In New York, a growing type of pet rescue has popped up.
The Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry was designed to provide assistance to pet owners who have hit hard financial times. The Pet Food Pantry helps out these owners who are struggling to pay for food.
Volunteers of the program say they want to ensure that no one has to give up their pet due to financial reasons.
“They love their pets and the pets are always there for them. You know if you give them up you give up a part of yourself,” said Suzanne Ferrara.
Director of the Pet Food Pantry, Cathy Fermi, stated that the program is available for people living on a reduced income. Many clients of the Pet Food Pantry rely on programs like these for survival.
“We have a lot of people who are disabled. We have a lot of people on social security, we have a couple of veterans; same thing, they just can’t afford the animals that they have,” she said.
With the Pet Food Pantry available, many clients do not have to make the difficult decision to surrender their beloved pets.
After being out of work for almost a year, Julie Fraittag explains, “I might have had to give her away or not feed her properly, and that would’ve broke my heart.”
Fraittag is now giving back to the program and volunteers at the panty. She hopes to provide the same help to others that she had to rely on.
Clients can be referred to the program by animal shelters and county agencies. Anyone who lives in the four counties north of the city and who demonstrates need is invited to apply.