It’s a full house at the Alonzo home. Carolyn and Gregory Alonzo have four rescue dogs: Frazier, Bowey, Zuzu and Lily. And there’s tons of snacks and play time for these four-legged friends.
“It’s wonderful to see rescue dogs come out of their shell and you’re helping that, helping them have a new life and meet new dogs. It’s not just great for them but us,” Carolyn Alonzo said.
The Alonzo’s adopted rescue dogs throughout the years, and when two of their dogs died during the pandemic they wanted to find a way to honor their pets.
“With the pandemic and the civil unrest that was going on. It was a lot to take in, so it just came back to me. It’s a hard time for everybody and I felt I needed to give back,” Carolyn said.
“Plus, we were already involved with so many rescues already and we were hearing stories of people relinquishing their pets because they lost their jobs, lost (an) apartment, can’t find them and the thought of having to give away our dogs for any reason, it was heart breaking for us. That’s when we were like what can we do,” Gregory Alonzo said.
They decided to build a dog pantry and place it outside their home, naming it after one of their departed dogs, Obi’s Pet Pantry.
“He was almost 14 and we got him when he was five, but he was special to us. If you were sad he knew it and would sit with you and had a way of making us laugh,” Gregory said.
Using their Stimulus checks Carolyn and Gregory stocked up Obi’s pantry with all kinds of pet supplies.
“Food, treats, the basics are important. You shouldn’t have to relinquish your pet because you can’t afford food. We want to help lessen the burden,” Carolyn said.
“I thought it was going to be something we would stock once and a while, not something I was going to have to check daily. I wish the need for it wasn’t there but as long as it is I’m going to try to be there with it,” Gregory said.
Now they’re hoping to expand and see more pet donation boxes across the city. Keeping their memories of Obi alive.
“You never know what doing good can do for yourself until you try and when you do, sometimes you find out things out there that you didn’t even know about,” Gregory said.
Obi’s Pet Pantry is located near Midway airport on 64th street. Anyone is welcome to make donations or grab what they need and pass on the message.