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Local Organization Provides Pet Food and Supplies to Those Who Can't Afford Them

Emmy, Michele Skalicky's beagle
Photo credit: Anna Skalicky

Kristal Gaines loves animals.  So when she heard that pets were being surrendered by owners who could no longer afford to care for them, she decided to do something about it.

She started the Republic Paw Pantry last year, which provides pet supplies, including food, to those who need help.  Sitting at a local coffee shop on a break from her full-time job, Gaines talks about why she decided to take action…

"I actually  have a friend of a friend who had issues with feeding her animals, and she was going to have to try to find something to do with them, and I was like, 'I'll buy you some food, you know, no.  Let's try to prevent this from happening,' so the thought crossed my mind and I'm like, 'there's probably more people out there with this type of need,'" she said.

Republic Paw Pantry is still waiting on its non-profit status.  It operates out of Gaines’ garage.  People from across the area who need help complete an application to receive three months worth of food and supplies…

"We actually had a new applicant last month who requested a dog bed for her elderly German shepard because they have hardwood floors, and he has arthritis, so we got him a new bed," she said.

Those who still need help after three months may reapply.  Some veterinary assistance is also available.  The items are delivered by Paw Pantry workers so they can check on the living conditions of the animals. 

Gaines says people are grateful to receive help…

"They will email me, they will call me  just with their thank yous and God bless yous. and it's overwhelming.  I mean, they're so appreciative that this type of assistance is out there," she said.

Republic Paw Pantry has served 22 animals since it opened last July.  The organization is funded by donations and money generated through fundraisers.

An upcoming fundraiser is planned for February 9thfrom 6 to 10 at Peabody’s Farm in Brookline.  Admission to the 1stAnnual Republic Paw Pantry Dinner & Auction is $30.  To RSVP, 893-0086.

Gaines says, being able to provide help for pets takes some stress off a family already in crisis…

"It's hard for somebody to decide are they going to feed their kids or are they going to feed their animals because, obviously they have that animal for a reason, you know, they're family.  The animals are family," she said.

To find out more about Republic Paw Pantry and to make a donation, 893-0086 or republicpawpantry.org