BRIDGEPORT - A nonprofit dedicated to helping pets and their owners will be getting a new home in Bridgeport next month.

"A Hand for a Paw" was founded by Jimmy Gonzalez, a former animal control officer in Bridgeport. He started the group to educate pet owners and give them resources to keep their pets out of shelters. Gonzalez says he was inspired by encountering people who would purchase animals and not understand the responsibility of owning pets.

The group's new headquarters, the Animal Resource Center, will open next month on Bennett Street in Bridgeport. Volunteers helped Gonzalez fix the space up, which included painting different animals on the walls.

A Hand for a Paw also has a mobile program that offers low-cost microchipping and vaccinations. Gonzalez says he has plans to set up a pet food pantry at the center.