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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Home Van Pet Care Project News -- December 2016

From Elizabeth Howard, coordinator

There are times when Home Van Pet Care Project volunteers have to go beyond just making sure the animals have food- HVPC re-homed 15 animals, mostly dogs, in 2016.






Carolina wandered onto the Dignity Village property and was immediately taken in and cared for by one of the residents.  Already having several dogs, this resident knew he needed to find a home for this very friendly lab mix. Carolina came about her name because she was chipped and was traced to a rescue group in South Carolina.  After a couple of weeks of trying to find her family, Carolina was adopted. Walks on the beach with her two 4-legged brothers and rides in the boat are now a daily part of Carolina's routine on the Gulf Coast of Florida.


Recently, the residents of Sweetwater Branch homeless camp were forced to move by the property owner.  One of the couples realized that four dogs was too many to have and relinquished 2 of them-Sparkle and Yogi.  Sparkle was taken in by Gainesville Pet Rescue. Yogi was adopted by a customer of Sisset's Home and Patio who needed a companion and new best friend. Both are very happy. Such a cute dog!!

Most of the re-homing situations that HVPC Project handles are time sensitive. There are limits as to how long these animals can stay at Alachua County Animal Services (ACAS), foster homes, etc.... A big concern is the comfort and mental stability of these animals, some from bad situations such as abuse, abandonment and/or being passed around or sold from person to person.  No one to trust, constantly tied out, Gigi was abandoned, living in a cage not much bigger than she is, at Sweetwater Branch homeless camp.  No food, no water. 
Alachua County Animal Services took Gigi in where she was placed in a dangerous dog area of the shelter due to aggression. The veterinarians and techs were not able to be examine her, much less get close to her, thus Gigi's days were numbered.  HVPC wanted Gigi to have a second chance so they boldly took her out of her run at ACAS after noticing that she was growling, barking...but wagging her tail and somewhat curious as to who we were. Gigi had lived her life in a small cage and was now in what she thought was a bigger cage.  Her only defense since she couldn't run was to growl, bark and be mean.  Once Gigi was in the play area at ACAS she ran around like a puppy; she chased and returned tennis balls; she rolled over for us to scratch her belly; she was happy.  Once back in the run, Gigi was mean again.  The next morning Gigi left ACAS with a Home Van Pet Care Project volunteer and was examined by the Veterinary Community Outreach Program (VCOP) at UF where she was deemed healthy and not so mean.  After a quick posting on Sisset's FB page, a home was immediately found.  Gigi now has the run of her Jacksonville house, including the bed and the sofa, and helps her dad with his sales work on the computer.

All of the animals are spayed or neutered and get exams, including a heartworm test, before being adopted out. Thank you to all the rescue groups and the wonderful people at VCOP, ACAS and St. Francis Pet Care for helping the Home Van Pet Care Project when we need it most. 



Chico (left) and Tank (right) have both been neutered at VCOP and continue to lead healthy lives at Dignity Village thanks to our monthly veterinary clinics. We hope that they will have a home of their own with their owners some time soon. 

Now it’s almost Christmas, so we’re asking you to give some special donations for our very special pets Downtown, at Dignity Village and wherever we find them in need. We’ll have small Christmas gatherings with cookies for pets and their people and a toy and treats for each pet. We owe a big thank you to everyone who offers a food drive to help us out. This year, we owe a big thank you to Girl Scout Troop 1247 for their generous donation of pet food and supplies. 




This year our wishlist includes:
1. Large metal crate (42”)
2. Collars, harnesses and leashes (all sizes)
3. Toys (preferably rope tug toys because they are durable and safe)
4. Sweaters, beds, and soft fuzzy blankets
5. Cat carriers (medium size)
6. Tarps of all sizes, but particularly large (19x23 or greater)
7. Canned dog food (Mighty Dog or Purina One)
8. Canned cat food (Fancy Feast)
9. Dry dog food (Purina green bag)
10. Dry cat food (Purina Friskies Seafood Sensation)


Tiger, Sylvester, and Porkchop would love some warm blankets this winter so they can curl up and nap.

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 right here.   Pet food and other items can be dropped off at Sisset's Home and Patio, 3429 W. University Avenue in Gainesville, 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, November 2, 2016

Home Van Pet Care Project News -- July 2016

from Elizabeth Howard, coordinator

"... the days went by like paper in the wind...
everything changed, and then changed again
It's hard to find a friend
It's hard to find a friend"
Tom Petty


Time flies. We work hard to help the pets of homeless and very low income people in our community. Most of our time, energy and money goes to pet food and distribution, as this is our primary mission. We continue our weekly pet food distribution at two locations, Downtown behind Lynch Park on Wednesdays and at Dignity Village on Saturdays.

