SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — The final numbers are in for the largest donation drive of the year for the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society. People dropped off 3,600 pounds of pet food at our KELOLAND studios on Friday.
Combine that with the nearly 2,200 pounds dropped off at Lewis stores over the Labor Day holiday weekend, and we get a grand total of more than 5,800 pounds.
The pet food kept inside this storage shed is just the overflow that couldn’t fit inside the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society. Stacking 30 and 40 pound bags of food is a burden the staff is more than willing to bear.
“Lots of heavy lifting. I definitely got a workout on Friday. But that’s all right,” Sioux Falls Area Humane Society Special Event & Public Relations Coordinator Madison Godschalk said.
The Humane Society says the community response to the food drive has been overwhelming.
“The volume of food is amazing. 5,800 pounds worth of dog and cat food just purely from the generosity of the Sioux Falls community is extraordinary,” Sioux Falls Area Humane Society Executive Director James Oppenheimer said.
Some of the donations will go to feed the shelter pets. The rest goes on shelves at the Humane Society’s community food bank for pet owners facing tough times.
“Much like a human food bank happens, where people can go collect food for themselves, this is the animal version of that,” Oppenheimer said.
Nearly 3-tons’ worth of donations is a lot of pet food. But in reality, all of this will be used up within about a month’s time, which speaks to the need in the community.
“We look to do what we can to keep animals in their homes. People don’t really want to surrender animals to us, so if we can help provide the people with food, to allow to afford to keep those animals that’s a win-win, and that’s something this food goes toward,” Oppenheimer said.
All these donations come during a time of year when contributions tend to slow down. So this food is a welcomed addition to the Humane Society and a reflection of the generosity of so many people who care about the pets and families in-need.
“I think this food drive is just a testament to how great the Sioux Falls community is and lending a hand, when it’s needed,” Godschalk said.
You can always drop off pet food donations in the lobby of the Humane Society during business hours. There’s also an after-hours night receiving area on the south side of their building in northeast Sioux Falls.