Nonprofit organization feeds Eastern Shore pets in need
Mary Kramer, co-founder and vice president of Pet Pantries, with her son David collecting food for Pet Pantries at Giant. Special to the Banner
EASTON – Pet Pantries, is a new Maryland nonprofit corporation, recently formed to support pets in need on the Eastern Shore. The organization’s mission is to keep the pet food pantries of Baywater Animal Rescue, Caroline Humane, and Talbot Humane filled year round.
Pet Pantries is the only independent nonprofit with 501(c)(3) pending on Maryland’s Eastern Shore assisting multiple Humane pet food pantries.
“We founded Pet Pantries after reading a heart-wrenching front-page story last fall about Dorchester Humane having to turn away owners in need of food for their pets,” says Pet Pantries President Barbara Mulready. “There is such a high demand for pet food in this area and we exist because the community needs us. Our goal is to keep pets out of the shelters and in their homes. When people come to Humanes’ pantries asking for food, that’s where our supplies come in.”
Humane organizations typically have two separate food supplies: one to feed the Humane’s pets internally and one to provide food for the public. Pet Pantries works to stock the public food pantry, serving pet owners who have fallen on hard times during challenging economical times.
“We have over 200 people using our Pet Food Pantry and gave out 18,000 pounds of food last year,” said Suzette Stitely, executive director of Baywater Animal Rescue (formerly Dorchester Humane Society). “There’s no doubt in my mind that without this service, many pets would go hungry. We see many people who really have to depend on us to feed their pets.”
Similar to food pantries for humans, Pet Pantries accepts donations and pet food through events, food drives, and community efforts combined. The organization has held pet food drives in local schools, fitness centers, retirement centers, and local businesses.
“We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the tremendous support we have received from the community, remarked Ms. Mulready. “From students and businesses organizing pet food drives to dedicated individuals going the extra mile to pick up donations, we are extremely thankful to all of our volunteers and supporters.”
Since its establishment in January 2012, Pet Pantries has been highly successful, collecting 8,000 lbs. of cat and dog food to date. Pet Pantries will be launching several new fundraising initiatives in the fall.
“We are the voice of the pets that cannot ask for help,” Ms. Mulready said. “We are always seeking support from the community and invite the public to visit our new website to learn how they can get involved.”
For more information or to make a donation, either as an individual or a business, visit www.petpantries.org.