Organizers of a holiday pet food drive hope to collect 5,000 pounds of dog and cat food by Friday, Dec. 21.

The fourth-annual event is designed to prevent pets from being taken to local animal shelters because their owners can no longer afford to feed them, said Lauren Bishop, who co-owns Hearts of Gold Pet Services with her husband Ken Markert.

“To keep animals where they belong, with their families,” she said.

The outer Southeast-Portland based business partners with SnowCap Community Charities to get the donated items to families that need them.

A total of 40 businesses in Portland, East Multnomah County and Clackamas County are drop-off sites, including The Gresham Outlook, Gresham Animal Hospital, Second Nature Pet Food, Exclusive Pet Supplies, Burns Feed Store and four Clackamas County Banks in Gresham, Boring, Sandy and Welches.

Dry and canned dog and cat food, treats, kitty litter, blankets and towels are needed. Open and recently expired kibble also is welcome.

For a complete listing of drop-off sites, go to Cash donations also are accepted.

Have something to give but can't get it to a drop-off location? Call Bishop or Markert at 503-761-5561 and they'll pick it up.

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