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Norwood - Local Town Pages

Happy Birthday Charley’s Angels Pet Initiative!

By Bella Caggiano
Charley’s Angels Pet Initiative (CAPI) founder Kandi Finch has been an animal lover and rescuer for decades. She spent years watching people struggle to keep their animals fed and healthy, and finally came to a place in her life where she could implement her dream (and recruit friends and colleagues to help). CAPI’s mission is to assist pet owners and their pets to stay together during difficult times   providing 
providing food, necessities, assistance with vet bills and support any way we are able.
We are 100% volunteer staffed so 100% of all donations received go directly to help our
“CAPI” family. There are many ways you can help our mission:
Reasons to Donate:
• You love animals
• You have a pet and want to help
• In your pets name(s)
• In memory of your pets
• In a loved ones name
• In memory of a loved one
• A directed donation to a specific pet in need
Items to Donate:
• Bags of unopened pet food (3-7 lb. bags preferred) to help support our pet food Pantries
• Gently used or new accessories (collars, leashes, harnesses etc.)
• Gift cards from Chewey, Amazon, Pet Supplies Plus, PetCo, other pet supply companies)
• Gift Cards for grooming
Ways to Donate:
• Attend one of our fundraising events.
• A check to Charleys Angels Pet Initiative mailed to: PO Box 164 Norwood, MA 02062
• From our website:
• From our Facebook Page:
• Venmo: @charleysangels
• At one of our donation jars at an event or local business
• Credit/ Debit card at one of our events

It has been nearly a year since you launched Charley’s Angels Pet Initiative. Has the organization progressed as you imagined?
Better than expected. We have a fantastic team of volunteers. We put this together in just a couple of months once we pulled the trigger. The team is working hard to get our name out there, raise money, and help where we can. I am amazed, proud, and humbled by what this team has been able to accomplish.

How has the response been from people you have helped? How do they hear about CAPI?
Everyone we have helped has been appreciative, relieved, and less stressed. The stories are heartbreaking and hopeful. It is truly a gift that we have been given to be able to help people and their pets. We have been pushing our name out there any way we can: sharing on Charley’s Angels Pet Initiative website and FB pages, sharing on our personal pages, friends, and family. We have done some local cable interviews and even appeared on NBC the Hub back in March. We are building a network of agencies, rescues, shelters, and other partners to help get the word out. We are even getting referrals from a local bird and reptile store.

Would you like to share a few examples of how CAPI has helped pet owners?
CAPI has been very busy. Our first call was from someone whose mom was going into a Nursing home and couldn’t take her cat. We were able to find her a home with one of our friends.
Our next was Pookie. His mom passed away and left him with his dog walker who is on a fixed income. We continue to help him with meds and veterinary bills.
We started building up our pet food pantries so we are helping people that way.
We have also helped two Parrots, a bearded dragon, ten cats, and a dog in a horrible hoarding situation, three cats left by their owner who passed away, we donated to Baby, the lost dog who was hit by a car and we will stay in contact with her owner as Baby recovers. The most recent was a call from a man with cancer. He, his wife, and three kids could no longer care for Coco, their ninth-month old puppy. She is currently at Norwood Animal Shelter receiving care and training so she can be adopted.
There are so many stories; check out our website and Facebook page for more.
Has the mission differed from your original design?
The original mission was to help people and their pets stay together. We are accomplishing this as intended, by providing food and helping with vet bills and medicine. We have three local pet food pantries at the Norwood Food Pantry, Norwood Senior Center, and Norwood Housing. We also donate food and other accessories to the Norwood Animal Shelter. These are working very well. We are also receiving calls and emails about pets needing to be rehomed for various reasons. While we are not a shelter or a rescue, we will help any way we are able to by working with our partners. Norwood Animal Shelter (Henry and Brianna) have been a fantastic resource for us. Each pet has a sad story and they have been helpful, compassionate and caring, going over and above to help out. They need help too. They spend a great deal of their own money supporting the animals in their care. 

CAPI is not a traditional rescue. How is it different?
We are a resource. The more money we can raise, the more pets we can help. The larger our network, the more pets we can help. We are all in this for the same reason; to help pets and their people. Our partners have been there for us and we have, and will, be there for them. For example, we have worked a few cases with the Bay State Animal Cooperative. They were responsive and helped to get ten cats out of a very horrible situation. All cats have been adopted. All that within just a couple of weeks-amazing!

When should pet owners call you?
Everyone hits a rough patch once in a while. If you have a pet and you are struggling to feed them, pay for meds, or vet visits, call us. We will do everything we can to help.  No one should have to make a decision to surrender their beloved pet or have them euthanized because they can’t afford a vet bill. Again, this all costs money so without ongoing support, great partnerships, and donations none of this is possible.

You are completely volunteer based. Would you like to recognize the people who have helped in your first year?
So many people. I always say, it takes a village. Our board is a diverse group with all the right skills to get this done. They work behind the scenes to make every strategic decision, execute food pantry logistics, plan and organize events, find new strategic partners for us, manage our social media, write articles, look for sponsors and donors, and so much more. I am glad I didn’t know how hard it was to start a nonprofit, I may not have done it! This team dove right in and made it all happen. I still can’t believe what they have been able to accomplish in less than a year and we are still growing. It seems trivial and certainly not enough to just say thank you and list their names. This is our fantastic Board. Each has a specific role but all hands-on deck when we need them: (in no specific order) Michele Taranto, Roz Abdelnour, Ciera Wilson, Trish Conroy, Cheryl McGlynn, Mencia Quinonez, Wendy Aimola, Catherine Becker Good, Kim Burke, Susana Murphy.

How can people volunteer?
Volunteer at an event, hold a fundraising event if you belong to a group, school, or organization, offer your space if you have one for an event. Offer to foster a pet with a local shelter or rescue. Call us. We are still figuring it all out and will take any help we can

How can people contribute?
Money is the most important donation we can receive. In addition, we need small unopened bags of cat and dog food as well as canned food.  
There are links on our website and Facebook pages. We accept Venmo, donations in one of our jars around town, or drop in to the Dirty Dawgwash, 1 Wilson St., and drop donations off. You can also mail a check-all information is on FB and our website. 

What area do you service?
While we would love to help everyone everywhere, we are primarily focused on Norwood and surrounding towns. We realize there is a huge need so we will try to help anyone who reaches out. But without donations and a great network, nothing is possible.

Can you give all the different contact options or where people can learn more about CAPI?
Instagram: @charleysangelspet
Mail: PO Box 164 Norwood, MA 02062
Phone: 781-228-8309

What would you like to add?
Please like our website and FB page and follow us everywhere.
Share our posts and links to our sites. We need to keep spreading the word.
If you can organize a fundraising event of any kind - we would appreciate it.
Please help us get donations