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Humane Society seeks holiday meals for 4-legged friends
Hungry Bowl Drive accepts food donations for shelter's pets
Howard Scales adds food to the bowls Saturday in the puppy room at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia. The Humane Society needs pet food donations for puppies and kittens because they take in more animals over the holidays which in turn means more mouths to feed.

Hungry Bowl Pet Food Drive

When: Dec. 1-12

Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:

• Smiley's Pets, 1210 Thompson Bridge Road
• Humane Society of N.E. Georgia, 845 W. Ridge Road
• Village Pets, 1500 Browns Bridge Road
• Green's Grocers, 971 Riverside Drive
• Gainesville Vet Hospital, 1363 Thompson Bridge Road
• Pet Pleasers, 4324 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood
• Chestnut Mountain Animal Hospital, 3904 Winder Highway, Flowery Branch

Contact: 678-943-2264

More holiday charities

The holiday seasons seems to bring out the spirit of giving in people.

Even as buying gifts for friends and family takes priority, local charities are making it easy for people help those in need, including animals.

There are nearly 200 animals at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia who depend on donated food. All of the food the shelter provides to the animals comes through donations, and it is always in need of more.

"We'll go through bags and bags everyday. It really gets used up very quickly," said Kelly Uber-Sterner, director of education and volunteer development at the Humane Society.

To feed the animals, the shelter goes through 100 to 150 pounds of food every two days.

Lindsey Barksdale, owner of a pet and house sitting business in Gainesville called Peace O' Mind, is trying to help provide food for the homeless animals. This is the first time Barksdale has participated in Pet Sitters International Hungry Bowl Pet Food Drive.

All of the food gathered through the effort will go to benefit the Humane Society.

"I hope there will be a good turnout. I've got about 100 pounds of dry food so far," Barksdale said.

Seven businesses in the Gainesville area will serve as drop-off locations for the food drive from Dec. 1-12.

Barksdale said she "just wanted to give back to the community" and gladly took the opportunity to help when Pet Sitters International requested that she organize a local pet food drive.

"This is just a great way to support our local humane society," Barksdale said.

And the pet food drive couldn't come at a better time. While some organizations continue to drop off food for the animals, individual donations are infrequent through the holiday season.

"Everyone's just doing so many other kinds of things it's easy to forget," Uber-Sterner said.

To make matters worse, this is one of the busiest times of year for the shelter.

"(Food is) something we always need. And this is a time of year we'll see more pets coming in," Uber-Sterner said.

By the end of the holiday season the Humane Society tends to see an influx of animals. Uber-Sterner said she thinks people just get overwhelmed with holiday debt and decide that a pet just isn't really in their budget after all.

"It seems like we need puppy and kitten food the most," said Uber-Sterner.