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Peter Suchy is not just a highly respected jeweler with an eye for the most exquisite vintage pieces currently on the market, but he is also a philanthropist who believes in giving back to the community. In this role, he has joined the board of STARelief and Pet Assistance, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that brings together volunteers and resources to help families keep their pets during uncertain economic times.

The organization operates an Aid-A-Pet Fund, which enables sick pets to receive the veterinary care that the animals’ owners cannot afford on their own. A Pet Food Pantry Fund helps pay for the kibble and chow that keeps family pets healthy when the food budget cannot stretch to also include cans or dry food for the animal. Funds donated to the General Operating Fund assist STARelief and Pet Assistance volunteers to get the supplies needed to keep animals in the families’ home and out of the shelters as owner-surrendered pets, where they will have an uncertain future.

Targeted demographics include low-income families, pet owners who are disabled, military veterans, homeless pet owners and senior citizens on fixed budgets. It is important to realize that – in many cases – it is not just the emergency veterinary bill that puts a pet in jeopardy of being surrendered to a shelter. In tough economic times, even routine care and vaccinations can be an unsustainable drain on a family’s budget.

Volunteers and board members at STARelief and Pet Assistance understand that financial hardship can hit a family suddenly. To this end, the organization strives to have sufficient resources on hand that can be made available quickly to those experiencing a need. No pet should go hungry or experience preventable pain and suffering. No sick or older pet should live out its last days in a shelter because an owner could no longer afford the mounting costs of increased care needs. Each companion animal deserves to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect.

It is interesting to note that volunteers from STARelief and Pet Assistance also work with local rescue groups to adopt out available pets-in-waiting. One of the things STAR does is set up adoption events at the High Ridge Shopping Center in Connecticut’s Stamford. The goal is to make a match between an adoptable animal and a caring adult who wants to give a great animal a loving home.

It is clear that these types of events and services cost money – and plenty of it. Although the board members and the directors of STARelief and Pet Assistance work tirelessly to garner more support, there is inevitably a growing need for more assistance. Finances are still hard for many families, and plenty of pets depend on caring volunteers to stay at home with the humans that they have grown to love, trust and count on.

Will you not help? It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a big difference. If enough folks give even a little bit, it adds up to the funds needed to help these loving pets and their owners.