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BARL sees big decline in pet food donations

The giving spirit continues to spread this month, and areaanimals lovers are hoping people won’t forget the abandoned dogsand cats at the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League.

Officials with BARL fear their supply of dog and cat food couldrun out quickly unless other fellow pet lovers bring in donationsof food or money.

“Our shed where we keep the dog and cat food was just aboutempty last week. Now we’ve got some bags, but it will only lastuntil about the middle of next week,” said Glen Watkins, avice-president with BARL.

One of the league’s major suppliers has been temporarily unableto provide dog and cat food, so league officials are asking othersto please donate any type and any amount of dog or cat food as soonas possible.

“We’ve got at least 56 dogs, and they eat a lot in the wintertime,” said Watkins. “We go through about 1,000 pounds everyweek.”

A few grocery stores in the area supply the league with bags oftorn dog and cat food that must be discarded.

“When they have bags of dog food that are torn or ripped, theyput the bags in garbage barrels for us to pick up daily,” said AnnaUmberger, a BARL volunteer.

The last two weeks the supply has run a little short,though.

Watkins, who has worked with BARL for seven years, said “thedogs would really love a Christmas present of some food.”

Anyone wishing to donate food can drop it off at Hartley GoveThermometer Plant in the Industrial Park or have a volunteer pickit up. To reach a volunteer, call Glen Watkins at 757-4367.

Monetary donations can be sent to Brookhaven Animal RescueLeague, P.O. Box 909, Brookhaven, MS 39602.

“It’s a great time to think about giving donations, and sincethey’re tax deductible it’s a win-win for everybody,” said StacyWalker, BARL executive board member.

Those who cannot make donations of food or money can help out byvolunteering a couple of hours on work days and medication days,which are held about once a month, to fix the dog pens at GoveThermometer Plant and give animals proper medication.

“At our last work day we only had five people,” said Walker. “Wegot a lot of work done, but it was tough because we didn’t havethat many volunteers.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can call Walker at 823-0430.The work days can be used by area high school juniors and seniorsneeding to volunteer as graduation requirements.

“It’s also good for school organizations who are always lookingfor projects to work on. This is a good one,” said Walker.

Help can also be used during the league’s fund raisers, whichincludes a golf tournament and fish fry every spring. Volunteerscan also sell drinks and cookbooks at flea markets. BARL cookbooksare still on sale for $10 at the three veterinarian offices.

“The cookbooks are great stocking stuffers and little Christmashappies,” said Walker.

Other donations being sought during the winter months are hay tomake beds for the dogs, as well as dog houses.