Kennel Club Fills Old Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Many families and individuals struggling to put food on the table often struggle as well to feed other members of their households – their pets.

Thanks to a donation by the Mahoning-Shenango Kennel Club, the Second Harvest Food Bank will have nearly 6,000 pounds of dog food to address that need.

Representatives of the kennel club – human and canine — were on hand this morning for a media event to mark the donation. The club delivered 392 15-pound bags of dog food provided by Blackwood Pet Food in Lisbon.

If people are struggling to feed themselves, they’re also struggling to feed their pets, remarked Becky Miller, resource development manager for Second Harvest.

“We typically don’t get large donations of pet food like this so we’re extremely grateful to the kennel club for helping us meet this need,” she said. The club made a similar donation in 2012, she added.

“A lot of people can’t afford to feed their dogs and that’s one of the reasons they give them up and will turn them over to the pound,” said Tyne Horvath, president of the Mahoning-Shenango Kennel Club. “We figured if we can help supply food to the Second Harvest Food Bank for the dogs, then when people come into get food for themselves they can also get food for their dogs.”

For many households, particularly lower-income households, pets provide comfort and are an important part of their lives, said Jim Henshaw of Petersburg, who serves on the kennel club board.

So far this year, Second Harvest has distributed 5.5 million pounds of food and is on track to reach last year’s record of 9.5 million pounds, Miller said. A decade ago it was distributing 4.5 million to five million pounds in the tri-county area. “So the need has increased and we’re doing our best to keep pace with that need,” she said.

The kennel club raised money for the donation from an auction at its holiday party, Horvath said, and matched the funds the auction raised for a total $1,000 donation.

“Blackwood Pet Foods gave us a really good deal on the food,” about $2.55 per bag, she said. In addition, Rogers Feed Mill of Rogers delivered the pet food at no charge.

This week, the kennel club is preparing for the Steel Valley Cluster, a four-day dog show later this week at the Mahoning County Fairgrounds in Canfield.

Both club members were joined by their pet companions. Henshaw brought along Mr. Fluffy, a 125-pound, 11-month-old Leonberger.

“He’s a puppy,” Henshaw said. Mr. Fluffy will add 25 more pounds before he’s done growing.

Horvath brought along Schultz, a 7½-year-old, longhair Weimaraner.

“For me, they’re the most important thing in my household,” she said.

Pictured: The Mahoning-Shenango Kennel Club donated nearly 6,000 pounds of dog food to Second Harvest Food Bank for pets of needy households.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.