Heather's Pet Food Pantry

The Santa Cruz SPCA wants to make sure that companion animals in our community never go hungry — and that no family need surrender a pet because they can’t afford to feed it. So when hard times hit dog and cat owners in our community, we are there to offer support.

Each year, Heather’s Pet Food Pantry distributes more than 10,000 pounds of dog and cat food to senior citizens and other Santa Cruz pet owners for whom pet food isn’t affordable. This vital program, founded and named in memory of Santa Cruz resident and lifelong animal lover Heather Zir, is sustained by Heather’s loving family and friends as well as generous donations from the community.

Members of our community who need help feeding a beloved dog or cat are welcome to visit Heather’s Pet Food Pantry! We distribute one week’s worth of free pet food every Friday, at the time shown below. Along with dog and cat food (both dry and wet) we also offer a selection of free used pet supplies.  

Location: 2601 Chanticleer Avenue, Santa Cruz, California
Time: Every Friday, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm 

How can you help support Heather’s Pet Food Pantry? We gratefully welcome donations of any brand of dog or cat food— wet and dry, opened or not — within its expiration date.

  • Please — no foods with propylene glycol or bones/treats made in China.
  • If you are donating food that is not in its original packaging, please label it with brand name, dog or cat, and expiration date.
  • Most any brand is accepted, even prescription diets.
  • Pet food can be dropped at our main shelter location, 2601 Chanticleer Avenue, during shelter business hours, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.Give a gift that will make all the difference to hungry pets and their loving humans! To make a monetary gift to support Heather’s Pet Food Pantry, you can donate online and select Heather’s Pet Food Pantry when prompted OR send in a check with Heather’s Pet Food Pantry written in the memo section.
On top of our own Pet Food Pantry, the Santa Cruz SPCA has recently partnered with other organizations to reach even more pet owners in need. With these new partnerships, we have been able to distribute an extra 400 lbs of pet food each month to community members that struggle with economic hardships and/or mental health experiences. We are beyond grateful to both of these organizations for helping to broaden our impact on the Santa Cruz and Watsonville communities! 

                              GIVEAWAY DAYS

Santa Cruz Salvation Army – 721 Laurel St. in Santa Cruz
Monday – Thursday (9am – 11:30am)

Twin Lakes People’s Pantry – 2701 Cabrillo College Drive
Wednesdays (4pm – 5:15pm) in parking lot near the modulars and Monschke Hall








How do I take advantage of Heather’s Pet Food Pantry?

Any pet owner who is in need of assistance with providing healthy food for their dog or cat is welcome to come to the SCSPCA for help! The pet owner must be able to provide proof of spay/neuter (old vet bills, microchip records, etc.) prior to collecting food.

How much pet food will I get?

You will receive one week’s worth of dog or cat food, or both! You have the option to choose dry, wet, or both (supplies permitting).

What brand is it?

We provide a variety of brands that are ever changing. The brands and variety of pet food that we have will vary week to week.

I feed feral cats, can I pick up food for this?

This resource is for owned pets only. We do not provide food for the feeding of feral colonies.

I am picking up food for a friend, is that okay?

If you are picking up food on behalf of someone else but are not picking up food for yourself as well, we can allow you to do this. However, if you are also picking up food for yourself, we must limit the amount of times we give you double the food rations, as it can seem unfair to others.

Do you give away anything other than food?

You may also notice a table of used dog and cat supplies that you are welcome to take!

What if my pet doesn’t like the food you’ve given me?

Please bring the food back the following Friday and the attendant will give you a different type of food to try the next time around.

What if my pet has an allergy or special diet requirement?

While we can’t always accommodate special diets or consistency each week, you can let the food pantry attendant know what your pet’s needs are, and if possible, we will do our best to accommodate!

Shelter Location

2601 Chanticleer Ave.

Santa Cruz, CA 95065

(P) 831-465-5000 (F) 831-479-8530


Hours of Operation

Mon & Tues - CLOSED

Animal Browsing Wed to Sun 11am - 5pm

*PET FOOD PANTRY - Fridays 1:00pm - 3:00pm

The Santa Cruz SPCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. Our organization is not affiliated with any other SPCA or Humane Society.

Tax ID: 94-6171565

© 2017 Santa Cruz SPCA