Paws Pantry

Paws Pantry is a program sponsored by the Pad for Paws Foundation that serves Lewis & Clark County and surrounding areas. This program repackages and distributes donated pet food to Helena Food Share, God’s Love, and to individuals and families in need.

Paws Pantry helps keep people and their pets together! With Pad for Paws supplying the pet’s food, it frees up some of the family’s finances so they can pay for rent, utilities, groceries, car gas, and the other costs of daily life.

A donation of food and pet supplies to the family keeps the companion pet or service/therapy animal in its home. Studies show that animal ownership can also lower illness levels and mortality rates.

How Can You Help?

Donations of cat and dog food are vital to our program. We have drop-off bins at the entrances of Petco and Safeway.

Cash donations are greatly appreciated as they allow us to purchase pet food as needed and in the most economical quantities possible.

Additional needs include gallon zip-top plastic bags.

Please click to make a donation.

Assisting the Helena Food Share

Each week the Paws Pantry Program delivers over 600 pounds of dog and cat food to the Helena Food Share. Their shoppers run for the pet food before they even shop for themselves. That shows how cherished a family’s pet is to them!

The program began many years ago when Ann Waickman was the Director of the Helena Food Share and worked tirelessly with business and civic leaders to create a hunger-free community in Helena.

Our Paws Pantry Program began by pure chance. Ann received a call from a local store that had torn bags of pet food they did not want to just throw away. Ann realized the Food Share clients also had pets at home that weren’t getting fed, so she accepted the donation of torn pet food bags.

Ann contacted Pad for Paws, and a partnership began that would meet both organizations’ missions, and provide a much-needed service to low-income pet owners in our community.

The partnership between HFS and Pad for Paws has proven to be very successful, and has made a huge difference in the lives of countless families and their pets in Helena and the surrounding areas.

Below, Pad for Paws volunteers “scoop” cat and dog food from large donated bags of pet food into smaller zip-top bags. Five bags each of dog food and cat food are loaded into each crate. Twenty crates of pet food are delivered to the Helena Food Share each week for distribution to those who need help feeding their pets or service/therapy animals.

Volunteers scooping pet food

Volunteers “scooping” pet food.

Volunteers packing pet food in	crates for the Helena Food Share

Volunteers packing pet food in crates for the Helena Food Share.

Crate of cat food

Crate of cat food.

Paws Pantry Expands

The Paws Pantry Program expanded to also include providing pet supplies like kennels, dog houses, dog and cat beds, collars, leashes, harnesses, pet toys, litter boxes, etc. We realized the families we served needed more than just pet food.

Emergency veterinary care was also added to ease pet suffering. Spay and neuter services help reduce pet over-population.