By Britt Moreno
(CBS4) - Pets. We welcome them into our homes and we fall in love. That's what CBS4's Britt Moreno recently learned when she fell head over heels in love with her newly adopted puppy, Knox. He is a member of the family, but his needs can be expensive.
Britt wondered "How do people care for their pets when they are struggling to make ends meet?"
She found the answer at Colorado Pet Pantry.
On a mild December morning, a line formed outside Denver's Community Ministry building before the building was even open. There were more than just Denverites waiting in line to get some much-needed help. Dogs and cats were there, too.
Margaret Peoples and her husband took a number to secure their spot in line with their lab mix, Buddy.
"He's a sweet dog. He has a lot of friends where we live," she said.
The couple was on a dual-household income, but are now adjusting to a big change.
"We're really strapped right now and we are living of one person's income, so it's really hard," said Peoples.
On the day CBS4 was at Colorado Pet Pantry, they were picking up some free kibble for Buddy.
Eileen Lambert was passing out pet supplies at the pet pantry, which is adjacent to a food bank for humans.
She told CBS4's Britt Moreno she discovered the need for free pet food and supplies when she was volunteering with the Dumb Friends League.
"(I) realized that some people were having to give up pets because they don't have enough food," she said.
In an effort to keep furry animals with their human parents, she started Colorado Pet Pantry in 2013. This year the nonprofit is feeding just over 13,000 pets.
"We're able to help their families stay together and that is so important and magical," said Lambert.
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Today volunteers are handing out wet and dry dog and cat food as well as supplies like harnesses, leases, cat litter and toys. 65 pet stores from Parker to Longmont have donation bins where people can drop of pet supplies. These are then taken to a warehouse called FERN or the Food Exchange Resource Network in Englewood. Then they are handed out to people and their furry friends once a month at various locations.
Father, husband and dog owner John Fuller believes Colorado Pet Pantry is a lifeline.
"It's tough with the holidays around. You never know sometimes when the next meal is going to come," he told Moreno. "It takes a lot off of your plate. You don't need to worry struggling to find food for your dog."
For more information on where to donate or where to pick up pet supplies from Colorado Pet Pantry, visit the following links:
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