BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A special food bank that provides meals to animals is in dire need. The “Thankful Paws” program is the state’s only mobile pet food bank.

As Gigi Barnett explains, local animal shelters are now teaming up to keep it up and running.

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No shelter and no food. Many pets whose owners have fallen on hard times end up at an animal shelter. But thanks to a pet food bank called “Thankful Paws,” needy families can keep their four-legged members intact.

“If you take away the one thing that really brings them hope, it just makes life even more difficult,” said Lynn Molnar.

Molnar is with “Thankful Paws.” She says demand is high and supplies are lagging far behind.

This week, “Thankful Paws” is joining up with the Baltimore Humane Society and pet stores to kick off a two-week food drive. Volunteers need everything donors can give.

“Blankets, bowls, leashes, collars,” Molnar said. “Especially homeless people; they really need those items.”

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“Thankful Paws” is the state’s only mobile pet food bank. Since 2011, it’s delivered about 30 tons of food to pet owners.

Since it doesn’t have a stationary location, the Humane Society is making its Reisterstown no kill shelter a permanent drop off for people who want to give.

“The love that an animal can give a person is immeasurable. And so, keeping those families together is of the utmost importance,” said Baltimore County Humane Society Executive Director Jen Swanson.

When “Thankful Paws” started, it gave to all needy pet owners. But in recent years, there’s been so much demand, they had to cut back to only veterans, homeless or elderly pet owners.

“Thankful Paws” says this new food drive could make a return back to giving to all needy families.

You can also drop off food to any Pet Valu store. For more information on the food drive, click here.

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