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Itís hardly a secret that many folks are struggling these days and often turn to food pantries for their basic needs. But what about the pets who belong to families who can barely afford their own food?

Chesterton resident Cheryl Plomann knows firsthand that many pets have been victims of the downturn in the economy. For the past five years, she has been a volunteer in animal resuce groups and has become aware of the high rates of people giving up their pets to shelters, or simply letting them loose or letting them go hungry, because they canít afford pet food or veterinary care.

Plomann is now galvanizing forces in the community seeking donations, sponsors and volunteers to establish the Best Buddies Pet Pantry. A kick-off meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 11 at Round the Clock, 1607 S. Calumet Road.

As Plomann envisions it, the pet pantry will function much like a regular food pantry, providing temporary assistance to local families experiencing financial hardship. The big difference will be that the items to be distributed will be pet food and other supplies like collars, leashes, bowls, beds, toys, cat litter and cat boxes.

The first distribution will be on Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Duneland YMCA, 215 Roosevelt. Those wishing to obtain assistance for their pets can register that morning by bringing a valid identification, such as a driverís license, and proof of low-income status.

Plomann, who has put up fliers throughout the community about the new pantry, is seeking help for the following:

--Sponsors for fundraisers or food drives. Sponsors can be businesses, schools, churches or other organizations.

--Donations of pet food and pet supplies, all new and unopened. Donation boxes are set up at Centier Bank, 103 Broadway; Chesterton Feed and Garden Center, 400 Locust; First State Bank of Porter, 230 Lincoln St.; and Chesterton Moose Lodge, 602 Broadway.

--Monetary donations of any amount. Checks and gift cards can be mailed to: Best Buddies Pet Pantry, P.O. Box 695, Chesterton, IN 46304.

--Volunteers to help collect donations, organize fundraisers, and help with the distributions.

For more information, contact Plomann at


Posted 4/4/2011




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