(The following story first appeared January 31 in www.NewJerseyNewsroom.com.)
Any animal shelter staffer will readily tell you about the growing number of surrendered and abandoned pets. Dogs and cats from loving homes, once thought of as “forever homes,” are being turned in to shelters. Even worse, they may be left on the street. All because their owners can’t afford to keep them anymore.
What’s sadder than homeless pets? They’re unable to take care of themselves and unfamiliar with the ways of the street, or the world, yet suddenly they lose the people who took care of them.
For pet owners hit hard by the current economy who fear they’ll have to give up their pets, there’s help and hope in West Trenton. The Pet Food Pantry offers temporary help for pets much as other pantries help people going through rough economic times.
Founded by Lisa and Jonathan Iszard -- owners of Tumbleweed & Eddie’s, a natural pet treat company in Ewing – Petfood Pantry has already helped support nearly 60 dogs and more than 80 cats, as well as five parrots and a duck. Almost 2,000 pounds of food has gone out to pet owners in the greater Mercer County area.
Older and low-income people and animal shelters are among the recipients of Petfood Pantry’s help. Sometimes it takes just a one-time small boost to get over a rough spot.
The operation’s based in the Iszards’ home, where volunteers help out. Some groups have held pet food drives for the pantry and donations – both monetary and pet food -- are accepted. Counseling on spay-neuter and links to resources are also available.
“To ensure that no pet goes hungry, the pantry provides free dog and cat food to anyone in financial crisis, counsels pet owners on proper nutrition for their pets and provides information on free and low cost spay and neuter programs.” according to Petfood Pantry’s website, www.ThePetfoodPantry.org.
Guidelines for applying and possible jobs for volunteers are detailed on the site. Through the Pet Food Pantry, when the going gets tough, the tough get to work keeping pets in place and fed until the crisis passes.
The Pet Food Pantry, 1803 Scenic Drive, West Trenton, NJ. 08628. Email: ThePetFoodPantry@hotmail.com .