Pet supplies added to inventory at Husker Pantry

Monday, March 28, 2022 Pet supplies added to inventory at Husker Pantry

Food and bedding supplies for cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and rabbits are now available at Husker Pantry. [Christopher Dulak |Student Affairs]

by Kirsten Wandrey | Student Affairs

Husker Pantry already offers a wide variety of food and toiletry items at no cost for students in times of financial need. A newly-launched program aims to include students' pets in this mission, too. The pantry is now offering a range of pet supplies dedicated to helping students retain their animals even when budgets may be tight.

Students can find food and bedding supplies for cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and rabbits at the pantry's locations on both City and East Campus.

According to Constance Boehm, director of Big Red Resilience & Well Being, the pantry partnered with UNL's Animal Science department and Oxbow Animal Health to set up the program and secure donations.

"Students tell me they love their pets, but they sometimes struggle to get the necessary supplies for them," says Boehm.

Dr. Lisa Karr is a professor for the Companion Animal program in the Animal Science department. She and graduate assistant Ally Pachunka are helping manage the pet supplies project.

Karr said the goal for providing pet supplies at the Husker Pantry is to ensure students and their pets can stay together, reducing the burden of care during times of need.

Karr thought of the program during a peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was speaking with students who had to travel home or lost their job because of the pandemic and were dealing with financial hardships.

"The goal of the pantry is to provide those students with short-term supplies to make sure we can keep their pets in their home instead of ending up in a shelter," said Karr. "I hope that both students and pets can benefit from staying together in the home."

She also states that companion animals provide a lot for people, such as decreasing stress, improving well-being and increasing exercise.

Overall, the pantry's pet supplies project aims to assist those carrying stressful financial burdens while keeping both students and their pets safe, happy and healthy. Visit the Husker Pantry website to learn more about their hours and services.

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