At the end of this month, Forsyth County-based nonprofit organization Kibble 2 Care will visit Dawson County to hold a free pet food event open to any Georgia pet owner in need of a little extra help for their fur babies.
According to Kibble 2 Care Founder Scout Samples Bagley, she first set about starting a pet food pantry during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people were having trouble feeding their pets due to financial hardships.
“I was actually laid off from my job due to Covid and I’d had the idea in my head for a little while but then I had the time to get it started,” Bagley said, “so I officially announced it in April of 2020 and it kind of blew up overnight because so many people needed help.”
The goal of Kibble 2 Care, Bagley said, is to provide pet food and supplies to Georgia residents who are under financial stress, in order to help them take care of their pets and not have to surrender them at local shelters. She said that the idea first came to her when she was working at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter and saw how many people were coming in to surrender their pets.
“I used to work at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter so I saw a lot of it, but a lot of the reasons why people surrender their pets is because of financial reasons and they can’t afford them so we hope to help in that way,” Bagley said. “I saw a lot of owner surrenders and realized that there needed to be something done; there are a lot of pet food pantries in other areas but there aren’t any around here so there aren’t many resources.”
The nonprofit organization originally started out delivering pet food, but as the need in the community grew it evolved from a delivery service to a monthly event to what it is today. Now, Bagley said that they organize pop-up pet food giveaway events, like the one that will be held in Dawson, and travel around to different counties giving away pet food and supplies to anyone who comes to get it.
The Dawson event, which will be on Jan. 30, will be the first one Kibble 2 Care has held in the county. According to Bagley, she had gotten several requests to come to Dawson and has received good feedback from those interested in attending the event.
Community members in need of the pet food and supplies are only asked to show up and present a valid Georgia I.D.
“They fill out a little questionnaire that tells us how many animals they have and then we send them home with pet food,” Bagley said. “And we have other supplies too like leashes, collars, flea and tick, stuff like that.”
The free pet food event will be in the side parking lot at 40 Hightower Parkway in Dawsonville on Jan. 30. The event will run from 2 to 4 p.m., or until food runs out.
Kibble 2 Care is always accepting donations to help the organization fulfill its mission in the community. The nonprofit’s website includes a list of drop off locations to take donations of pet food and supplies, as well as links to an Amazon wishlist to purchase needed items and a PayPal account to donate monetarily.
In the end, Bagley said that she hopes that she and her nonprofit can not only help to cut down on the number of owner surrenders taken in by local shelters, but also to make a difference in the lives of the pets and their owners.
“Obviously when we started that was when a lot of people were getting laid off and having to get on unemployment and the shelters were really overwhelmed,” Bagley said, “so I hope that what we’re doing helps.”
For more information about Kibble 2 Care, including how to get food for your pet or how to donate food, go to https://www.kibble2care.org/ or email email@example.com.