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Utah County community saves shelter dogs from going hungry

Posted at 7:36 PM, Jun 23, 2023

SPANISH FORK, Utah — With only a few bags of dog food left Thursday, the South Utah Valley Animal Shelter wasn’t going to be able to feed its influx of furry residents.

“We have 105 dogs. We're feeding 80 pounds a day,” said executive director Kierstan Munford.

Staff posted a photo of their empty shelves to Facebook the same day, and the community responded by stepping up to help.

“It’s not a lot for all one hundred dogs, but I just thought whatever we could do would be something,” said Gillian Sayer as she dropped off cat and dog food Friday.

Sayer said she was heartbroken when she saw the post and thought about her own Shih Tzu going hungry.

Others gathered the extra cash they had to make a trip to the shelter, filling the shelves up to the brim.

“Even my husband said — he’s been out of work for a couple weeks looking for a new job — and he said, 'We’ve got savings. Let’s go feed the dogs,'” said Lisa Tarbox. “So he went and got some food.”

Tarbox even came home with a 5-month-old puppy named Riley in the process.

“Definitely look at the shelter,” she advised. “Keep an open mind. Every dog there. Just go and meet them. I’m surprised she’s 4 or 5 months and she already knows how to sit. And as far as I know, she was a stray. She’s a great addition to our family.”

Munford said she hopes for more success stories like Lisa and Riley’s.

“I wish there was more adoptions,” she said. “We get a few dogs go out where we get a whole bunch coming in the back door and then they're just sitting here.”

She said she doesn’t know whether it’s inflation, housing prices soaring, or people choosing dogs from breeders instead of shelters right now, but fewer and fewer are seemingly going to forever homes.

She also said while it’s incredible how the community came together, the 44 bags donated on Thursday alone will only last for around 20 days with how many dogs they have.

Anyone who wishes to donate can do so HERE or by dropping food off in person.