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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Home Van Pet Care Project News - June 2019


Dear Friends: Once again we must apologize for neglecting to send a timely newsletter. We will try to catch you up to date now.

Uncertain Future for Dignity Village

As you may know, the Home Van Pet Care Project (HVPCP) has been feeding pets of homeless and low income citizens of our community for 12 years now. That is our primary mission.  We go to downtown Gainesville and distribute pet food once a week, and we spend a lot of time at Dignity Village, the tent city that grew up around the Grace Marketplace homeless center.  Here is Dignity dog Zyless enjoying a snack.

Recently both City and County approved the closing of Dignity Village, under the direction of Jon DeCarmine, Executive Director of the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry. The Gainesville Sun did a good job of summing up DeCarmine's plan in a May 8 article.

There are 200-250 people living in Dignity Village at this time. Twenty to 25 people have pets, and we count between 25-40 dogs and a dozen cats. We are concerned about the owners and pets. Part of our mission is to nurture the animal/human bond. We don't want anyone to have to give up their pets so they can have a place to live.  HVPCP has been helping to transition Dignity Village residents by paying pet deposits and providing supplies.

Do you have a home for Lucky?

Lucky lived in Dignity Village for about six months. When he was first brought in, he was terribly thin and his coat was in poor condition.  With good care at the monthly Dignity Village veterinary clinic and good quality food from the HVPCP, he turned into a great-looking boy.  However, he was kept tied out most of the time. His first owner died and another person took care of him, but not very well. Finally we were able to take custody of Lucky.

Now Lucky is being safely being boarded but he really deserves a real home.  He's paid his dues.  He's a very good boy who richly deserves someone to love him and take good care of him forever.
Lucky is happy at the vet.
And he loves a belly rub!

The Challenge of Veterinary Care


St. Francis Pet Care and the Home Van Pet Care Project make a monthly veterinary clinic available to residents of Dignity Village and Grace Marketplace. Pets can get checkups, vaccinations, flea/tick and heartworm preventives, and referral and transport to spay/neuter where we supply a microchip.

I wish we could erect statues to Patti Gordon, DVM, who runs the Dignity clinic, and Molly Pearson, DVM, for their work every month at this clinic.  We should also give cookies and thanks to all the wonderful veterinary techs, community volunteers and veterinarians who make these clinics happen.

There are also times when we need services not available at the monthly clinics. Since the beginning of this year we have called on vets at the UF Veterinary Community Outreach Program, the Haile Plantation Animal Clinic, and the Micanopy Animal Hospital, all of whom were generous with their time and services.

We especially want to thank Dr. Hampton and the staff at Gainesville Animal Hospital West for their help recently. We had an emergency situation in which the service dog of a homeless woman was viciously attacked.  Everyone at GAH West was wonderful in providing excellent and compassionate care for this dog, even staying open for hours after their scheduled closing time. We appreciate their caring and expertise in a difficult and stressful situation.

And by the way...

Our own Project became homeless on short notice in March.  We had to relocate our downtown distribution place, which is now at the corner of SE 4th Ave. and SE 6th Terrace, right beside the Community Garden.  We also had to move out of our pet food storage and preparation place. Through the intervention of Home Van Pet Care Project volunteer Trey Anderson we have the temporary use of some space in a very convenient location. However, we need a permanent home soon.  We need at least 200 square feet of climate controlled space; a table or counter space would be nice.  We can pay a small amount monthly.  If you have or know of any space that might do, please let us know.

Our Wish List

As always, we need financial donations of any amount.  Gift cards for Publix, Walmart, Earth Pets or Pet Supermarket are also greatly appreciated.  If you donate to our Relocation Fund, we use those funds to help people moving out of tents and into housing with pet deposits and helpful items (collars, leashes, harnesses, food bowls and water bowls, cable "tie-outs.")

We need all sizes and strength of leashes, food bowls and water bowls for both cats and dogs, and plastic cat carriers.

We need dry dog food (Purina Dog Chow in green bags) and dry cat food (Friskies Seafood Sensation in blue bags),  Fancy Feast canned cat food for cats and Mighty Dog canned dog food.  We try to deliver the same type of pet food all the time so the animals don't have to adjust to different diets all the time.  However, we'll take any kind of dog or cat treats!

