This is the time of year when animal shelters across the state are inundated with stray and unwanted pets.
But last week at the Somerset Humane Society in Skowhegan, they got a call from a man who didn’t want to drop off an animal. He was looking to drop off carrots. Around 8,000 pounds of them.
“We just kept asking ‘do you realize you’re calling an animal shelter?’ Because it was a little unusual,” said Hattie Spaulding who runs the Skowhegan shelter.
The carrots were destined for a Lewiston grocery store, but had been turned away after the store manager thought they were too bruised to accept. The truck driver said it was so late in the day, he didn’t know who else to call.
“There’s nothing wrong with them. Some of them do have a few bruises, but 95 percent of them are very well. Very good,” Spaulding said.
So the staff at the shelter got to work. Donating the carrots to local food pantries and homeless shelters among other places in the community.
Two volunteers from the People Who Care Food Cupboard in Madison stopped by Tuesday. They say their list of applicants is growing everyday and they can certainly use the help.
“I saw it online this morning and I was thinking we could use those,” said Betsy Burpee, a volunteer at the food cupboard. “Every summer in my garden, if I have room, I plant extra carrots and take some in anyway. That’s how I got started with the food cupboard.”
The humane society is also selling them for 50 cents a bag to help with their own expenses and they’re not hearing any complaints from some of the animals who can’t seem to get enough of them.
“Really, carrots are really very good for them. they’re very good for the animals.”