Free pet food pantry set up in Vancouver for owners in need

Apr 8 2022, 4:19 pm

A free community pet food pantry has been set up in East Vancouver to help pet owners who may be struggling to provide for their little family members and to keep animals out of the shelter system.

In Dog We Trust launched the program to provide pet owners with low-barrier access to donated nutritious food and gear for their dogs and cats.

The Pet Food Pantry creator, Brittany Kelsall, told Daily Hive in a phone interview the pantry is self serve, so anyone can drop off donations, and local residents in need, can come by for food and supplies for their pets.

As for the pantry itself, Kelsall said local company Willow and Stump made the unit out of recycled materials and donated it for this initiative.

Kelsall has been working with rescue and foster organizations for the past 10 years and said the pet food pantry is an idea she’s had for a long time.

“I was in foster care and I aged out with my dog Jaxon, and he just recently passed away,” Kelsall said, “when I was basically a teenager, I had a dog with no support and there was nothing out there for me and him… and he saved my life so many times.”

“I just know that other people have animals and love them, and sometimes, struggle and aren’t able to provide the things they want for them,” Kelsall said.

Brittany Kelsall created the free pet food pantry for local residents to donate food and supplies to fur parents in need. (Photo by Wei with Photography)

Kelsall said the program was inspired by the local pantries giving out food and libraries giving out books to people she has seen around the city.

Since it opened in late March, Kelsall said seeing the pantry being used is everything that she had hoped for.

“Just seeing the items being used and knowing that they’re going to a good place, and that people don’t have to think about providing for their animals,” Kelsall said.

“Sometimes it’s ‘do I buy myself food or them food?’ or ‘do I have to give my animal up because I can’t afford them?’ and now people might not have to make that hard decision, so I’m just thinking about that.”

The Pet Food Pantry is located between Welwyn Street and Commercial Street, south of E18th Avenue and is open 24/7 for local residents to take supplies and food they need for their little ones, and is also open for donations to be popped into the pantry.

The items accepted in the pantry include dry or wet dog and cat food, clean gear, toys, and non-prescription supplements. It’s not large enough to take larger items, such as kennels and crates, but Kelsall said she’s working on a way to make it happen soon.

Kelsall said the pantry is in need of more cat items, such as litter and food, “even shelters struggle with keeping in enough supplies for cats,” but everything helps she said.

If you would like to get involved and help, Kelsall said volunteers are needed to help with picking up donations sometimes to take to the pantry.

For more information about donations or how to get involved, you can follow the Pet Food Pantry on Instagram or go to the website.

This community pet food pantry is open 24/7 for donations and for residents needing supplies for their pets. (Photo by Wei with Photography)

Michelle MortonMichelle Morton

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