Schenectady's cats and dogs will begin 2019 on a prosperous note - thanks to the Animal Hospital of Niskayuna.
During the holiday season, the animal hospital collected about 1,500 pounds of foods and other items that will benefit pets owned by needy people.
"We definitely got a lot of food and other supplies like toys, treats, clothing and bedding, mostly for cats and dogs," said Samantha Pinel, who manages the practice on Troy Schenectady Road owned by veterinary doctor Ronald A. Scharf.
Pinel said the animal hospital began the food drive in 2017. Clients and hospital staffers - plus an anonymous donor - donated the items for the past year's campaign. Proceeds from the drive have been given to the food pantry operated by the Schenectady Inner City Ministry.
"Their clients, people in need, they have animals they want to take care of as well," Pinel said. "We have heard about people who used their last can of tuna to feed their cat. That broke my heart to hear that."
About 750 pounds of goods were collected during the 2017 drive.
"I'm thinking we at least doubled that this year," Pinel said. "We're still expecting a couple more boxes on the way as well."
Hospital staffers also used monetary donations to purchase pet supplies.