Free pet pantry brings much-needed services to furry friends

By Matteo Iadonisi

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (WPVI) – “Philadelphia is full of people who love their animals,” said Elaina Cornwell. “And so, that’s why we’re trying so hard to make sure these animals stay home.”

Cornwell, a Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) volunteer, founded the Philly Pets Vax Project. It was a response to the influx of canine parvovirus, which had overwhelmed shelters and caused families to part with their pets.

“We were seeing owners devastated to give up their pets because they couldn’t afford the thousands of dollars of treatment,” she said. “So what we decided to do is come together and give free vaccines to pets in the community.”

Every three months, Philly Pets Vax Project partners with Life Foundation to bring a vaccination clinic and pet food pantry to hot spots in Philadelphia. Today, they received support from the 24th and 25th Police Districts, who offered their headquarters as the location for their free services.

“We have come together to raise funds to support medical, veterinary and behavioral support,” said Maria Termini-Romano, Vice President of Life Foundation. “And providing these pet pantries in different parts of the city to help pet owners keep their pets in their homes.”

Life Foundation was also founded by former and current ACCT Philly volunteers. Both organizations rely on the support of volunteers, individual donors, Phialdoptables, Harley’s Haven Dog Rescue, Homeward Bound, Tiny Miracles Rescue and more.

Cornwell says that with more funding and community support, they can ease the burden on shelters and families struggling with pets.

“It is not up to any organization or individual to change this crisis that is happening,” she said. “It will take absolutely everyone in the community to make a difference.”

To learn more about Philly Pets Vax Project or Life Foundation, and to get updates on upcoming services, visit their websites.

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