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Friends inspired to create pet food pantry during COVID-19 pandemic

Friends inspired to create pet food pantry during COVID-19 pandemic

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RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio Danielle Varanese always had a piece of her heart dedicated to making sure her animals and others don’t go hungry.

Varanese, 40, and her friend Sherie Hughes Coffey created CC’s Cupboard in a pet daycare in Richmond Heights. The non-profit provides necessary food and supplies for pet owners in need. When the coronavirus hit Ohio, that need only increased.

The pet food pantry, located at Highland and Richmond roads inside the K-9 Kingdom, held its third Saturday distribution of free pet food since Gov. Mike DeWine ordered people to stay at home.

The program allows people to pull up in their car, tell the staff and volunteers what kind of pet they have and whether or not they prefer wet or dry food.

“We do cats. We do dogs. We do small animals, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, birds,” Varanese said. “We have all kinds of food for them.”

Outside forces such as natural disasters and global pandemics create food insecurity for both people and pets. Varanese experienced people who said they can’t afford pet food and have to give up their pets as a result.

Her organization survives solely on donations, and, so far, they received significant amounts of pet food, leashes, collars, food bowls and toys. They also have a great working relationship with Pet Supplies Plus in Lyndhurst. The organization also has an Amazon wish list set up for donations.

Anonymous donors also have added to the cause.

“I have two dogs, a bird, a guinea pig,” Varanese said. “My mom rescues Newfoundlands. We absolutely love animals.”

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