As the government shutdown becomes the longest in history, reality is beginning to hit the 800,000 employees caught in the crossfire -- along with their pets.

Over 500,000 people work for the federal government in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., and on Friday, Jan. 11, a significant number of government employees in the region did not get a paycheck.

Many of the workers and families affected may not be able to pay all of their bills. But it’s not just mortgages, groceries, and utilities that families are struggling with; many of these employees also have furry family members that need food, too.

Thankfully, some generous companies and organizations around the region are “ponying up” to help these families feed their pets. If you are one of the unlucky government employees that has been furloughed or is working without pay, these organizations around the DMV would like to help you out. 


Baltimore Humane Society

The Baltimore Humane Society’s Bmore Kind Pet Food Bank is located in Reisterstown, Maryland, and provides food for cats and dogs.

SPCA of Anne Arundel County

The SPCA of Anne Arundel County in Annapolis has a food bank program open to residents of Maryland. Go online to download an application, or call  410) 268-4388, ext.121, for details.

Courtesy of Bark! Natural via Facebook


Bark Natural is giving government employees impacted by the shutdown one free bag of pet food. All you have to do is visit one of the nine locations in Maryland and show your government ID.

Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County

The AWL’s Chompers Pet Food Bank supplies food for kittens, puppies, dogs, and cats. You must pre-register and be a resident of Montgomery County.


Humane Rescue Alliance

Humane Rescue Alliance’s Pet Pantry distributes pet food at five locations throughout the District. Visit the website to register and get the list of locations and times you can pick up the food. You must be a D.C. resident.


Kriser’s Natural Pet (D.C. and Virginia)

Visit any Kriser’s Naural Pet food store and show your government ID to get one free bag of food for your pet. There are nine locations throughout Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Animal Welfare League of Arlington

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington has a pet food pantry open to residents of Arlington and Falls City Church. Just stop by and bring your government ID.

Humane Society of Fairfax County

Residents of the Fairfax County area can join the Ani Meals program to get food for their animals during the shutdown. Just fill out an application online, and call the office for pickup dates and times.

If you’re not impacted by the shutdown and would like to help out, please consider donating pet food to the shelters in your area!

Need help paying your bills during the shutdown? Check out these six resources!