When times are hard for humans, they’re inevitably hard for pets. Right now is one of those times. With inflation soaring and bonus SNAP benefits having ended in February, food banks across the country are seeing a huge uptick in need. At our pet food banks, we have seen at least a 15% increase in new clients across the state, and even more than that in some locations.
With pet food being so expensive, local shelters and rescues are seeing more relinquished pets than ever. This caught the eye and ear of local celebrity news anchor and recent adoptive pet parent, Kyle Clark. Kyle featured Colorado Pet Pantry as his Word of Thanks charity this week, May 10-16th, 2023.
By featuring Colorado Pet Pantry, Kyle was able to show many pet owners that there are resources available to those who have fallen on hard times, but do not want to lose their pets.
This is why we are here. With 28 open-to-the-public pet food banks across the state, we are able to take a $5 donation and turn it into a 30-day supply of pet food for a dog or cat.
So far, thanks to the Word of Thanks micro-giving campaign, we have received over $68,000 toward our $75,000 goal. If we reach $75,000, it will enable us to feed 15,000 dogs and cats across Colorado, and allow us to meet the rising need we are seeing at a time when it is so important to do so.We hope you will consider donating to this campaign to help us reach this goal.
Thank you Kyle Clark for featuring us as your Word of Thanks recipient for May 10th, 2023. Here is the original article that can be found on 9news.com:
Colorado Pet Pantry is a statewide resource that was founded in 2013 to help pets and their people.
Food banks love to add pet food from Colorado Pet Pantry because it’s one-stop shopping for families. All the pet food is donated. Then, the non-profit’s hundreds of volunteers and a few staff make sure it gets distributed across the state.
The pantry says it donated close to 7 million meals last year, which fed 115,000 dogs and cats. The demand has gone up every year since the non-profit got its start.
They’re noticing increased need lately because of inflation, and with food stamp benefits being cut in February.
That’s why our micro-giving campaign, Word of Thanks, is supporting Colorado Pet Pantry this week.
Their largest pet food banks are in rural Colorado, where shelters are full and the need is great. It’s more expensive to transport the food there, but Colorado Pet Pantry is determined to reach every corner of the state.
With our help, they can do that. Like every week since Kyle started Word of Thanks, we’re asking you to consider a $5 donation. He’ll match the first fifty of those, and Colorado Pet Pantry says they can feed a dog or a cat for a month on five bucks.
That $5 could be the difference between a family being able to keep a pet at home or having to give them up.
Word of Thanks began in 2020, and this Next community has donated $10.7 million to non-profits across the state doing great work.
As always, thank you!
If you’re interested in giving, you can donate here.
Sweet Kupka is a 15 year old kitty from Boulder and his human, Tori, visits the EFAA Pet Food Bank. Like many older cats, Kupka requires a substantial amount of wet food in order to thrive. Tori is on Social Security and a very tight budget. She shares, “We are grateful that Colorado Pet Pantry is able to help us through the generosity of their supporters.”
In 2022, Colorado Pet Pantry distributed over 213,000 cans of wet food across the entire state of Colorado. Through the generosity of its donors, Colorado Pet Pantry has been able to ensure many cats like Kupka get the nutrition they need in order to stay healthy and happy. If you would like to make a donation visit coloradopetpantry.org/donate today.
In October 2021, Christa acquired her special friend and companion, Bentley. She refers to him as a cuddle bug but he is so much more than that, because Christa also has Diabetes. “I wouldn’t trade him for the world,” Christa shares, “He lets me know when my blood sugar is out of control, wakes me up when my breathing stops, and even acted strangely before I had a tachycardia episode. He can make me smile on days when depression is bad. He brightens every day.”
As a medical assistance dog, Bentley is the BEST. Christa literally cannot live without this boy. “The expense of training and keeping a dog healthy is challenging. The Colorado Pet Pantry helps immensely,” Christa says.
Christa joins us every other month at our Grand Junction pet food bank on the Western Slope of Colorado where she is able to get Bentley the pet food he needs to thrive.
In December, 2020, Colorado Pet Pantry finally crossed the Continental Divide and opened the Grand Junction/Clifton pet food bank. Over the past couple years, this has turned into one of our busiest locations. On an average month, we distribute 4,600 lbs of dry pet food to 155 families, helping them keep their 485 pets in their loving homes and out of shelters.
We would not be able to do this every single month if it weren’t for our amazing supporters. We are working hard to grow our network of supporters, volunteers and donors on the Western Slope. You can help support our operations on the Western Slope (or anywhere in Colorado) by donating funds, pet food, or time. Together we can assist all the Bentley’s in Colorado, to be sure they have the ability to stay in their homes with their loving humans forever.
There are a lot of moving pieces to Colorado Pet Pantry. All branches of our organization must work together to bring each pet food donation into the food bowls where it’s needed most.
Here, we would like to show you the real impact of your support — from your donation to our pet food distribution, your gift keeps families together.
