It won't be difficult to find the most convenient drop-off location for this year's Holiday Paws Pantry.
Sixteen business — and counting — have signed on to help collect pet food supplies for the pantry this year.
Not only that, the Canton Charge will display the drop-off bins at all their home games this year.
Jennifer Harrington, owner of the graphic design company The Ad Lab, organized the event in its first year last year. The event, also organized by the North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce, ended up bringing in 4,900 pounds of food, which was distributed to 132 people during the one-day food bank.
“We hoped the program would be successful, but I think we were all a little surprised by just how successful in was in its first year," Harrington said. "We immediately knew that we would organize the program again in 2012. The need is so evident, and while it’s a lot of work, it’s absolutely worth it.”
The pet food drive takes place from Nov. 16, 2012 through Dec. 17. Chamber members hope to collect 7,500 pounds of dog and cat food.
Then, the pet food will be distributed to families in need from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 18 at the site of the future North Canton YMCA Child Care Center, 315 N. Main St. — the former location of the Willis Motor Co. building.
There is no preregistration required for families in need. Food will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, and is not guaranteed. The Paws Pantry will provide food for up to two animals per home, and the amount of food supplied will be at our discretion pending the amount collected. Any remaining food will be donated to local animal shelters and rescue groups.
Unopened wet and dry dog and cat food can be donated at any of these locations:
- Bead Boutique
- Booney and Pooch
- Caffe Gelato
- CKP Heating & Cooling
- FirstMerit Bank
- For Paws Blue Cross Animal Hospital
- Hoover High School - Wrenn Nicodemo's Senior English Class
- Kent State University at Stark - Business Division
- North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce
- North Canton Public Library
- The Repository
- Veterinary Wellness Center of North Canton, LLC
- Walgreens - South Main
- Walgreens - Washington Square
- Walsh University
Donations will also be collected at the Canton Browns Backer gathering at the Winking Lizard in Canton for the Browns away game against the Oakland Raiders at 4:25 p.m. Dec. 2.
According to a Holiday Paws Pantry news release, the local pantry follows a new trend emerging nationwide in cities big and small, from Washington DC to Dearborn, Michigan and from Lakeland, Florida to Toledo, Ohio. In 2009, the ASPCA estimated that 500,000 to 1 million dogs and cats are at risk of becoming homeless because of the economic downturn. Pet food banks are taking proactive measures to keep pets out of animal shelters and with the families who love them. People depend on pet food banks for a variety of reasons like when losing their job, having their salary reduced or finding themselves faced with an unexpected crisis.
The goal of the Holiday Paws Pantry is to make sure that pets in our community do not go hungry, to help pet parents keep their pets even in tough financial times and to ensure that families who are struggling do not have to share their own meal with their pet and go hungry themselves.
Additional support has been provided by barkstark.com, the Canton Browns Backers and the North Canton YMCA.
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