The Leflore County Humane Society’s animal shelter received a much needed present the day before Christmas.
Greenwood-area businesses and residents donated more than 1,500 pounds of pet food, as well as other needed items, such as cat litter and cleaning supplies, to the animal shelter Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s a life-send,” said Aubrey Whittington, the president of the Humane Society’s board. “We have so many animals out there,” referring to the shelter on Ione Street, “we just go through so much food.”
Board member Betty Grantham was at the shelter Tuesday to receive the donations on behalf of the Humane Society.
“We got tons of food, puppy food, paper towels, which we use a tremendous amount of,” Grantham said. “It filled our storeroom. It just makes us so happy that the community does that for the animals neglected in the community.”
At the beginning of this month, the Cannon Motor Co. car dealerships in Greenwood held drop-off sites to collect pet food and supplies needed by the animal shelter, said Kristy Barlow of Cannon Chevrolet, Cadillac, Nissan.
To spread word of the donation drive, Cannon Motor contacted radio station KIX 92.7 to help promote it.
David Mueller of KIX, better known by his disc jockey name, Jackson, got involved in the donation drive by talking it up, Barlow said. So did other businesses, such as Greenwood Market Place, where General Manager Derrick Simpson decided to pitch in 500 pounds of pet food for the effort.
On Christmas Eve, the last day of the donation drive, representatives from different Greenwood businesses gathered in front of Market Place to pass out flyers requesting shoppers to purchase pet food or supplies.
The food and supplies were then placed in the back of a Cannon Motor van.
Simpson said that he thought the Market Place location “would be a great drop-off site to help with donations.”
One shopper, Nancy Gaugh, wheeled a grocery cart filled to the brim with pet food and supplies.
“I’m an animal lover. I have rescue animals,” Gaugh said, who spent $138 for the donation drive.
She complimented the Humane Society’s efforts to help animals and said that she wished more people would take an interest in assisting the shelter.
Around 2 p.m., when the back of the Cannon Motor van was filled with pet food and supplies, Barlow drove the van to donate the items to the animal shelter.
Whittington said the shelter is “totally dependent” on receiving donations from the city, county and from businesses and individuals.
The animal shelter has been operating at full capacity since mid-November, and Whittington said it cannot take in any more animals.
“At this point, it always will be” at full capacity, she said, explaining that if pet owners continue to choose not to spay or neuter their pets, it will lead to more offspring and more abandoned animals.
In some cases, Whittington said people leave animals by the shelter’s front entrance, expecting the volunteers to take them in.
The shelter “can’t rescue and adopt out as much as we’re getting in,” Whittington said, noting that overcrowding the animal shelter is not a solution, since it will only decrease the quality of life for the animals.
The new shelter, which is currently being constructed on Cypress Avenue, near Baldwin Road, is expected to be finished by the end of January, Whittington said.
The new shelter will house the same amount of animals as the current shelter — between 100 to 125 animals.
The new facility, however, will feature better living conditions for the animals housed there, Whittington said. For example, all of the pens will be inside, unlike at the current shelter, where some animals are kept in outside pens.
Once the new facility is complete, the Humane Society will have the logistical challenge of transporting the animals from the old shelter to the new one.
Whittington said, “It will take the community and a lot of volunteers to make a smooth, quick transition.”
• Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or email@example.com.