A way to give: Baxter’s Pet Pantry seeks donations to help protect pets

Senator Mario Mattera’s Smithtown office will serve as a collection point for Baxters’s Pet Pantry from now until May 31.

New York State Senator Mario R. Mattera (2nd Senate District) is assisting Long Island Cares and its 12th Annual Legislative Pet Food Drive Challenge in an effort to help the charity restock Baxter’s Pet Pantry and ensure that Long Island families in need are able to care for their pets.

The senator’s district office will serve as a collection point for pet supplies from now until May 31.

Long Island Cares, in partnership with the Animal Relief Fund Inc. (ARF), created Baxter’s Pet Pantry in 2009 to help pet-owning families throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties get the supplies they need. In addition to providing pet food, Baxter’s Pet Pantry offers toys, pet clothes and other pet necessities.

A donation box will be located at Senator Mattera's district office at 180 East Main Street, Suite 210, Smithtown between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. Pet supplies for dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, birds, ferrets and others will be accepted.

Long Island Cares has stated that its most needed pet items are:

• Five- or 10-pound bags of dog and cat food
• Canned food for dogs and cats
• Dog and cat treats
• Collars and leashes
• Food for all animals including birds, fish, ferrets and hamsters
• Fish food
• Cat litter
• Small new toys

According to the organization, all donated pet food must be unopened and in its original packaging. For health reasons, the organization will not accept opened bags, ripped bags or loose pet food. Other items needed include puppy pads, soaps, paper towels, treats and bones, hand sanitizer, pet diapers, towels and blankets.