Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 13, 2012

Area’s homeless animals counting on generosity of readers

BLUEFIELD — Only two days remain for members of the community to donate toys, treats and supplies to animals in need through the 6th Annual Prerogative Shelter Drive.

Daily Telegraph Editor Samantha Perry said the donations given during the shelter drive often help many animal rescues in the area take care of needy dogs and cats through the winter months.

“Donations were brisk Monday, but they were slower on Tuesday,” Perry said. “Our readers have always come through for the many homeless animals in need in our community. The shelter officials we talk with said their donations often drop off in January and February, and we hope to bring in enough items this week to help these shelters survive through these leaner months. It takes a lot to help stock the shelves at four shelters in Mercer, McDowell and Tazewell County as well as a pet food bank. Many of these shelters go through hundreds of pounds of food a day.”

Perry said many people help make the shelter drive possible.

“Our readers have been so generous so far, and we know they will continue to help make this event a success,” she said. “We also would like to extend a big thank you to Charlie Cole and his driver Mike for transporting the goods in one of their trailers for us. They are such a big help with this event.”

Lisa Williams, director of the Mercer County Animal Shelter, said the shelter is presently at capacity and is hoping donations will help them to continue to care for the more than 155 animals in their care.

“We still have about 156 animals in our shelter, even though some have been adopted out by rescues,” Williams said. “Our capacity is 155, so we are just at capacity right now. We can always use cat litter, and food for our dogs and puppies.”

Williams said cleaning supplies also help offer day-to-day comforts for shelter animals waiting to be adopted.

“Dish washing liquid is a big expense to us since we have so many dishes to do each day,” she said. “We wash all of the food and water bowls each day, clean out of all of the litter boxes and we launder all of the blankets each day so the dogs have fresh and warm blankets. We do a lot of laundry and dishes, and also have to clean our floors.”

Williams said the animals in the shelter appreciate the many toys and treats given by the community.

“Many of these animals have never been given toys or treats before,” she said. “We love hearing the dogs and cats play with their toys. It really makes these animals happy to have something to play with.”

Donations from the pet drive are given to five organizations: the Mercer County Animal Shelter, the McDowell County Humane Society, the Tazewell County Animal Shelter, the Save-A-Pet Food Bank in Bluefield, and the Pet Haven Rescue Center in Falls Mills, Va.

Items including blankets, towels, toys, treats, food, cat litter and cleaning supplies can be dropped off at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and Princeton Times offices during regular business hours today and Friday. The Bluefield Post Office on Cumberland Road is also taking donations for the shelter drive.

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com

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