Best Buddies provides helping hand to families with pets
By Terrance Peacock Correspondent January 19, 2014 9:02PM
Best Buddies Pet Pantry vice president Don Plomann (from left), founder and president Cheryl Plomann and Pam Clarage stand at the entrance of Petco in Homewood during their pet food drive. | Terrance Peacock~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 21, 2014 6:22AM
Hardships can cause families to put their pets up for adoption, take them to animal shelters and even leave them on the streets.
This is why one food pantry has partnered up with Petco so that families going through rough times will be able to keep the one thing that may cheer them up when they’re down — their pet.
Best Buddies Pet Pantry in conjunction with Petco held its fourth annual pet food drive to help family pets in need Saturday and Sunday at Petco, 17930 Halsted St., Homewood.
Best Buddies Pet Pantry is a nonprofit organization that provides free pet food to qualified families in need in Illinois and northwest Indiana.
Don Plomann, vice president of Best Buddies, said the pantry was created to help families going through a financial crisis.
“These families have had job losses,” Plomann said. “We’ve had families that have had health issues, they’ve had divorces. Either way, they all have the same thing in common: They had money coming in, they have pets, they still have pets, and the money stopped coming in.”
Plomann said the pantry’s mission is to help such families feed their pets until the families are back on their feet.
“We’re feeding about 1,100 animals every month right now through four counties and two states,” Plomann said. “The reason we do this is because it keeps these animals out of the shelters and keeps them off the streets.”
Penelope Main, of Flossmoor, stopped by Petco and donated cat food and cat beds to the pet food drive Saturday.
Main said she heard about the drive through the newspaper and had extra pet items that she had no problem donating to Best Buddies Pet Pantry.
“I have rescued cats, and I want to support other people rescuing cats, and that means boarding them until they find a forever home,” Main said. “If you can’t afford food, you have to have someplace where you can get a little food. When I saw (the pet drive) in the paper, I said, ‘I got extra food, I got a couple extra beds, I have to stop by Petco.’ ”
During the pet food drive, Best Buddies collected new dog and cat food, dog biscuits and treats, cat treats, new and gently used collars and leashes and pet food coupons. Donations were tax deductible.
“It’s not all about money or donations,” Plomann said. “There will be people who come in here today who will need help. We’re networking, we might find someone who comes in here today who might be able to help us.”