Meet Bill. Bill, his dog, and two cats, join us from one of our busiest pet food banks in Southern Colorado (check out the video of the patient and extensive line from Dec 2022 at this Trinidad, CO pet food bank). He shares about what our program means to his family. “Grateful doesn’t cover the work your volunteers do. We lost our home in Texas after a tornado. Then we lost our income due to COVID. We had the opportunity to move to Colorado and help provide care for our elderly family.”
Bill began using utilizing the pet food assistance program in August, 2022. The pet food bank itself started in May of 2021. Reaching this community required all the moving pieces of Colorado Pet Pantry to work seamlessly together. Partnerships were developed with the human food bank, Care and Share of Southern Colorado, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the City Shelter in Trinidad, Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare Association. By partnering with human food banks, and planning our pet food banks along side their distribution days, we are able to quickly reach our target clientele. This makes it easy for those who need pet food assistance to receive food without adding an extra stops to their day.
The task of bringing over 5,000 pounds of pet food each month to Trinidad and efficiently distributing it to 200 families takes a lot of coordination and funds. It begins with our pet food donations at the Colorado Pet Pantry Warehouse. The food is then sorted by staff and volunteers, loaded onto pallets and coordinated into pickups by a large box truck. We purchase the required fuel, schedule the deliveries (we ship to several locations in Southern Colorado), gather many passionate Colorado Pet Pantry volunteers (we always need more help in Trinidad), and make the magic happen. We anticipate this pet food bank, as well as all our other locations to continue to grow as we head into the future. Because of this, we need your help.
As we celebrate GivingTuesday today, and with Colorado Gives Day just one week away, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight just a few examples of the impact that YOUR support has made in our community this past year.
Your donations and volunteer hours have directly helped thousands of Colorado Pet Pantry clients this year. Including Bradley who sent us this message: “I had recently fallen upon hard times and was desperate to feed my service dog who had just finished her last scoop of kibble. I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and and I was unemployed at the time with absolutely no resources. I sent one email and immediately received a call back and was given the most sincere help and attention. Talk about a lifesaver. Quite literally. The day after I received the food, I had a heart attack. I was unable to be at home with my service dog and thankfully I had enough food that the neighbor could feed her while I was recovering in the Intensive Care unit at the hospital. Thank you so very much for your wonderful team and volunteers.”
Your response to our call for help during times of crisis have been overwhelming. On the morning of December 30, 2021 when the Marshall Fire started, thousands of Boulder County residents were forced out of their homes so quickly that they were lucky if they were able to save their pets– very few had time to gather pet food or supplies. You came through with flying colors when we made the request for pet beds. Not only did we receive over 1000 pet beds and other supplies to give out during the two weeks that we had a table set up at the Disaster Assistance Center, but many of you volunteered your time, transportation and other resources to help our fellow community members take care of their fur babies during this extremely tough time. Liz (pictured) and her children lost their home in the fire, and Liz’s mother lost her home as well. The donations and support that you gave to help Liz take care of her two dogs after this tragedy and loss gave her one less worry and put that smile on her face.
You have helped us to expand and support our more rural Colorado communities that are experiencing a significant increase in need. We are now in 31 counties, thanks to your continual support, and we’ve found the need is exceptionally high in the more rural parts of our state. Trinidad, Swansea, Grand Junction, and Pueblo areas have also all experienced a significant increase in need. Most families have three pets, so it costs $15/month for us to help support a whole family that wants to stay together. Your support is helping to make this achievable for these families.
It’s been a hard year for many– clients and donors alike, but even a small donation on this GivingTuesday can make a lasting impact. We’d be so grateful for anything you are able to give.
To make your donation go even further, we’d love it if you’d donate to Colorado Pet Pantry through Colorado Gives Day. All donations placed here through midnight on December 6th will be partially matched.
Join millions of others around the world today in giving back, spreading kindness and showing how together we can make a difference in our own communities. Your support is what makes all of this possible and we are so grateful.
Sometimes the line is never ending. This has been the story of our Southeastern Colorado Pet Food Banks. In the last week of June we distributed over 16,000 lbs of dry pet food to families in need in Trinidad, Cañon City, Alamosa and Pueblo. The need has been skyrocketing and doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. We often feel the need for pet food decrease in the summer, but not this year. So many hardships are affecting our communities today, and we are doing our best to be there for them. We are only able to be there because of our amazing volunteers and supporters, but the supply chain is affecting us and the amount of donations we receive. Pet food brands are making less food each year after 2+ years of having fewer operational factories. Add to this inflation and general unease, and we find ourselves asking for more help.
What can you do to help?
VOLUNTEERS: We need a lot more volunteers in these areas. Especially Trinidad and Alamosa. If you know someone or would like to volunteer, please sign up HERE.
