OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow announced the creation and opening of the Oswego Pet Pantry at the Animal Control shelter in the city of Oswego.
The city of Oswego Pet Pantry is a donation-driven pantry designed to provide assistance to qualified pet owners with supplying the proper food and necessities for their pet during difficult financial times.
The Oswego Pet Pantry will accept donated food and supplies from the public and make those goods accessible to those who own pets but may have trouble supplying the adequate needs for their animals.
The Pet Pantry is part of a larger initiative Mayor Billy Barlow has started, encouraging city residents to license and spay or neuter their pets.
From 2012 through 2015, the city averaged licensing 266 dogs per year.
In 2016 the city issued 1,097 licenses, after Mayor Barlow and the city Clerk’s Office conducted a dog census and license mailing campaign to better register and track animals living in the city of Oswego.
“The Oswego Pet Pantry will provide food and other care items to ensure that when someone falls on hard times, financially or otherwise, they have accessible help for their pets, and the animals do not have to suffer. The Pet Pantry will also serve as a creative way to make people spay or neuter their pets and also properly license their animals with the city of Oswego,” Barlow said. “We’re making a concerted effort to encourage folks to better care for their pets. A condition of using the pet food pantry would be the owner’s consent to license their pet, including spaying or neutering of the animals, to better control the population of dogs and cats within the city of Oswego. We are committed to providing those procedures, at little to no cost to the owner, through donations and partnerships with local animal welfare organizations.”
City of Oswego Animal Control Officer Caroline Anderson said, “We receive calls every week from people who can no longer keep their pets due to financial hardship. If we can help companion animals remain in their homes where they are loved while also battling animal overpopulation, it’s a win-win.”
“One of my goals of running the Oswego Animal Shelter is to achieve as many live outcomes as possible from our facility. That means as many adoptions, transfers to rescues, and animals staying in their homes as we possibly can,” she continued. “Preventing the entry of stray or unwanted animal into the shelter in the first place is a great way to foster this vision. Spayed and neutered animals are less likely to be surrendered to shelters. They have fewer behavioral issues, are less likely to wander, and demonstrate lower rates of aggressive behavior than intact animals. Additionally, increasing the number of vaccinated animals in the city keeps our pets and residents safer.”
The Oswego Pet Pantry will be open on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. or by appointment, and the owner must provide proof or be willing to spay or neuter their pet, provide proof of current rabies vaccinations and provide proof of need.
Temporary assistance will also be available on a case-by-case basis.
The Pet Pantry is solely donation-based and will not incur a cost to the city of Oswego.
Donations needed for the pet pantry include dog or cat food, cat litter, animal treats and flea, tick and heartworm preventatives.
The Oswego Animal Shelter is located at 621 E. Seneca St., Oswego, and is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 p.m. and by appointment on Saturdays for adoptions.