Sharing Food and Supplies Hurts So Good

By Amy Hempe, Colorado Pet Pantry volunteer 

There really is such a thing as giving until it hurts (our muscles at least!).

Not that that’s a bad thing.

We are thrilled to have two incredibly generous donations this month: from UNFI and Animal Supply Company. In all, we had 40 pallets of pet food – that comes to 60,000 pounds of kibble.

Despite having sizable warehouse space and volunteers who have done some serious organizing in there, we knew that we would not be able to store all of that kibble and use it quickly enough. The donations were simply that massive.

However, we do not like to turn food away, and we knew that others might be able to take a large chunk of it. We sent the word out to our Animal Welfare Share Program partners in the area and told them that on Wednesday, May 9, we would be at the warehouse all day if they wanted to come by and grab a pallet or two. Our forklift and muscles were ready.

Some of the early arrivals included Soul Rescue and Circle 2 Rescue, both of whom arrived with their large vans. Eileen operated the forklift while volunteers Amanda, Shanna, Sarah, Amy, and Ernie loaded individual bags. The rescue vehicles were packed to the absolute (legally allowable) brim, ensuring that rescue dogs and cats they serve would be well fed.

We also happily loaded up the trucks for Happy Haven Farm & Sanctuary, Metro Denver CAT, Moms and Mutts, Team Leo, Retriever Rescue of Colorado, Forgotten Felines Rescue, Colorado Animal Care Foundation, Sugar Dogs, Arlene’s Angels, Ho-Bo Care Boxer Rescue, Duncan’s Place, Colorado Pet Food Bank (a separate organization that serves the Eastern Plains), Front Range German Shepherd Rescue, OutPaws, Hope For Animals, Steel City Alley Cats Coalition, and Cooper’s Companions. We carried hundreds of bags, loading trucks, vans, and cars past sunset. The warehouse was toasty and we might have all smelled like pet food at the end. We got dirty and sweaty, and our arms felt like limp rubber bands by the end of the day. And it was all completely worth it.

This is a huge part of what makes our mission at Colorado Pet Pantry so rewarding. When we can work with other rescues to help them accomplish their missions, then we know that we are spreading the love. We all want to help dogs and cats in need, whether they are living with families already and just need a little help with getting food, or they are in foster care awaiting their forever homes. We all share the belief that pets are family.

The Colorado Pet Pantry definitely hit the jackpot with those fabulous donations. And the best thing about that was we could share this with others.

Dogs and cats are getting fed, and we got our workout. It was a pretty great day.

Huge thanks to UNFI and Animal Supply Company, and all of our volunteers who make this work possible. Many thanks as well to Cheryl at MaxFund who has mastered the art of connection and helped us to secure these donations.

We Need You!

Want to volunteer with us at a pet food bank or event? Or email us if you would like to help in the warehouse or with administrative work.


Horkos is Heading to the Pet Food Bank

A note from Horkos who is heading to our pet food bank at Jewish Family Service of Colorado today:

It’s Service Dog Horkos here with a brief “Thank You Montage”… At the bus stop on our way… 

I love it when I get to see Colorado Pet Pantry at JFS… 

Visiting Colorado Pet Pantry is like being a dog-kid in a dog-candy store… (Note from Colorado Pet Pantry, this is not a photo of the pet food bank!)

Excited! Can’t wait to get going and see the crew!

Our ride is here! Yay! It’s time to go to Colorado Pet Pantry!!! 

Dad, you’re the BEST!

 


Colorado Pet Pantry Featured on CBS Denver – Watch Now

We are honored to be featured on CBS Denver with Britt Moreno this weekend. The more people who know about us, the more pets we can help feed and keep with their families during tough financial times. The holidays are hard for many families, and if we can relieve one source of stress, we can give HOPE.

In 2017, we surpassed our original goal of feeding 11,000 dogs and cats, and instead, fed 13,333 pets for a full month! Our goal is to feed 16,000 pets in 2018, but we’ll try for as many as we can. The sky’s the limit when we have the right balance of pet food, funds, and volunteers. Please share this video with others on Facebook or Twitter and help us spread the word about the Colorado Pet Pantry!