PET FOOD DRIVES: Donations are down and we are struggling to keep up with the rising need. We recently lowered our food distributions per family at our pet food banks, and even after capping the food amounts we have only seen the totals rise. We are now looking to our supporters to help their communities by hosting pet food drives. You can host a physical pet food drive or a virtual one. Click HERE to learn more about how.
DONATIONS: Running a pet food bank has many associated costs. Storage, staff, gas, and shipping costs have all gone up in the last couple of years. But these are expenses that are vital to our organization. Donating to us through our website, HERE, is an easy way to give. And thanks to our pet food partnerships, just donating $5 can feed a dog or cat for an entire month.
Inspired by a recent reading of Where the Red Fern Grows, in which the main character saves change in a can in order to purchase two puppies, Leo, a local 10-year-old boy had a vision to collect change in a can to support animals in need. He brought the idea to his sister, 8-year-old Gracie, and together they laid out a plan to launch their first “business” called Funds for Furry Friends.
They started by designing a flyer, with Leo writing the text and Gracie drawing the visual. From there, they took to the streets of their neighborhood—going door to door to kick off their donation campaign. While their goal was originally to collect change—inspired by their cause and initiative, many community members choose to donate in larger sums.
Through their focus and follow through, within just a few days, Leo and Gracie had collected $85 in donations, which will help Colorado Pet Pantry feed 17 pets in need for a full month.
Thank you to Leo and Gracie for your entrepreneurial leadership in service of animals in need—and everyone in their Louisville neighborhood who supported their truly grassroots effort!
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.
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.”
Throughout the pandemic we have seen exponential growth in the amount of people and pets in need of our services. What has surprised us just as much is the amount of giving that has accompanied this growth. As people are in higher need of assistance, people are also stepping up and giving what they can in ways we’ve never seen before. We have been in awe of the support we have received in light of many missed fundraisers, due to COVID.
The people who have been helped through your support of the Colorado Pet Pantry are your neighbors, sisters, brothers and friends. People like Heidi from Weld County who visits us at the Longmont Pet Food Bank.
Heidi is the graceful guardian of four wonderful dogs. Heidi’s dogs are more than wonderful companions. They are also “Colorado Mountain Dogs” who protect Heidi’s flocks of chickens and doves from predators.
Heidi lives in Eastern Colorado and says, “before I had my Colorado Mountain Dogs (CMD), I would regularly lose birds to predators, but have not lost a single one since the CMD’s began their guarding duties.”
In 2016, Heidi found herself in an unfortunate, yet very common situation. After going through a divorce and being unable to work, due to a chronic medical condition, she was at the point of not being able to afford food for her four dogs. “They go through a 50lb bag of kibble every ten days! While I worked hard to get back on my feet, Colorado Pet Pantry made it possible for me to not only keep my dogs, but keep them well fed.”
We are so fortunate to have the ability to help amazing women like Heidi. It is thanks to the generosity of our supporters that we can do this work, which we are so passionate about.
Without the help of Colorado Pet Pantry, Heidi estimates she would have had to re-home at least three of her four dogs. “It would be devastating to see them go. Especially because my daughter and I are already facing so many difficult life changes. Having pets provides an emotional cushion for us, so it goes without saying that this program has truly made a huge difference in our family.”
“We take misfit dogs..” says Mitzi, owner and guardian of Lady Mae the German Shepherd. Lady has a unique set of thumbs on both her front and hind legs. Due to this deformity, if you can even call it that, her previous owner cast her as useless to him and her guardian angels (his neighbors), swooped in to her rescue.
“When we got her she was just bones, skinny. You could see her hip bones, her ribs, and she had a big arch in her back because of the small kennel she had stayed in.” Her previous owner’s brother managed to get Lady to safety in the hands of Jefferson, Mitzi and McKayla. After less than a year in their care, and with the help of Colorado Pet Pantry, Lady showed incredible signs of love, care, and thank goodness – some weight.
Mitzi has been coming to Colorado Pet Pantry’s Jewish Family Service food bank and says, “having the food is a tremendous help.”
Thanks to the love and support of our Colorado community, we are able to continue to help so many dogs like Lady stay in homes they deserve and with people who care, love, and are able to feed them all the food they need to thrive.
As Christy waits in line at our Community Ministry Pet Food Bank with her best friend Paco, it’s clear these two are meant for each other. As she describes how Paco’s soothing energy saved her husband, while lying with him in the hospital bed, their true friendship and bond shows through. There is a calm and quiet understanding between these two as they wait among several excited and barking dogs.
Christy has been coming to our pet food banks for three years now. “I have to take care of him. Vet payments and food costs are money that I don’t have. With Colorado Pet Pantry, there is a resource for someone like me to take good care of my dog,” Christy shares.
It’s stories like these we hear time and time again at our pet food banks. These stories continue to encourage us to push further, expand our reach, and continue to be a resource for those who love their pets, and despite financial hardships, strive to do the best for them.
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.