Shelter seeks wet food for hungry cats, dogs
Even Putnam County Animal Control would like to receive gifts this holiday season.
But instead of clothes or a new toy, the agency is asking the community to donate wet dog and cat food to better care for the animals at its facility.
Lisa Suarez, the codes enforcement officer who oversees Animal Control, said the agency’s supplier used to offer wet and dry food.
But things have changed, she said, and Animal Control officials must now devote more time and money to get wet dog and cat food.
“Now, (the distributor has) done away with the wet food,” Suarez said. “Now, the county has to buy it from Walmart or Kmart.”
She said getting wet food from Animal Control’s supplier was simpler, because the supplier delivered the food and it was cheaper than buying it from a local store.
And going to the store to purchase pet food means someone from Animal Control must abandon other work to fulfill this task, Suarez said.
The agency still gets dry food, she said, and Animal Control officials are appreciative of it. But wet food is better than dry food for numerous reasons, she said.
Many of the animals at Animal Control’s facility are older and can chew wet food easier than they can dry food, Suarez said.
And when officials have to medicate animals at the facility, Suarez said, it’s easier to conceal the medicine in wet food, which means cats and dogs are more likely to take their medicine.
Wet food also serves its purposes throughout the community.
“Unfortunately, there are a lot of stray dogs running around,” Suarez said. “It’s easier for us to catch them with wet dog food than dry (dog food). “Usually, the wet (cat) food, we put it in the cat traps. Unfortunately, this is the time when we find a lot more strays.”
The reasons for finding more strays this time of year varies, but many animals are abandoned when their owners die or move somewhere pets aren’t allowed, she said.
Animal Control needs as much wet food as it can get, Suarez said, which is why the agency has distributed requests for assistance on its website and Facebook page.
She said wet food donations are preferable to monetary donations and can be dropped off at the Putnam County Government Complex, 2509 Crill Ave. in Palatka, or the Animal Control facility, 174 County Landfill Road in Palatka.
“We will take any donations,” Suarez said. “We won’t turn it down.”