Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County’s pet food pantry surpasses the 2023 annual total of pet food given away before the 2024 half-year mark

July 9, 2024

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – July 9, 2024 – As of May 2024, the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County has distributed more than 27.5 tons of free dog and cat food to Memphis animal owners in need through its pet food pantry, surpassing the 2023 cumulative total of 25 tons. The demonstrated need for the food pantry and increased participation in the organization’s full suite of low-cost animal care services underpins the economic challenges many Mid-South families face.

“When the cost of meat, cheese and grain goes up, so does the cost of pet food. It creates an impossible scenario for families who care deeply for their animals but feel they can no longer afford to care for them,” said Ellen Zahariadis, the executive director of the Humane Society. “Our pet food pantry, low-cost veterinary clinic and other affordable animal services help people confidently care for the animals they love during stretches of financial insecurity. The demand for those services is high, but we’re doing everything we can to rise to the occasion.”

Families receiving government assistance are eligible for the organization’s low-cost animal care programming. This includes its veterinary clinic, where two full-time, on-staff veterinarians provide essential care and spay/neuter surgeries for qualified Memphians; its pet food pantry, which provides several months worth of pet food for animal owners who need short-term food support; and its drive-thru vaccine clinics, where animal owners can have dogs and cats vaccinated against common animal illnesses and receive the county’s required immunizations. All Memphians have access to the shelter’s affordable dog training program, where the organization’s licensed dog trainer provides real-world training and coaching for dogs and people, ultimately supporting harmonious experiences in the home with your dog. 

While dog and cat adoptions represent the public’s understanding of the Humane Society’s mission, affordable animal-care services are an equally important component of the organization’s mission. It believes engaging with people who love their animals is one of the best ways to prevent animal surrender, neglect or abuse. When people are empowered to spay/neuter, regularly vaccinate, train and otherwise care for their pets, they can fully experience the joy of animal companionship. 

About the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County

Since 1933, the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County has courageously met the needs of injured, abused and neglected animals and the humans who care for them. The organization firmly believes that the ethical treatment of animals – and the connections forged between humans and animals – strengthen our community. To this end, they offer services including animal adoption, animal training, low-cost veterinary services and community education. For more information on the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County, visit, connect with HSMSC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or call the shelter at 901-937-3900.



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