12/13/09 — Real estate company collects more than 900 pounds of food for needy pets

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Real estate company collects more than 900 pounds of food for needy pets

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on December 13, 2009 1:50 AM

Goldsboro company Prudential The McMillen Real Estate Group in conjunction with the Wayne County Humane Society collected more than 900 pounds of food for needy pets during their recently concluded pet pantry food drive.

The pet food drive, which ran from Oct. 30 to Dec. 4, was a project taken on by Nancy Connolly and Maria Wade and supported by company owner Judith McMillen and the real estate group's employees.

The group collected more than 598 pounds of dry dog food and 281 pounds of dry cat food, as well as 13 pounds of rawhide, 13 pounds of canned dog food and four pounds of canned cat food, as well as treats, toys and blankets.

"It's been absolutely brilliant. We've had people coming in with bags and bags of dog and cat food," Mrs. Wade said.

The pet food drive was not the first time the company has shown its support for animals, but it was the first food drive the real estate company has done, owner/broker Ms. McMillen said.

"This time of year most people in Wayne County are willing to donate, but people have a tendency to think of toys for children or food for people, and they forget about pets," Ms. McMillen said.

The Prudential team worked hard on the food drive, she said.

"We're quite proud of Maria and Nancy," Ms. McMillen said.

All of the food will be distributed to needy pets of Wayne County families who are struggling to keep their animals during the recession. The Humane Society first began collecting and distributing pet food earlier this year, and they have seen a steady increase in the number of families who need help.

"I guess it's the only way they can keep their pet," Ms. McMillen said.

The food is distributed to Wayne County residents every third Sunday of the month from 2 to 3 p.m. at Carolina Mini Storage on Berkeley Boulevard, but the response has been so big that people often arrive at 1 p.m. just to get in line to get a bag of food.

And when the pet pantry needed a little extra help to make ends meet during the November distribution, the Prudential team was able to help and made an early donation of the food already collected during the drive's first two weeks.

The real estate group works on a number of other charitable projects, and many of the Realtors donate time, money and hard work to promoting the soup kitchen, Boys and Girls Club and other organizations. This year, the company decided to cancel its own Christmas party to donate the money to the Wayne Opportunity Center for its Christmas party, Ms. McMillen said.

"We all feel a desire to give back. Wayne County has been very good to our company," she said.