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Pet pantry to dole out meals for needy cats and dogs

December 13, 2010 |  7:01 pm

Food pantries aren’t just for needy people. On Tuesday morning, needy cats and dogs will get a helping hand-out.

Starting at 9 a.m., the service agency PAWS/LA will hold a holiday pantry to distribute cat and dog food to people struggling to feed their pets. The first 500 people in line will receive a month’s supply of free dog or cat food, donated by the Los Angeles-based organic pet food business Original Pet Food Co.

The pantry will run until 3 p.m. -- or as long as supplies last. Pets are welcome. The location is PAWS/LA’s headquarters downtown: 1150 S. Hope St. in Los Angeles. (That’s two blocks from the Pico Boulevard Blue Line Station.)

PAWS/LA, which was founded in 1989, offers assistance with pet care and maintenance to low-income seniors and people living with chronic or life-threatening illnesses who are also financially disadvantaged.

During the holiday season, financially struggling pet owners are often so strapped for cash they surrender their animals to shelters, said PAWS/LA Executive Director Pamela Magette. So her organization, aided by the pet food company, decided to hold a holiday pantry that will offer food to any pet owner who needs it. That includes the homeless.

“A lot of homeless people have animals,” said Roberta Silverman, a spokeswoman for Original Pet Food Co., which has donated 20,000 cans of cat and dog food.

To entertain people and pets, the pantry will feature an appearance by, um, Santa Paws -- “the pets’ vision of Santa Claus,” promises Silverman.

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-- Carla Hall

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