Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is the economy creating a black market for petfood?

A remarkable story out of northern Arizona--and unfortunately, I don't mean "remarkable" in a good way. Two men were reported stealing petfood from a charity: enough cat, dog and puppy food to have fed the pets of 1,000 needy families.
The food had been donated by
Nestle Purina to Angel's Corner, an organization in Williams, Arizona, USA, that delivers food boxes--including petfood--to battered woman and people who have lost their homes. The organization also has a shelter, and its director, Gail Dent, had let two homeless men stay there over the weekend of August 1 in exchange for watching the food and complex. Instead, they took off with all the petfood, worth US$39,000.
Beyond all the truly sad implications of this story, I can't help wondering what the men planned to do with that much petfood. It's difficult to believe they had their own altruistic intentions or know that many other homeless people with pets. Were they desperate enough to consider it sustenance for themselves?
Or, did they see this as a way to make money and support themselves--and if so, where would they sell that much petfood? Has a black market for petfood and similar products sprung up as so many people in the US continue to struggle to make ends meet?
Let's hope this is just one isolated, bizarre incident. And that petfood companies keep donating their products to animal organizations and pet owners who so desperately need them.

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