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Local woman makes Positively Jax difference with pet pantry, animal rescue during pandemic

Jessie Shekels recognized the struggles of the unfortunate during the pandemic and quickly jumped into action to make a Paws-itively Jax difference.
Jessie Shekels recognized the struggles of the unfortunate during the pandemic and quickly jumped into action to make a Paws-itively Jax difference.

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. – When COVID-19 hit and restrictions began, some people who lived in less populated areas struggled in ways others might not have.

Jessie Shekels recognized those struggles and quickly jumped into action to make a Positively Jax difference.

Jessie noticed one of the struggles in the more rural Keystone Heights area where she lives was that people who have four-legged kids had needs that weren’t being met. That’s when “Keep Pets and People Together” was born.

It started as a pet pantry to help families struggling to feed their pets. They fed hundreds of animals, not just in Keystone Heights. The project quickly grew and expanded to four surrounding counties.

People who could help became so eager to give to the donations-based program that it has -- to date -- raised more than 5 tons of food -- that’s 10,000 pounds!

“Keep Pets and People Together” started as a pet pantry to help families struggling to feed their pets. (Photo provided)

The second part of Jessie’s mission, again a result of fallout from the pandemic, is animal rescue. Through Twisted Oaks Animal Rescue she is saving animals from situations where homelessness, neglect or abuse exists.

Jessie’s goal now is to grow her mission and continue making a Paw-sitively Jax difference.

If you’d like more information or to help, the website is: www.twistedoaksrescue.com.

Our Positively Jax award winner Jessie Shekels joins us alongside Jim Moyer of Fields Auto Group to receive her award.
Our Positively Jax award winner Jessie Shekels joins us alongside Jim Moyer of Fields Auto Group to receive her award.

About the Author:

This Emmy Award-winning television, radio and newspaper journalist has anchored The Morning Show for 18 years.