Kurt Beehler, president of Lucky Clover 4-H, has a cousin attending Sonoma State University who began gathering donations of clothing after devastating wildfires in that area this fall.
When he asked her how he could help, she said the fire victims had a big need for toiletries and pet supplies. So he sent flyers to members of his club and other 4-H groups, pet stores, churches and local Boy Scout troops asking for donations.
The Santa Ynez Valley’s support was amazing, he said, and within two weeks he had a truck full of donations. The largest came from Monighetti’s feed store in Buellton, which donated an entire pallet of pet food.
Members of his Lucky Clover 4-H club also voted to donate their winnings from a local contest to purchase $350 worth of dog beds from Tractor Supply.
Kurt met with Petaluma Animal Services and the Sonoma Humane Society on Saturday, Nov.18, to deliver all of the donations. Because of strong support from people in the Sonoma area, the Red Cross was not accepting any more supplies, so he drove to a neighboring homeless shelter with the canned food and toiletries and to Goodwill with the clothing.
“The two pet shelters were so impressed that our 4-H members, who were six hours away, cared about them and their animals,” Kurt said. “Valerie Fausone, director of Petaluma Animal Services, mentioned that taking care and giving to the animals takes one less pressure off the owners. Also, they are housing more animals now because housing is in such demand and priority is given to families without animals.”