top of page

The Pet Pantry 

Who do we help?
  • Animals – by keeping them in their homes and out of shelters

  • People – by helping them keep the pets they love

  • The community – by reducing strain on government resources and saving ‘rehoming’ expense by shelters and rescues

Who are our typical clients?
  • All ages, races, and marital status

  • Unemployed, temporarily

  • Unemployed, permanently

  • Underemployed

  • Alimony-deficient

  • Retired, living on social security or other limited income

  • Physically or mentally disabled

  • Homeless and/or nontraditional home (camp, etc.)

How do we help?

We provide up to 5 months’ food and supplies to give the client time to get back on their feet. Food and supplies are donated by individuals or purchased at wholesale. This means we may not be able to match preferred brands. If a client has a pet with special food needs, they should make a note on their application and we will try to address the need if we can. Otherwise we give the food that we have.

Who are we?

We are animal lovers and all volunteers. We have no paid staff so we are not always available during ‘normal business hours.’ We try to be as responsive as we can but please understand and be patient should you call us. If you have computer access, you may get a quicker response by sending an email to

How do clients find us?

Clients can come to our office to apply for assistance, can access our forms on this website.

Where do clients pick up their supplies?

We provide supplies directly from the Pet Project office.
Clients are called when their distribution are ready for pickup. Two missed pickups result in a client being dropped from active status so their food can be given to another needy household.

What does the application process involve? How long does it take to get help?
  • Clients must fill out the application form completely. Incomplete applications are not processed.

  • Clients must sign and date their applications. Clients are made active based on the signature date on their signed application. Undated applications are not processed.

  • Once the Pantry has the completed and sign application, the client is added to the waiting list. We usually have between 30 and 100 clients in the waiting list and it may take a month to six weeks to become active.

  • Emergency food may be available at the Pet Project office. Clients may receive emergency assistance once while they’re on the waiting list. Emergency supplies may be less or different than what a client will receive once they’re active.

  • If you want to call to check the status of your application, please call no more than once. Repeated calls prevent our volunteers from doing the work that moves the process along.


Click here for the official pet pantry application:​

Food/supply limitations
  • Participants receive assistance for up to five (5) consecutive months.

  • The amount of food participants receive is based on veterinarian recommendations for the pet’s breed, age, and ideal weight. 

  • TPPM caps the amount of pet food given per household (see staff for current cap), but if inventory levels dip low, Pet Pantry will help more people by giving less food.

  • The program is available to one applicant per household only.

  • TPPM can deny any application for any reason.


Pet owner rules
  • You must live in the Greater Des Moines Metro area.

  • You must have owned the pet(s) you listed on the original application for at least six (6) months.

  • You may not add additional pets to your original application.

  • You must be at the TPPM office each month to pick up your food. If you miss two consecutive pick-up days, you will be dropped from the program.

  • Your household must follow the Des Moines limits for number of pets, which is currently a maximum of six (6) pets.

  • Contact TPPM if you no longer need assistance during your eligible period so we can help another household.

  • If staff finds evidence of abuse or deception such as lying about pets or selling or trading food, you will be immediately and permanently removed from the program.

Pet requirements
  • Pet age must be eight (8) months or older.

  • Pet must be spayed/neutered by the second month of participation in the Pet Pantry program. You must provide proof of this from your veterinarian.

  • Application requirements

  • Photo ID and proof of address. A photocopy is acceptable for mailed applications.

  • Phone number. If you don’t have a phone number, provide one for someone who sees you regularly.

  • Email address or alternate phone number in case your primary number becomes inactive.

  • Documentation for proof of spay/neuter provided by veterinarian and special food needs, if applicable.

  • Two consecutive attempts will be made to contact you by phone. After two unsuccessful attempts you will no longer be eligible and cannot reapply.

  • We have the right to inspect your home and meet your pet(s) before accepting you.

bottom of page