Dignity Village:  The pet population at Dignity Village seems to stay around 25-30 dogs and 5-6 cats. We have a veterinary clinic supervised by Patti Gordon, DVM there once a month and are doing really well in keeping everyone vaccinated, spayed and neutered. When the process is complete we are able to purchase a County license tag for each pet.

Lola May lived at Dignity Village but wasn’t doing well there. Lola May is affectionate, smart, and playful. She is awaiting adoption at Alachua County Animal Services. She is #542348 and you can visit her during regular visiting hours.






Brian and his dog Angel attended the June veterinary clinic at Dignity Village. Angel updated her vaccines and had a health checkup.


Life is not easy for homeless people nor is it easy for their pets. Due to tethering regulations dogs at Dignity are confined much more than any of us would like. If you feel that you can befriend a homeless person and devote some time each week to walking a dog or two around a paved access road, please get in touch and we will make the introductions.

Downtown:  People are scattered in their living situations and they come by bus, bike and on foot. Most don’t bring their pets. We park behind Lynch Park and hand out the pet food from our vehicles. It is quite different from Dignity Village, where the dogs are “right there” and the campsites are close by. Some of these people we have known for a long time and sometimes we make a home visit to meet the animals. Twenty-five or 30 people attend each week.


(Left) Pat picks up food for her two dogs and keeps them healthy at St. Francis Pet Care Clinic. Pat has been our friend for a long time.

(Right) Charles has educated himself about spay/neuter and has been responsible for the spaying and neutering of a dozen cats, as well as educating others in his neighborhood.






New Projects:

Preparation for Emergency evacuation. We’re working on a project to help with pet evacuations from Dignity Village in event of an emergency such as a hurricane.
Wish list for emergency: Metal crates. Cat carriers. Collars, leashes and harnesses. Water bowls and food bowls. Prepare small packs of dry food and canned food. Bottled water. Please call us for current needs as we are now working on an evacuation process for the animals. We will need volunteers to help prepare the animals and also to feed, water and walk them after evacuation.

Meeting with Gainesville Police and Animal Services officers: Home Van Pet Care, Gainesville Police and Alachua County Animal Services all work closely with these officers to help the animals. We’re presently working together on emergency evacuation plans as well as keeping safe, keeping the animals safe and continuing to respect the animal human bond. These officers are very kind to work us into their demanding schedules and we appreciate their help very much.

General Needs Wish List:
Running lines. Please donate funds as we like a special kind or call for information.
Cat Carriers in good condition.
Animal crates, newer folding type in good condition, medium and large.
Collars, leashes and harnesses.
Two dogs need houses, best to get large size.
Dry food for both cats and dogs, Purina green bag dog food, or Publix brand dog, Friskies Seafood Sensation for the cats.
Please call for more information and special needs or types.

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.com. Pet food and other items can be dropped off at Sisset's Home and Patio, 3429 W. University Avenue in Gainesville, 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.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Home Van Pet Care Project News -- March 2016

From Elizabeth Howard, coordinator

Thanks!  Heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped out for our annual Christmas party for the animals. Many individuals, groups and businesses made generous donations that allowed us to put together wonderful Christmas presents for the Dignity Village pets. The gift bags included special food, treats, and toys. Thanks to everyone who contributed their time to make the holidays a bit happier.

And more thanks...  We also want to thank Steve Belk, the Project Manager of Dignity Village, for helping us promote and enforce the rules for safe, ethical and humane treatment of pets at Dignity Village.



Puppy is one of the dogs at Dignity Village. We continue to be impressed by Puppy’s progress. Puppy’s owner walks him at least twice a day and is doing a good job teaching him to sit and walk nicely on the leash. Here he sits patiently by his food and shows us his big grin.

We are also impressed by the successful outcomes with spays and neuters in the past couple of months.  Owners are willing to sign their pets up at monthly clinics for an appointment at UFCVM or All Cats Healthcare.  Xena is just one example.  An appointment was made for her to be spayed the day after she arrived at Dignity Village.  Here she is almost a week later, doing great!
In other news, Lucy’s owners are leaving Dignity Village in a few months and there is a chance they cannot bring her with them. She is a beautiful dog with a sweet temperament, but needs some love and attention. We are hoping to find a rescue group who will take her in, but if you know anyone looking for a really nice dog, please let us know.

