If you schedule your 14-Point “Energy Squeezer” furnace systems check from Applewood during the month of September and mention Colorado Pet Pantry, 100% of your payment goes straight to Colorado Pet Pantry.Woof! Woof!
2020 Was a Year of Unprecedented Growth at Colorado Pet Pantry
2020 was quite a year for all of us, in many different ways. At Colorado Pet Pantry we saw the need for pet food assistance grow exponentially. We were ready. Over the prior years we had been building our infrastructure, and developing our network of donation locations, volunteers, and supporters. We were unknowingly preparing for something we never saw coming. When COVID arrived, we were ready to help our community keep their families together. We all saw how important the company of our furry friends were during that time (and still today), and we were honored to have the opportunity to take part in preserving those relationships.
When we put together the numbers, not just from last year, but from in comparison to our first year, 2013 until now, we were shocked. The exponential curve is clear as day. The need is growing, and we are right there with it. Let’s take a look…
We started in 2013 with one pet food bank in Denver. We provided one month’s supply of pet food to 858 pets that year, and began developing our system to help those who were struggling to feed their pets. Each year we grew exponentially larger. We worked out the kinks in our system and continued to develop relationships with human food banks and other partner nonprofits in an attempt to streamline our services.
We didn’t want our clients to have any difficulty using our services. It’s not easy to have to go to one place to get human food, and another place to get pet food. We envisioned a one-stop-shop for foodand supplies.
We ended 2020 with over 80 pet food bank locations, and currently, in August of 2021 we have 94 pet food banks across the state of Colorado. In 2020, we distributed 943,807 lbs of dry pet food and 120,633 cans of wet food, serving more than 5.1 million meals across the state to pets in need.
These numbers blew away previous years as we grew and reached areas in the state we had only dreamed about in the past. We knew there was a need in areas such as the Western Slope, Southeast Colorado, and the Eastern Plains. Thanks to this growth, we were able to help 37,093 families keep their pets home with them, and out of the shelters.
Now in 2021, we are the largest pet food pantry in the USA. We are distributing pet food in 29 counties across the state and assisting 100 animal rescues with food and supplies. We are always adding new locations and new partners.
We are continuing to build our infrastructure by adding staff and acquiring trucks to help with transport and deliveries. We are reaching out to populations and developing relationships in areas we never dreamed we’d be.
Have we got a deal for you… The Sidewalk Dog Brewery Pass This is a pass you purchase (on pre-sale pricing now until April 26th) where 5% of the proceeds go to Colorado Pet Pantry. With eligible breweries all along the front range, this is a screaming deal.
If you buy today, you can get your pass at a price of only $22.50 (or $20 for two; normally $25) and you can head to breweries with your pup (non-dog hoomans allowed too) and enjoy a pint of beer (or non-alcoholic alternative) while supporting Colorado Pet Pantry.
This is a great opportunity to support local businesses and local non-profits at the same time. All you do is go to this link, purchase your pass, and select Colorado Pet Pantry as your beneficiary. We hope to see you out and about…
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, families across the state have struggled with lost income, mounting expenses, and in many cases, a choice of whether to feed their pet or themselves. This situation is what often leads people to make the heartbreaking decision to surrender their pets to a shelter. Not only is that hard on the pet, but also on the owner, who loses their companion and emotional support, something that is needed most during a pandemic. Studies have shown that pets can improve a person’s mental and emotional well-being, leading to less stress and a better-functioning immune system, which is why it is important to help others in our community keep their pets in their home.
Colorado Pet Pantry is committed to helping families keep their pets fed during challenging times by providing food, treats, and supplies. We are proud to have been able to help so many people throughout the past year. We asked some of our clients to share how Colorado Pet Pantry has helped them during the pandemic. Read on to hear what they had to say about how your support is making a difference in your community!
“I’ve experienced some challenging times in the past 12+ months. I was very fortunate to receive unemployment insurance, which kept a roof over the heads of myself and my beloved dog, Coco.
Colorado Pet Pantry, without question or judgment, showed up at Bienvenidos Food Bank to offer nourishment and sustenance for Coco. I am teary eyed writing this testament to the beautiful hearts and assistance provided to those of us who are genuinely in need by the selfless people at the Colorado Pet Pantry. My dog is my family, my heart, and it has always meant so much to me to know that she had food in her bowl when I was struggling just to keep a roof over our heads. I will forever be grateful!”
“Gracie, my Labradoodle and best friend, was rescued at one year old from a shelter in Illinois after my spouse passed away. Little did I know after moving to Colorado that I would be in a pickle with finances.
