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      As Paw Pals comes to an end, Katherine Road will step in

      The pet food pantry will become a non-profit branch of the Katherine Road Animal Hospital in Quincy.

      Paw Pals may be closing up shop in the spring, but it will continue to support hundreds of pet owners until that time comes.

      Executive Director Jane Holt is asking for the communities help one last time before she says goodbye.

      "I'm going to miss is terribly. I know I will. I've made so many friends. I've met so many wonderful people in this community, people I probably wouldn't ordinarily have met.I have been welcomed into so many homes. I have been licked on by so many wonderful dogs. It's those things I'm going to miss," Holt said.

      Holt made the decision in December to close Paw Pals after serving 12 years in the Quincy community.

      The non-profit began as an outreach program to pet owners in times of need and has significantly grown into a food pantry that serves close to one thousand animals a month.

      "I think our food pantry is what's made us most visible to the community," Holt said.

      More than one hundred families will visit the pantry this week, clearing the shelves.

      "We want people to realize that just because our pantry is closing, the need is still here," Holt said.

      In a last effort to help these families, Paw Pals will hold its last pet food drive thru on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the Y101 parking lot, at 24th and Broadway in Quincy.

      "We'll have volunteers there. All you'll need to do is pull in and someone will take the food out. Or if you have cash toward a dog food purchase, that would be great," Holt said. "It might even get us through a full month if enough people make donations."

      Paw Pals will come to an end on May 1, but Holt says her passion for animals will last a lifetime.

      "I've been doing this a long time and I imagine I'll remain in some form of animal welfare the rest of my life. I don't intend to completely leave it," Holt said.

      Recently, the Katherine Road Animal Hospital in Quincy decided it would take over her responsibilities when the time comes.

      Dr. Drew Kaiser says he's a firm believer in his philosophy to continue in Holt's footsteps.

      The hospital will create a non-profit program to allow for a food pantry, so it can continue to receive donations.

      "Jane has been our mentor and we've watched what a good job she's done. We always want to support Jane and the efforts that she's doing, however we can. This is a necessary need for our community to have.The opportunity presented itself to do this a certain way and we're going to do that," Dr. Kaiser said.

      It's not certain whether the Katherine Road pet food pantry will work out of the Paw Pals location at 20th and State St.

      Kaiser says there's a lot of fine tuning to do before his group can begin, but he hopes to carry on the same services currently provided by Paw Pals.