Thank you for all your donations and for supporting us with your good wishes.
Two of our Dignity dogs:  Smokey       
and Tank
Donations can be left at any of these locations:

Sissets Home & Patio, 3429 W. University Ave., Gainesville, 32607, 352-224-5192
Micanopy Animal Hospital, 306 US-441, Micanopy FL 32667, 352-466-0067
The Groom Room, 1232 NW 50th Ave., Gainesvill, 32609 352-377-8591
All Cats Healthcare Clinic, 1034 NW 13th St., Gainesville, 32601 352-376-2287
Financial donations can be made by check payable to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., and mailed c/o Elizabeth Howard, P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville FL 32604; or by PayPal at our blog, http://homevanpetcareproject.blogspot.comMoney, food, and new or clean leashes, harnesses, collars, bowls, blankets and towels can be dropped off at Sisset's....A Fun Twist on Home & Patio, 3429 W University Ave., 352-224-5192.  For more information or to volunteer, call or text 352-246-2727.

Also, don't forget our Amazon Wish List!  Or designate Home Van Pet Care Project as your beneficiary on Amazon Smile.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Home Van Pet Care Project News - August 2018


Needed:  A new home for Smokey and Angel

The two lovely young dogs pictured below are Smokey and Angel, who are up for
adoption by Home Van Pet Care Project. They are brother and sister and must be
kept together.
Angel
Smokey
Smokey and Angel were brought into Dignity Village when they were just about 3
months old. The person who brought them in was careless and irresponsible, and eventually abandoned these little ones. Before they were further abused or
abandoned, we were able to take custody and place them in a foster home.

The foster parents are a couple of the best dog trainers and most loving caretakers
that we have known. They love these pups but have a couple of dogs already and
really want the best for Smokey and Angel. These brave dogs have comforted and defended each other through a very difficult part of their lives. We will be sure they
make a safe transition into a permanent home.

The dogs are about 6 months old now.  Smokey, a neutered male, weighs about 30 pounds and Angel, a spayed female, weighs about 25. They are house trained and
walk well on their leashes. They are fully vaccinated, they are well fed, and their
coats are shiny. They have not been tried with children or cats, but they are friendly
and get along well with other dogs.

Please contact Elizabeth at 352-246-2727 if you would like to meet the dogs.


Wanted:  Reliable volunteers

Home Van Pet Care Project needs good regular volunteers for several jobs.
Job 1:  Weekly.  Pick up pet food from the North Main Street Publix on any day, and
take it to HVPCP's storage unit by noon on Wednesday.

Job 2:  Weekly.  Around noon every Saturday, bag food in the storage unit and load
it into the HVPCP vehicle for later transport to Dignity Village.
Job 3:  Monthly.  Help with the Sunday afternoon veterinary clinic and food
distribution at Dignity Village, which is usually but not always the third Sunday of
each month.  The clinic runs from 2:00 to roughly 4:00.  Before the clinic, help bag
and load food into the HVPCP vehicle, then go out to Dignity Village and help other volunteers with distribution.

Volunteers might occasionally be asked to bag and load pet food on Wednesdays to
fill in for other volunteers, and/or to help with food distribution downtown at 2:00 on Wednesday or at Dignity Village at 2:00 on Saturday.  We encourage friends to
volunteer in pairs and fill in for each other as needed.

If you are interested or for more information, contact Elizabeth at 352-246-2727.

Our Wish List

Our list is long and we hope you continue to support us. 

For our Disaster Preparation Project and for use when relocating to an inside home:We will provide pet food from our regular supplies, but we would like to supplement this with some canned food.  Mighty Dog small cans are good for the dogs, and Fancy Feast small cans are the kitties' favorite.  We would also like to include some bottles of water and light-weight plastic pet food and water bowls. Also, we need new or gently used duffel bags and backpacks. These help people carry their pet food home without getting wet or spilling, and would be very useful when moving or in emergency evacuations.

We need all sizes and strength of leashes, food bowls and water bowls for both cats and dogs.

Dry dog food, especially Purina Dog Chow in green bags.  Dry cat food, especially Purina Friskies Seafood Sensation in blue bags.  Fancy Feast canned food for cats because they love it, and Mighty Dog for dogs, because they love it and because the cans are small and can be used all at once, no refrigeration required.

Thank you for all your donations and for supporting us with your good wishes.
Donate Now
Donations can be left at any of these locations:

Sissets Home & Patio, 3429 W. University Ave., Gainesville, 32607, 352-224-5192
Micanopy Animal Hospital, 306 US-441, Micanopy FL 32667, 352-466-0067
The Groom Room, 1232 NW 50th Ave., Gainesvill, 32609 352-377-8591
All Cats Healthcare Clinic, 1034 NW 13th St., Gainesville, 32601 352-376-2287

Financial donations can be made by check payable to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., and mailed c/o Elizabeth Howard, P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville FL 32604; or by PayPal at our blog, http://homevanpetcareproject.blogspot.comMoney, food, and new or clean leashes, harnesses, collars, bowls, blankets and towels can be dropped off at Sisset's....A Fun Twist on Home & Patio, 3429 W University Ave., 352-224-5192.  For more information or to volunteer, call or text 352-246-2727.

