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Friday, July 19, 2013

Home Van Pet Care Project News Summer 2013

HOME VAN PET CARE PROJECT NEWS – Summer 2013 From: Elizabeth Howard, Coordinator Providing food for pets of homeless persons in our community is our first concern and our Project priority. Food first, and then a major priority to spay/neuter. Summer this year has brought to the homeless community lots of rain, mosquitoes, and pups in the woods.

This is about Ruby, a young dog who lived in the homeless community. Her “owner,” Mark, under the mistaken impression that it is a good thing for a female dog to have “just one litter,” allowed Ruby to become pregnant. He then took himself off to another state, leaving his own mother to care for Ruby and two other young dogs, Kona and Puffy. Fortunately, Mark’s mom, Denise is a responsible person who although she is herself homeless, was able to put together a reasonably clean safe situation for the dogs.

The photo on the left is Ruby at Tent City.

Ruby was within a couple of weeks of having her puppies when Home Van Pet Care came on the scene, and it is primarily through the interventions of Melissa Glikes, a Board member and beloved “dog person” that Ruby and her pups and the other two dogs have had a good outcome.

Plenty of Pitbulls Rescue has taken Ruby, Knoa and Pippy into their care. We are grateful to them for we know these three will get good homes. University of Florida Shelter Medicine furnished the spay/neuter for these three dogs as well as vaccines for their protection. The two photos on the right show Ruby recovering from surgery, and Ruby in her new foster home.

Ruby’s five little pups were given to homes by their caretaker so we still have concerns about them and are keeping in touch so that they can also receive spay/neuter and vaccines as needed.

At another camp we discovered four pups, abandoned by the “owner” of their mother. With help from camp residents three of these four were also spayed, neutered and vaccinated courtesy of UF Shelter Medicine. A young kitty who had wandered in to the camp also received spay and vaccines. These young animals are adopted by camp residents who receive food and attention from our project.

We’re also helping out with spay/neuter of a mother cat and kittens who came to a formerly homeless woman who presently has very minimal shelter. Local veterinarians All Cats have special arrangements for such kitties and Operation Catnip is also in there to assist.

Every week when we distribute pet food downtown, there is someone needing spay/neuter and vaccines for their pets. St. Francis Pet Care Clinic is a maintainstay in helping with these animals.

As you can see, all this takes a village … and then some more … to help these people and animals in need. Just as in the larger community, homeless and low income people also have a heart for animals … some are more responsible and some less. It is our job to provide food for the animals and to teach responsible pet care.

We have volunteers who help with everything from these runs through the woods, visits to campsites, preparation of the pet food and distribution as well as seeking donations. We are always in need of more help, and we need your support for spay/neuter for all the animals.

We appreciate your donations of bags of dog food and cat food as well as financial donations. To volunteer, and to donate pet food, contact Elizabeth Howard at 352-473-9423 email Checks can be made payable to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., and mailed c/o Elizabeth Howard, P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville, FL #32604. You can also donate by PayPal at our blog,


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