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BRATTLEBORO — As part of its mission to keep pets with their families during the COVID-19 crisis, the Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team (VDART) has been busy assessing needs, fundraising, and providing pet food to food banks across the state. Last week the Windham Disaster Animal Response Team (WinDART), a regional team of the statewide group, donated $500 worth of pet food to the Vermont Food Bank's Brattleboro warehouse. Staff at the Windham County Humane Society assisted with the delivery, which will be available to local VFB member agencies in Windham County and beyond. This initiative was part of a COVID-19 Emergency Animal Care Grant the group received from the Humane Society of the United States to support the care of animals who are victims of the pandemic crisis and its current and future economic consequences.

"Vermont animal shelters like the Windham County Humane Society have been forced to severely limit their community services and adoption programs, and don't have the capacity for a large influx of surrendered animals if pet owners can't afford to take care of them," said WinDART board chair Joanne Bourbeau, in a news release. "So it is even more important to keep pets in their homes during this time. People should never have to choose between feeding themselves and feeding their pets."

Donations to help fund this pet food project can be made through the organization's website at