Once a month, the scene is similar in Lakewood as the Colorado Pet Pantry works to serve our community: lines of cars with people and their pets, happy receiving much-needed food for their dogs and cats.
"We started in 2013 with the goal of helping people keep their animals out of the shelters," said Eileen Lambert, executive director and founder. "Last year, we served 115,000 dogs and cats a 30-day supply of food."
All the food distributed is donated.
"And then we have amazing volunteers who go and pick up that pet food," Lambert said. "We'll also take collars and leashes. We'll get it out to the people who need it."
But now, amid a shaky economy, Lambert says the nonprofit is seeing a huge need itself. "At the same time, we're seeing people coming to us we're seeing decreased donations, less money come in the doors and less pet food coming in the doors, especially adult dog food. We need more pet food and more funds."
And longtime volunteer and pet parent Nancy Hardesty sees that need every day. Emotions can run high in the simple act of giving.
"It fills my heart because I'm able to make their life better," Hardesty said with tears in her eyes. "Because I was able to say, we are going to take care of their furry family members."
That's why Lambert and her team hope other pet lovers can find it in their hearts to give to the Colorado Pet Pantry, too.
"Sometimes an animal is the only thing anchoring you to the ground is your pet. And we want to help people to keep their pets."
The Colorado Pet Pantry also had its box truck containing food stolen on Friday, which is an essential tool for their community giveaways.
You can help give extra pet food or monetary donations to the bank here: https://www.coloradopetpantry.org/donate/donate-pet-food/
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