CHATHAM, VA – The Pittsylvania Pet Center set up a massive pet food pantry Friday thanks to a partnership with the Seattle-based nonprofit charity Greatergood.
While the pet center receives financial support from the County of Pittsylvania to cover operating expenses, it relies on donations and raises funds to cover unexpected medical costs and other unforeseen circumstances. For this reason, Pet Center director Brent Winkoff partnered with GreaterGood to purchase 42,000 pounds of pet food, mostly dog food, for a small fee.
“It’s a great deal,” Winkoff said. “They reached out to me and asked if I was interested, and I said, ‘Yeah, it’s a great opportunity.'”
For a $10 donation, county residents at a pet food pantry received two 25-pound bags of dog food that retail for $50 to $60 each. Weinkauf noted that GreaterGood is working nationwide to get pet food below cost from companies’ excess stock.
“Especially with the economy right now, that’s great for all of the citizens of the County of Pittsylvania,” Winkoff said. “We make sure there are no animals that are not being fed.”
The Pet Paws store will use the proceeds from the Pet Paws store to purchase a new wash tub for pets under the facility’s care. With this purchase, Winkoff said, the Pet Center will be empowered to enhance on-site dog care. Additional donations beyond the cost of the bathtub will be transferred to emergency medical care for animals at the pet center.
“We are excited to be able to have this opportunity to help all of Pittsylvania County,” Winkoff said. “With our economy right now, for a lot of people it’s hard to pay $20 or $30 for a bag of dog food, and that might be the difference in their ability to keep their animals going through tough times.”
Weinkauf said the event will help reduce pet surrender this holiday season, which is mutually beneficial for local residents.
“If we got food in people’s hands for a good and reasonable donation, they wouldn’t come here and hand them over because they couldn’t feed them,” Winkoff said. “This also saves taxpayers money because the pet center now doesn’t have to pay to feed them.”
Excess food for pets is still available at the Pet Center for a small donation. The shelf life of dry dog food is 12 to 18 months.
“If my dog ate these things, I would come in here and buy a whole pallet,” Winkoff said.
With a pet food pantry in the rear view, Weinkauf turns his attention to the Pours for Paws event at Chatham’s Homeplace Vineyard, originally scheduled for November 20 but postponed due to a food drive.
GreaterGood Charities is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people, pets and the planet. In addition to creating and operating a range of programs, Greater Good Charities has provided more than $350 million in cash and product grants to charitable partners and programs around the world.
“This was a no-brainer and something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Winkoff said. “We finally had the opportunity and there was no way I would have missed it.”