The St. Johns County Public Library System will host St. Johns CARES, Inc. donation boxes at three branch libraries this March. St. Johns CARES, Inc., an all-volunteer organization, traditionally holds their Annual Dog Day Afternoon event in late March with proceeds given to local animal non-profit organizations. In 2019 proceeds were given to the St. Johns County Fire Rescue Department for the purchase of pet resuscitation masks. The impact of COVID-19 caused them to cancel the event in 2020 and 2021 and increased the need for food and cold weather bedding for pets.
Patrons are invited to bring pet food, towels, and blankets to fill donation boxes. Animal shelters and food pantries are in great need, and many seeking food assistance also have pets needing food. Pets have been such a comfort to so many during the pandemic due to isolation and the unknown. Some people are forced to make very hard decisions of giving up their pets or giving the pets a portion of their own meager food supplies, all adding to their life stresses. Senior citizens in particular are more likely to give up their food to feed their pets. Donations will be collected, sorted, and boxed by St. Johns CARES, Inc. volunteers and distributed to local partner organizations.
Mary Ann Kriniske, President of St. Johns CARES, Inc. adds, “Our goal is to see that people are able to keep their pets fed and in their homes rather than dropped off at a shelter or abandoned in the streets.”
You can find 2021 Pet Drive Boxes at the following St. Johns County Public Libraries: Anastasia Island Branch, Ponte Vedra Branch, and the Southeast Branch Library. Collection boxes will be displayed at these host sites from March 9 – 26, 2021.