Also, don't forget our Amazon Wish List!  Or designate Home Van Pet Care Project as your beneficiary on Amazon Smile.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Home Van Pet Care Project News -- Jan to June 2018

Our Mission:  To provide food for pets of homeless persons in our community; offer education on pet care and spay/neuter; assist with access to veterinary care; foster respect for animals and the animal/human bond.

Help Us Make the Match!

A generous donor has offered to match any funds we can raise between now and the Fourth of July up to $1000.00!  You can donate online (securely, of course) using the button below, or mail a check payable to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc. c/o Elizabeth Howard, P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville FL 32604.  These funds will feed a lot of hungry pets. Please help us make our match.
Donate Now

Pet Food Days

Wednesday is our big pet food day.  It starts with a mid-morning pet food pickup, then re-bagging larger bags into four pound zip-lock containers, then loading everything into our vehicle.

Downtown distribution: Precisely at 2pm each Wednesday we park and distribute pet food behind Lynch Park, off S. Main St. in downtown Gainesville. Most of our clients there are housed, but very low income, including several veterans provided with V.A. housing, and some people who rent rooms or have help from family. There are several people still living in wooded areas around town, with and without permission. More people here have cats and are cooperating with Operation Catnip so all the kitties can be spayed, neutered, vaccinated and fed. Most people come on bikes, so we see the pets only at home visits, which is something we enjoy doing.

Dignity Village:  On Saturday afternoons we go to Dignity Village/Grace Marketplace.  Here we mostly do see the pets, and check on their well-being. The pet population seems to stay around 20 dogs and 6 cats, as people are always coming and going.
A downtown kitty at home..
Rocky, a Dignity dog, invites us to visit inside his tent.
All and all we are currently distributing 400-500 pounds of pet food weekly. Some is purchased with the aid of grant money from the Wagmore Foundation, our principal supporter, but we also get food from local agencies and individuals.  Quite a lot is donated by bringing it to one of our drop off locations, listed at the bottom of this newsletter. Thrifty Critter gifts us with canned foods and various supplies and has shared the proceeds of a garage sale with us.       
Our truck, loaded up for deliveries on Wednesday morning (left) and after our trip to Dignity Village on Saturdayafternoon.

More about Dignity Village

In March, puppies descended on Dignity, three of them with people who unfortunately didn't give them very good care. Within two months we had taken two of them into foster care.  Fortunately, we were able to have them vaccinated, spayed and neutered and are considering permanent homes.

Also in March, we were visited by people we call the "scammers." Someone's mother had accumulated too many dogs so they decided it would be a good idea to dump some of them with the homeless community. Luckily, they selected responsible individuals and avoided anyone who might be abusive. These little dogs are safe and loved in their adoptive homes at Dignity:
Lola
Zeta
Since the beginning of 2018,  EIGHTEEN new pets have come in to Dignity, and several into Grace. All are welcome at our monthly veterinary clinic, and we have managed to keep everyone vaccinated, spayed and neutered.

Our Wish List

Our list is long and we hope you continue to support us.    

For our Disaster Preparation Project and for use when relocating to an inside home: Empty, clean kitty litter buckets, that we will pack with a supply of dry and canned dog or cat food as well as food and water bowls. We hope everyone gets a home soon for themselves and their pets.  Also, we need new or gently used duffel bags and backpacks. These help people carry their pet food home without getting wet or spilling.

We need all sizes and strength of leashes, food bowls and water bowls for both cats and dogs.

Dry dog food, especially Purina Dog Chow in green bags.  Dry cat food, especially Purina Friskies Seafood Sensation in blue bags.  Fancy Feast canned food for cats because they love it, and Mighty Dog for dogs, because they love it and because the cans are small and can be used all at once, no refrigeration required.
 

Some final thoughts

The Home Van Pet Care Project has survived and prospered over the years due to wonderful supporters and volunteers.  We continue to work hard with some amazing new volunteers:  Trey and Paola bagging the pet food, Kiernan helping wherever needed, Ann and Paul helping with their van and carpentry skills, and our wonderful Dignity volunteers Ramona and Keith, who help with everything including with education and fostering.

