HAMPDEN, Md. - Usually volunteers at the Maryland SPCA don't get an office, but Ted Alban is special. He has his own "office" on the shelter's grounds, but you won't find a desk or phone in it, just lots of pet food and toys.
Alban is the coordinator of the Kibble Connection program. It provides food and toys for Meals on Wheels clients who have pets. It started when the Maryland SPCA found out the Meals on Wheels clients were giving their own food to their cats and dogs.
"Some expenses are too much for folks," said Aileen Gabbey, executive director of the Maryland SPCA. "We don't want them to have to give up a pet that they love because of that expense."
Kibble Connection started about 5 years ago and there are several organizations that work together to make it happen. The Maryland SPCA collects food and toy donations at its facility on Falls Road. One part of Alban's job to organize those donations. He's been a longtime volunteer with the Maryland SPCA and knows the importance of doing whatever you can to allow people to keep their pets and not have to give them up.
"Being homebound and not being able to potentially feed your animal because you don't have the resources to get out and get the food, I just can't imagine being without that companion," Alban said.
Alban then loads up a van he donated for the program and drives it to the Community Support Services for the Deaf (CSSD) in Woodlawn. Volunteers unload the food and divide them up into "care" bags, which they will then deliver to the Meals on Wheels clients.
"Being able to provide for them is important for the quality of life for the individual and for the animal," said Noel Morphet, who works with the CSSD. "This is absolutely hitting a need that I think goes unnoticed and I would like for this to grow."
Kibble Connection currently serves about 120 cats and dogs and is continuing to grow. If you'd like to make a donation, click here .