Photo by Heather Middleton
By Mehgaan Jones
Public safety agencies and an animal-rescue organization in Clayton County are benefiting from a local business' desire to help the community in which it operates.
On Monday, the Clayton County Police Department, its Animal Control Unit, the Sheriff's Office and the local Humane Society got more than $10,000 worth of dog and cat food, as a donation from the Sam's Club in Morrow, which is located at 7325 Jonesboro Road.
"We have donated before, but never on this scale," said Derrick Jordan, Club Manager of the Morrow Sam's Club. "We are linked toward the support of anything for the community," he said.
The store donated 12 pallets of dog and cat food to the local agencies. The donated food has a total value of more than $10,000, according to Sam's Club employees.
Jamie Carlington, Clayton County's public information officer, said the county's police department spends approximately $4,000 a year to feed the four-legged members of its K-9 Unit. Capt. Tina Daniel, the police department's public information officer, said that unit includes nine dogs.
"Our beloved K-9's are important members of the police department, and are often overlooked," said Daniel. "In addition, our Animal Control Unit will use much of the food to continue to feed the numerous abandoned animals that are given to them daily."
The Clayton County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit is made up of three dogs, according to spokeswoman, Deputy Alicia Parkes. She said the office spends $400 to $450 a month on canine food.
"We appreciate Derrick [Jordan, of Sam's Club] for his leadership and stewardship," said Sheriff Kem Kimbrough. He added that the donations will help cut expenses on dog food, which will also help taxpayers.
Citing the cooperation between the business and the agencies, Kimbough added, "To see improvements in the community, we must build partnerships."
The Clayton County Humane society was humbled by the generous donation, according to Chris Mitchell, a Clayton County Humane Society shelter supervisor. The society received cat and dog food for the animals it shelters. "We are thrilled and grateful," said Mitchell.
"The county," added Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell, "wants to thank them [Sam's Club] for the gift ..."