CARSON CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- In tough economic times, it's hard for many people to make ends meet - especially if you're also trying to care for an animal. For people who lose their homes, what to do with that pet is a difficult, emotional struggle.
"It just haunted me seeing these homeless people with their pets," said Genevieve Frederick.
So, Frederick started Pets of the Homeless to help the pets and their owners.
At St. Vincent's food pantry, Auburn Harrison has seen the need first-hand. "We noticed that people were coming in to get extra people food so they could feed their pets with it."
So, they partnered with Pets of the Homeless.
Harrision said they gave out about 51,000 pounds of pet food in 2013, much of it to people who are working, but need a little help. "They just don't have quite enough to make ends meet. A lot of times pets are that extra thing that just puts them over the edge. So this really helps those people a lot."
Pets of the Homeless not only helps feed pets, they also help homeless pet owners connect with free veterinary services.
"Our mission is to help them help their pet because that pet means so much to them," Frederick said.
"When you're living in poverty, you don't want to have your pet be the thing you have to get rid of," Harrison said. "We don't want that either."
So far, Frederick said they have helped more than 10,000 pets. She started Pets of the Homeless in Carson City, but less than a decade later, it is now operating in cities across the U.S. and in Canada.
"It's just awesome," Frederick said. "I can't believe how much it's grown and I'm very proud."