Nearly 7000 pounds of dog food donated
By Steve Herring
Published in News on March 20, 2013 2:05 PM
Nearly 7,000 pounds of dog food have been donated in less than four weeks to the Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center after officials there appealed for the public's assistance to help save more than 40 dogs surrendered by a Mar-Mac area man.
Large bags of dry dog food are stacked in a hallway and even more in a supply room at the center. The bulk of the donation, about 5,000 pounds, is in Greensboro waiting for center officials to arrange to have it picked up.
Community members have offered to help in other ways, too.
"There have been some requests to send money to help with expenses," said Vickie Falconer, Wayne County animal control director. "I haven't gotten any yet, but if it comes in, we are looking at possibly spaying and neutering some of the ones here just from that case -- to help find them a home."
The donations of food started pouring in after the center issued the appeal online and in a News-Argus article.
The food has been donated by individuals and Pet Supplies Plus. The 5,000 pounds were donated by Summit Pet Product Distributors in Greensboro.
"The community pulled together," Mrs. Falconer said. "I have gotten donations, I mean phenomenal donations, from the community for food. We do get (food) donations, but we buy most of the food for here. So when it is donated, we mix it in with ours once in a while.
"When (donors) come in, they are saying, 'We saw the article. We saw you were taking in dogs and asking for food donations.' People just bring it in. People are sending it from Amazon. We have a wish list on Amazon that you can go on and people just pay for it. They send it to us. We get a card that says, 'For 43 Wayne County dogs.' The community response has been overwhelming. It has been amazing."
The shelter has even been sharing some of the food with the Wayne County Humane Society.
The 43 dogs had been going through about 75 pounds of food a day before being brought into the shelter, Mrs. Falconer said. Now the dogs are mixed in with animals at the center so the food will benefit all of the dogs, she said.
"We didn't ask for any specific type," she said.
Mrs. Falconer jokes that she could track store sales by the days that certain kinds of foods were being donated.
"And (the food) is all for big dogs because that is all that we had," she said.
The surrendered dogs had to be brought into the center a few at a time to avoid overcrowding and the threat of having to euthanize dogs already at the facility, Mrs. Falconer said.
Nor could the dogs be adopted out at first because they had not been socialized to interact with people.
Some were taken by rescue groups, and the shelter borrowed kennels from Johnston County to house the dogs before they were brought into the shelter.
"As we adopted (other) animals out, we pulled one or two in and that is what took us so long to get them through," she said. "Nothing was euthanized because of them. They are being socialized. They are all online and up for adoption now. I have had some people looking at them to adopt them.
"We can put our hands on them. They all have names. They have all been given their first set of shots. They have been heartworm tested. They are doing well."
The case is a reminder that people need to be responsible pet owners, she said.
The dogs were not abused and were not part of a puppy mill, Mrs. Falconer said. The dogs are mixed breeds and will be medium to large dogs.
The owner had been feeding and watering the animals, but because of other issues had reached the point that was no longer possible.
Mrs. Falconer talked with the man who agreed to surrender the dogs to her to save them.
The Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center is located at 1600 Clingman St. The phone number is 919-731-1439. Hours of operation are noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of the month.