ALEXANDRIA, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Food pantries for federal workers on furlough are popping up across the area for the workers and now their pets.
As the partial government shutdown continues, animal shelters are anticipating an influx in families surrendering their pets for adoption.
The strategy at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is to help federal workers on furlough who own pets keep their pets by offering them pet food and other bare necessities at a time where money may be tight.
The facility was once reserved solely for those in dire need - it's now open to federal workers on furlough, no questions asked.
Donations have been steadily coming in to the Animal Welfare League.
As the shutdown continues, the shelter is extending its free resources to pet owners who are federal workers on furlough and federal workers reporting to work without pay.
The shelter made the decision to expand its free services this week as the partial government shutdown ventures into uncharted waters.
We're told dry pet food is in high demand.
The shelter is accepting donations for dogs, cats, rabbits and more.
In the fact, the Humane Society says the need and concern extends beyond family pets.
The Humane Society's Acting CEO Kitty Block says partner shelters are prepared for an increase in families surrendering pets due to income loss caused by the furlough.
A spokesperson for DC's Humane Rescue Alliance says their shelters across the district are not experiencing federal workers turning in their pets.
It's not just food here at the pet pantry. There's also preventative medicine for pets -- another, often overlooked, need.
The Animal Welfare League is not the only pet food pantry in the area opening its resources to federal workers on furlough, there are several.
You're urged to check with your local shelter to see if they can help.