Students at the David School and other local organizations have been working to collect donations for the Floyd County Animal Shelter — efforts, the shelter manager says, are needed to keep the shelter operating.
David School students hosted a donation drive in partnership with Food City recently that provided the shelter with 144 small bags of dry cat food, 144 cans of wet dog food, 288 cans of wet cat food, 288 bags of dog treats as well as three large bags of dog food and other items like paper towels, dish soap, bleach and cleaning supplies.
“Also, we’re waiting on another 144 small bags of dry dog food to be delivered to Food City from their warehouse and will pick those up at a later date,” the school reported online. “We’re so proud. We have some of the best students in Floyd County.”
That donation drive was held soon after the City of Prestonsburg and Pro Fitness hosted a “Turkey Trot” 5K race to raise donations of money, pet food and items the shelter needs. It also comes as the Prestonsburg Parks Commission collects donations for the animal shelter during the Archer Park Christmas light display, which continues throughout the month. Every year, the park commission hosts that donation drive alongside another donation drive for the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry at St. James Episcopal Church, allowing people who visit Archer Park to view the Christmas light display to drop off donations in vans parked there.
Shelter Manager Jackie Brown praised these efforts, reporting that it helps the shelter reduce costs.
Brown praised David School students not just for their recent donation drive, but other things the students do to help the shelter. The school requires students to complete service-learning projects to obtain school credit.
“Those kids come and volunteer at least bi-weekly at our shelter. They’ve been doing that for years,” Brown said. “The really neat thing is they had an auction ... and they chose our shelter to do the program for us and they raised $283, and then they collected all those donations at Food City. It’s a really neat group of kids that give back to the community.”
She said the Turkey Trot provided about $2,500 and supplies for the shelter. She also reported that Walmart and Food City each donate bags of pet food that have been damaged to the shelter, and that Goodwill of Prestonsburg and Paintsville also donated blankets to the shelter. She said these types of efforts keep give the shelter more funds to use to rescue animals.
“All around the community, I feel like people have stepped up, you know, to really help our animals here at the shelter ... We rely on our community 100 percent,” she said.
The animal shelter receives about $26,000 per year from the Floyd County Fiscal Court and the City of Prestonsburg, with the fiscal court paying $2,000 monthly. That funding is a small portion of the shelter’s budget. The shelter’s budget used to be over $100,000, Brown reported, but last year, the budget decreased to $83,000.
“We don’t have enough money to support the shelter, so everything else after the $26,000 is donated from our community or sometimes around the state. So it’s very important,” Brown said.
She explained that when more community members are involved with the shelter, more adoptions take place because the animals available for adoption are more likely to be seen.
“We love our community. I’ve never been so happy,” Brown said. “Every year, people step up more. We’re getting more support from our community.”
Brown said at least 1,500- 2,000 animals came through the shelter last year. She called that a “low guess.”
She reported that 95 percent of the pet food used at the shelter last year was donated.
“If we buy our food, it roughly costs us about $100,000 to run the shelter. Because the community donated supplies and donated food, we were able to do it $83,000 just last year,” Brown said. “The goal is, the less money we spend on supplies and food, the more money we can spend on the care of the animals and our big goal, what we want more than anything, is we need a new shelter. We’re hoping that whatever we can save up, the big goal is to put forth for a building, to build a new shelter. Ours is falling apart.”
Proceeds raised from Pictures with Santa at the Mountain Arts Center on Thursday will be used for that goal, Brown said, and the shelter also accepts tax deductible donations.
Tax deductible donations may be sent to: Floyd County Animal Shelter, 545 Sally Stephens Br., Prestonsburg, Ky. 41653. For more information, call, (606) 886-3189.