Everyone loves their pets and would do anything for their health. Unfortunately, the pandemic has caused more bad than good. One of the sectors affected has been the economy. Families had to reduced their expenses and some of them did not have food to eat at all. Most families have a pet, either a cat or a dog, and we know that having a pet is a responsibility. Taking care of them is implied, but no one brings to discussion the costs of having a pet. Food, veterinarian and clothes are just the beginning. For those families who were struggling financially in the pandemic, pets pantries have been a solution. But what is a pet pantry? Where are they? How can I start owning one? Those questions and more will be answered in this review. How to start your own pet pantry: learn all about them
What is a Pets Pantry?
A pet pantry is a place that provides temporary assistance to families with pets: cats or dogs. If you have a dog and you cannot buy his food, a pet pantry is a good place to go to. They will provide you with food if you have the means to demonstrate that you own your pet. Only owners can attend to a pets pantry and ask for help. It is the perfect place for low income families that care about their pets and do not want to take them to rescue centers or abandon them.
The truth is that many families are dealing with financial problems at home: bills that cannot be paid, food is not enough and more. Pets are the sweet companion of every member inside a house, they bring joy and calm to the house.
Keeping families and pets together is the ultimate goal of a pets pantry. However, it is not easy to find a pets pantry in your local area. When you cannot find them, there are other options for you: try going to pet charities and pet stores. Some pet stores offer big discounts and collection points. Usually there are certain days in the week when the pet store has a discount with visa credit card for example. Take advantage of those days and buy food supplies and accessories for your dog.
Going back to our topic, let´s see....
Where can you Find a Pets Pantry?
INTERNET is the first answer to that question! Google your area next to the word pets pantry with quoatation marks. This would be an example "New York Pets Pantry". Then google will bring you precises results about a pets pantry in your area. Now it is time to write the directions and tellephones and start contacting them.
SOCIAL MEDIA is the second answer! Facebook is a great social network to connect with others who are undergoing the same problem as you. Just search on the group section for a group of "helping pets", "pets pantry in x (your location", "free food for my pets". Those are good examples to start looking for a pets pantry. Inside those groups you can see real information and chat with other members that can help you.
YOUR VETERINARIAN will probably know where you can find a pets pantry. They are aware of the hard financial situation that most people are suffering so they probably know how to help you. Asking and connecting with others is a great tool. Apart from the pets pantries, there are families whose pet has died and they still have food pets. They usually publish the donations on Facebook groups or in the doors of veterinarians. Have your eyes open!
Saving Grace Pet food bank Inc. in Naples, Florida. Website: Saving Grace
Puget Sound: Pet Food Bank in Washington, USA. Website: Puget Sound
Do you Want to Help a Pets Pantry?
Pets pantry have free food because they receive donations. They actually need tons of pets food to be ready to help families with low income. Without resources, their goal cannot be accomplished. A pets pantry needs food and accessories too. It is always nice to have pets toys to give to people in need. If you want to help a pets pantry, here is a list of things you can contribute:
Food and biscuits: if you have a pet at home and your family bought tons of food then you can donate 1 kg at least to the nearest pets pantry.
Pets accessories like blankets and beds are great resources. If you have an old blanket at home you can clean it and bring it to a pets pantry. An old blanket can be transformed into a warm coat for a dog.
Cleaning supplies for pets! Families with low income struggle with food for their pets but also with cleaning supplies. Buy shampoo for pets at the supermarket and take them to your local pantry pets. Everyone will love you!
Toys! Toys are a great option to help a pets pantry. You can grab your pets´old toys or make a toy at home with an old sock and a ball. Put the sock over the ball and you will have a handmade toy :)
Requirements to Participate in a Pets Pantry
Although a pets panty offers free pets food for families undergoing financial troubles, there are certain requirements for the families who seek help. For example, the pets pantry of Los Angeles has the following requirements:
You need to be the pet's owner to give specific information about your pet: weight, age, sex, name and other details.
Before going to the Pets Pantry, you need to book an appointment online on their websites. But if you cannot do it online, there is a phone available at the website too. Organization is priority in these places :)
If you want to donate pet food to the pets pantry in Los Angeles, go and check the information on their website!
Do you want to know the amount given to families in a Pets Pantry? Pets pantries regularly give a one-gallon bag of cat or dog food per pet to the families assisting to the place. Arriving at the designated time is essential. Respect yourself by respecting others :)
Do you Want to Start a Pets Pantry? Read these Tips!
First of all is finding a group of people to associate with. Having the same personal values and goals is key in this type of projects. If you want to avoid conflicts, find people with good soft and hard skills. You will need someone who is organized, responsible, caring and of course: someone who adores pets! hahaha. A key to achieve goals is team work, keep that in mind ;) The group of people is necessary to apply as a non-profit association.
Hire a lawyer to do all the paper work! The easiest way to have a pets panty is filing for incorporation and 501c3 status. Those laws differ from state to state so it is better to ask your lawyer what are the legal requirements. Hiring a lawyer with experience in associations and who loves animals is important. Filing as an incorporation will save you lots of problems.
Now it is time to find a place to store donations and to function as a pet pantry: big spaces with basements are ideal places. Receiving donations from big brands takes time, a good social media campaign is a great option to gain resources.
A good thing in every business is knowing your niche market: who will you serve?. Establishing that will open many doors. A rescue place does not have the same goal as a pet pantry. Although many rescue groups need pet food, remember that the goal is to assist families with financial hardship. Determining your priorities is essential at this point.
Spread the word! Everyone in your area has to know that you exist. How can you do that? Hiring a community manager will give you extra points, if you don´t have access to it, then social media is a good solution. Publish a nice flyer on Facebook groups and on Google so that everyone can go to your pets pantry.
Now we reach the end of the review. You have learnt all about a pet pantry, how do they work and more. I hope that after reading the article you are already googling local pet pantry to give donations or offer yourself as a volunteer. There are many things to do! Leave in comments your favorite part of this article: steps to start a pet pantry or where can you find a pet pantry? Your opinion matters!