On a sadder note, little Maggi the pug had to be put to sleep last month.  We all mourn her loss.
 
We really do appreciate your donations of pet food.  You can see how happy Milo is with his bag of kibble!  When we are “out there,” whether it is Downtown or at Dignity Village or just stopping to leave a bag of food with someone sitting alone on a corner with a pet, we always know that we have given something directly to a person and animal in need.


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 on this blog. Pet food and other items can be dropped off at Sisset's Home and Patio, 3429 W. University Avenue in Gainesville, 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.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Home Van Pet Care Project News - Christmas 2015

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.


"Still Crazy After All These Years"
(Paul Simon 1975)
Our primary mission at Home Van Pet Care Project is to provide food for pets of homeless and low income people in our community. We’ve been doing this for eight years, with your help, with love for the animals, compassion for the people, a little craziness, and lots of pet food.

CHRISTMAS FOR THE ANIMALS.  At Christmas, in addition to their regular pet food, we prepare a gift bag for each dog or cat. Each bag contains a small toy, a can of special food, and treats. We bring cookies for the people and relax a little with our animal friends and their people. We party at our regular distribution times and places.
 
As always, we ask you to help us by donating gift items for this event. For the pet gifts, we will need sturdy gift bags of cloth, paper or plastic, together with the toys, canned food and treats to put inside.
 
In addition to special items for the gifts, we will need extra pet food for the holidays. We use a lot of Purina, green bag for the dogs and Friskies Seafood Sensation for the cats. Publix types are fine and also others of your choosing. We bag it up into smaller containers so that everyone gets some.

We send sincere thanks to all our donors, as well as our hardworking volunteers who work all year and especially hard at Christmas. Actually, we are all volunteers at Home Van Pet Care Project. Some of us started way back at the beginning and others have responded by helping us along the way, while others are “on call” for special needs.

If you have questions, if you want to help with asking for donations, preparing the gift bags or distribution, or want more information, please call or text Elizabeth, 352-246-2727.



This kitty at Dignity Village says, "I like those soft, warm little blankets, too."










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.com. Pet food and other items can be dropped off at Sisset's Home and Patio, 3429 W. University Avenue in Gainesville, 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.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Home Van Pet Care Project News -- Fall 2015

Getting Ready for Winter

This rainy weather has taken a toll on homeless people and their animals. There is black mud and puddles of water standing everywhere at Dignity Village. Imagine if this was cold winter rain. We need to prepare. First always, plenty of pet food. 

Bear is 10 years old, a great dog.  He could do with some canned food to keep him 
healthy through the colder weather.

OUR WISH LIST:  We use a lot of Purina green bag for the dogs and Purina Friskies Seafood Sensation for the cats. Canned foods are also helpful boosters in cold weather. Hay is helpful and can give a dog a pad to lie on outside or better padding on the inside of a dog house. We need more dog houses and cat carriers. More and more tarps are important as well as wooden braces to support them.  Our wish list includes heavy duty food and water bowls, canvas bowls that can be easily carried, collars, leashes, harnesses, rope, bungee straps, reusable gallon bottles of water, and tie-out or running lines. We sometimes like certain brands or types, so give us a call. We  also need volunteers to help with pet food distribution, record keeping, and helping improve campsites for the pets. 



 Maggie, at 10 years old, is feeling much better after her dental surgery.  She likes Mighty Dog beef flavors and is eating well now.                                                                                                                                    







UP TO DATE ON VACCINATIONS AND SPAY/NEUTER:  Dog count varies between 25-30. We now have four young kitties in residence. All the dogs are up to date on their vaccinations and all but four are spayed or neutered. The kitties are young, but have had the first vaccinations. Two are spayed/neutered and two are waiting to gain a little weight. 


GATORS GIVE!  Home Van Pet Care Project is pleased to be a new approved agency for the University of Florida Campaign for Charities (UFCC).  The UFCC continues through October 23rd, and is a great way for UF employees to donate through payroll deduction.  If you work for UF, please consider designating your gift to HVPCP.  



THANK YOU FOR OUR TRUCK:   Thank you so much for all your donations and good wishes toward the purchase of a pickup truck for Home Van Pet Care Project.  It took a while, but finally we found this 1991 Toyota pickup, an oldie but goodie. We raised the money by special funding so as not to cut into our main mission of providing pet food. We have already used the truck to deliver pet food and hay for bedding for the dogs and it is proving to make our work easier and more efficient.  



