“… This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no foolin around.” (Talking Heads 2004)
Dog days are here again … a hot July bringing with another Tent City eviction. Home Van Pet Care Project started up seven years ago on an eviction that sent homeless people over “across the pipe,” the upper part of the well known area called “Tent City.” Gradually everyone was removed from that area which has been turned into a transit facility. Now everyone has been evicted from Tent City, along with the companion animals that were left, only dogs were transported this time.
The prior eviction was seven years ago and this year’s eviction, while carried out with much more kindness from GPD, still left the area looking like a disaster area. This time there was somewhere to go … the new Grace Marketplace One Stop Center. At last count, there are nine dogs and two cats with their people, along with a good many other campers.
Pets are not allowed within the fenced facility yet, so we set up a tie-out area where pet owners can leave their dog for brief periods while they go inside to take a shower, eat a meal or see a social worker. We brought along our dog houses to this area to provide more comfort for the dogs. Long term campers keep their pets at their campsite and we hope to provide more running lines for them.
Some dogs, like Ginger and her person Samantha are old friends. Kitty Yoda also made the move with Richard and Vickie and new dog Pasquale. New friends are Ashley and Paul along with their precious little dog Bella.
We’re at Grace a couple days a week as things come together. We still do our major pet food distribution in the Courtyard behind Civic Media Center on Wednesdays at 2pm and supply pet food at Grace on an as needed basis.
We are need of harnesses in size medium and large and also good quality running lines so that dogs can be left at campsites for brief periods of time. Please donate for these needs financially or call ahead to determine types. We also need cat carriers in good condition. We always need more dog food and cat food, dry type in bags needed at this time. Please call for drop-off information or pickup to Elizabeth at 352-473-9423. Financial donations are always appreciated, sent by check to Home Van Pet Care Project, Inc., c/o Elizabeth Howard, P.O. Box 14305, Gainesville FL 32604 or by PayPal at our blog, http://homevanpetcareproject.blogspot.com.