Iowa City animal shelter launches holiday supply drive

Holiday With the Hounds planned for Dec. 16

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IOWA CITY — Children won’t be the only ones receiving new toys this holiday season if an area animal shelter supply drive is successful.

The Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center has launched its annual drive to collect supplies, toys and food through the end of December. The drive includes a Holiday With the Hounds open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at the center, 3910 Napoleon Lane.

“This is such a cool event ... ,” said Iowa City Animal Services Supervisor Liz Ford. “We have tons and tons of community support all throughout the year. And we ask for stuff at this time of the year but we open our doors, too, because we want people to come in so we can meet them and say ‘Thank you.’ ”

While Ford said she hopes the event will attract people who have been thinking of adopting, the supplies collected during the drive last the center through much of the year. She said as far as toys go, about 75 percent of a year’s supply comes from the drive.

“People are very busy with the holidays ... but we’ve always really found a fair number of people who want to open their hearts this time of year,” Ford said. “Lots of struggles going on around the country, lots of bad news being reported. People like to do something that makes them feel good.”

The center is a municipal shelter, meaning its funding comes from the city of Iowa City, as well as Johnson County, Coralville, University Heights and the University of Iowa. Ford said much of the shelter’s funding goes to getting animals healthy so they are adoptable.

“We use our funding to turn the animals around and get them healthy,” Ford said, adding that financial donations go toward vet bills or any supplies that have yet to be donated.

On the shelter’s wish list this year are cat toys and washable beds, durable dog toys, blankets and bath towels, among other items. A complete list can be found on the center’s website, icanimalcenter.org.

Ford said if people who want to donate don’t know what to get, gift cards to area stores that sell pet supplies — and items like pill crushers and thermometers — are helpful.

“Gift cards to local stores are nice because they help us out,” Ford said. “Having gift cards is super nice because then you can get whatever you need when you need it and it does promote local businesses.”

l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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