BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland SPCA has launched a new program to help pet parents feed their fur babies during times of need like the coronavirus pandemic.

Animal rescues across the country have seen a spike in adoptions and foster applications since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Maryland SPCA.

“All of our pets right now are currently in foster care with amazing parents so they are all taken care of,” said Katie Flory, the community relations director for the Maryland SPCA.

While many turn to their furry friends during the pandemic for comfort, for some, it has become increasingly difficult in the wake of social distancing restrictions to continue caring for their pets.

“It puts people in a very scary situation where they feel like they’re not going to be able to feed their cats and dogs,” Maryland SPCA volunteer Melissa Welsh said.

As a response, the Maryland SPCA launched a new program called “Kibble Connection Food Pantry” catered to those who have lost their jobs and are struggling to feed themselves or their families.

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“If we can provide cat food, dog food to the community as a whole, we’re really hoping to keep animals in their homes but also make sure that people are able to get the social-emotional well-being that we know pets provide,” Flory said.

Through the pet food pantry program, people can fill out a form on the Maryland SPCA website and schedule a time to pick up cat or dog food.

Organizers said it’s crucial to ensure animals get the nutrition they need so they can continue to provide their unconditional love in their forever homes.

“Pets are part of our family and we as a shelter, our mission is to improve the lives of pets and people,” said Flory.

READ MORE: Pet Food Banks, Pantries In Maryland

For the pet food assistance form, click here. To make a donation, click here.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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