LUBBOCK, Texas — If you’re looking for a way to give back this holiday season, Lubbock Animal Services kicked off its 5th annual Helping Paws Donation Drive on Monday, staff told KLBK News.

“My old supervisor [asked] one homeless man named Eddie, ‘what would you want for Christmas if you can have anything in the world’ and he said, ‘I would want food for my dog,’ said Angelica Lucero, a shelter supervisor. “That alone made her start Helping Paws.”

Five years later, “It has morphed into a big event where we try to get both items for the owner and the pet,” said Director of LAS Steven Greene.

The animal shelter said some of the best pet owners in town are the ones without homes.

“That’s the one thing that they can have that loves them unconditionally- the one thing that they can feel comfort and security with. A lot of these people are just really down on their luck, and they need that companion- someone that they can put all their time and effort into,” Greene shared.

Last year, the animal shelter handed out more than 900 pounds of dog food thanks to community donations.

This year, the shelter staff said it hopes to see more dog bed donations and people items, like blankets, gloves, coats, hats, socks and other garments that will keep them warm in the winter.

“We get a lot of donations for animals that go above and beyond, but maybe just a little bit more for the people as well,” Lucero said.

The shelter emphasized that it will also collect pet donations.

“We take all kinds of pet donations, whether it’s food, treats, leashes, collars, jackets for dogs– anything that can give them comfort, warmth and safety out on the streets,” Greene added.

There are several drop off locations including:

  • Pets Plus at 66th and University
  • Pet Supplies Plus at 5715 82nd St.
  • Tractor Supplies at 4605 I-27
  • Gebo’s at 215 50th St.
  • Lubbock Animal Shelter at 3323 SE Loop 289

The drive runs through December 16.