Free pet food offered through animal shelter group
Published 10:11 am Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Friends of the Bell County Animal Shelter is hosting a free pet food drive with no income restrictions.
Chewy.com, in part with The Humane Society of the United States, donated a truckload to help bring free pet food to those who need it. According to Chewy.com, “Since 2012, we’ve donated more than $97 million in products to ensure that shelter and rescue animals get the quality care they deserve.”
Chewy is an online pet store that offers 24/7 customer service and over 2,000 different brands so you have options for your pets. The HSUS was founded in 1954 and continues to help thousands of animals every year. In 2020, HSUS said they donated 4 million pounds of pet food to areas hit hardest by Covid-19.
Dinah Presnell, president of FOS, was presented this opportunity by Todd Blevins, Kentucky State Director of HSUS. Blevins has connections with Chewy.com and was able to provide the food as long as FOS had a location to distribute.
Connie Goodwin, chair member of FOS said, “We as an organization do not usually get regular donations from either Chewy or the Humane Society…so this is going to be a first-time deal.” This event will be a no-income restriction event and is open to anyone who would like to attend.
Goodwin said this is a great event for those who barely miss the income mark to receive assistance. Goodwin mentioned that Chewy got with the humane society due to chewy not carrying this food anymore on their website and needed a way to distribute it.
FOS regularly partners with the Lighthouse Mission to donate food to families in need in an income-restricted event that happens once a month.
“With this particular situation, we are not allowed to do that,” Goodwin said. She added that there will be about 18-20 pallets of food in the truckload for this event.
Goodwin hopes the community is excited about this event and will run out of food on the first day. With this being a first-time opportunity for the shelter, this is a great way for the community to stop by and learn more about what the FOS has to offer.
“I hope that maybe some community members that aren’t as familiar with our organization and what we do will see how much we love to help and how important the community is to us. Mostly realize that there is some potential help if they didn’t realize it existed,” Goodwin said.
In years past, animal shelters received a bad reputation and many still do. Goodwin hopes that this event will show people what this shelter does for animals and families in the community.
“One of our goals is to try to reduce the number of unwanted or stray animals that are coming into the shelter. A lot of people, especially during the covid times, have had to give up their pets because they can’t afford to keep them anymore,” Presnell said. “We’re just trying to supplement their abilities a little bit to take care of their animals by offering them some extra food and things that they can use.”
Presnell also praised the businesses in the community who helped get this event together.
The event will be on Feb. 3-5 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the former location of Three States Printing on 601 North 15 Street in Middlesboro.