April 30, 2012

Norfolk Pet Pantry: Helping families stay together

I had the opportunity to stop by and lend a hand for an hour this Saturday at the Norfolk Pet Pantry (located to the side of the Norfolk Animal Care Center). This program is run by the Friends of NACC, a non-profit group lending support to homeless pets and pet families all across Hampton Roads.

While I wait for my next foster assignment, I thought I could try and help out in a different way. The idea behind the Pet Pantry is this: there are some families that are in need here in HR, who are trying to be responsible pet guardians, but cannot afford to feed their pets. Through donations in the community and from retail pet stores, Friends of NACC is able to open a small outlet to help people trying to keep their families together.

It is very evident that there is a need, and that they are doing great things here. People are lined up before the doors open; and there was a steady stream while I was there. It seems like such a simple thing, a bag full of litter, a few bags of kibble, but the impact is huge. People are able to keep their pets and keep them out of shelters, getting by with a little help from the Friends. The program is still in its freshman year, but already they service over a hundred families.

The Pet Pantry is always in need of donations, which can be made directly during operating hours (the second and fourth Saturday each month from 1-4), or at the following stores: PETCO - 4540 Princess Anne Rd # 128, Virginia Beach, PETCO - 5900 East Virginia Beach Blvd, Norfolk, Muddy Paws - 3700 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk. Of if you prefer feel free to donate funds directly to FNACC here.

If your family is going through hard times, you must fill out an application and provide proof of government assistance or your 2011 tax returns showing an income of under $30,000, as well as documentation of spay and neuter for all the pets in the household.

Please, check out their brochure, and send it out so that families in the 757 know that there is help to feed their four legged family.


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