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Santa Maria Times: Leadership Program to Hold Pet Food Drive

Leadership program to hold pet food drive

Santa Maria Times Thursday July 21, 2011

A leadership program class is spearheading its second campaign to feed furry, four-legged friends in the Santa Maria Valley.

Various Santa Maria and Orcutt locations will have collection boxes through noon Friday for “Stuff the Pet Food Pantry” donations for the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society.

The pet food drive, organized by Santa Maria Valley Leadership program class of 2010, culminates Saturday when volunteers will be stationed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Crossroads Shopping Center parking lot, near Bradley and Betteravia roads. They will be set up in the far parking lot across from PetSmart.

The success of their first pet food drive prompted class members to hold another one, according to Kathi Peoples, one of the class members. They estimated raising between $7,000 to $9,000 in pet food, toys and supplies last year.

“Our goal was to fill up one room. They have this little room and we filled it up,” People said, adding that by the time the event was done last year, they had collected much more and were able to fill up three rooms.

“What a great community this is. We’re really excited … ,” she said. “We want to break our record from last year, but we’d be happy to do again this year what we did last year. If we collected what we did last year, we will be satisfied.”

On Saturday, demonstrations are planned by the Vandenberg Air Force Base K-9 unit at 11 a.m. and training demonstrations by PetSmart will take place throughout the day.

Special guests will be the Rocketeer Rollers roller derby team. Animals and volunteers from the Humane Society will be on hand to greet those attending. Organizers hope to fill the Pet Food Pantry with food, leashes, collars, toys, and other items for shelter animals during these tough economic times.

“We rely on the generosity of our community to feed our shelter animals, as well as donate food for families temporarily unable to feed their pets.

Donations have been down and the demand has gone up as more and more people are struggling to care for their animals,” said Jill Tucker, executive director of SMVHS.

She also expressed appreciation that the leadership members are continuing the pet food drive.

“Every gift of pet food truly makes a difference for an animal in need,” Tucker added

Proceeds and items will go the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, a nonprofit, “no-kill” organization, dedicated to promoting adoption for homeless cats and dogs. The organization receives no government funding, nor is it funded by or affiliated with any national organization.

The collection boxes donated by Meathead Movers are at: Rabobank, CoastHills Federal Credit Union, Honda of Santa Maria, Santa Maria Fairpark office, Santa Maria Public Airport administration office, Heritage Oaks Bank, the Edward Jones at 900 E. Main St., Suite 203, Straight Back Chiropractic, Bella Luna Salon, All Valley Pet Hospital, Adobe Animal Clinic, Lostworld Pets and the Santa Maria Animal Hospital.

Suggested food donations are: dry Purina Kitten Chow, Friskies’s Classic Pate, Healthwise Dry Adult dog food, Healthwise Active small kibble or Science Diet Adult canned dog food.

Additionally, other items needed include rawhide chews, nylon leads, non-clumping cat litter, liquid hand sanitizer, liquid laundry detergent, paper towels, inflatable and other portable swimming pools, squeaky toys for dogs and collars.

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