Watch the CBS Denver video


5 Reasons to Donate on Colorado Gives Day

We’re really excited to spread the word about Colorado Gives Day on December 5 and how it benefits Colorado Pet Pantry and hundreds of other wonderful Colorado nonprofits.

Colorado Gives Day is a program operated by Community First Foundation, who, in partnership with FirstBank, developed a $1 million donation-enhancing Incentive Fund. This means that nonprofits receiving donations on Tuesday, December 5 through ColoradoGives.org will receive an additional financial boost from the Fund.

As if that’s not a good enough reason to make a donation to CPP on Colorado Gives Day, here are five more!

1. It’s a day when Colorado steps up to make a difference

Colorado Gives Day has raised more than $200 million for hundreds of nonprofits since its inception in 2010 and has become the largest single-day online donation campaign in our state. Your donations go the extra mile on this day because every nonprofit that receives a donation on December 5 receives a portion of the $1 Million Incentive Fund.

2. Make all of your year-end donations in one swoop

ColoradoGives.org allows you to select all of your favorite nonprofits, and a few that you’re learning about, and donate to all of them with one credit card transaction. It might be the easiest thing you do all day!

3. It’s Colorado Pet Pantry’s single biggest donation day of the year

“Year-end charitable giving is important to many nonprofits, as most charities receive more than 40 percent of their annual contributions the last few weeks of the year,” wrote Blair Shiff for KUSA in a 2015 article addressing Coloradan charitable giving statistics.

Colorado Gives Day brings in Colorado Pet Pantry’s largest annual financial windfall. CPP attributes year-end tax planning incentives, the Community First Foundation and FirstBank partnership donation enhancement fund, and the simplicity of the ColoradoGives.org website for the spike in donations from CPP’s growing base of compassionate, enthusiastic supporters.

4. We’ll send the Card!

On your donation, include the name and address of someone you want to honor in the Comment line, and we’ll send them a holiday card about your gift in their name.

5. Give with ease & confidence

We all want to make sure our hard-earned money is spent judiciously by the charities we support. ColoradoGives.org allows donors to learn more about local charities so you know your donations will really make a difference. ColoradoGives.org provides current, comprehensive, and objective information about our state’s nonprofits, and the website lets donors search for charities based on keyword, county, and cause.

The site has the added bonus of allowing smaller nonprofits with modest marketing budgets to connect with generous Coloradans, and lets donors feel confident in supporting budding organizations who are only beginning to build their reputations and following.

Year-end and year-round support for Colorado Pet Pantry is always easy

We really hope you take advantage of Colorado Gives Day’s incentives on December 5, but if your end-of-year budget is a bit too tight, it’s easy to support us any time of the year through ColoradoGives.org, or directly through our website.

We’re always looking for volunteers, and if you’ve got furry friends on your shopping list, visit our partner HoundAbout. Your purchase of any high-quality pet product in our HoundAbout online store helps fund our programs, allowing us to keep pets at home with their families and out of shelters.

Thank you for thinking of us during the traditional Season of Giving!


Keeping Lucien at Home

Lucien and her family walked into the Dumb Friends League with tears in their eyes and said they needed to surrender their beloved dog. The staff member at DFL quickly realized it all came down to food. Lucien’s family was going through hard times. They had a few pets, and she was the one that needed the most food. Without money to buy pet food, let alone human food, the family decided they needed to bring her to the shelter so that another family could love her.

But Lucien already had a loving family.

The staff member at DFL handed Lucien’s family a Colorado Pet Pantry flyer, and there was a pet food bank the very next day. The family had never heard of the pet food bank, but it was the answer that solved their most heart-breaking problem.

They could now keep their family together.

Donate for Colorado Gives Day: www.coloradogives.org/pet

 


Animal Welfare Share Program write-up by Dumb Friends League

By Dumb Friends League

Many animal welfare organizations receive donations of pet supplies they don’t need, and yet they must purchase items that other organizations may have in surplus. To help “spread the wealth” among these organizations, the Colorado Pet Pantry, in partnership with the Dumb Friends League, launched the Animal Welfare Share Program this spring.

