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Ellen DeGeneres helps local pet shelter

The Holiday Kibble Drop is a pet food

The Holiday Kibble Drop is a pet food donation sponsored by Halo, the Ellen DeGeneres-owned pet food company, and Freekibble.com, a website dedicated to providing pet food to shelters across the nation. A large pet food donation was dropped at Mutts and Butts in Merrick on Friday. The pet shop chose Bobbi and the Strays, a no-kill shelter in Freeport, to be the donation's recipient. (Dec. 16, 2011) Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

A Freeport animal shelter received an early Christmas gift Friday, enough free food to feed its more than 400 animals for the next few months.

Bobbi and the Strays, a no-kill shelter in Freeport that opened in March, has taken in a lot more animals than expected lately, said its president, Bobbi Giordano. So the pet food donation couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We’re just so grateful,” she said. “It’s a lot off of our shoulders. This will feed the whole shelter for a while.”

The donation came as part of the Holiday Kibble Drop, a pet food donation sponsored by Halo, the Ellen DeGeneres-owned pet food company, and Freekibble.com, a website dedicated to providing food to animal shelters across the nation.

Freekibble.com became famous in 2008 after its founder, then 11-year-old Mimi Ausland, of Bend, Ore., appeared on “The Ellen Show.”

Halo spokesman David Yaskulka said when the pet food company heard about Ausland’s mission it wanted to help. In 2010, it became the official sponsor of Freekibble.com and helps donate nearly 1 million pet meals annually.

Since Dec. 13, the two companies have sent 40 tons of Halo pet food to 40 pet shops nationwide that sell Halo food, including Mutts and Butts in Merrick. The pet stores then pick a local animal shelter to be the recipient of the food donation.

Mutts and Butts' co-owners, brothers Michael Silverman, 56, of Bellmore, and David Silverman, 54 of Merrick, chose Bobbi and the Strays to be the benefactor of the Halo food donation.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that we’re helping animals,” David Silverman said. “People might not be spending a lot of money on expensive beds but they’re going to feed their animals.”

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