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Merry Christmas, ya animals: Local nonprofit holds pet food drive

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As the vacations strategy, not less than one Juneau nonprofit is considering of man’s greatest pals and cats, too.

“Round Christmas time, there’s a lot of meals drives,” stated George Utermohle, board member of Grateful Canine of Juneau, in a cellphone interview. “We need to be sure that the pets have nutritious meals, so people who find themselves affected by meals insecurity don’t need to share with their pets in the course of the vacation.”

The drive will run from Monday, Dec. 7 to Sunday, Dec. 13, and goals to gather canine and cat meals for pets round Juneau, Utermohle stated. Different organizations deal with the distribution to cut back danger and guarantee pet meals goes the place it’s wanted, Utermohle stated.

“As a result of COVID this 12 months, we’re doing simply two assortment facilities. Petco and Southeast Alaska Animal Medical Middle,” Utermohle stated. “We provide meals to the Juneau meals financial institution. We distribute additionally via the Serving to Palms group and a few of the native meals pantries.”

Starting in 2009, the pet meals drive is in its eleventh 12 months, Utermohle stated. Normally there are extra places for the drive, however with the coronavirus, they’ve reduce it down to simply two.

“We often get about 600-1,200 kilos in the course of the vacation meals drive, and that usually lasts us a pair months. Final 12 months we received perhaps 1,100 kilos in our Christmas drive. After the Christmas drive, we collected round seven tons,” Utermohle stated. “We additionally acquire cat meals however we by no means appear to get sufficient.”

The group reapportions meals for max effectiveness in supply throughout Juneau, Utermohle stated.

“We acquire the meals, break it down into usable parts – about 5 – 6 kilos – and distribute it via the meals banks. It’ll go additional that method,” Utermohle stated. “We get a number of meals from people, however there are some companies on the town that share via us.”

Dry meals is appropriate even when it’s been open, Utermohle stated, resembling if a choosy eater gained’t contact it or if that pet has handed away.

“We recognize the acquisition of latest, contemporary pet food, but when they’ve received a bag they opened that their canine or cat gained’t eat, so long as it’s nonetheless healthful, we’ll settle for it,” Utermohle stated.

They don’t have the power to just accept extra esoteric meals, resembling hen meals or feed for reptiles, Utermohle. Ordinarily, Juneau Animal Rescue would run a meals pantry, however it’s been shuttered with the coronavirus to cut back danger, Utermohle stated.

Grateful Canine of Juneau will even often cross on the largesse of Juneau to surrounding cities, resembling Haines, Gustavas, Angoon and Hoonah, Utermohle stated.

“From time to time, when we’ve got an satisfactory quantity of pet meals, we make it accessible to surrounding communities. It’ll depend upon what their wants are and what we’ve got available on the time,” Utermohle stated. “We actually recognize the assist of the group.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.




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