Eau Claire, WI (WEAU) -- When a family is struggling financially they may have to cut extra expenses and one of those expenses can often be pets. But, one local animal hospital is making an effort to help families keep their furry companions.
Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital has partnered with St. Francis Food Pantry to collect donations for pets of families in need.
Lisa Wenholz with Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital started the donation collection for those families and their pets. Wenholz says, "We really care about our patients, their families and we care about the community. If we can keep those families together that's one of the greatest things we can do."
Wenholz says for many a pet is more than a just a furry friend, they're a part of the family, but when a family is struggling financially it may become difficult to feed and care for that member. That’s why Wenholz started a donation collection for those families and their pets.
Wenholz says, "There are well over 600 families that receive food from St Francis every week. If they're getting assistance for their own food and there's nobody helping them with their pet food, what's going to happen to these pets?"
Wenholz also says pets provide more than just companionship to those dealing with financial issues. She ways, “Many studies have shown that they help with depression, and anxiety. So, if you're a person that's struggling to get food yourself or struggling to make ends meet, having that pet there is very emotionally helpful for you."
While St. Francis Food Pantry takes care of the people in need of food, Wenholz hopes through donations the cats and dogs of those families will also benefit. Wenholz says, “Just raising the awareness in a lot of those food drives that there's not pet food and also, if we can help all of the family, that would be great."
There will be a drop-off barrel for food, litter and treats in the lobby of Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital as well as a box for cash donations throughout the month of June.