Sidney Joswick sits on top of a palette of pet food with her parents Mike and Beth to the left and Buckley Farm and Feed Supply employees Mark and Claire to the right. Photo by Ray Still

Buckley resident raises money to buy food for hurricane-displaced pets

Buckley resident Sidney Joswick decided she didn’t want any presents for her 9th birthday.

Instead, she asked her friends and family to come to her party earlier this month and help her raise money to buy pet food to donate to local shelters that have been taking in pets displaced by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

“Because of the hurricanes, I just felt bad for the animals,” Sidney said.

Sidney’s parents Mike and Beth expected Sidney to raise some money, but was not prepared for their daughter to raise more than $500 to buy pet food with.

“We really thought we were going to be bringing a few bags in,” Beth said. “We had no idea it was going to turn into this.”

Sidney bought her pet food locally at Buckley Feed and Farm Supplies. The owner, Kelly Burbank, was so moved by Sidney’s project that he sold her the pet food at cost, donated more money to the cause, and called up the folks at Nutrena (a pet-food manufacturer) to see if they were able to make any additional donations.

Nutrena representative Terry Longmire said as soon as he was connected with Sidney, he called up Burlington Plant Manager Andrew St. Lawrence to see if there was any way they could donate any additional pet food.

St. Lawrence OK’d a palette and a half of large breed Loyall-brand dog food to be donated to Sidney, who picked up the food last Saturday, Sept. 16.

But Sidney’s work wasn’t done yet — as she and her parents were loading up a trailer with the pet food, people shopping at Buckley Feed and Farm Supplies donated more money to her cause, bringing the total amount of money she raised to just over $1,000.

When everything was packed and ready to ship out that morning, Sidney and her parents were responsible for more than a ton and a half (or more than 3,000 pounds) of pet food.

“I just want to thank everyone who donated to help save the animals,” Sidney said.

A half-palette was donated to the Buckley food bank to be distributed to the Bonney Lake and Enumclaw food banks.

An additional package of cat food was donated to an elderly friend of Sidney’s, who has been taking care of a stray cat, and an extra $100 was donated to the PAWS Wildlife Center in order to help “feed the wild bears,” Sidney said.

But the vast majority of the pet food was donated to Sunny Skies Animal Rescue in Puyallup.

While Sunny Skies hasn’t taken in animals specifically from Texas, Florida or other hurricane-devastated areas, they knew of several smaller animal rescues and shelters in the area that have, and said they’d distribute Sidney’s pet food to them as needed.