WEST OCEAN CITY – Generous supporters of the Worcester County Humane Society (WCHS) have replaced the dog and cat food stolen earlier this month in a burglary.
“We have had a lot of food donations and a lot of monetary donations,” said Kristy Haley, a volunteer at the WCHS shelter. “I think we have replaced the amount we lost. Our shed is almost completely full.”
Haley attributed the bountiful community response to the newspaper articles publicizing the theft and word of mouth among locals.
“Some people brought 200 pounds worth of food,” Haley said. “Sometimes you forget how many people support us until something like this happens.”
Haley estimated that the shelter, located near the Ocean City Airport, goes through 75 to 100 pounds of dog food each day, and the same amount of cat food, for the 40 dogs and 100 cats housed at the no-killed shelter.
The burglary was perpetrated soon after a volunteer made his regular run to a Petco warehouse in New Jersey to purchase supplies for the shelter, so the shed and van were full of goods, from high quality food and cat litter to toys and bedding.
The dogs and cats currently at the shelter were never in danger of going hungry after the burglary, Haley said. WCHS purchased food to cover the shortfall locally.
Now the shelter is back where it was and fully supplied, thanks to the kind hearts of Worcester County animal lovers.
“We have replaced the locks on the shed. Hopefully, they’re more secure,” Haley said.
WCHS could use something else from supporters, as well: time.
“We really could use some more volunteers. We have so many people help but we still need more,” Haley said.
Dogs need to be walked morning and night, animals must be fed and the cat rooms cleaned out. Food and water dishes and cat litter boxes also need to be washed and bedding cleaned.
The pet population at the shelter is always at capacity, from animals surrendered by owners to litters of feral kittens dropped off by pet lovers.
“We just don’t have space for them all. The kitten population is overwhelming,” Haley said. “As soon as we get somebody adopted, there’s always another animal waiting to move in. We do our best to try and help as many animals as we can.”