Community rallies for Pet Pantry

Community rallies for Pet Pantry

Submitted by the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor

Between Friday, Feb. 28 and Wednesday, March 4 the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor Pet Food Pantry Program that serves San Juan Island families who struggle to feed their furry family members, was robbed.

Volunteers arrived Wednesday morning and were shocked and dismayed to find shelves emptied of nearly $2,500 in dry and wet cat and dog food and dog treats packaged and ready for distribution to island families.

APS-FH distributes around $500 a month worth of pet food to families in-need through the Pet Food Pantry Program. This expense is offset by donations from our community. We were saddened by this violation of so much good-will and are taking measures to better secure the pantry premises by installing a camera outside.

But this is where the story takes a positive turn.

APS-FH created a GoFundMe page and asked for community support to re-stock the pantry shelves. We posted about the theft and included the GoFundMe link in posts on Facebook and Instagram. There was such an incredible outpouring of support from the community from this outreach. The GoFundMe goal was set at $2,500 but after a week it raised $4,335 from 40 people. Then, there was the steady stream of checks mailed in and people coming into the shelter to bring bags and cans and boxes of pet food and treats as well as more monetary support. People bought extra food while shopping at Friday Harbor Pet Supplies and left it in a donation box for APS-FH, some people also left cash donations at the store.

At the end of a week, the APS-FH Pet Food Pantry Program had been gifted over $7,000 in cash and in-kind donations. The shelves are re-stocked and we are ready to open the pantry doors this Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. to those in the community who need a little extra help to care for their dogs and cats.

We are so incredibly grateful to this community for helping us, help others.

In observance of COVID-19 precautionary measures, the Pet Food Pantry will be open every other week beginning this week. Pet food recipients will get two weeks of pet food to sustain them through that time period.

Open Hours for the Pantry will be 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1. The pantry is located at 365-C Spring Street in Friday Harbor