In late 2019 a family came to surrender their dog. I happened to be in the lobby and witnessed the anguish and tears from the parents and two children as they were saying goodbye to their family member.

I asked why they were asking us to help re-home such a much-loved pet. They felt they could not afford to feed him. I don’t know all the reasons except one of them had lost their job. But the reasons didn’t matter. What did was keeping their dog in their home.

We sent them off with enough food to take care of the dog for a month and told them to come back if they needed it.

in 2018 I joined the Oshkosh Rotary Southwest and met a realtor from Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC here in Oshkosh. Anita and I would talk over lunch and one day shortly after helped the couple be able to keep their dog she mentioned they were accepting grants applications. We applied for and received a startup grant from them for what would become the Ruff Times Food Pantry. Little did we know a pandemic was right around the corner. Thousands of pounds of food have been given away so that dogs and cats have enough to eat. And none of that food comes from our rescue dog’s food. It comes from members of the community who are kind and compassionate.

It also comes from people who have lost their pet and choose to donate food to us so that other dogs and cats can thrive even though they have had to say goodbye to their forever dog.

At that same Rotary I met Tracey Neuman Moats who happens to work at Horicon Bank next to Coldwell Banker. Through connecting with Rotary and these two women something amazing happened this week and Tracey has given me permission to share her story. She sent me this email earlier this week.

“Earlier in the month, you may have seen my post on Facebook about my dog passing away. A couple days after, I received an auto-ship of his food and treats from Chewy. I called Chewy to find out how I could return it, explaining that the order came the day after Charlie passed. They were so kind, offering condolences and said that they would issue a full refund without returning the food. They suggested donating it. So I’m reaching out to you to see if you could use it at the shelter.

Charlie was an older gentleman who was on soft food. The food is very nutritious, but it is made for senior dogs. I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt a younger dog, but it just has more nutrients in it that older dogs need. The food comes in small (3.5 ounce) containers. Each box has 24 containers and I have 6 boxes. I also have 3 8 ounce bags of Hills Science Diet soft treats. Would you be able to use these at the shelter?”

I gave her our hours and yesterday she dropped off the food to us. The very nutritious and expensive food. This is what she wrote when I accepted her incredibly generous offer.

“I’m so glad that some other dogs will be able to enjoy the food. Charlie absolutely devoured it, but that’s what Labs do.”

This is not a commercial for Chewy.com. But what a classy thing to do when an owner reaches out to ask to return food because of a tragic passing. I’m impressed with this company’s policy, I’m blessed that through two friends I met through the Rotary we have a food bank and a generous donation.

If you would like to donate to the RUFF Times Food Pantry we would be honored. We take all cat and dog food and treats and work with families to help them make good nutritional choices for their pets when they are having rough times.

If you are in need of food for your four-legged family members please remember that we are here for you for as long as you need.

I thought this would be a good time to share the article in the Oshkosh Herald. Look at the date. Exactly one month before we went into lock down mode. Simply amazing. We are also the only branded pet food pantry listed with the United Way. And that’s all because of people like Anita and Tracey and many of you.

Thank you. We know Charlie’s food will go to the right senior dog.