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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Home Van Pet Care News

Home Van Care Pet Project News – November 2010
From Elizabeth Howard, Coordinator

Love. Serve. Remember.
Be Here Now.
Ram Dass and others

Home Van Pet Care Project is part of the Home Van, a local non-profit group that travels around our area to feed the homeless people. The primary mission of the  Home Van Pet Care Project is to give pet food for the animals of the homeless.

The Home Van computer crashed recently, causing the loss of email lists. If you are on the Home Van email list and don’t receive a newsletter within a week or two, or if you would like to receive their newsletter as a new subscriber, please contact arupa freeman at

Another note: If you are donating pet food (and we hope you are), please call ahead as I have moved since this time last year. We have a convenient dropoff location donated by a friend and I will give you directions.  Elizabeth Howard, Coordinator 352-359-5712 or

Those Pups:  As you may remember, we became aware of this group of pups, and their mother, Coyote, about three months ago, shortly after they were born under a bush in a WalMart parking lot, where their “owners” were sleeping in their vehicle. Food and medical services were provided for these sweet doggies and their mom, and we asked permission to take them in to a rescue group where homes would be found for them. The “owners” agreed but subsequently refused.

When we visited their campsite a couple weeks ago, the puppies were looking good. Only four were left at the campsite. We made another effort to take them in to foster care and rescue, but their caretakers said no. We left the door open for assistance and that is all we could do – at least for that day …

One Pup:  we are very grateful to have received one pup. Through the kindness of a friend who lives in one of the camps, who adopted a puppy himself from the “caretakers/owners” … who decided he wasn’t the one to give the pup the best home … and decided to give the pup to us … now she has received medical care for a broken leg, she is in a foster home, and we believe her permanent home has already come to her. Our friend wouldn’t even take a bit of cash from us, saying, “spend it on pet food.”

There are three pups left at the original campsite. We feel they are at risk and are taking steps to protect them.

Educational Efforts:  As part of the Home Van, we try to “just give,” without too many conditions. We  support spay/neuter and ask you to do so. We continue to interact with the St. Francis Veterinary Clinic and many of “our” cats and dogs have received services there. We make good use of our local free and low-cost clinics, and they are very kind to us.

As part of our blog, we have prepared information sheets about some of these animal care clinics. Take a look at Info Sheet #1, and use for reference.

Friends: We have some very good and responsible caretakers in the homeless community who support spay/neuter and use the services available at local clinics. These dogs and cats are always a joy to see and hear about. Bigger and Nip, Bill, Sheba (our top dog), Storm, and many others remain our friends and are always welcome to come by at pet food distribution time.

Cats being more reclusive and not liking to travel very much, we see our colony kitties but only hear about the others. Catherine, For, Spiderman, RJ, Cassie and all the other kitties are old friends and we are always glad to send them the food that they need.

Please consider: We are asking for volunteers to sponsor a pet food drive at your church, social group, neighborhood or place of business. Even after the first of the year would be great.

Christmas Party:  Home Van Pet Care will be represented at the Home Van Christmas party on Thursday December 23 at 4:45pm in the little parking lot on the south side of the Civil Courthouse, right next to the Bo Diddley plaza. We hope you can stop by to meet us.

Home Van Pet Care Project needs:  We are very low on cat food. We can use any size bags of mid-grade commercial brands, with cat favorites being Friskies Seafood Sensations, Meow Mix Original and any of the Purina types. We also like to keep a good stock of dog food, Both dogs and cats seem to like the Purina brands as well as Kibbles and Bits and Pedigree for the dogs.

We thank you for all your help, donations and support in the past and hope that you will continue to keep in touch with Home Van Pet Care. 

To Donate: Call 352-359-5712 or email to arrange for dropoff or pickup. In order to be tax deductible, financial donations to Home Van Pet Care should be in the form of checks made payable to our non-profit umbrella, the Society of St. Vincent DePaul, and mailed to P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville, FL 32604.

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