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Pantry to provide food for pets of low-income owners

February 21st, 2012 5:01 am by Kevin Castle

Pantry to provide food for pets of low-income owners

Ned Jilton II Ronnie Bailey stocks shelves at the Animal Rescue Coalition's new location in Blountville.

BLOUNTVILLE — A Tri-Cities animal league has launched a new project to help feed the four-legged in deserving homes where grocery budgets might be too tight for pet food.

Animal Rescue Coalition for Sullivan County and Kingsport will officially open its pet food pantry to the public for the first time this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to qualifying families at its 3030 Highway 126 location in Blountville.

ARC Director Greg Hensley said the organization has been a support arm for several animal rescue groups during its three-year history, providing food and other supplies to those who provide foster and long-term care for abandoned and injured animals.
But the group saw a need in the community when talking with area animal shelter officials about the number of pets being surrendered or cast out because of a family’s lack of extra income to take on a pet.

“You had some cases where they had the pet, and the economy went south, and the pet had to be let go. Or you have those who are on fixed incomes, and a pet is the only companionship they have. After they buy medicines, groceries and pay bills, we’ve seen some have to improvise to feed their pet. We knew then that we could step in and help,” said Hensley.

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