Metro woman collecting, taking pet supplies to Florence victims in Carolinas

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One little block in KC is making sure the furry friends hit by Hurricane Florence are taken care of. It’s all from the efforts of one woman with a personal tie to the region.

Maggie Giamalvo has combined her love for Po’ Boys with her passion for pets. It’s why she knew she had to get Chris Jones involved in her pet plan. Jones owns Mudbug Cajun Po’ Boy off N.E. Vivion Road.

Jones said Giamalvo has been a faithful customer of his sandwich shop since day one. So it was an easy decision to offer his restaurant as a donation spot for her mission to help the pets and pet families of those affected by Hurricane Florence.

“This has doubled since yesterday actually," Jones said, pointing to a big stack of cat and dog food near his front registers.

He remembers how Hurricane Katrina battered his home state of Louisiana and was on-board to help as soon as Giamalvo asked.

“It’s not about what you give," Jones said. "It’s about what you do with the time and opportunities that you already have.”

Giamalvo visited the Country Club Shops parking lot Tuesday with her best friend, 7-year-old Akita Shepard mix Rico. She got him from a shelter in Mullins, South Carolina, in Marion County.

“It just seems like my responsibility to help the voiceless animals of the South," she said.

She plans to drive the supplies she gathers to the Carolinas to help out pets in need.

Giamalvo had originally planned to drive her own pickup truck, but with the amount of donations already collected, she’s hoping someone with a moving truck or box truck will offer to help.

As the pile of pet supplies grows, so does the generosity on this Gladstone block.

“We just received a huge donation from Petopia," Jones said. "Those guys are outstanding. They plan to bring another buggy down tomorrow.”

“It was a no-brainer," Petopia owner Chris Hufford said. "As soon as Chris got a hold of me, I said, ‘Absolutely.’ He said, ‘Well how much you got?’ I said, ‘Grab a cart. Just go fill it up.’”

Stacks of dog and cat food, both dry and wet, and other supplies are stacking up. The group said they’re all needed on the storm-battered coasts of the Carolinas.

“Those poor little guys are helpless. They’re there for us when we need them," Jones said. "I think we have to remember to be there for them now.”

“I saw a video this morning of a kennel getting opened up and letting six dogs out that almost drowned down there. It was terrible," Hufford said.

“It’s just unimaginable what everybody’s going through in the region down there,” Giamalvo said.

She plans to leave Saturday to arrive in Mullins, South Carolina, by Monday.

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