Working together to keep furry bellies full in Akwesasne

by | Interesting |

United by a shared passion for animals and those who love them, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society and the Akwesasne Animal Society have unleashed a wave of positive change for animals in the community of Akwesasne, located on Cornwall Island in Eastern Ontario. This partnership was forged in 2018 to ensure furry bellies in the community never go hungry. 

About the Akwesasne Animal Society 

The Akwesasne Animal Society (AAS) is a non-profit organization that advocates for animal welfare through various programs and services. Their mission is to provide support and education to pet parents and to create a safe environment for unwanted, abandoned, or lost animals.  

The AAS offers a free vaccination clinic for dogs and cats, a spay/neuter program, and a trap-neuter-vaccinate-return program for cats. Another vital initiative is the Pet Paw Pantry, which assists low-income pet parents in feeding their beloved animals.  

Supporting 80 animal companion households monthly 

Working together with the Ontario SPCA, the Akwesasne Animal Society now offers support to around 80 households by providing pet food for their furry family members each month. 

“As a community, we often prioritize meeting the needs of humans, but we must not forget our animal companion’s requirements,” says Lyn Thomas, Akwesasne Animal Society Pet Paw Pantry Coordinator. “Our community is known for its compassion and eagerness to assist others, including our furry friends. We aim to provide Akwesasne pet owners, especially those in need, with essential pet food and supplies. Our objective is to alleviate some of the stress associated with caring for pets.” 

The Pet Paw Pantry in action 

On the third Saturday of every month, the AAS Pet Paw Pantry opens its mobile trailer doors to members of the Akwesasne community. Their dedicated team of volunteers aid by disbursing dog and cat food, as well as kitty litter when supplies are available. Pet parents can simply drive up to the AAS food trailer where volunteers load them up with the necessary pet food and supplies.  

The Pet Paw Pantry also has a team of volunteers dedicated to delivering food to community members who are homebound due to illness, or who are elderly and unable to drive.  

Acknowledging essential contributors 

Lyn credits Bonnie Bishop, Eastern Regional Manager of Community Outreach Services at the Ontario SPCA, as one of the key contributors to the success of the Pet Paw Pantry.  

“Thanks to her efforts, we are able to connect with food distributors every month, ensuring the program remains successful,” Lyn says. “Bonnie is a remarkable woman who is devoted to all animals. Her unwavering commitment to her cause is inspiring, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with her.” 

Additionally, Lyn says that the collaboration between Ontario SPCA and AAS Pet Paw Pantry has flourished also thanks to the commitment of dedicated volunteers, partners, and sponsors. She adds that consistency has been vital to the Pantry’s growth and expansion of their reach. By adhering to a reliable schedule, they can feed even more animals, as community members now know when and where to receive pet food when needed. 

Learn more about Ontario SPCA Community Support Services  

The Ontario SPCA offers a variety of community support services, including community-based sheltering, animal wellness services, provincial animal transfers, shelter health and wellness, high-volume spay/neuter services, animal rescue, animal advocacy, Indigenous partnership programs and humane education.  

Visit our website to learn more: ontariospca.ca/communitysupport  

Testimonial

I stand behind SPCA with my monthly gift

I stand behind SPCA with my monthly gift. I am so happy there are folks like you to care for those who can’t help themselves.  My family and I have had animals all our lives and know what a comfort they are.  Thank you SPCA.

-Dorothy