On Wednesday, Dec. 21, Operation Santa Paws packed its sleigh, or truck, and delivered a huge amount of donations to three area animal shelters. The donations were delivered to The Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County, Animal Charity in Youngstown, and Alchemy Acres Animal Sanctuary in Salem.
The program is in its fourth year. Donations for Operation Santa Paws this year have far exceeded anything received in past years. Nearly 50 bags of cat and dog food, over 100 treats, beds, blankets, cleaning supplies, and more toys than one can shake a stick at were received.
The program included teaming up with the Southern Park Mall, which was said to have made the big difference in this year's increased donations. Lynn Miller, Shepherd of the Valley Corporate Marketing Director, said, "Copper Zone Tanning did a great job as our collection point there."
Photos special to the Town Crier
Ken Herlinger, Animal Welfare League; Donnie Fatou, Shepherd of the Valley Materials Management Clerk; and Andrew Austin, AWL, unload donations at The Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County.
"People were very generous," Paula Blakeman, Shepherd of the Valley-Poland Activity Director and Operation Santa Paws organizer, said. "Pet Lodge USA in Boardman collected for us. We received a call from Roth Brothers that we were their charity of choice this year. In addition to items they collected, we also received a large cash donation, enabling us to give each organization $80 in cash. In Niles, a woman took up a collection in her neighborhood and brought a wonderful assortment of items to our Niles site."
Operation Santa Paws is an annual Christmas drive spearheaded by Shepherd of the Valley-Poland that provides holiday cheer for our four-legged friends.
Miller, who was among Santa's helpers when it came to the delivery, said, "All of the shelter staffs were overwhelmed at the amount of supplies Operation Santa Paws delivered. Thank you to everyone for being so generous and remembering the animals that are homeless this holiday season."