For some people having a pet is more than their budget can handle. With the rising cost of food, budgeting for pet food has forced some people to give up their pets.

A volunteer group is trying to reverse that trend.

Jean Zimmerman, a volunteer for the Pet Food Food Pantry, said that she is concerned that people will not be able to afford keeping their pets.

"I know that I've seen people cry when they received food for their pets," said Zimmerman.

Zimmerman said that a small group of volunteers is accepting donations of pet food that will be distributed to various local food pantries.

Recently, Lehighton Area Lioness Lions Club, raised funds to fill the pet food pantry.

"Anyone is eligible for pet food who is already eligible for food," said Zimmerman. "You will have to ask your pantry to see if they are a participating food pantry."

"We went shopping for the food at Walmart and when they heard what we were doing, we were pleasantly surprised with their support," said Dr. Mary Lombardo. "They were extremely helpful."

Dr. Lombardo is the owner of Mahoning Valley Animal Hospital.

Dr. Lombardo has set up a corner of her office to accept both dog and cat food for the pet food pantry.

"There are some happy cats and dogs," said Maryann Dyer, representative of the Lehighton Area Lioness Lions Club. Dyer said that the club raised $225 for the pet food pantry with a community fundraiser.

Anyone who wants to contribute to the pet food pantry can drop items off at the Mahoning Valley Animal Hospital, 2967 Blakeslee Boulevard Drive West, Lehighton; or call Zimmerman at (570) 427-4343 for pick up.