Despite the current economic climate, the Pet Pantry of Michigan has not forgotten about the four-legged members of the family.
Jennifer Stiles, president of the Pet Pantry of Michigan, founded the non-profit organization. It provides free-of-charge pet food and supplies to low-income families, ensuring that the animals live a healthy life and are not forgotten.
Since February 2009, Stiles and her family have helped more than 2,200 animals in the Michigan area. Stiles says they hope to go beyond state borders and help pets and their families in every town, state, and country worldwide.
After receiving help from a food pantry and noticing there was no food or assistance for pets, Stiles was inspired. Even through their own financial struggles, the Stiles created the organization as a family to help those animals in need.
“With our assistance many animals get to remain in their homes with their families, they get food that they might not normally receive,” Stiles says. “They can remain healthy, live long happy lives and will not have to be surrendered to a shelter.”
The Pet Pantry provides food, bowls, bedding, shampoo, collars, blanket, brushes, leashes, treats, toys, medicine, most hygiene products, and crates.
Pets receive enough food for a one-week supply, according to veterinarian standards. Stiles says the organization tries to give the pet the same food that the animal is used too.
The Stiles family helps any pet that is facing hard times. “We believe that every animal deserves to be loved and cared for,” Stiles says. “We help with everything from dogs and cats to snakes and horses. We’ve even helped with hermit crabs.”
Vanessa Reeves, vice president of Pet Pantry, decided to use the organization to help her two cats and three dogs remain healthy and stay in the family. She received enough food and cat litter to help her get through a difficult financial time.
“They provided a sense of hope,” Reeves said. “If I can direct a family to the Pet Pantry instead of taking their furry family member that, to me, is a more positive outcome.”
Pet Pantry accepts donations at their office location 1202 Shettler Rd., Muskegon. They are currently in need of cat litter, kitten food, litter boxes and scoops, flea treatments for dogs and cats, rabbit and gerbil food, horse grain and supplies, fish food, and bedding.
For more information, visit PetPantryMI.org. —Nicole Soszynski