Helen Woodward Animal Center thanks "Banfield, The Pet Hospital" and the San Diego County Employees Charitable Organization for their support of our AniMeals program.

Enrich the Life of a Senior Citizen Simply by Donating Pet Food Today!

Overwhelming research has shown that pets are a real health benefit for their elderly owners.  Compared to non-pet owners, those with four-legged friends at home have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, have a better sense of security, are more active, experience less depression, and even live longer.  Unfortunately, the cost and ability to acquire pet food can often prove to be insurmountable obstacles for homebound senior and disabled individuals.  The AniMeals program strives to remove these obstacles and keep our clients together with their pets for their physical health as well as their emotional well-being.

The AniMeals History

In 1984, a volunteer with the Meals-on-Wheels program discovered one of her clients was sharing her delivered food with her cats.  Realizing the woman was sacrificing her own health in order to keep her furry companions, the volunteer brought the problem to the Helen Woodward Animal Center and the AniMeals program was created, initially serving just 10 clients.  Today, AniMeals has grown exponentially and feeds over 250 pets per week, delivering approximately 3,000 pounds of pet food per month to homebound seniors and disabled.  A dedicated group of approximately 40 volunteers works to package and deliver food to 13 distribution centers ranging from Chula Vista to Escondido. 

How Can YOU Help?

WE NEED FOOD!!!  Our program needs donations of all brands of dry and canned cat and dog food – unopened, unexpired and non-prescription.  We also need Ziploc Freezer quart and gallon bags for packing food up in weekly allotments.  You can help us by dropping off donations at the Helen Woodward Animal Center, at participating Petco locations, or at the Encinitas Vons.  If you have an office, school, church or temple group, Scout Troop, or charity organization that would like to lend a helping paw, you can even hold your own AniMeals pet food drive!  Pet food drives are highly successful and have a huge positive impact on our program!  Your donations will help us to continue our mission of keeping seniors with their pets without sacrifice! 

How Can You Become an AniMeals Client?

Our partners who manage our clients are Meals-on-Wheels, San Diego Hospice & the Institute for Palliative Care, Aging and Independence Services, Jewish Family Services, UCSD Gifford Clinic, Being Alive, Special Delivery, Meals with Love, and Brengle Senior Center.  Individuals needing assistance will need to be added to our routes through one of these organizations.

Need More Info?

For more information about the AniMeals program, including donation locations and food drive guidance, please contact the AniMeals Supervisor at (858) 756-4117, ext. 341 or ErinO@animalcenter.org.