LYNN HAVEN — Forget what you’ve heard about free lunch.
The Lynn Haven Animal Shelter won 12,000 pounds of dog and cat food through a contest sponsored by IAMS Dog Food, and that means a lot of free breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
A UPS truck pulled up to the shelter Monday, simultaneously giving notice to shelter employees they won second place in the contest and delivering the prize.
“It was a big surprise,” said Ramona Bibbs, animal control supervisor and on-site manager. She entered the contest online in April by filling out a questionnaire.
The top prize was a $100,000 shelter makeover and a year’s supply of food. They won second place, a year’s supply of food.
That’s not quite what they received, Bibbs said. The food should last more than 12 months. The expiration date on the packages is April 2013, so there shouldn’t be a problem with the food spoiling before it’s used.
“I’m going to make these animals fat,” Bibbs joked.
It should have a serious impact on the shelter’s budget, she said. Their food pantry usually is stocked with a mix of donations and purchased food.
“We can spend more on the animals when they come in sick and injured,” she said.
The food would last longer if there were fewer animals in the shelter.
A lot of the animals that are brought in by their owners are 8 to 12 months old, a time Bibbs likened to teenage years in humans. She encouraged people to be patient through that short amount of time.
“After that, they become wonderful animals,” she said.
She also encouraged people to have their animals spayed and neutered.
Bibbs said she believes the shelter was selected through a drawing. The questionnaire she filled out included questions about the shelter’s population, adoption rate and the number of animals euthanized.
“We have a very low euthanasia rate here,” she said.
She attributed it to taking steps to help match people who adopt animals with the best animals through temperament testing and talking with would-be adopters about animals that would be a good fit.
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