Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pet Food Pantry Helps Owners In Need

The tough economy is taking its toll on families, including pets. That's why the Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry is trying to help people who need some extra help feeding their furry friends. The group collected donated pet food from another group, filling two storage units. They plan to give it away to people in need this Saturday. Shannon DeBra is the founder of Recycled Doggies, and founded their program, the Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry. She found out about other pantries using Twitter.

"I followed some pet food pantries in other parts of the country that I had learned about – and I started thinking and wondering if we had anything like that here and did some research – and we didn't," said DeBra. The Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry will give away pet food on Saturday from 10 a.m to noon at Queen City Self Storage located at 4775 Red Bank Road in Madisonville.

The group will also accept donations of food and litter at that time. You're asked not to drop off donations at Queen City Self Storage outside of the scheduled distribution time. People who show up need to have an ID, register and write a letter explaining their financial hardship. "Our idea is to provide temporary food assistance, not intended to be a long-term food source,” said DeBra. “This is to get people through a rough patch."

Dr. Paul Levitas, a veterinarian at The Animal Hospital on Mt. Lookout Square agrees there's a need for extra help. "They [pet owners] are just up against the wall. It's either feed themselves or feed their pets sometimes, and unfortunately, the pets are going to pay for that," said Dr. Levitas.

Dr. Levitas hopes this program will help fill a gap in our community. "I'm sure most of these pets would rather stay with their owners and if this would allow them to keep their dogs or cats, that would be great,” he said. Organizers want to continue the program to help keep animals in homes instead of shelters.


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