519 Pets Collective is a pet charity program, announced the closure of its pet program division after its running costs became too high. The charity hosted a Community Day event on Feb. 25, 2023, located on 26 Ainslie St S., Cambridge, inviting community members to pick up any remaining pet food, accessories and other donations.
Costs of storage alone reached $3000 per year. Julia Hoang works with the charity DOING WHAT and reported that the response from the community was overwhelmingly supportive and eager.
“Today’s event was to liquidate what we still had in donations…We had a lot of cat and dog food, some small animal food and lots of accessories that were donated,” Hoang said.
“This was available to anyone in the community. They just had to come by and pick it up,” Hoang said.
The program division focused on providing food and other accessories to pets belonging to people in need in the community. The charity ran the program for about a year after it became evident that the need for pet food had become more significant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pet collective was a subsidiary of the 519 Community Collective, a volunteer organization that provides food security to all community members. The charity’s main aim is to feed the hungry and it hopes to redirect its focus back to that mission. They collaborate with other organizations, food banks, and emergency food hamper programs to distribute food to those in need.
The charity encourages anyone needing pet food to look to other avenues, such as the Kitchener Waterloo, Stratford, and Perth Humane Society or the Cambridge Humane Society, which offers pet food hamper programs.
Over the past year, the Pet Program Division has successfully provided a minimum of 250 hampers to individuals in need, thus helping to bridge the gap for those unable to purchase pet food.
“On the most recent hamper date last Wednesday, 23 people came to collect hampers. Furthermore, pet food was distributed to organizations, shelters, and motels, as well as drop-offs to the residents of those in need in the early stages,” Hoang said.
519 community collective also runs hot meals and food hamper programs. While the pet program division is closing, the charity remains committed to helping the community in any way possible. More information on the programs offered by 519 Community Collective can be found on their website or Facebook page.