June 21, 2022 3:12pm
The Stratford Perth Humane Society (SPHS) is expanding their crucial Pet Pantry program to Listowel.
Spokesperson Calla James said an Emergency Pet Food Bank was created at their Kitchener and Stratford locations in 2020 during the pandemic.
“The one in Stratford was called the Perth County Emergency Pet Food bank, and we decided that moving out of the pandemic, we were still seeing a need. So we decided that we were going to transition the program from emergency to an ongoing program, to support people and pets,” she said.
In 2021 the Stratford Perth animal centre location helped 121 pets through the pet pantry program. In 2022, they served almost 90 pets alone in the first five months of the year. This also doesn’t include any pets supported through their three partner locations.
James said after the new Pet Pantry became a permanent program this year, they worked to form a partnership with It Takes A Village in Listowel.
“We reached out to It Takes a Village in Listowel. We had heard about their program, and we asked, if we could help, and they said yes. So we were really excited to partner with them. We are also partnering with the Salvation Army in St. Marys and Stratford as well as House of Blessing in Stratford,” she added.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Humane Society. We want to ensure people and their pets are healthy and cared for. In our experience with community members struggling financially, with food security, or living unsheltered, the concern is often for their pet family members before their own needs. The reality is that pets keep people going when life seems unbearable,” stated Andrea Charest, It Takes A Village.
Running entirely on donations, people can access food and basic pet supplies, including litter, small animal bedding, collars, leashes and more through the program. The goal is to ensure that people and pets can remain together, even when faced with a crisis. Support can be accessed directly from It Takes A Village or the Humane Society’s Stratford location.
If people want to donate they can drop off items or donations to the Stratford location or donate online. For those looking to support the Pet Pantry program and help people and pets in the community, the most needed items are currently:
· Cat food
· Dog food
· Cat Litter
· Small animal bedding
· Small animal food
· Monetary donations
For more information on the Pet Pantry program and how to access supplies through SPHS, visit kwsphumane.ca.