HANNIBAL | The Northeast Missouri Humane Society is working alongside several area agencies to make sure people with pets receive the food and other supplies they need, especially when it is unsafe or not possible for them to leave the house.
NEMOHS Executive Director Janet Adrian Smith had the idea come to her one day on her way to shelter as she thought about ways to help give back to the community. The NEMOHS staff helped the Hannibal Public School District bag lunches. She thought about the members of the community who might not be able to get out or afford the things they need for their pets — soon, a community effort formed to find people in need and get supplies delivered to their homes.
“It just kind of popped into my head that there's going to be senior citizens and other people who aren't going to be able to get out, and people who are laid off who aren't having money coming in, but they still want to provide for their pets,” Smith said. “So I talked to the board president (Elise Blue), and she was all for it.”
Smith said the shelter has a large van which can bring medications from local veterinarians along with food and other necessary supplies. Shelter staff are eager to help with the deliveries, working with area agencies like the Hannibal Nutrition Center's Meals-On-Wheels program, the Hannibal Housing Authority, Douglass Community Services, Families and Communities Together and the Northeast Community Action Corporation to help determine needs and if any requests have come in for the supplies.
Shelter staff members purchased dog and cat food and bagged the food to be ready for delivery. Smith pointed out pets are a welcome companion in this time where everyone is exercising social distancing and spending time in their homes to avoid exposure to COVID-19.
“Pets can be a great comfort right now, and we want people to be able to keep their pets, not be thinking that they'll be able to feed it or get out to feed it,” Smith said.
Staff members are taking every precaution possible to ensure health, including wearing gloves at all times and following all necessary precautions. Smith encouraged people to call the NEMOHS at 573-221-9222 or visit their Facebook page. Hannibal Nutrition Center Executive Director Margee Tucker appreciated the chance to assist the NEMOHS in making a difference.
“This is a trying time for everyone. I am so glad that during this pandemic, our four-legged friends aren't being forgotten. Many seniors in our area face food insecurity and will feed their pets over themselves,” Tucker said. “I think this is a wonderful program that the Northeast Missouri Humane Society is offering. When agencies work together, we can do wonderful things for the entire community.”