DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (WBBM) — Many food pantries are no longer just for people. They’re for pets, too.

At the West Suburban Humane Society, volunteers tell WBBM that they field a number of calls from pet owners who are preparing to give up their pets, or simply release them into the wild, because they can no longer afford to feed them.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts Reports

“What we try to do is offer people alternatives,” said Carolyn Mossberger, executive director of the Downers Grove-based society.

“When we tell them this is available, they’re very happy,” she said. “They don’t want to give up their pet. It just that they feel they have no other choice.”

Mossberger and board member Cindy Johnson said the Peoples Resource Center, in Wheaton, and the West Suburban Food Pantry, in Woodridge, are two pantries that offer pet food to financially-stretched suburbanites.

Johnson said any pet owner facing such a choice should check with local animal welfare officials and food pantries first to see if donated pet food is available.

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