Pet food prices on the rise, impacting families and shelters

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:00 PM EDT
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ANDERSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Like many items, the price of pet food, especially for cats, is on the rise.

According to the Consumer Price Index, pet food prices over the last year have increased on by 15%.

At Anderson County PAWS, the shelter doesn’t only help animals but also people.

“There are people who will put their animals above themselves until their last day,” said Adoption Supervisor Randi Leigh Ashley.

The shelter has a food bank that hundreds of people in the county rely on monthly.

“You still have to put gas in your car. Oh, guess what your cell phone bill and your insurance just hit your bank account, and you’re in the negative. But your dog or cat still needs to eat. That’s what we’re here for,” said Ashley.

The food bank is stocked solely by donations, and currently it’s emptier than usual.

“I’ve noticed stuff completely double, and maybe like double and a half, in price,” said Ashleigh Bello.

Bello started Chiquitin’s Cat Project in 2021, which traps, neuters, and returns stray and feral cats in Anderson County.

“I can catch anywhere from 1 to 2 cats up to 10, 12, 15, 20. It really just depends on the week and where I’m trapping at,” she said.

Bello typically feeds those cats three times, and she also has five cats of her own.

“For me I budget for that, so it’s okay. But for other people that could be the difference in not being able to, maybe having to cut down on the amount of food they give their cat or not buying it a certain month,” she said.

At Anderson County PAWS, they are also having to make changes to how they operate their food bank during this time.

“We have gotten so low in cat food and scrounging to get it every chance we get that we have had to break bags and put them in gallon-size bags,” said Ashley.

To be eligible to get food from Anderson County PAWS, people must live in Anderson County, go through a minor approval process, and have the pet spayed and/or neutered.