Dogs whose families are struggling to feed them are getting help from one of the nation's largest animal welfare organizations and a leading producer of pet food and snacks.

Best Friends Animal Society distributed 1,215 bags of dog food and snacks to two Atlanta-area food banks. The generous donation was provided by Del Monte Foods Company's Kibble n' Bits®. The two food pantries that received the food are: Save Our Pets Food Bank in Atlanta and Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen in Lawrenceville.

"We are so appreciative to be able to work with Del Monte Foods on this project," said Ellen Gilmore, Best Friends campaign coordinator. "We distributed 23 pallets of dog food -- approximately 20,000-plus pounds of food to help people who are facing tough economic times keep their pets.

"This is a great event for Best Friends' First Home Forever Home campaign. The campaign focuses on all aspects of helping people make and honor a lifetime commitment to their companion animals and their right to a loving forever home," Gilmore said.

Gilmore added, "Since the mid 1980's, the number of homeless pets euthanized annually in this country dropped from some 17 million to about 4 million. Through education, intervention, and action, First Home Forever Home provides guidance and resources to help people care for their pets and keep them as members of their family.

"We also want to thank Rebecca Guinn and the Lifeline Animal Project in Atlanta who were instrumental in helping to organize this distribution," Gilmore said.

"In these tough times, families and pets need the help of their friends. Best Friends encourages people in the Atlanta area to donate to Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen and Save Our Pets Food Bank. Ongoing donations will help those organizations give future assistance to people who need help feeding their pets, which will enable them to stay in their family homes," Gilmore said.