Firefighter and his wife come up with a brilliant initiative to provide for pets in need within their community.
Being a pet parent is one of the hardest yet most wholesome challenges an individual can undertake. The adorable munchkins completely depend on their humans to provide for them. Similarly, individuals compromise on various levels to ensure their pets are taken care of. Seeing the struggles of pet parents, a Salem firefighter launched a meaningful initiative, 'Bo Lends A Paw,' to help them in their pursuit, per ABC6. The initiative has grown over the years, with many volunteers joining in to make everything a bit easier and happier for the pets and their humans.
'Bo Lends A Paw' is a non-profit organization that operates in Salem, New Jersey and was launched by Al Stell and his wife, Tammy Stell. The inspiration behind the name came from the couple's dog, Bo, who they adopted from The Salem County Humane Society in 2019, per their website. The objective of the organization is to help families in need to feed their fur babies. To do so, they set up pantries across the city from where individuals can collect food. Their first pantry was set up on June 6, 2020 and since then, they have grown in leaps and bounds. At present, they can set up pantry locations multiple times each month in Salem.
#Kindness creates more kindness💞— Operation Kindness (@KindnessChamps) January 6, 2024
After Salem #firefighter Al Stell paid for #cat food and groceries of a woman he and his wife Tammy founded the #non-profit "Bo Lends A Paw" that gives away FREE #pet supplies🐶🐱 #thereisgood❤️@SunnySkyzOnline https://t.co/wHIQWyiaMD.
The inspiration behind the organization came from an incident with Al at the grocery store. He was standing behind a woman in the checkout line when she suddenly realized she did not have enough money for all her items. "When they rang her up she didn't have enough money," he said. "So, she said my cats will eat before I do." The firefighter immediately stepped in and paid for the woman. Though he felt glad that he could be of use to the woman, it also brought him face-to-face with a problem his city was facing. Many were struggling to provide for their pets.
He immediately called his wife and both came up with a plan for a pet pantry to help such individuals. It took them a year to realize the dream, but their dedication finally put it on the map. Now, they are a regular presence in churches, fire departments and other community areas where people can easily access their services. "We have, you know, donation bins around town and a lot of the local businesses have been supportive of us," Tammy said. "And people have come to us and said, hey, can we have a giveaway at our place? And it has just really, really grown."
The journey has not been easy by any means. During its initial days, the organization was functioning out of a pickup truck, as reported by Sunny Skyz. Seeing the initiative's impact, the community stepped up and began contributing. The contributions enabled the organization to move on to one small trailer and then to many. "We can help people feed their animals so they can save money and feed themselves," Al said. On their website, they have mentioned the drop-off site where people can come to contribute. It is Java Dog Coffee & Tea 198 Route 45, Mannington, NJ. People can donate things like Dog food, cat food, dog treats, cat treats, toys, leashes, bowls, etc.