MUSCATINE, Iowa—In 2017 while working on a joint project between High Prairie Church and the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Department, Beth Van Zandt learned many people do not go to homeless shelters because they do not want to give up family pets. Van Zandt contacted then Muscatine Center for Social Action Executive Director Charla Schafer and began fostering animals for families in their care. Van Zandt also started a pet food pantry in 2018, which continues to operate the third Wednesday of each month from 8 to 10 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Muscatine, located at 401 Iowa Avenue.
Both programs have proved successful. In the past three years, Van Zandt has fostered approximately 35 pets. The monthly pet food pantry serves an average of 44 families and gives out around 4,500 pounds of dry food and 3,500 pounds of cat litter annually. To continue this important work and to bring it to even more pets and families in need, Van Zandt, with the assistance of her husband Joe Van Zandt and friend Linda Shay, founded the organization, For Pets’ Sake.
As For Pets’ Sake grows, Van Zandt hopes to build an additional kennel to house animals she fosters. Van Zandt would like to retrofit a retired minibus with a wheelchair lift and food truck window to allow her to more easily transport and distribute food. “If I can help them free up $20 a month, they can maybe buy some food at the store instead of at the food pantry or pay for their medicine,” explained Van Zandt.
For Pets’ Sake offers all its services through the generosity of volunteers. If you would like to donate, Van Zandt encourages you to visit www.forpetssakeiowa.com.