OGDEN -- Catholic Community Services and the Humane Society of Northern Utah are teaming up to help Top of Utah pets.
Debbie Barnes, executive director at the Humane Society, said the agency receives calls almost daily from people who love their pets but, because of the economic situation, can no longer afford to buy food for them.
"It was heartbreaking," Barnes said. "We supplied food to these people, but we realized that this situation was huge and we needed to find a better solution."
Barnes and her husband, Jim, contacted Catholic Community Services director Marcie Valdez to see if there was a way to provide the much-needed service to pet owners.
Catholic Community Services had supplied pet food distribution in the past but because of space issues and cleanliness, the service was discontinued.
"As our primary priority is food, we were having issues with keeping pet food separate from human food," Valdez said. "When we stopped providing this assistance, the Humane Society started receiving calls from people in need.
"Jim and Debbie met with CCS and determined that they would find a way to donate a shed so that we could store pet food away from human food in a clean and sanitary way."
The Barnes researched several types of storage facilities and decided on a metal building.
"We got some bids and drawings and talked to our board of directors," Barnes said. "The board loved the idea and voted unanimously to build a facility at the CCS food bank."
With a grant from the PETCO Foundation, donations from American Nutrition, Cleary Buildings and community supporters, the building is now open.
"Jim and Debbie are an example to all of us that one person can make a difference," Valdez said. "They identified a problem and made a personal commitment to find a solution. Now that we have the resources to store pet food, we will be able to solicit additional volunteers and corporate partners to help us achieve our goal to provide pet food for our clients who not only struggle to meet their basic needs but struggle to meet the needs of their pets who mean so much to them."
Catholic Community Services will gladly accept pet food donations of any kind and any size. Take donations directly to the food bank, 2504 F Ave. Volunteers are also being sought to help distribute the food.