The pandemic has created huge economic struggles for so many families, and that includes families with pets.
But through this entire time, a Hartford native who has made animal welfare her life’s calling has been stepping up to make sure that no animal is left unfed.
For Sonya Harrison, every day her mission is a simple one: to make sure that every pet that needs a meal has one.
“People here love their animals and my thing is I want to be able to help them keep them,” said Harrison, the founder of No Animal Left Unfed. It’s a Hartford-based nonprofit that provides pet food for animals that might otherwise go hungry due to their owners’ economic challenges.
She said that particularly in places like Hartford - which is considered a food desert- the access to pet food isn’t ideal and often costs much more. That reality, particularly in the pandemic, has forced many families to make tough decisions.
“If it’s a food desert for that family and if that family has a pet, it’s literally the same thing for them. If they can’t afford food, they absolutely cannot afford pet food," said Harrison.
She can often be found going around the city to cat colonies to feed animals that live outside then working with other pet rescues to get them adopted. Her organization also sponsors families that can’t afford pet medical care so their animals can stay well. And once a month at Latter Rain Christian Fellowship Church the nonprofit hosts a pet food pantry for free.
It’s a lifelong passion turned into a full-time animal welfare organization that Shonya says has helped some 5,000 animals and their families to date and she’s looking to add more each day.
“I’ve always thought of myself as a steward to my community. I think you have to give back,” said Harrison.
To learn more about No Animal Left Unfed, visit http://www.noanimalleftunfedinc.com/donations.html