Pantry Focuses On Needy Pet Owners

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KENT, Ohio -- If you are having trouble making ends meet and can't feed your pet, there is help.

There's a unique food pantry that will make sure your four-legged family member does not go hungry.

"We have a lot of people who are laid off, companies are shutting down, the pounds, APLs and rescues are already so overwhelmed," said Rene Lamp, pantry founder.

To help relieve the problem, Lamp started the People Care Pet Pantry in Portage County.

Since 2009, Lamp, an ordained minister, has been helping financially struggling families feed their animals so they don't have to surrender them.

"I just thought there had to be another solution besides giving them up or feeding them their own food which a lot of people were doing, so I started by asking donations from family and friends," she said. "We helped about 10 families, and we are now up to 190 families a month."

Dana Ray is not only a volunteer at the pet pantry charity, but once she was struggling financially and couldn't feed her four dogs.

"The thought that I've had these dogs for all of this time, all of a sudden I have to give them up, I would rather go without medication, I would rather go without food, I would rather do anything, you know, rather than to give them up, and those are the cases that we deal with on a weekly basis whenever we have people come in," said Ray, of Akron.

Now in its fourth year, the Pet Pantry has fed more than 50,000 pets in Northeast Ohio.

To receive the pet food donations, families are screened and sign a declaration of need.

This week the Pet Pantry teamed up with Petco in Kent by putting a bin in their store to gather up donations for animals.

Every other Sunday, the People Care Pet Pantry meets at the Cascades of Brimfield parking lot to hand out pet food to pet owners in need.

Some people shopping at the Petco believe the Pet Pantry is a great idea for pet owners who are strapped for cash and can't feed their animals.

"A lot of people can't afford this kind of stuff, and if they love their pet they need that stuff," said Colton Jones, of Tallmadge.

For more information about the pantry, click here.