If you're a pet owner, you know that they can be just as expensive as having a child. You need to feed them, take them to the veterinarian, buy they treats and toys, and if you travel, you have to kennel them. Sometimes, just like with kids, there just isn't enough money to do everything you need to do for your dog or cat.

El Paso Animal Services knows that having a pet is a lot of work and money, so they created a new Pet Commissary initiative to help pet owners who need assistance in making sure their pet's have enough food. Animal Services has opened a food pantry with a $5,000 grant from Maddie’s Fund, a national animal welfare foundation.

Animal Services officials say they developed the pet food pantry program to not only provide resources and education for pet owners in the El Paso community, but to make sure that they can keep their pets in their home rather than having owners relinquish them to the shelter.

To qualify for the Pet Commissary:
You have to submit proof of government assistance (ex. Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, Social Security, WIC, CHIP, TANF, etc.), have a copy of your ID with matching address, and the pet commissary application, which can be found online and at the Animal Services Center located at 5001 Fred Wilson. Applications must be submitted in person at the Pet Retention Office or through email at pethelpline@elpasotexas.gov, subject heading: “Pet Commissary.” Supplies are limited for the pet pantry and only one applicant per household is accepted.

If you would like to donate to help out El Paso Animal Services, you can donate food and pet supplies at the Animal Services Center during normal business hours, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.