By Joseph Pratt
Volunteers with Sierra’s Haven for New and Used Pets met a semi-truck carrying 28 pallets of dog and cat food Monday morning. The donation of 43,000 pounds of Innova California Natural and EVO pet brand formula dry pet food, with an estimation of cost at $105,000, came from the Bowls of Love program
Bowls of Love is a national program geared toward helping pets in need, from those affected by disaster to those at adoption centers. The goal of Bowls of Love is to enhance the health and well-being of more dogs and cats by donating 5 million bowls of food.
Sierra’s Haven maintenance man, Dave Gowdy, estimates that the shelter goes through around 960 pounds of dog food in a given month and around 500 pounds of cat food. Averaging around 1,460 pounds consumption a month, the shelter is really counting on this donation saving them some much needed funding for some time.
Sierra’s Haven sees anywhere from 100-200 cats and 80 dogs as a time. Dogs move a lot faster than cats and animal attendance differs with the time of the year.
Sierra’s Haven Board President Dr. Gail Counts filed the initial application for the food and has overseen the donation process. Counts has served as president since the organization’s inception in 2001 and said she was the one who, more or less, planned the uprising of the shelter.
“The food we had donated is all Natura pet food products, is over $100,000 in retail value, and should keep us going for quite a while, which is desperately needed,” Counts said. “Sierra’s Haven has grown larger than I ever thought it would be, because it costs us about $250,000 a year to operate. We run on donations and adoption fees alone. It’s getting very complicated with the economy to stay open and we really need a steadier way of keeping us running. So, when we get things like this, it is pretty important to the mission of keeping us operating.”
Sierra’s Haven said that they couldn’t have accepted this generous donation if not for Lute Supply for giving them the space for storage. The organization also received help from Portsmouth Feed, who helped unload all of the food and get it into a dry and safe environment at Lute’s.
Sierra’s Haven for New and Used Pets is at 80 Easter Dr, in Portsmouth. Someone with the organization can be reached at 740-353-5100. The organization is in need of regular, steady volunteers for all days of the week. The shelter operates Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled for Sunday visits. The organization also has a website that be visited at www.sierrashaven.org.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.