NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A new kind of pet rescue is designed to help owners feed their pets when difficult financial times make it hard to pay for food.

Volunteers at the Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry told CBS 2’s Lou Young that they wanted to make sure that owners did not have to give up their pets for financial reasons.

“They love their pets and the pets are always there for them. You know if you give them up you give up a part of yourself,” said Suzanne Ferrara.

Pantry Director Cathy Fermi explained that the Pantry helps people who are living on a reduced income and are relying on the social safety net for survival.

“We have a lot of people who are disabled. We have a lot of people on social security, we have a couple of veterans; same thing, they just can’t afford the animals that they have,” she said.

For clients the food pantry helps them avoid having to make a difficult decision.

“I might have had to give her away or not feed her properly, and that would’ve broke my heart,” said Julie Fraittag, who was out of work for nearly a year.

Fraittag is now a volunteer at the pantry, helping others get the same assistance that she once relied on.

The pantry takes referrals from animal shelters and county agencies and will take applications from anybody in the four counties north of the city who is able to demonstrate need.

The shelter has moved from its old location in Valhalla to a new location in White Plains which will open on Saturday.

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