Free pet pantry brings much-needed services to furry friends in Philadelphia

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Sunday, March 6, 2022
Free pet pantry brings much-needed services to furry friends in Philly
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Veterinarians and volunteers are teaming up to provide free services that help keep pets in the hands of loving families.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Philadelphia is full of people who love their animals," said Elaina Cornwell. "And so, that's why we're trying so hard to make sure that these pets stay in their homes."

Cornwell, a volunteer with the Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) of Philadelphia, founded the Philly Pets Vax Project. It was a response to the influx of canine parvovirus, which had overwhelmed shelters and caused families to part with their pets.

"We were seeing owners devastated to surrender their pets because they couldn't afford the thousands of dollars in treatment," she said. "So, what we decided to do was get together and offer free vaccines to the community pets."

Every three months, Philly Pets Vax Project partners with Life Foundation to bring a vaccine clinic and pet pantry to hotspots in Philadelphia. Today, they received the support of the 24th and 25th Police Districts, who offered their headquarters as a place to set up their free services.

"We came together raising funds to support medical and veterinary and behavioral support," said Maria Termini-Romano, Vice President of Life Foundation. "And providing these pet pantries in different parts of the city to help empower pet owners to keep their animals in their homes."

Life Foundation was also founded by former and current volunteers at ACCT Philly. Both organizations rely on support from volunteers, individual donors, Phialdoptables, Harley's Haven Dog Rescue, Homeward Bound, Tiny Miracles Rescue and more.

Cornwell says that with more funding and community support, they can lessen the burden on shelters and families struggling with pets.

"It's not up to one organization or one individual to change this crisis that's happening," she said. "It's going to take absolutely everyone in the community to make a difference."

To learn more about Philly Pets Vax Project or Life Foundation, and to get updates on upcoming services, visit their websites.

RELATED: Philadelphia veterinarians team up to provide emergency care for pets