“The pet food pantry here at the shelter was established to assist those in desperate need keep their pets in their homes rather than turn them in to the shelter,” CCAS director Susan Garcia said.
Cherokee County residents who have had their pets spayed or neutered, or show that they plan to, are eligible for food from the pet food pantry. Shelter staff and volunteers also provide information about low-cost spay and neuter programs.
Over the past few weeks, the pet food pantry has gotten a boost from Bridgemill Pets, a pet supply store on Bells Ferry Road.
Georgette Thaler, a supporter of CCAS, saw a Facebook post showing a bare shelf in the shelter’s pantry at the end of November.
“I texted Kim (Hirschfield, owner of Bridgemill Pets) and told her the situation … she gave instructions for her employees to put aside 140 cans of cat food,” Thaler said.
While the 140-can donation came straight from Bridgemill Pets, Hirschfield said she has secured 35 bags of food for donation from pet food companies Blue Buffalo and Precise Pet Food.
“It’s trying times for a lot of people. It’s very challenging, and sometimes people have to give up their pets. I love the three I have, and I wouldn’t want them to be hungry,” she said.
Hirschfield said her store donates to the pet pantry throughout the year when products don’t sell or customers switch brands.
The pet pantry has been in operation about two years and is open during regular shelter hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Garcia said CCAS receives donations throughout the year, usually after posting about the need on Facebook.
“We always need food donations, especially dry dog and cat food. This service has helped keep animals out of the shelter during these tough economic times, which helps save lives of animals here at the shelter,” she said.