The goal of the Animal Welfare Share Program is to help participating rescues and shelters save money on crucial supplies while increasing efficiency in the use of items donated by the community.

This partnership creates a centralized location for shelters in the Denver metro area to share donated resources like pet food, medical supplies (excluding prescription drugs), collars, leashes, pet beds, crates, and other pet-related items. Participating rescues and shelters can pick up items they need and drop off surplus items for other rescues to utilize.

Read more at Dumb Friends League news

Email us about this program


Happy Birthday to Us!

Time is sure flying, and this week we celebrated our 4th Birthday! In June 2013, we held the first pet food bank at Bienvenidos Food Bank in northwest Denver. We didn’t know how it would go. Would anyone come? With a packed box truck, we arrived and unloaded. Soon there was a line. We fed 157 pets that day, and made sure they had food for a full month.

We want to help families to feed their pets and keep them in their loving homes. Four years after we dreamed up this idea, we’ve grown in volunteers, financial support, and partnerships. In 2016, we fed 6,335 pets for a month. This year, our goal is to feed 11,000!

Thank You for Helping Us Celebrate Our 4th Birthday. This was only achievable through the support of you and the community.


Colorado Expression Magazine Writes about the Colorado Pet Pantry

By award-winning writer, and President of the Dog Writers Association of America, Jen Reeder, published in Colorado Expression Magazine!

A FEW YEARS AGO, Anthony Valle’s career was booming. With a doctorate in business administration and years of experience as a successful senior project manager for numerous Fortune 500 companies, his skills were in demand. So when he was offered a lucrative contract to work in Denver, he drove from New York with his wife, young daughters and their beloved dogs to the Centennial State.

But fortune can be fickle. A week after arriving, Valle found himself unemployed due to legal wrangling between his employer and another company. Suddenly job offers dried up; aside from managing one major fiber-optic project, he hasn’t found work in his field for two years. Instead, he maintains a low-income job to help keep his family afloat until something more promising pans out. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Valle said. “We went from having a beautiful home to living in a hotel. It’s been a really hard road.”

The Valles have stayed close throughout their hardships—both with one another and with their dog, Cleo. The American Staffordshire Terrier is a registered emotional support dog who loves to snuggle, take walks and sleep in bed with Valle’s daughters every night. But due to allergies, Cleo needs special dog food, which became increasingly challenging to provide. “It would have been extremely devastating to every one of us if we would have had to give up Cleo because we couldn’t afford to take care of her,” Valle said.

Fortunately, the Colorado Pet Pantry stepped in. The nonprofit, founded in 2013, helps keeps pets in the families that love them by providing dog and cat food to people in need. The pet food bank “brought us peace of mind,” Valle said. “We’re sure that Cleo’s going to be healthy and taken care of.”

Read more
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Spotlight on Pet Pantry Supporter: Dog-topia

By Amy Hempe

Entering Dog-topia one encounters loud, persistent barking punctuated by the occasional silence. The silence does not last for long as there is often something happening at this busy doggy daycare and boarding facility located in Denver on Lincoln and Alameda. Owner Erin Loughrey wouldn’t have it any other way.

Loughrey began her business back in 2002 on Fifteenth and Platt and moved the current location on Lincoln in 2010. People looking to work there have to possess a necessary blend of good customer skills first followed by dog skills, and it is shows as both customers and dogs are always greeted with big smiles.

Opening at the crack of dawn, or even before, at six-thirty in the morning, and closing at seven at night, dogs can spend their day socializing with up to one hundred other dogs, although the average day sees about seventy.

“Even though they have good bonds with the people who work here, the dogs usually just want dog time,” Loughrey explained in her typically cheerful manner. “Generally they don’t even want to hang out with humans.” They are closely supervised though. Rather than being separated by size, the staff puts them into groups based on the dogs’ temperaments so that calmer dogs can have a relaxing day while the more playful pooches can spend their day chasing one another. The dogs have roughly ten thousand square feet to play, and during the summer, swim in wading pools that the staff sets up outside.

