ENID, Okla. — Volunteers and staff at Enid SPCA were busy Tuesday shipping out pallets of pet food, to help households affected by the shutdown in Northwest Oklahoma feed their animals.

Vickie Grantz, executive director at Enid SPCA, said seven pallets of food were donated last week through a program administered by Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

Enid SPCA was chosen to be a distribution hub for the donated pet food for counties in Northwest Oklahoma, Grantz said, because Enid SPCA has a storage facility for the food and has training through Garfield County Animal Response Team, which is meant to collect and care for animals in the event of a natural disaster.

With help from 4RKids, which provided a fork lift and driver Tuesday, half the pallets of food were loaded on a trailer bound for Ellis, Beaver, Roger Mills, Woodward and Cimarron counties.

Russell Miller, Ellis County emergency manager, said he requested the assistance to prevent people in rural Northwest Oklahoma from having to choose between feeding their animals or covering other expenses during the pandemic.

"We have a lot of elderly people in the county with fixed incomes, and we hope we can get this food to them," Miller said.

The alternative, he said, could be more abandoned or surrendered animals, which can cause more problems for the county.

"We would like for them to be able to keep their pets at home and take care of them," Miller said.

Grantz said half the original shipment of food remains at Enid SPCA, and another shipment is expected Thursday.

The food is provided by Humane Society of Tulsa, Grantz said, which received "a generous grant of pet food" from GreaterGood.org.

"The purposes of the grant food is to keep pets in homes and alleviate the risk of ending up in an animal shelter due to COVID-19 financial hardships," Grantz said.

Grantz said the food is available for any community in Northwest Oklahoma that needs pet food for households affected by the shutdown. She encouraged anyone in need outside Garfield County to contact their county emergency manager and ask them to procure food through Enid SPCA.

Enid SPCA also offers a pet food pantry, year-round, to help locals in financial need. Grantz said when the pandemic hit, Enid SPCA removed all financial requirements for people to access the pantry, and it now is open to anyone in the community in need.

If anyone in need is unable to get to Enid SPCA to pick up food from the pantry, Grantz said Enid SPCA will deliver it and leave it outside their door.

For more information or for assistance in Garfield County, call Enid SPCA at (580) 233-1325 or email info@enidspca.org.

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at jamesrneal.com.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for James? Send an email to jneal@enidnews.com.

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