A weighty donation has been helping local and area pets affected by historic flooding.
Recently, Nestlé Purina donated about 43,000 pounds of Purina pet food and litter to the FurEver Home Rescue Pet Food & Supply Bank in Fremont.
Fremont Contract Carriers provided free transport of the 36-pallet donation from the Nestlé Purina plant in Crete and Deborah George, FurEver president, is grateful for the donation and transport.
“I hope you understand how overjoyed our rescue group was to hear your company was willing to pick up and deliver this very large and much-needed donation,” she said in a letter to FCC. “We recently served just under 170 animals from the flooding so the food donation your company handled transport on was of utmost need.
“Additionally, part of the donation is being utilized by our pet pantry, which is providing food and supplies to owners until most can get back on their feet. This pet pantry has provided assistance to 377 families since it opened March 23.”
Peg Gaudreau, event and pantry coordinator, is also thankful for the donation and free transport which came during mid-March flooding.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” Gaudreau said.
On the second day of the flooding, the organization got a call that a local kennel had to evacuate.
“Right away, we found a place for 16 of their dogs and from then on we just kept getting calls,” Gaudreau said.
The calls came from people who couldn’t take their pets to local shelters and needed a place for them to stay.
And dogs weren’t the only animals needing shelter.
Cats, guinea pigs, little piglets and a couple of hamsters needed a place to stay, too.
“We actually had three locations at one time, where we had dogs and pets and we still have some flood dogs at our rescue,” she said.
Most of these animals will go back to their families. Some animals were surrendered because families moved to a place where they couldn’t have them or moved out of state and had to give up their pets. The organization has pets up for adoption.
Gaudreau said the food from Nestlé Purina came after she noticed a Facebook post from someone trying to arrange a donation from that company.
“I saw that and reached out to him and said, ‘Hey, we’re opening a pantry and we are flooded with dogs’ and the need was absolute so it came at a great time,” Gaudreau said.
Gaudreau also said that some cat food from Nestlé Purina has gone to Catz Angels rescue effort in Fremont and to Community Cats in Bellevue, the latter of which was dealing with flood victims and feral cats that had been found.
Spokespeople from FCC and Nestle Purina acknowledged the seriousness of the flooding situation and their willingness to help.
“At Fremont Contract Carriers, we know firsthand how devastating the recent flooding has been in Nebraska, as it was literally at our front doorsteps here in Fremont,” said Mike Andresen, FCC director of driver recruiting. “As the flood waters continued to rise, farms, ranches and homesteads were destroyed, and entire communities were displaced — this is not an easy time for many Nebraskans, and the process to restore what was lost is going to be a long and difficult journey.”
Besides delivering the donation Nestlé Purina’s facility in Crete, FCC has assisted the community in other ways.
It has helped store and deliver items such as boxed and canned food, cleaning supplies and bottled water for the communities of Hooper and Winslow.
Nestlé Purina also shared why people in its company were ready to help.
“Knowing the Fremont area was significantly impacted by the historical flooding, Purina and our employees in Crete wanted to help during this critical time. With the help of our local Union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents employees at our Crete factory, we were connected to Fur-Ever Home Rescue Pet Food & Supply Bank in Fremont to help pets in need,” said Cory Buscher, factory manager, Nestlé Purina PetCare, Crete.
Buscher also said Purina delivered 8,000 pounds of pet food and litter to the Bellevue Christian Center, which is serving as a flood relief distribution center for the greater Omaha area, and donated $10,000 to the Red Cross Midwest flood relief efforts.
Founded in January 2016, FurEver Home is a nonprofit, Fremont-based operation that provides low cost spay/neuter, vaccination and micro-chipping programs, as well as training to local Dodge County residents.
FurEver Home, Inc., at 236 W. Sixth St., is still taking donations of dog food and treats, cat food and monetary contributions.
Gaudreau said the organization has offered to pay for the spaying and neutering and other vet care of animals affected by the flooding at no cost to the owners.
“So we have some vet bills to pay for,” she said.
The nonprofit organization also still has supplies for pet owners affected by flooding. Pickup times and days are: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at 1750 Miramar Circle, Fremont.
More information about FurEver Home, Inc., is available at its website: https://fetchingfureverhomes.org or Facebook page or by calling 402-979-8800.