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 right here on this page. Pet food and other items can be dropped off at Sisset's Home and Patio, 3429 W. University Avenue in Gainesville, 352-224-5192.  For more information or to volunteer, call 352-473-9423 or text 352-246-2727.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Home Van Pet Care Project News - August 2015

Dear Friends:  Many thanks to all who donated to our fund to purchase a pickup truck to help us with pet food distribution.  We are excited to announce that  we more than exceeded our goal of $2500!  After raising roughly $4000, we now have sufficient funds to purchase the perfect vehicle if we shop carefully.  Of course, more donations are always welcome and can make our position better.


Now we're hoping you can help us find the right truck.  We are seeking an older, used truck, with not too many miles.  We are open to different manufacturers, but ideally would purchase a Toyota or Nissan since they often last a long time.  Our first choice would be a Toyota.  It could be an older, smaller model.  Next choice is Nissan of a similar size.  In domestic pickups, a Ford F150 always seems to last.  Whatever we get needs to have working A/C!  We have a great mechanic who will check over anything we consider.  For more details and ideas, please call or text Elizabeth at 352-246-2727.

Maggie is grateful for donations, especially Mighty Dog Beef!
Dignity Village:  We distribute pet food twice each week at Dignity and are already off to a very good start with vaccinations, spay/neuter and license tags that we purchase for them at Alachua County Animal Services.We sent representatives to two Oversight Committee meetings for Grace/Dignity.  The final result is that our rules for pets are incorporated as part of the rules for residents.  Our rules cover animal care including food, water and shelter.  They also state that all pets living in Dignity Village must be fully vaccinated and spayed or neutered!  In the long run this will help homeless people acquire places to live because their animals have been well cared for.

Bear waits patiently for his veterinary visit.
Veterinary Care:  In coordination with St. Francis Pet Care, we had another veterinary visit in August, and are trying to coordinate a consistent monthly schedule for the future.  We are working very hard to set our processes in place so that all the animals can be spayed, neutered and kept up to date on vaccinations.  Quite a number of veterinarians and  vet techs are donating their services to this process, and Home Van Pet Care is always there to distribute pet food.

Downtown Pets:  They are thriving.  Most of the people who pick up pet food from us downtown have their pets enrolled in the nearby St. Francis Pet Care Clinic program.  We advise them also on other affordable organizations available locally.

We need volunteers to help with pet food distribution, record keeping, and helping improve campsites for the pets.  If you or someone you know may be interested, please contact us.  In addition, we welcome all financial donations as well as pet food, harnesses, leashes, collars, tarps, rope, bungee straps, heavy duty water bowls and gallon bottles of water that can be reused.  If you have something to donate, let us know.

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.com. Pet food and other items can be dropped off at Sisset's Home and Patio, 3429 W. University Avenue in Gainesville, 352-224-5192.  For more information or to volunteer, call 352-473-9423.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Home Van Pet Care Project News - June 2015

From Elizabeth Howard, Coordinator

 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.

Elizabeth gives a treat to Magic at
Dignity Village.
It has been business as usual at major distribution places at Grace Marketplace/Dignity Village and Lynch Park. We have been continuing to hand out pet food, treats, tarps, water and water bowls despite the stifling heat. These pets need water and shade more than ever this time of year, and we are trying our best to provide that.

We recently initiated crowd funding campaign to raise enough money to buy a used pick up truck. We are already 12% of the way there, but there is only a month left of the campaign.
If you would like to contribute toward our goal, you can visit http://www.loveanimals.org/new-pickup-truck.html and make a donation. You can also send a check to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville FL 32604; or donate via PayPal right here on our blog.

Volunteer vets work in the shade of
a tent on a hot Saturday morning.
We're saying a big "Thank You" to the veterinarians and others who volunteered their services to come out to examine and vaccinate "our" dogs at Grace Marketplace/Dignity Village. This was St. Francis Pet Care Clinic's second successful outreach there and was put together by Patti Gordon, DVM  and her crew of veterinarians, vet techs and other volunteers. There will hopefully be more successful events like this to come. 


Lucy waits patiently for her turn to see
a vet.
Our wish list includes tarps, water bowls, food bowls, canvas bowls that can be easily carried, collars, leashes, and tie-out or running lines. We sometimes like certain brands or types, so give us a call. Pet food donations are always welcome. We use primarily Purina types with Friskies Seafood Sensation being a long-time favorite of the cats and the green bag Purina for dogs.  You can always call us for more information.

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.com. Pet food and other items can be dropped off at Sisset's Home and Patio, 3429 W. University Avenue in Gainesville, 352-224-5192. For more information or to volunteer, call 352-473-9423.