By STEPHANIE JOHNSON and DEBRA JENNINGS
At the Animal Protective Foundation (APF), we feel a very close connection with some of the families in our community who love their pets, but have fallen on hard times due to losing a job or other unforeseen challenges.
One that particularly stands out is a family that lost their job during the pandemic and called to surrender their two cats, Oliver and Rodney, because they were struggling to afford pet food.
When our team learned about the circumstances, we were able to help them thanks to our Community Pet Food Pantry. With all of the other struggles they were going through, it was a huge relief for them that they were able to keep Oliver and Rodney in their home with their kids while they got back on their feet.
While we are still working to launch our larger Pet Safety Net initiative, the cornerstone of that program will continue to be our Community Pet Food Pantry which we have run for many years. The program offers food and limited supplies for both cats and dogs for families in a time of need. The Pantry program is offered as a temporary hand-up to those in need for a six-month period for up to three pets in the household.
Our goal is to offer assistance to enable families to provide nutritious food and keep them in their homes instead of surrendering them to our shelter.
And the need is great — as evidenced by our nearly empty shelves. So far in 2022 we have helped more than 450 families in the Capital Region supplying more than 13,000 lbs. of pet food.
Like our shelter animals, the Pet Food Pantry depends entirely upon the generosity of the animal-loving community’s donations. If you’d like to help, the highest priority needs for the Pantry include:
— non-clumping cat litter
— dog/cat wet and dry food
— “mom and baby” wet food
— small animal food and chew toys
— Timothy Hay
— soft dog treats
— pill pockets
— gift cards to pet stores, grocery, Target, and Walmart (for APF to purchase hard-to-find items)
To help fill our Pantry shelves and keep pets in their loving homes with their families, the Animal Protective Foundation will be holding a special Holiday Community Pet Food Pantry Drive at our shelter located at 53 Maple Ave. in Glenville.
Drop-off times are between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21-Friday, Dec. 23.
We will have our specially decorated APF van at the shelter entrance to collect donated items. The shelter will also be open 12-4:30 if you are interested in making a donation or viewing our wonderful pets who are hoping to be in homes for the holidays.
Finally, you can also help the shelter animals by visiting our Amazon and Chewy wish lists at www.animalprotective.org/wish.
We greatly appreciate your support of the most vulnerable animals in our community.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at [email protected] or phone 518-374-3944.
Stephanie Johnson is the director of operations and Debra Jennings is the client services manager of the Animal Protective Foundation.
APF contributes Animal Chronicles articles and welcomes animal-related questions and stories about the people and animals in our community. Visit animalprotective.org, follow us on social media @AnimalProtectiveFoundation or email [email protected]
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