PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Inside a room at the Humane Society of Pinellas are gifts from the heart. Each donation of dog and cat food helps keep senior citizens and their pets together as a family.

“The Senior Pet Connection program provides food to pets. So they’re not getting human food but their parents keep the food they need as well,” said Twila Cole with the Humane Society of Pinellas.

The storage room is half filled with food and while that seems like a lot, Cole says it’s only half of what’s needed to feed between 300-400 animals in 156 Pinellas homes each month.

“Sadly we have people on a waiting list for us to make a commitment and ensure we have a supply of food and the help to get food to homes,” said Cole.

Marian Gleeson heard about the need and wanted to help out. She said, “We’ve got pets and know how expensive it is to have. I hope this will make it easier for families to afford.”

Donations can help dogs like 1-year old Widget from being surrendered to the shelter - not because his new owner didn’t have the love to give him, but the money to feed him.

Cole said, “Studies show and support how seniors can stay healthy and independent. If there is a pet in their home further supports why we should keep these families together.”

A message on the storage room wall sums up how important pets can be to a family. says Cole. It reads, “Pets are not our whole lives, but make our lives whole.”

You can help by going here: