Donations would do the trick at pounds

Posted: Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Some believe it’s never too early to get started on holiday shopping. Four local animal lovers are hoping that sentiment will work in their favor, or, more specifically, in the favor of homeless pets.

Jackie Hewett of the Kenai River Center, Terry Edmundson with Central Emergency Services in Soldotna and Holly Campbell and Jamie Riley of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Building will accept donations at their respective places of employment.

“We’re collecting donations of dry food, canned goods, old towels and blankets, food dishes, dog and cat carriers, leashes and collars and other miscellaneous items for pets,” Campbell said.

These items will be distributed between three local organizations devoted to the care of homeless pets: the Kenai Animal Shelter, Soldotna Animal Shelter and Alaska’s Extended Life Animal Sanctuary (AELAS) — a no-kill facility in Nikiski.

“Money, gift cards and gift certificates are also welcome,” Campbell said.

She explained that money can help offset the cost of spay and neuter procedures at local veterinary clinics, while gift cards and certificates to building supply stores can be used to purchases supplies for dogs houses, fenced in runs and other living areas for homeless pets, at AELAS in particular.

“Every little bit helps, but their concerted effort really means a lot. We look forward to it every year,” said Tim Colbath of AELAS.

AELAS is currently housing 71 adult cats, nine kittens and 19 dogs. Colbath said feeding so many mouths can get pretty expensive, and unlike the city shelters, taxpayers aren’t footing the bills.

“It can be rough. We have people that donate through the year, but a lot comes out of our pocket,” he said.

Colbath said the donations last a long time.

“Even when the physical materials run out, the thought still lasts,” he said.

Campbell said the drive is off to a strong start so far, and they are hoping support continues to build through the holiday season.

“This is the fourth year we’ve organized the drive, and they keep getting bigger each year,” she said.

Donations can be made at the Kenai River Center, CES in Soldotna, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Building or the shelters themselves until Dec. 20. Checks and gift certificates should be made out to the shelter of choice. For more information, call Jackie Hewett at 260-4882 ext. 221.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at joseph.robertia@peninsulaclarion.com.



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