By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A local Christmas tradition kicks off Monday for local dogs and cats in need when donations will be accepted for 2013 Prerogative Pet Food Drive.
Since 2007, the Prerogative Pet Drive has brought toys, treats, food, cleaning supplies and other needed items to animal shelters across the two Virginias each December. This year’s pet drive starts Monday, Dec. 2 and continues until Friday, Dec. 6.
Even though the drive doesn’t start this week, it is still a good time to pick up some dog or cat food, said Editor Samantha Perry. People picking up their turkey and other groceries can pick up a donation, too.
“Every year our readers have been so generous in their donations, allowing us to aid the local animal shelters. We know there are a lot of animal lovers in southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia, and we appreciate their support of this event,” Perry said.
In 2012, readers dropped off 1,727 pounds of dog and cat food, 167 pounds of cat litter, 73 assorted bags of dog and cat treats and more than 214 dog and cat toys. Generous donors also dropped off 126 bags of bedding supplies and 26 bags of cleaning supplies for local shelters.
Five organizations working to aid homeless dogs and cats that benefit from the pet drive include the Mercer County Animal Shelter, the McDowell County Animal Shelter, the Tazewell County Animal Shelter, Pet Haven in Falls Mills, Va., and the Save A Pet Food Bank in Bluefield.
The months of January, February and March are often the slowest months in terms of donations, shelter volunteers said.
Organizations such as the McDowell County Animal Shelter, Pet Haven and Save A Pet Food Bank rely mainly on donations from the public to stay in operation.
The pet drive is also made possible through volunteers like Charlie Cole of Cole Harley-Davidson, who provides transportation for the items collected. Employees and volunteers with local shelters as well as members of the magazine and newspaper staff also volunteer their time to help unload and load these donations. Anyone who wants to donate to this year’s pet drive can drop items off at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph or the Princeton Times office Dec. 2-6. For more information call 304-327-2800.