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The NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative, comprised of over 40 individuals and organizations in the animal shelter, rescue, sanctuary, and welfare community will sponsor the third NEPA Pet Food Pantry distribution on Aug. 1.

As residents continue to struggle with the financial affects of the coronavirus pandemic, one local group is making sure pets don’t go hungry.

The NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative, comprised of over 40 individuals and organizations in the animal shelter, rescue, sanctuary, and welfare community will sponsor the third NEPA Pet Food Pantry distribution on Aug. 1. The collective was established in 2019.

In only 24 hours since the application went live, the group received more than 50 applications for pet food for the upcoming giveaway. The Scranton Animal Shelter Supply House, which is a program under the Scranton Animal Shelter Association — one of the members of the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative — will oversee the pantry distribution. Pet owners can apply for the distribution on the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative website, nepaawc.org. Applications will be open as long as supplies last.

“The NEPA Pet Food Pantry provides free pet food to pet owners in need during a time of widespread financial distress. The more we can help people provide for their pets, the less likely these animals will be surrendered at shelters because their owners are unable to take care of them,” Katrina Sonnenberg, speaking on behalf of the Scranton Animal Supply House program under the Scranton Animal Shelter Association, said in a press release. “It seems like there is a significant need based on the number of applications continuing to come in.”

The NEPA Pet Food Pantry Distribution is sponsored by the Schwartz-Mack Foundation, the Scranton Area Community Foundation, and the Robert H. Spitz Foundation.

“The Scranton Area Community Foundation is proud to serve as the convener of the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative, bringing together many dedicated individuals, shelter and rescue groups who are working together for the benefit of people and animals in our region,” Laura Ducceschi, president and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, said in the press release. “The Animal Welfare Collaborative established the NEPA Pet Food Pantry to help with the economic distress that so many people are facing. It has been well received — already over 200 pets have been served to date just from the first two distributions.”

The mission of the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative is to work on initiatives aimed at ensuring animals in Northeast Pennsylvania can achieve a happy and healthy life, free from abuse and neglect. The Collaborative is comprised of more than 40 individuals and organizations in the animal shelter, rescue, sanctuary, and welfare community including Griffin Pond, In Pursuit of Grace and Indraloka Animal Sanctuary.

To learn more about the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative or to become involved, visit nepaawc.org, or follow the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative on Facebook. For more information about the NEPA Pet Food Pantry, contact Brittany Pagnotti, Scranton Area Community Foundation’s communications manager at 570-347-6203.

Donations to the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative are accepted online at safdn.org or by check made payable to the Scranton Area Foundation indicating “NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative Fund” in the memo mailed to the Scranton Area Community Foundation, 615 Jefferson Ave, Suite 102, Scranton, PA 18510.

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