Helping Pets in Low-Income Households

- Antoinette Williams, 60, lives alone in northwest Atlanta, but with three rescued cats, it's a full house. There's Baldie and her sister Gracie, and the kitty Sebastian, who's a bit of a rascal.

"Quit scratching me" says Miss Antoinette." Get away from my flowers"

And this particular day, Miss Antoinette has a few special visitors, some folks from Meals on Wheels Atlanta.

"Hey, how are you today?" asks Terri Davis.

Miss Antoinette is on a fixed income. She's had kidney trouble and is recovering from a hip replacement. So three days a week Meals on Wheels volunteers like Terri Davis deliver her dinner...but they also bring cat food.

"It's a big help", says Antoinette.

Meals on Wheels has been delivering fresh and healthy food to seniors in Fulton County for fifty years. In 2012 they started delivering dog and cat food too, over 2,500 pounds last year. Kari Morrison is the director of volunteer services, says a lot of seniors are living below the poverty level and supporting an animal is very hard for them

"What we were finding" says Morrison, "was that they were giving their meals to their animals"

But now, with donations from the Atlanta Humane Society and Banfield Charitable Trust, Meals on Wheels is helping feed both two and four legged clients.

"It make a great difference" says Miss Antoinette, "because I'll tell ya, like some money I had to spend on them, I don't have to spend it, now I can do house hold stuff, so I have money to get the help I need."

And she has less worry about how to care for her furry family. Antoinette says she doesn't know what she would do without her animals.

"I always had some kind of animal ever since I was a little girl". She says they keep her company and without them she would probably be lonely and for someone housebound, that company can make a world of difference.

"And we talked about her pets, present and past,” says volunteer Terri Davis, "and you can tell she just lit up, she was thrilled. So there she is, saving beautiful pets and creatures, and she's struggling herself, living on a fixed income and health issues, so it's a beautiful thing to be able to serve her and to see her be able to take care of her pets."

For more information on Meals on Wheels Atlanta, or how to donate pet supplies go to: mealsonwheelsatlanta.org or call 404-351-3889

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