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Thursday, June 16, 2011

We Got It!

From Elizabeth Howard, Facilitator

WE GOT IT! Home Van Pet Care Project has received its Federal tax exempt status in record time – only 30 days – and we are now Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., a nonprofit 501c3 charitable corporation. All deductions are directly tax deductible, and we can apply for grants and other assistance from agencies and organizations.

We are, as you know, an offshoot of the Home Van itself, a local non-profit group that travels around to feed the homeless and hungry people. We are their sister group for four years now, and our mission is to feed and care for the animals of the homeless.

All our pet food and supplies come to us from your generous in kind and financial contributions. With temperatures hitting around 100 degrees everyone showed up for pet food distribution time at the library. We’re seeing new people almost every week. We see the worry in their eyes, even though they try to hide it.

Yesterday a couple attended with their dog, Lena. Lena recently had surgery at the St. Francis Veterinary Clinic and needs special care and of course a regular diet. We’re glad to be able to help with that. These people are soon to lose their home to foreclosure and they’re looking for a tent … tomorrow they’ll eat soup with the Home Van and get onto the Home Van tent list. Tents are scarce and we hope they can get one soon.

Other people have been homeless for a while. Sam is worried that day labor has dried up. He has two dogs to feed. Cal showed up for cat food, after being able to provide his own for a few weeks. Will Food Stamps be more difficult to obtain? My friend’s brother was denied his Food Stamps this week because of a very old arrest on his record. He has two cats. Lots of people share their own food with their pets. If no Food Stamps and a 130 limit on meals at St. Francis, we really need to oppose that limit and help individually as much as we can.

We’ve never run out of pet food and we intend to stay that way. We take responsibility for the Tent City Tribe of cats. Sweet Goldie disappeared from the tribe a few weeks ago. This is the first time we’ve had that happen, we are very sad and we miss him. We think of relocating the colony to a safer place, but that hasn’t happened. We continue to provide their food along with all the others.

If you would like more information, call Elizabeth Howard, 352-473-9423, We have a drop off location and can sometimes pick up also. The cats like Friskies Seafood Sensation, Meow Mix and Purina; the dogs like Pedigree, Kibble n Bits and Purina. Financial contributions can be made payable to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., and mailed to Elizabeth Howard, Post Office Box 14305, Gainesville, FL 32604. You can also donate by PayPal on our blog,

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