The loneliness is sometimes difficult especially this year with COVID, but she is always there, so excited to see me when I get home and sleeps on my husband’s side of the bed. It is worth every bit of pickiness in food that she gives me. Some of the food I get would be totally unaffordable for me. She is my love even though she is a princess and likes to be spoon fed sometimes! Thank you for all that you do and for keeping Gracie happy and fed well.” stock photo used here
“Colorado Pet Pantry and Cindy (from the Emergency Pet Food Assistance Team), our guardian angel, have been wonderful. She reached out to us in critical moments for our family when we weren’t able to afford our pets’ food. Our pets gave our children companionship and emotional support. Like a blessing, Cindy found us and she’s never let us go. She is always reaching out to us, delivering when we had no vehicle, getting our pets updated on their shots, and getting our pets spayed and neutered at no cost through pet mobile. We are blessed. Thank you for all you’ve provided.”
“We adopted the white one [dog] during COVID, not knowing my husband would lose his job and my business would have to shut temporarily. Colorado Pet Pantry has helped by not taking away from our food budget. It was also nice to be able to vaccinate an overdue dog with the help of the voucher. We will also be neutering the pup on Tuesday. We are thankful that CPP has helped us in so many ways. I can’t wait for the time to give back by volunteering to help this great group.”
“While COVID came, we had hardships, but you helped feed them!”
“I’m a single mom on unemployment because of COVID, and finances are really tight. Being able to get dog food from Colorado Pet Pantry has provided some much-needed relief. Thank you so much!”
“You all have been a blessing to us, including our little Bell. She’s looking forward to supper just like us and trying to stay home with COVID-19 running wild. Due to health conditions, things are short. She only has one tooth, and they give her food she can eat. I really feel they care. God bless everyone for helping us.”
“I was accepted into the program in March right as COVID was spreading across the US. With so many people being laid off and jobs becoming scarce, I was worried about how I would be able to provide for my cat Clover.
Colorado Pet Pantry has been a tremendous blessing to us by providing Clover with food and giving me security in knowing she’ll always be fed, even if I need to rely on community help.
CPP also has different cat food each time I go, so Clover never gets bored with her meals. I’m incredibly thankful for what CPP provides through their outreach program and that they’re able to not only help provide meals for Clover, but meals for other pets who may need a little extra assistance.”
“You saved BackUp, Prancer, and Pierre when my work hours were drastically cut due to COVID-19! Thank you so much!!”
“Money is tight because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but thanks to Colorado Pet Pantry I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to feed my sweet fur baby, Socks. Because he deserves nothing but the best 💕”
“The Colorado Pet Pantry has helped me feed Milo and Salem while in between jobs during COVID-19 and being high risk. I will be forever thankful for CPP and all the wonderful people who help put this together. Thank you so much!”
“I’m a solitary senior with heart disease and fixed income that isn’t enough for Colorado. My pets give me critical emotional contact, even before the pandemic. Now I’m in permanent quarantine.
On my income, I can only feed my pets the cheapest food. Thanks to Colorado Pet Pantry, they eat wholesome food. They all have glossy coats and enjoy good health.” stock photo used
“Your program helped our family a lot by providing food for our pets. Because of the pandemic, we are struggling financially, and we hardly have money to buy food for the family and our pets. We appreciate your kindness.”
Don’t go into Winter without knowing that your furnace is functioning correctly. Your family and pets will thank you. Once again, Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric is offering our friends a timely way to support the Colorado Pet Pantry pet food bank.
Schedule a furnace tune-up during September (a service valued at $199) for $99. One hundred percent of your furnace check fee will be made directly to Colorado Pet Pantry as a donation. Last year, so many families took advantage of this generous offer that we were able to feed 417 additional pets (twice as many as we raised in 2018! Woot!).
As we head into fall, we are feeling the full effect of the global pandemic. The need for assistance continues to grow as more and more people are missing paychecks. Many people will feed their pets before they feed themselves and we are here to tell them they do not need to do that. We have 62 monthly pet food banks all across the Front Range. We are open to the public and we are here for you, and your pets. To find a local food bank in your area, please check out our monthly schedule.
As the need for pet food assistance grows, so does our need for volunteers. Volunteering with Colorado Pet Pantry is one of the most fulfilling and beneficial things you can do to help the animals in your community, and it’s worth mentioning it’s a blast! We have the best crew of volunteers around.
