Central Texas dogs and cats need your help, pet food drive ends Christmas Eve

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Christmas Eve marks the final day of Tomlinson’s annual Pound 4 Pound pet food drive. This year, the annual fundraiser aims to collect 200,000 pounds of food for dogs and cats.

The food will go to around 35 Central Texas organizations, including Lizzy’s Animal Hospice which focuses on rescuing older dogs from kill shelters around Texas.

“I love older dogs. They’re special. They’re already trained,” Karen Cole, the nonprofit’s founder and president explained. “I was with a rescue a while ago and I went into very many years ago and I wanted to pull the older dogs and they said to keep walking. They’re expensive. Nobody wants to adopt them. So let’s get some better adoptable and I thought that’s not fair. You know, they’re great, they’re happy. They deserve to be you know, taken care of to the end of their lives. So I always have loved them and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do my own thing.'”

Currently, Lizzy’s has about 15 dogs in its care. Cole said their goal is to rescue these dogs and help nurse them back to health. If they can get a dog healthy enough, they work on finding them a forever home. If not, the dog remains at Lizzy’s where they work to keep them as comfortable for their remaining days.

Last year, Lizzy’s received 5,505 pounds of pet food. As of Thursday, Tomlinson’s has around 164,574 pounds of pet food. For each bag of pet food donated, Tomlinson’s will match the donation. Those behind the program said the annual event is a way to help provide some relief to animal organizations around Central Texas.

“This drive is really important because it affects our rescue community in a number of ways,” said Kate Knecht, brand manager at Tomlinson’s. “Of course, it obviously provides food for their pets to be fed through all of the coming year; but it also saves them money and that’s money that can then be used for medical situations to save more pets’ lives and keep pets healthy and happy until they can be adopted. So this food has a ripple effect all through our pet rescue community.”

Knecht said it also helps the organizations focus on their mission and rescue efforts without worrying about the costs of pet food.

“What we’re seeing as a result of early COVID is a lot of people adopted pets and brought them into their homes now that kind of things are somewhat returning to normal we’re seeing people, some people, return those pets and so we’re seeing more of an influx into our rescues which is creating a need for donations for pet food,” Cole said.

Those who would like to help can do so by donating in-store at a local Tomlinson’s or online. The pet food donation drive ends Christmas Eve. Pet food donations can go to a specific organization.

The following are the organizations benefitting from this year’s Pound 4 Pound pet food drive:

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