Two best friends have joined forces with a slew of local businesses to engage in a positive mission to "feed the furballs."
Angela Brown and Paula Brown have a best friendship that dates back 30 years. The friends started 2 Besties Biscuits with the goal of making dogs happy and donating 20 percent of the profits from each box of their homemade biscuits. From now through April, all of the proceeds from each pink box of biscuits will be used to feed four dogs at the Northeast Missouri Humane Society shelter. Several local businesses have set up the pink boxes for sale through a combined effort called "OPERATION: Feed the Furballs."
Angela Brown said the support from local businesses was exciting for this first-ever event, which she and Paula Brown hope can become a tradition each year from January through April. Angela Brown described an "awesome" outpouring of community support, with business owners saying they would be happy to help as soon as she walked in the door.
"It completely and totally amazes me," she said.
Elise Blue, vice president and corresponding secretary at the NEMOHumane Society, said the two friends have regularly donated to the shelter and handled every part of every step of "OPERATION: Feed The Furballs," calling the shelter to ask what they need, then purchasing food and other supplies with the proceeds.
"This is their baby, and they picked the Humane Society as their target and we’ll gladly accept," Blue said. "When people help out like this, it’s huge."
After the holiday season, donations and gifts to the shelter tend to slow down. But the need for food and other necessities never stops at a shelter that receives 80 to 85 percent of its funding through donations. Blue said for the past two years, Katy Welch, owner of Java Jive, has hosted a food and supply drive for the shelter in October. The latest drive provided food for the first half of the year. Welch said two family dogs came from the NEMO Humane Society.
The Welch family welcomed Ruby, a dachshund-terrier mix, into their home 12 years ago.
"She won me over at the shelter," Welch said.
Her husband Casey visited a decade later, requesting a basset hound or a beagle. Blue called up in three days, telling them about Cooper, a Jack Russell terrier-basset hound-beagle mix. Welch fondly recalled how he jumped and playfully licked everyone when he arrived at home, noting "he’s now my baby."
Welch said Blue has a knack for connecting families with the perfect furry friend.
"She’s the ultimate dog matchmaker," she said.
Angela Brown said 2 Besties Biscuits has been posting a "Dog of the Month" on social media, where she takes photographs and shares characteristics about each dog. Brown was excited to report that "Mr. January" came home with Julie Hughes’ parents, who own Chocolaterie Stam and drove from Peoria, Ill., to pick him up.
Angela Brown and Paula Brown agreed that Hannibal is enriched with a strong sense of community and coming together for causes like "OPERATION: Feed The Furballs." Paula Brown said the businesses have been selling the pink boxes at a surprising rate.
Paula Brown described her elation: "Really? They’re already out? Yes."
She said the two friends have 600 biscuits to bake on Sunday. They use natural ingredients and make each biscuit in small batches without mixers or other utensils.
Several local businesses are part of "OPERATION: Feed The Furballs:" Java Jive, Ole Planters Restaurant, Chocolaterie Stam, Hannibal Chiropractic and Wellness, Jason Utterback Agency, Color Me Tan, You·nique Art Studio, Scissors/B&B Hair Care and Mark Twain Dinette. The organizers also wished to thank Huston Graphix, Cassano’s, Finn’s Food & Spirits, Griffen’s Flowers, F&M Bank and Zsuzska & Ponto’s Sperky for lending a helping hand.
Blue said the community effort would make a meaningful difference for dozens of dogs at the Northeast Missouri Humane Society.
"This whole project just blows me away," she said.
For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/2bestiesbiscuits/?ref=nf . You can also visit the local businesses taking part in the effort, or use the hashtags #opfurballs and #buythepinkbox on social media.
Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org