As an accidental pet owner, I know firsthand pet food can be pricey, especially after reading this article saying first-time owners spends about $1,260 for a dog and $1,070 for a cat in the first year. Now, every penny counts, but you don't have to stress over Spike's kibbles n' bits and you certainly don't have to spend $1,000. Chicago has several pet food banks and low-cost spay and neuter centers to keep him in your life when you need him most. Tree House Humane Society: 1212 W. Carmen Ave and other locations throughout the city. (773) 784-5488 Tree House is a no-kill cat center with a food pantry filled with dog and cat food. To be eligible, pet owners must show proof of low-income status, pets must be spayed and neutered and a you must be able to verify the surgery with a vet. PAWS Chicago: 3516 W. 26th St. (773) 475-9426 With donations from PETCO, PAWS offers food and pet supplies to low-income families. To qualify, people must show proof of financial need and can't be looking to adopt or buy a pet from PAWS. PAWS also offers the Lurie Spay Neuter Clinic which provides free and low-cost surgeries to families in need. Call the clinic at (773) 521-7729. Animal Welfare League: 6224 S Wabash (773) 667-0088 Each month, the Animal Welfare League offers a monthly supply of pet food for owners in need.