has supplies for dogs and cats. Montgomery County resident must pre-register to access the food bank.

Humane Society of Fairfax County

4057 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, VA 22030

Furloughed residents in Fairfax County can join the Ani Meals program to receive pet food during the shutdown.

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

4101 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304

The Animal Welfare League is offering free pet food and basic necessities to furloughed federal workers. Donations of food and supplies can also be made to support the community’s need.

Compassion-First Pet Hospitals

Compassion-First Pet Hospitals is offering free emergency veterinary care to all Transportation Security Administration and government service animals in over 10 states. Owner are required to provide a valid government ID. To find a location visit the Compassion First website.


Cody’s Friends Charity

Free pet food will be available January 26th from 10 am to 2 pm at tow locations in the Tucson area. Impacted federal employees can attend the events at: Cody’s Friend’s Charity (4702 N. Flowing Wells Road) or Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter (5278 E. 21st Street)


Central California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CCSPCA)

103 S. Hughes Ave, Fresno, CA 93706

Furloughed employees can receive free dog and cat food while supplies last starting January 23rd at the CCSPCA Gift Store.

Halo Café

Furloughed government workers in Fresno County in need of pet food can contact the Halo Café pet food pantry.


Colorado Pet Pantry

Mobile teams host monthly events to distribute free dog and cat food to those in need.


Connecticut Humane Society

The Pet Food Pantry is distributing free food for dogs, cats, and small animals across the state. You can sign up for the pantry or make donations on the Humane Society website.


Humane Society of Broward County

2070 Griffin Road, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312

Free pet food and cat litter will be available to any furloughed federal employees presenting a government ID. The food pantry will be open 7 days a week.

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

3607 N. Armenia Ave, Tampa, FL 33607

The Humane Society is extending its community programs to offer free pet food to government workers in need during the shutdown.

Jacksonville Humane Society

8464 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216

Furloughed government workers can receive pet food assistance from the pet food bank available on Saturdays from 10 am to 12 pm at their warehouse locate at 1821 Foster Drive in Jacksonville.


Red Door Animal Shelter

2410 W Lunt Ave, Chicago, IL 60645

During the shutdown, furloughed federal employees can receive free dog, cat, and rabbit food on Fridays at the shelter.

Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society

Furloughed employees can show their IDS and receive free food and pet supplies from the society so they can conserve their savings as the shutdown continues. Food and supplies can be picked up at the entrance of the society at 510 N. LaSalle Street. Cash or in kind donations will also be accepted.



456 North Holmes Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46222

IndyHumane will be hosting a one day pop up shop at their animal welfare center to distribute fee pet food to furloughed government workers. The shop will be open on January 26th from 10 am to 2 pm.


Helping Hands Humane Society

5720 SW 21st Street, Topeka, KS 66604

Furloughed employees can pick up free pet food from the Topeka shelter 7 days a week.



Last weekend MSPCA made dog and cat food available at three locations. Any Massachusetts residents in need should email for assistance.

New Jersey

Amwell Pet Supply

434 Route 206 South, Hillsborough Township, NJ 08844

Amwell Pet Supply is offering furloughed workers who show their ID a free 5 pound bag of dog food or a 2.5 pound bag of cat food. Food for small animals, birds, and fish is also available.

Pet ResQ and Pet Valu

Pet ResQ, an animal rescue organization, has partnered with Pet Valu stores in North Jersey to gather donations for furloughed pet owners. Pet Valu locations in Paramus, Emerson, Englewood, and River’s Edge will be accepting donations. Pet owners must show government ID to receive donations.

Liberty Humane Society

235 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Furloughed pet owners in Hoboken, Jersey City, and Bayonne can apply for the pet owner assistance program at the Liberty Humane Society for assistance with pet food.

New Mexico

Santa Fe Animal Shelter

100 Caja Del Rio Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507

The shelter is providing free pet food to those impacted by the shutdown while supplies last. Employees with a government ID can pick up the food at the main shelter’s campus at 100 Caja Del Rio Roa in Santa Fe.

New York

Long Island Cares

Long Island Cares provides community based support and services to furloughed workers including supplemental food, personal care products, household supplies, and pet food. Those in need can receive assistance at three locations: Harry Chapin Food Bank and Humanitarian Center (220 Broadway, Huntington Station), the Center for Collaborative Assistance (21 East Sunrise Highway, Freeport), and the South Shore Service Center (163-1 North Wellwood Ave, Lindenhurst).

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society

3 Oakland Ave, Menands, NY 12204

The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society is offering furloughed federal workers low cost pet care and free pet supplies. Free pet food is available at the Menands location (3 Oakland Ave.) daily from 12 pm to 6 pm or at the shelter’s Saratoga clinic location (5255 Route 50) on weekdays from 9 am to 12 pm.

Suffolk County SPCA

16, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788

The nonprofit is offering free pet food to furloughed workers while supplies last. Those in need can contact the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722 to arrange a pick up.

North Carolina

Jaded Paws Rescue

Jaded Paws Rescue has extended the reach of it’s Hubert/Jacksonville pet pantry to provide assistance to furloughed federal workers. The pantry is located at 1009 Onsville Drive, Suite A in Jacksonville. If you would like to donate pet food or supplies to the pantry, you can send a message to JPR Pet Food Pantry on Facebook or email


Woodland West Animal Hospital

9360 S Union Ave, Tulsa, OK 74132

Woodland West Animal Hospital, in the Tulsa area, is offering free initial exams and deferred payment plans for treatment for pets whose owners have been impacted by the shutdown. Owners should bring their government ID or proof of employment.


Animal Rescue League of Berks County

58 Kennel Road, Birdsboro, PA 19508

The shelter will supply furloughed workers with a bag of dog or cat food.

South Carolina

Charleston Animal Society

2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406

The Charleston Animal Society has opened their North Charleston pet food bank to those impacted by the shutdown. The food bank is located at 2455 Remount Road in North Charleston.

South Dakota

Sioux Falls Area Humane Society

3720 E. Benson Road, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Furloughed federal workers with ID can receive food from the pet food bank in eastern Sioux Falls.


Operation Kindness

3953 Belt Line Road, Addison, TX 75001

Furloughed pet owners can receive free bags of pet food and cat litter at the Operation Kindness Pet Food Pantry with a federal ID.

Pearland Pets

In order to help furloughed workers provide for their families, Pearland Pets is offering a 30 day supply of food for each pet in a household. Furloughed workers can apply on their website and show a government ID at a schedule pick up appointment. Food donations can also be made at seven locations around Pearland.


Seattle Humane

13212 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue, Washington 98005

The Seattle Humane is offering resources from its Pet Food Bank to those furloughed working in Washington. Federal employees are encouraged to reach out to Seattle Humane to set up a pick up time for food or supplies at one of 15 locations.


710 N Napa St, Spokane, WA 99202

The Spokane based shelter is offering furloughed workers free dog and cat food during regular business hours.


Wisconsin Humane Society

The Wisconsin Humane Society operates the Furry Friends Pet Food Pantry at locations in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Racine. Donations of food can also be dropped off at these locations.


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