About 1 p.m to 3 p.m. seems to be a down time for many of the dogs as they have burned off a lot of their earlier energy. Then they get revved up again for the late afternoon pick ups. Owners are happy to have a tired dog at the end of the day although Loughrey laughs and is quick to point out that dogs are “completely different here than they are at home.” Considering most of us do not have seventy dogs to hang out with at home, this is completely believable.

And while most of the dogs belong to Denver residents, a few of the pups who hang out at Dog-topia have been rescued by the Aurora-based dog rescue organization DMK Rehoming and are looking for forever homes.

Dog-topia is one of many businesses that accepts pet food donations on our behalf–see the full list of partners here. We then distribute the pet food at pet food banks. Learn more about this important Colorado Pet Pantry supporter Dog-topia or visit their FaceBook page.


Opening our 6th Pet Food Bank Location – Boulder 


On Dec 13, 2016 we opened our sixth month “open to the public” pet food bank location in Boulder  with our partner Harvest of Hope food bank. We also have 10 mini pet food banks where we help a target population such as the residents of low-income facilities for people with disabilities or the elderly, and organizations whose mission is to reduce the number of homeless pets. See our partner list. 



A Client’s Story


“We live month-to-month but normally everything works out somehow. This month there was just no way for us to make rent and buy dog food (which has to be one of the worst feelings in the world)! They are our family and we love them like family. I just don’t even know what we would have done without you guys and can’t thank you enough! I hope you know how important the work you do is!”


Your Furnace Tune-up Helps Feed 25 Pets for a Month!

FurFur_2 charities_2016-thumbnailApplewood Plumbing Heating & Electric is again partnering with Colorado Pet Pantry for their “Furnace Checks for Charity” program. The program was a big success last year (feeding more than 250 pets for a month!), so we hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity and support Colorado Pet Pantry in 2016.

In preparation for the chilly winter months, Applewood is offering a 14-point furnace tune-up at a special rate of $99, a service valued at $181.67. Instead of writing a check to Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric, however, 100% of your furnace check fee will be made directly to Colorado Pet Pantry.

This donation is tax deductible and the perfect way to support our efforts. Colorado Pet Pantry provides pet food to families to ensure pets are well taken care of and remain in a loving home. More than 5,700 pets were helped last year.

Book your furnace check with Applewood between September 1-30 to help support Colorado Pet Pantry! Call 303-232-6611.

Download the Flyer



Our Holiday Wish List

There are so many ways that you can help the Colorado Pet Pantry, from volunteering to donating. If you’re looking for ways to make a huge difference to specific areas of the pet food bank, here’s what we need:

Help Us to Buy a Van

We’ve rented and borrowed our share of vans, large trucks, and magic carpets to move more than 50,000 lbs of pet food this year. With five monthly pet food banks on the calendar, and more coming, we need to invest in a reliable van to help transport the growing amount of pet food we distribute each year. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to buy and maintain the van. This crowdfunding page is part of the LoveAnimals and Animal Assistance Foundation #ColoradoLovesPets Holiday Giving Challenge and every donation helps us to win up to $20,000 in prizes. Donate to this special fund. (Want to donate a van? Email us!)

Help Us Keep Our Warehouse

We share our amazing warehouse with 10 human food banks. Together we are the Food Exchange Resource Network (FERN) and we’ve helped more than 50,000 people (and their pets) in seven counties. Staying together affords us tremendous cost-savings especially in this very expensive time for warehouse real estate. But the warehouse needs work and we need to raise $35,000 to get this done. An investment in this fund will allow all of the food banks, including the pet pantry, to stay in this warehouse space at about 1/15th (!) of the market rate. Donate to this special fund.

Fund a New Pet Food Bank

It costs about $3840 to fund a new pet food bank location for a year which will serve about 960 pets! This special fund will be used specifically to open a new location as soon as possible. This crowdfunding page is part of the LoveAnimals and Animal Assistance Foundation #ColoradoLovesPets Holiday Giving Challenge and every donation helps us to win up to $20,000 in prizes. Donate to this special fund.