GREEN VALLEY — In a show of goodwill toward animals, hundreds of bags of dog and cat food plus toys, treats and more were distributed to five local shelters Saturday morning.
Bluefield Daily Telegraph and Prerogative magazine Editor Samantha Perry said donated items included approximately 1,800 pounds of dog and cat food, 25 pounds of treats, more than 100 toys, 125 pounds of litter, 15-plus dog beds and bedding, and numerous cleaning supplies.
“As always, our readers came through to support the animal welfare agencies in Mercer, McDowell and Tazewell counties,” Perry said. “This annual event would not be successful without the generous outpouring of donations from the people of southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia.”
Second Chance for Cats Co-founder Elizabeth McDonald attended the event on Saturday.
“For about a week, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph does a food drive, for the pets,” McDonald said. “All the local residents bring food to the Daily Telegraph and they bring it here and it’s distributed to our organizations that are in this community.”
McDowell County Humane Society Volunteer John Sidote also stopped by to help out on Saturday morning.
“We’re not funded by anyone,” Sidote said. “We are a private corporation. It’s a 501-3 (c), so this food supply and supply drive goes a very long way. The Daily Telegraph has been extremely supportive over the years. It’s really tremendous (to see the community come together.) When you know that people really care for the animals, we see a lot of abuse, but on the other side we see a lot of people who are very caring. We need their help, not only donation wise, but also with volunteerism. All the people I talked with today are having that same issue.”
McDonald said two of the organizations are in Tazewell County, Va.
“One’s in McDowell and the other two are in Mercer County,” McDonald said.
McDonald said it is wonderful to see the community come together for the animals.
“It’s wonderful,” McDonald said. “It renews your faith in the community. We don’t have a lot of volunteers, but this food will help us get through the winter months. That’s when your heat bills are higher and your other bills are so much higher. This will help us get through the winter months.”
Perry thanked the many readers of the magazine and newspaper who donated to the shelter drive, Michelle Muncy, who coordinated distribution of the items, and Charlie and Chaz Cole, of Cole-Harley Davidson, who provided transport of the donated items to the Mercer County Animal Shelter for distribution.
“The driver of the Cole-Harley trailer, Mike Peak, is awesome,” Perry said. “He has been helping with the transport of items, as well as the loading and unloading of food, treats and other supplies, since the early years of the shelter drive.”
Perry also expressed appreciation to the many individuals who work and volunteer at the local animal shelters. “Their work can not be easy,” she said. “They have big hearts.”
— Contact Blake Stowers at [email protected]