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Food in shelters

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello! I've been wondering about something and it's driving me absolutely crazy, and I thought someone here might know the answer.

I occasionally scour the internet for pet food coupons that equate to nearly free bags of food (Iams is particularly good about coupons). Last month I managed to get two coupons for 5lb bags of cat food and two coupons for 7lb bags of dog food. I paid maybe $5 for all four bags. I take them to the shelter.

So here's my question: the bags of food are pretty small considering the shelter has so many animals. With all the many types of food donation that come in, especially in small quantities, what do they do? I tried to switch my cat off a food she ate for 8 years and she got a UTI that lasted over a month and two rounds of antibiotics. How do they avoid the tummy problems?

It's driving me crazy! I can't figure it out!
post #2 of 13
We mix in two 18 lb. bags of Purina each time we re-fill the food tub. We will mix one 3-6 lb bag of something else for every 18 lb bag of Purina.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
So you just have one giant tub of food filled with several types of food? I had thought of that a a possibility. Good to know!
post #4 of 13
We also have like 70+ cats, so the food doesn't last long!

There's also often diarrhea, so we do not usually notice much when switching foods or mixing foods. We always keep it mostly Purina.
post #5 of 13
I don't know about the shelters where you live, but the ones by me have websites that list the type of dry food they use if you want to donate it. The place I got Mattie from uses Iams dry food so they ask for that and then they also accept all types of wet food. The humane society by me uses Purina, Aims, and Science Diet.

I'm sure that they accept ALL food, but when I donate I just stick to wet food only.
post #6 of 13
I asked that question of the shelter where I got Junior. The answer was they use a 30-gallon drum and whatever is donated gets mixed in with the rest. However, most of their food gets donated directly from Purina which is why their website states they feed Purina cat and dog chow. They also just happen to have Purina logos all over the place as well.

post #7 of 13
We get most of our food direct from the supplier and keep donations of prescription type foods, but a lot of the general food donations of dry go to people who feed strays and ferals who are registered with the shelter.

We change around our wet foods a lot so all of them get used in the shelter.
post #8 of 13
the humane society accepts all but has a room of cats who ony eat purina

NOTE... PURINA science Diet and Iams all have really good programs for shelters so if yours only wants those it is they get free food from the upc collected..
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. Unlike a lot of shelters I've seen, the one here doesn't have a major food sponsor, or if they do, they don't talk about it. On their 'wish list' they ask for 'any high quality food', which is what prompted my curiosity. The shelter we used when we lived in Kentucky was obviously a science diet shelter... they made it clear that that's where their food came from and asked for monetary donations vs. food because they could get it so cheap. Here it appears to be a free-for-all shelter of food chaos.
post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by Jeza921 View Post
How do they avoid the tummy problems?

It's driving me crazy! I can't figure it out!
I have always wondered the same thing.
post #11 of 13
The shelter I worked at for a few years used Purina Cat Chow mainly. If we got donations of something better (Purina One or Nutro or Science Diet, etc) we mixed it with the Cat Chow. It was similar for the dogs, just with Purina Dog Chow. So many cats had worms and other stuff going on, you couldn't always tell if it was the food. For the ones who *did* have food problems, we found something they could eat. And the special instructions were written on the cage card.

Colored foods were set back and used for when people who needed help called. They did that with litter they didn't use too.
post #12 of 13
A lot of our cats are special needs and on a certain diet. Any food donated (we rarely get any ) goes to feed two feral colonies we also take care of.
post #13 of 13
Originally Posted by Jeza921 View Post
How do they avoid the tummy problems?

It's driving me crazy! I can't figure it out!
We have cards on each cage that say what food the cat was started on so they don't get them changed up too often
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