Even so, we need more help! The only way to stay ahead of the wind is to have more volunteers.  We especially need a flexible person for Wednesdays who can learn our whole routine with pets and people.

A wish for all of us:  as I was driving around Dignity Village on Saturday, John Lennon's "Imagine" started to play on the car radio. I turned up the radio and stopped the car, windows down.  There were four women who gathered around and we listened to "... I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one." What better wish could we have for each other?

Thank you for all your donations and for supporting us with your good wishes.
Donations can be left at any of these locations:

Sissets Home & Patio3429 W. University Ave., Gainesville, 32607, 352-224-5192
Micanopy Animal Hospital306 US-441, Micanopy FL 32667, 352-466-0067
The Groom Room1232 NW 50th Ave., Gainesvill, 32609 352-377-8591
All Cats Healthcare Clinic1034 NW 34th St., Gainesville, 32601 352-376-2287
Financial donations can be made by check payable to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., and mailed c/o Elizabeth Howard, P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville FL 32604; or by PayPal at our blog, http://homevanpetcareproject.blogspot.comMoney, food, and new or clean leashes, harnesses, collars, bowls, blankets and towels can be dropped off at Sisset's....A Fun Twist on Home & Patio3429 W University Ave., 352-224-5192.  For more information or to volunteer, call or text 352-246-2727.

Also, don't forget our Amazon Wish List!  Or designate Home Van Pet Care Project as your beneficiary on Amazon Smile.


REG# CH38562.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING FLORIDACONSUMERHELP.COM.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Home Van Pet Care Project News - Holidays 2017

Holiday Thoughts

Holidays can be difficult for anyone, but they are especially hard when you are homeless. Many homeless people can recall when times were better – or worse. If left unattended these feelings can lead to increased anxiety or deep depression.  At Home Van Pet Care Project we try to help by taking extra good care of the pets of our homeless friends during the holidays.

Each year we have two "parties for the pets", okeep it simple but heartfelt. We fill little bags for both dogs and cats and include canned foods, treats, and toys. There are also cookies for the people.

Wish List for Pet Parties:  Fancy Feast chicken or fish, Mighty Dog all flavors. Both these items come in small cans which can be used at one meal and don't require refrigeration. We have kitty treats but need treats for the dogs. They like all the Milk Bone types and probably plenty of others. We also need safe toys.  We like interactive types for the dogs and those little laser lights to chase for the kitties, but anything is fine except feathers.

The Running Line Project at Dignity Village

We provided some extra safety for the dogs recently when we were able to install "running lines" for dogs at several campsites. We've done this before so our "installation crew" is experienced. This never fails to cheer up both dogs and people.
KZ hangs a line.
A Dignity Village resident with happy dogs.
These running lines give the dogs a lot more mobility when they are tethered. They work better if the dog wears a harness rather than just collar, so we also contributed some harnesses.
Snaggletooth being fitted for a harness.
Legend in his harness.  He also got a running line installed at his campsite.

Best Wishes from Pancake


Pancake got his Christmas gift early -- a home to live in with his mama after a year of being homeless!  Pancake hopes that everyone will have a home very soon.  He also wants to thank everybody who donated Friskies Seafood Sensations (his favorite) during the year, or donated money so that HVPCP could buy it.  He wants to remind you that we can always use bags of Seafood Sensations for the kitties and Purina Dog Chow in the green bag for the pups.


Every day we continue with feeding, and also we join in to provide a monthly veterinary clinic at Dignity Village for vaccinations. We provide transport for  spay/neuter that is carried out by the Veterinary Community Outreach Program at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. Once the dogs and cats have received their veterinary attention, we provide county tags and microchips.

Special thanks go to Thrifty Critter, whose donation provided folding fabric water bowls, contributed to the cost of running lines, and more. We also thank Art Stockwell and the Grace Marketplace Charity Foundation for their contribution to the Running Line Project.

We provide a lot of leashes and like to replenish those as well as all sizes of collars and harnesses.

Thank you for all the donations and for supporting us with your good wishes.

Financial donations can be made by check payable to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., and mailed c/o Elizabeth Howard, P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville FL 32604; or by PayPal from this site.  Money, food, and new or clean leashes, harnesses, collars, bowls, blankets and towels can be dropped off at Sisset's....A Fun Twist on Home & Patio3429 W University Ave., 352-224-5192.  For more information or to volunteer, call or text 352-246-2727.

Also, don't forget our Amazon Wish List!  Or designate Home Van Pet Care Projectas your beneficiary on Amazon Smile.