Send us your pet challenge videos to be considered! Deadline is 11:59 PM on Wednesday May 6. This is the #perfectquarantineactivity.
We have shared some examples of challenges we have seen, with videos on how to’s. Dig deep in your imagination and video your pets doing something fun! (all pets, not just the dogs!)
To submit your video:
Send us a video of your pet doing a trick, being silly, putting its nose through a paper O, whatever!
There are three steps to submit your video for consideration:
Record a video of less than 30 seconds of your pet. We may trim or edit the video if needed.
Upload your video here (submission window has closed)
Email us and let us know your name, email address, phone (just in case email doesn’t work), filename of video, and your pet’s name.
Please remember that when sending videos, we ask that you limit the time to no more than 30 seconds to ensure that we can get as many in as possible.
CPP reserves the right to trim and edit your video.
Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
Tip Toe Challenge
Put your pet’s reflexes to the test and see how
well they can tippy toe about in an agility test. Set up a number of items from your house such
as lotion bottles, dominoes, small spray cans etc and see if your pet can get
Give your pet a RAW EGG and see just how gentle
they can be. It sounds messy, but surprisingly many dogs have been able to show
us just how gentle they can be!
Form a circle, heart, or other shape with your
hands and see if your pet will nuzzle their muzzle into the formation.
What the fluff
See how your pet reacts to an amateur
disappearing act. Use a blanket and a doorway. Start by playing peek-a-boo then
disappear by going into the next room at the same time that you toss the
blanket on the floor making it seem like you have vanished.
Great for very patient treat lovers! See how
many cookies you are able to stack on your pets snout without dropping any!
K9 Ninja Warrior
Set up your own obstacle course and put your pet
to the test!
Show us your moves with a choreographed dance
party with your furry friend, or a dance party to the song of your choosing.
(animal songs encouraged)
seek / Peek a boo
Plant yourself in a spot out of sight from your
pets and call them to try and find you.
Stack up a hurdle and see how high your pet can
go! Progress into higher and higher levels as you go along.
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. Show us
your furry friends challenging you to a game of copy cat.
“Who did that?”
One of the best qualities in a best friend is
honesty. This challenge is just that. Show us your furry friends confession to
their latest mishap.
Stretch a bunch of cellophane across an open door, get a dog
hyped up enough to chase you, seeing how long it takes them to get past the
Best in Show
Show us any special skills or tricks or just silly habits that your pets have, be it the best smile, sing along’s, you name it, we want to see it!
Quarantined Owners Use Cardboard Boxes To Turn Their Pets Into Dinosaurs
If there is a challenge that you know of that we don’t, submit those too we would love to see them!
The Colorado Pet Pantry intends to remain open, knowing that our clients need ongoing assistance and that many more people will need our help in the weeks to come. Given that, we’ve implemented new procedures that will help us to keep our “doors” open. Now, more than ever, people need their pets. We need the life and light that they bring to our lives. Our goal is to keep pets in their families.
The procedure will be much different than usual. You’ll drive into the parking lot and be directed where to go. The pet food bank will be “drive through”. We will be bringing a set amount of pet food and we WILL NOT be able to accommodate special requests. We will put the food into your car, and you’ll be on your way.
These are tough times and we hope you know we’re doing everything we can to remain open so you can get the pet food that you need.
Thank you and good health to you.
Wednesdays in August, 2020: Aurora Mobile Food Pantry – we are participating with City of Aurora, Aurora Interfaith Community Services, Food Bank of the Rockies, and SECOR Cares in the Aurora Mobile Food Pantry, every Wednesday at Town Center of Aurora, 14200 E Alameda Ave in Aurora, 10AM – until supplies last.
Colorado City Pet Food Bank is cancelled indefinitely – we are sorry for any inconvenience. All clients of this pet food bank can attend the Pueblo Pet Food Bank at Lynn Gardens Baptist Church, 3804 West Pueblo Blvd in Pueblo. The Pueblo Pet Food Bank is on the fourth Thursday of the month from 11AM – 1PM.
La Junta, and Sugar City Pet Food Banks are cancelled indefinitely – we are sorry for any inconvenience. All clients of these pet food banks are to attend the Ordway Pet Food Bank, 313 Main St in Ordway. The Ordway Pet Food Bank is on the last Monday of the month from 2:30PM – 4:30PM (This pet food bank has no July distribution).
Friday, August 21st, 2020 –Mobile Pantry with City of Denver – we will be participating in a mobile food pantry event with the City. We will be at the 14050 Maxwell Place in Denver from 10AM – 2PM.
