State Sen. Andy Dinniman, his family and the Chester County SPCA have announced the formation of Henry’s Cupboard, a pet-food pantry to assist area income-eligible pet-owners. It is named in honor of Henry, the Dinniman’s 9-year-old standard poodle that died on Dec. 17.
The grand opening of Henry’s Cupboard will be held at noon on Thursday, Feb. 12 at the Chester County SPCA at 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester.
“After Henry died, my wife, daughter and I knew we would do something to honor his memory,” Dinniman said on Friday. “And then when the SPCA offered to name its pet foot-pantry program after Henry, we were so honored.”
“The bottom line is keeping pets with their owners together,” Dinniman said. “It’s not only good for them; it also takes some of the burden off the overwhelmed rescue organizations that care for surrendered animals.”
On Feb. 12 and then on the first and third Saturdays of every month, Henry’s Cupboard will provide free food assistance to pet owners living below the poverty level. During the application process, the CCSPCA will check to make sure all pets are spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations. Discounted rates for these services will be made available through the shelter’s Animal Health Clinic to those who need them.
“The support of Senator Dinniman’s office, along with grant funding, has enabled the Chester County SPCA to offer help to those who need it. Pets loved by their owners should not be surrendered to a shelter simply because their owners are experiencing financial difficulties.” said Adam Lamb, executive director of the Chester County SPCA. “If we have the ability to lend a hand and be a resource, it is our duty to do so.”
The CCSPCA recently received two grants from the ASPCA and Banfield Charitable Trust to fund the establishment of a pet food pantry.
As the only open admissions shelter serving both Chester and Delaware counties, the Chester County SPCA recognizes a need to provide positive alternatives for pet owners facing the possibility of surrendering animals due to financial hardships. These pets are loved and should not be relinquished to a shelter because their owners are unemployed, have had their hours cut, or are living on Social Security. In fact, these are the pets who bring enrichment and joy to the life of their owners.
The establishment of Henry’s Cupboard will ensure that all members of the community will have accessible food to keep their families together, and will also be a stepping stone to ensure healthier pets within the community. All pets must be sterilized and vaccinated to continue receiving food assistance from Henry’s Cupboard, a requirement that will provide further education and resources for these individuals while also reducing the number of potential homeless animals being born in our community. For eligible pet owners, sterilization services and vaccinations will be offered at a discounted rate.
In Chester County, 7.4 percent of residents live below the poverty level and the same can be said of 11.7 percent of the population in Delaware County.
Founded in 1929, the Chester County SPCA (CCSPCA) is the only open-access shelter in Chester and Delaware Counties. Its mission is to promote the welfare and humane treatment of animals in Chester and Delaware Counties and to be an advocate on their behalf, improving the lives of both animals and people. Each year, the CCSPCA cares for over 5,000 stray, owner-surrendered, wayward owned, and abused and neglected animals.