Reported by: Adam Paluka
Monday, Jun 8, 2009 @03:32pm
COLLEGE TOWNSHIP, CENTRE COUNTY - As the economy continues to sputter, more and more local families are making some tough budget decisions. In Centre County, two women are determined to make sure feeding the family pet is not a casualty of the recession. “Since the middle of last year was about the first that I've heard someone on the phone say 'I really want to keep my dog. I really love my dog. I can't afford to feed it,'” Kim Bierly, of Centre County Golden Retriever Rescue, said. In less than a year Bierly and Caitlin Rivers have the Pet Pantry of Centre County up and running. In three weeks the two have distributed more than 700 pounds of donated dog and cat food. They believe the family pet cannot be forgotten in an economic downturn. “People just aren't willing to give up their dog because it's inconvenient and that's putting people in a really bad spot, and it's my job to make sure that doesn't happen anymore,” Rivers said. The goal is to eventually get one thousand pounds of dog and cat food donated every month. Their efforts are not going to end once the economy picks back up. “(Think about) our senior citizens on fixed incomes. For them, it's a permanent situation. They need the companionship, but sometimes their cat or dog is the only living creature they see everyday,” Bierly said. Currently, only dog and cat food is being collected, and the ladies are using a trusted distribution system to get Fido and Felix their meals. “People are already going to the food bank for human food donations, and a lot of them are the same people that need additional support for their pets. We're using the human food banks to distribute the food primarily,” Rivers said. Some donations come from local businesses, but Rivers and Bierly hope the bulk of the pet pantry will be stocked by local residents. For more information about donating, or getting some help from the pet pantry click here: http://www.petpantry.yolasite.com/ .