Friday, August 28th, 2020 – Mobile Pantry with City of Denver – we will be participating in a mobile food pantry event with the City. We will be at the 3201 W Arizona Ave in Denver from 10AM – 2PM.
Friday, September 4th, 2020 –Mobile Pantry with City of Denver – we will be participating in a mobile food pantry event with the City. We will be at the 14050 Maxwell Place in Denver from 10AM – 2PM.
Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 – Aurora Interfaith Community Services pet food bank will be moved to the second Tuesday of the month permanently. The pet food bank will be open from 11AM – 12:30PM
Friday, September 11th, 2020 – Mobile Pantry with City of Denver – we will be participating in a mobile food pantry event with the City. We will be at the 3201 W Arizona Ave in Denver from 10AM – 2PM.
Friday, September 18th, 2020 –Mobile Pantry with City of Denver – we will be participating in a mobile food pantry event with the City. We will be at the 14050 Maxwell Place in Denver from 10AM – 2PM.
Friday, September 25th, 2020 – Mobile Pantry with City of Denver – we will be participating in a mobile food pantry event with the City. We will be at the 3201 W Arizona Ave in Denver from 10AM – 2PM.
What we need
We need volunteers at pet food banks and in the warehouse to assist in distributing pet food and organizing donations for each pet food bank. To sign up visit our Volunteer site here. Our pet food banks will have the recommended six feet between people — clients and volunteers. Volunteers will either put allotted food into people’s cars if the pet food bank is a “drive through” scenario or place on the ground before a client is called up to get their pet food if there’s not the ability to do a “drive through”. The goal is for clients to be served as fast as possible and without congregation of people.
The need for pet food donations and financial donations will be great during this time. We expect to see more clients due to the loss of income for so many in our communities. With that, we also expect that we will receive less financial support and pet food donations due to tough times. If you can help with either, we would be most grateful.
“I have clients tell me they have to make a choice between paying
rent and their utilities and buying pet food,” says Eileen, who started
the Denver-based nonprofit in 2013 when, as a shelter volunteer, she
noticed dogs were consistently given up because their owners couldn’t
afford to take care of them.
Now, Eileen and her team have grown Colorado Pet Pantry into the largest pet food bank in the country, she says, with 45 locations throughout Colorado, plus 90 donation bins at local businesses. By collecting donations, such as that opened bag of dog food that your dog refuses to eat, in 2019, the organization fed 3.7 million meals to pets.
Thank you to Shelley Idhalm for this great article covering our pet food bank in Loveland. Link to full article at the end of the post.
The fourth Saturday of the month, the Food Bank for Larimer County places importance on cats and dogs.
Colorado Pet Pantry sets up a tent for two hours outside the Loveland Food Share building, 2600 N. Lincoln Ave., to hand out pet food and supplies to clients of the food bank and others needing the help.
“Our goals are definitely aligned… Whether you’re talking about food for families or food for pets, we want to make it easier for families to manage day to day,” said Paul Donnelly, communications director for the Food Bank for Larimer County, which has food pantries in Loveland and Fort Collins. “We don’t want people making a choice between getting food or medicine.”
In February, the Food Bank for Larimer County partnered with Colorado Pet Pantry, and since then, the pet pantry has served an average of 85 to 95 families per month. As of June, 360 families signed up for services for 875 pets, including 499 dogs and 376 cats.
“Everybody has leftover food from their animals for whatever reason. We want to stop that food from going into the landfills,” said Eileen Lambert, Executive Director of the Colorado Pet Pantry.
Our first pet food bank was six years ago on June 6, 2013! So much has changed, but our goals remain the same. In 2018, Colorado Pet Pantry volunteers helped families-in-need feed 2.3 million meals (376,651 lbs) to 38,997 pets in the Denver/Boulder-metro area, Colorado Springs, Conifer, Ordway, and other parts of the state.
Just recently we added pet food banks at La Puentes Food Bank in Alamosa, Aurora Interfaith Community Services Food Bank in Aurora, Sangre De Cristos Volunteers for Community in Colorado City, The Action Center in Lakewood, and Lynn Gardens Baptist Church Food Bank in Pueblo. We are working hard to service all those-in-need throughout the State of Colorado, but we need your help.
Learn how you can help. As of right now, we need help at ALL of our pet food banks. For a calendar view of our upcoming volunteer opportunities, visit the calendar on our website. If you would like to volunteer at a food bank or warehouse workday, visit sign up, select the type of volunteer activity you would like, then select the date you would like to 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.