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Organization looks to help bring used pet supplies to animal shelters in Guelph, Ont.

Dylan Keith of FYFF with a trunkful of pet supplies. Dylan Keith

There is a new organization in Guelph, Ont., that takes used pet supplies and donates them to those in need.

Fur Your Friends Foundation collects things like collars, leashes, beds, bowls, and wet and dry pet foods and then donates them to humane societies and rescue shelters.

The Toronto-based non-profit recently expanded into the Royal City. It serves as a bridge or middleman between pet owners and the animal shelters.

The group was founded by Jonathan (Yoni) Gootgarts who works as a veterinary assistant in Toronto and currently is studying veterinary medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph. He says the idea for Fur Your Friends Foundation came from his girlfriend.

“She said so many pet owners like you have things that you haven’t had to use anymore because your pet grew out of them,” said Gootgarts.

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“Why not become the bridge between the owners and the rescues? That way they make use of things that don’t use anymore, and rescues get the items that they need.”

Executive leader Dylan Keith says there was a need for this kind of service in the Guelph area.

“There are many shelters in Guelph that are in need of pet supplies,” said Keith, who also volunteers at the Guelph Humane Society. “We message shelters around the area and ask them if they are looking for donations. If they are, we drop off the donations to them in bulk.”

Read more: Large number of pets being surrendered to Guelph Humane Society

Gootgarts started collecting donations in 2021 during his spare time.

“During the first year, I’ve delivered eight or nine donations,” said Gootgarts. “There were at least 15 to 20 beds, and several cages with hundreds of toys. Also, hundreds of leashes, collars, and harness, 20 to 50 food bowls, and lots of bags of food.”

Gootgarts points out that the collections and deliveries did not involve any face-to-face contact.

Keith joined the group in early 2022 and says the experience has been great. He says they continue to reach out to those looking to donate their pet supplies.

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“We are pretty much looking for gently-used pet supplies that we can donate to shelters,” said Keith. “We would reach out to these shelters, ask them if they are in need of supplies, and then distribute them across Guelph.”

If anyone wants to donate their slightly-used pet supplies, they can contact Dylan or Yoni at Fur Your Friends Foundation on their website and Instagram, or email at: furyourfriendsfoundation@gmail.com.

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