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Feeding pets during pandemic

A non-profit in Scranton is seeing its highest demand ever for pet food, but almost all donations have stopped.

SCRANTON, Pa. — PAWsitively for the Animals is a non-profit in Scranton, dedicated to helping sick, homeless, and hungry animals. In response to the Coronavirus crisis, the mission has shifted. 

"Things have changed considerably now. A lot of people are out of work, and they're finding that after two weeks without a paycheck, the food they do have is for them, not the pets," said Kevin Young, co-founder of Pawsitively for the Animals. 

Volunteers at PAWsitively received their first Coronavirus-related call on March 19, and since then, they've spent about $2,000 providing pet food to families in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. 

"We're not going to refuse anyone. We have worked tremendously hard to stock our food pantry," Young said. 

Volunteers with the non-profit don't even have to bring the pet food to your home. They will come up with a centralized location like in the parking lot of the Viewmont Mall.

"We're going by the CDC guidelines the best we can. We want to keep everyone safe," said Young. 

That includes keeping people's pets safe. But Young says even though their demand is the highest its ever been, almost all donations have stopped. 

"There's nothing saying what's going to help us after we get through it, because the way our donations are set up, we're not getting anything. We're canceling our fundraisers." Fundraisers the non-profit relies on to actually raise money. 

Certain grants are on hold right now, too. Still, Young says volunteers will provide pet food to families in need as long as they can. 

"I'm really proud that we are in this situation that we are to be able to continue doing what we can. How long this lasts depends on the community support," he said.

Volunteers say during this time of uncertainty, your pets will always be there for you, so Pawsitively for the Animals will always be there for your pets.