Food bank helps feed hungry pets during pandemic

Gary Kaufman works the overnights as a machinist with the LIRR and during the day he's on a mission to feed animals who may otherwise go hungry.

"I went from dogs and cats to helping farm animals, wildlife sanctuaries," he said.

He has sheds full of food to make sure Nobody Starves on Long Island—that's the name and goal of his nonprofit in Middle Island in Suffolk County.

Kaufman started the pet food bank soon after Superstorm Sandy but has been helping animals for as long as he can remember.

"We used to steal the stuff out of my mom's fridge to feed the feral cats outside," Kaufman said. 

He leaves piles of pet food in the driveway to be picked up by owners in need. On Thursday, Karen Testa of Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons stopped by.

"We're all in bad shape right now because of the virus," she said. "This is a godsend right now for us."

Kaufman relies solely on donations to stay stocked. He said there's been an increase in calls since COVID-19.

"That one shed we looked at would probably last me a month or two you know, full. I'm on my fourth or fifth time filling that shed just because of the virus," he said. "So many people out of work, no income, no money."

Kaufman also rescues animals. Part of his next project includes building dog houses complete with heat and air so he can properly vet dogs before placing them in homes.


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