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Dog cfood lines walls as board members Sue Robuck AmandGucciardo work an open house Kibble Kitchen Pet Pantry Portage Ind.

Dog and cat food lines the walls as board members Sue Robuck and Amanda Gucciardo work at an open house at Kibble Kitchen Pet Pantry in Portage, Ind., on Sept. 29, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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AT A GLANCE

For more information about the Kibble Kitchen Pet Pantry’s services, call 734-6938, visit the website www.thekibblekitchen.com or find the Portage pantry on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kibblekitchen.

Updated: November 12, 2012 11:07AM



After two recent deaths in their pet family, Jan and Patrick Connell are down to two cats.

But the Portage couple stopped by the Kibble Kitchen Pet Pantry’s second annual open house on a recent Saturday to sign up to volunteer for the not-for-profit, which offers pet food and other supplies to low-income pet owners in Porter County so they can keep their furry friends.

“We don’t want to be tied down with a dog right now,” Jan said, adding she and her husband, both retired, plan to travel, and someone can check on their cats, “so we don’t want to adopt — yet.”

The open house drew an assortment of folks like the Connells who want to help out the pantry, which is on the cusp of expanding services. The Portage pantry will conduct a spaghetti dinner soon as a kickoff fundraiser for a spay-neuter program, to begin in the spring. It would offer free spay-neuter services to cats and dogs that belong to low-income Porter County residents.

“We are trying to create a program of low-income families who receive government assistance getting their pets done for free,” said Michelle Duca, founder and executive director of the pantry. “We’re trying to extend our mission of promoting responsible pet ownership.”

Veterinarians in the county would provide the services, with a goal of serving 500 pets initially, Duca said. Besides spay-neuter services, pets would receive vaccinations, blood work, if needed, and flea and tick preventive medications.

“We would medically set up each family’s pet for a year,” she said.

The spaghetti dinner will run from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Woodland Park Grand Oakwood Ballroom, 2100 Willowcreek Road, Portage. Advance tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for ages 3-12 (children under 3 eat free with a paid adult), are available online and at www.kibblekitchen2012.charityhappenings.org. Tickets also can be purchased at R&B Customs, 440 U.S. 6, Valparaiso; Butler Winery, 401 Broadway, Chesterton, and the Porter County Animal Shelter, 2056 Heavlin Road, Valparaiso.

Tickets at the door will cost another $2 each.

The dinner also will feature a silent auction and raffle.

Duca hopes to find business sponsors for the dinner and additional donations for the spay-neuter program. Anyone interested in helping can contact her at kibblekitchen@hotmail.com.



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