CHEK Upside: Victoria volunteers providing free pet food for those in need

CHEK Upside: Victoria volunteers providing free pet food for those in need
WatchWith many pet owners struggling financially, a small but dedicated group are making sure the cats and dogs in Greater Victoria are staying properly fed.

A Greater Victoria couple have come up with the purrfect way to help struggling pet owners.

Rick Hawkes, a longtime dog lover, and his wife created Kibbles for Hungry K9s and Felines, a volunteer-based service that provides free pet food to owners in need.

The service was started earlier this year and within the first month, Hawkes received more than 300 pounds of pet food.

“I just went out with my flyer and went out to pet food stores and vet offices and all of a sudden in the very first month I had 350 pounds of food we could sort out,” said Hawkes.

Since then, Kibbles for Hungry K9s and Felines has grown in popularity, with handfuls of volunteers coming forward to help out with social media and home deliveries and Hawkes networking with community centres to streamline deliveries.

The grassroots volunteer service has also managed to feed hundreds of cats and dogs during that time.

Hawkes, 70, says he knows a thing or two about tough times, especially as a pet owner.

“In my forties I went from a businessman to living in my mom’s building with my dog and couldn’t feed myself and him,” Hawkes recalled. “I eventually found him a home because I couldn’t maintain his needs.”

The Victoria native says he was devastated to lose his best friend and vowed to make a difference when he could. With hard work and the generosity of others, Hawkes eventually made it back on his feet.

Years later, he’s happy to be making a difference for others with Kibbles for Hungry K9’s and Felines.

“That’s where it comes because that feeds back into how I felt when people helped me,” he said.

For Hawkes, he’s just happy to make a difference for others while paying it forward.

“That’s where it comes from…because that feeds back into how I felt when people helped me.”

“It is an enormous help…enormous help,” said Holt.

Stephanie Holt and her dog Knuckles are among those who have benefited from Kibbles for Hungry K9’s and Felines. Holt, a single mom with child that has special needs, says the free pet food deliveries go a long way in the current economic crisis.

“It means that I can put some of that money into helping my son, getting him out into the community is very important so it allows us to have some other good priorities,” said Holt.

For inquires on how to donate, or for how to sign up and receive pet food donations, please email Rick Hawkes at [email protected].


Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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