Pet food shortage impacts Roanoke Valley animal shelters, stores

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Roanoke Valley animal shelters, grocery stores, and pet stores are feeling the effects of a nationwide shortage of pet food.

At the start of the pandemic, we saw toilet paper, hand sanitizers, and Lysol go flying off the shelves. Now, it’s wet/canned pet food products.

“We’ve been struggling like everyone else for the last year, trying to get different supplies in,” said Anita Scott, director at Franklin County Humane Society Adoption Center.

The Franklin County Humane Society relies on donated food. As a result, when the shelves are bare at the stores, it becomes a worry for them.

“It does get scary when things are low. Especially if we have a full house with our pets,” Scott said.

It’s also a worry for local businesses, like Nature Emporium in Roanoke.

“With us missing products. It’s sending a lot of people to different places to see if they can try and find that product anywhere else,” said Katelyn Suttles, assistant manager at Nature Emporium.

The pet food shortage is being blamed on the high demand for food and fewer workers during the pandemic.

“Almost all of our stuff is out. Our stuff gets delayed three months just because they can’t staff enough people at that facility to produce what is needed,” Suttles said.

Even big-box stores like PetSmart are impacted. The business shared the following statement with WFXR News:

“Throughout the pandemic, more people have added pets to their families, driving increased demand for pet food. With this increase in demand, we are seeing shortages from manufacturers of wet food that are affecting our canned food supply both in our stores and online. We are committed to doing all we can to help pet parents feed and care for their pets and are actively working with our manufacturing and shipping partners to ensure supply is increased to better meet the current demand.”

For Nature Emporium, it’s not just the canned food that is in short supply, but other items such as leashes, beds, toys, and carriers.

“All of those aren’t manufactured in the USA. All of them have come from China and stuff. We’ve had a hard time getting a lot of those in,” said Suttles.

While some of the shelves might be bare at Nature Emporium, they are doing the best to help their customers in need to find the best product for their furry family members.

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