The Cat Connection

3 Nov, 2020
Bark Avenue Foundation

“No cat is going to eat one hundred cans of grilled salmon,” Patty noted kindly to her co-volunteer who was boxing up the donated cat food. He looked down inquisitively at the box he had been filling. “They need a variety. You have to mix it up,” Patty explained.

Patty Naegely is the “cat person” at Pedro Pet Pals, educating the dog folks about the feline mind. Two years ago, through a board member, Pedro Pet Pals started regularly receiving thousands of cans of Fancy Feast on pallets. These “imperfect” cans were still edible but not sellable, as the labels were coming off or had small imperfections in the packaging. The humble dozen volunteers set to work in tidying up the cans and creating boxes of mixed inventory for distribution.

Patty knew they couldn’t make use of all of it themselves, so she put out a post on the NKLA network, telling member organizations that if they could use the food, they would give them a mixed box of 100 cans for a $40 donation. The food would go to organizations dispersing it to those in need, and in return the $40 donation would defray transportation costs of getting the food from the midwest and go to Pedro Pet Pals’ programs. It was a win-win for everyone.

Pedro Pet Pals began as a fundraising effort to add misting systems to the Harbor Animal Shelter in 2009, but soon became a far-reaching animal welfare and community support organization. Much like Bark Avenue Foundation, their mission is to keep pets out of the shelter. Operating out of the South Bay, they fund mobile spay & neuter clinics, provide resources to those experiencing homelessness with their pets, pay impound fees for those who cannot afford to redeem their lost pet from the shelter, donate medical supplies and food to shelters requesting assistance, and provide financial assistance to adopters of pets with medical conditions.

It’s a large palette of programs all for one goal: to help homeless animals, and reduce the number of pets in the shelter. Patty got involved when she was volunteering in the cat room at Harbor Shelter. Another volunteer told her about the organization and how they could use a cat expert. Patty went to one meeting of the board members and instantly fell in love with the group: the programs, the people, and their dedication to truly making a difference.

Pedro Pet Pals is all volunteer-run. Mostly small business owners or those with flexible hours, as every member pitches in. “There are meetings where each of us has a pile of cat cans to tape the labels back on while we talk,” Patty explained.

Bark Avenue Foundation is grateful to have met Patty through the NKLA network, and proud to be a part of their symbiotic relationship with other nonprofits: we support their programs with our donations, and they support our program with donated food.

Non-profits make an exponentially bigger impact when they work together. Organizations, like communities, are made up of individual people who come together for a common goal. Without those individuals, there would be no organization. Thank you Patty, and to all the members of Pedro Pet Pals, for donating an incredible 1,000 cans of Fancy Feast each month to the Unsheltered People with Pets program keeping our participants’ cats fed and saving monetary donations for emergency vet care to save pet’s lives.  Through your generosity, your community expands to include us and we are beyond grateful. We are all in this together and could not do it without you!

For more information on Pedro Pet Pals and the work they do in the South Bay of Los Angeles, check out their website: