On Saturday morning, nonprofits Tails of Redemption, Fetching Tails Foundation, and Rescue Pack Chicago worked with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to host a drive-thru food bank — for dogs — on the city’s south side.

Pet food drives have become important during the stressful and uncertain times created by COVID-19, offering animal guardians an alternative to surrendering their beloved companions amid ongoing financial strife.

“A lot of people have been economically impacted by the pandemic,” Sophia Ansari, the sheriff’s office special assistant,  told the Chicago Sun-Times. “So if they’re having a hard time providing for themselves, they’re probably also having a hard time providing for their pets.”

Around 200 people attended the Chicago-based event, held outside the county jail. Volunteers also gave away treats, toys, and accessories.

Jose Rodriguez, who attended the event, said he spends between $150 and $200 each month on food for his pup, Gucci Rosé.

“This one’s expensive,” Rodriguez told local news. “We love it because it helps out especially right now with, you know, being out of work.”

Pierre, a 2-year-old pit bull mix up for adoption and trained by Cook County Jail inmates, also attended the dog food drive.

So far, the sheriff has hosted two such events since December, with plans for a third dog food drive in March currently in the works.

Heartwarming stories like this remind us that the pandemic impacts more than just people. We need to come together to make sure everyone has what they need to support their loved ones.