by Elizabeth Howard, Project Coordinator
Grace Marketplace, our new homeless shelter, is now home to 11 dogs and three cats. We go there once a week and distribute pet food for these dogs and cats.
We are finding a lot of old friends at Grace, people who relocated from Tent City with their pets, but there are a lot of people who don’t know us or our Project, so it is a time of building trust and creating processes to distribute pet food and learn else is needed for the pets.
With only a few inside beds available inside the fenced facility, virtually everyone is a camper outside Grace. Pets are not allowed inside the fence at all and campers share their tents and campsites with their pets.
Wednesday is our pet food distribution day. At Grace we sometimes distribute in the parking area and sometimes visit campsites. These “home visits” allow us to become known and to really know what each camper and pet may need.
Most of “our” dogs and all the cats are spayed/neutered and vaccinated, accomplished with help from St Francis Pet Care Clinic. Volunteers are sometimes needed to furnish transport to the clinic.
GRACE is looking ahead to cold night shelter. They are setting aside a dorm area for dogs and cats with their people. This is a wonderful thing to do and will help pet owners to seek shelter in cold weather. We need donations of large and small crates to secure both dogs and cats as well as disposable kitty litter boxes.
In order to continue the work of our Project, we are currently asking for donations of any size bags of dog food and cat food as well as dog harnesses, leashes and collars.
You can donate financially by using PayPal on our blog at http://homevanpetcareproject.blogspot.com. or by check made to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc. and mailed c/o Elizabeth Howard, P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville, FL 32604. Call 352-473-9423 to donate pet food or other items or to volunteer your time.