As summer winds to a close, locals have the opportunity to enjoy a good meal while helping feed homeless dogs at the same time.

Angelina’s Ristorante is hosting the Dog Days of Summer, donating a percentage of sales every Wednesday in August to purchase dog food for the Lee County Domestic Animal Services’ Community Pet Pantry, while sister restaurant, Agave Bar & Grill, is supporting the Humane Society of Naples.

Relax with a fine Italian dining experience on hump day to get you through the rest of the week, knowing Southwest Florida’s canines will benefit. Angelina’s and Agave are partnering with Discount Pets & Supplies for the fourth annual Dog Days of Summer, with Discount Pets matching the restaurants’ donations pound for pound in dog food.

“Matching the restaurants’ donations will benefit pets waiting for forever homes in our community,” explains Discount Pets & Supplies owner Brad Holman.

Donations for animal shelters typically dwindle during the summer months when much of the local population heads north, says Ria Brown, of Lee County Domestic Animal Services.

“The support from Angelina’s and Discount Pets & Supplies has truly been a lifesaver for our animals when donations are slow but our dogs still need to be fed,” she said.

During last year’s Dog Days of Summer promotion, Angelina’s donated 105 bags of food to the Community Pet Pantry, and Agave donated 5,520 cans of food to the Humane Society Naples, a no-kill pet shelter, adoption center and animal clinic which locates lifelong homes and promotes responsible pet ownership.

Lee County’s pet pantry temporarily assists pet owners who are experiencing a financial crisis to keep their pets instead of surrendering them to overcrowded shelters.

“If these people end up giving up their dogs, more of them might have to be euthanized,” says Angelina’s General Manager Angela Morales. “We all have such a soft spot for dogs here. There’s a bunch of us who don’t have kids and our fur babies are our children.”

Epic Food Concepts, which owns Angelina’s and Agave, is adamant about supporting the local community, participating in fundraisers for various children’s charities during season. Owners Don and Angela Smith like to help local pooches in the summertime. “They’re pet people,” explains Agave General Manager Jamie Beale.

“We’re dog friendly on our outdoor patio,” she adds.

Angelina’s is winner of the Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence for 2012 and 2013 and is the only restaurant in Southwest Florida to make Open Table’s 2013 Diner’s Choice Award list for the “Top 100 Restaurants with a Most Notable Wine List.”

“Many of the locals in our area know we do this in the summer, and it’s been a fun way to help those fur babies,” Morales says.

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