The Petfinder Foundation has approved four new grants to help Florida shelters impacted by Hurricane Irma. They are:
Humane Society of Pinellas: $3,000
“Hurricane Irma negatively affected our facility in several ways,” says Grant Writer Grace Alfiero. “Because our region lost power for over six days, our refrigerators that stored all the pet medications, including vaccines, were not operable and now we need to replace all the medications and foster supplies. Our facility also suffered some structural damage and we will need to hire a professional contractor to make repairs in our cat isolation room, and with our aluminum overhangs and gutters.
“Specifically, here are our biggest needs, all are immediate needs:
1. Replace the roof damage in our Cat Isolation area so that we can continue to provide quality rehabilitative medical care and save lives.
2. Replace and purchase critical medical supplies, vaccines and prescription food lost during the power outage
3. Fund important landscaping work and trim trees to prevent future damage.
4. Repair aluminum overhangs, gutters and siding blown away during Irma’s high winds.
5. Replace items used to supply our 200+ emergency foster homes caring for the animals during and after the storm (crates, food, kitty litter, blankets and more).
“We project that all repairs will be made as soon as possible and hopefully before November 1, 2017, so that business operations can go back to normal.”
Halifax Humane Society, Inc.: $3,000
Lisa Pearce, Grants Administrator, says: “Our goal is to save as many animals as possible in the Hurricane Irma aftermath. Our objective is to create a ‘rescue corridor’ up the East Coast and fast track animals as quickly as possible through multiple placement partners. Prior to Hurricane Irma reaching landfall, we rescued 111 dogs and cats from at-risk shelters and evacuated 159 animals out of harm’s way. Crates are in high demand.”
Shih Tzu Rescue: $1,000
“Following Irma, our beautiful campus, which is home to about 70 companion dogs of all breeds and sizes, was terribly damaged,” says Stephanie Hochberger, who is on the board of the Davie, FL, organization. “Almost every tree on our 3.5-acre campus was uprooted and smashed much of our fencing. Parts of our roof are leaking badly from the water and wind. We are so grateful none of our dogs were injured as a result of the storm — they were never left alone for a second during Irma.”
Although the group prepared as best it could before the storm by putting up shutters and cutting back the trees, the trees were completely knocked over, and large equipment will be required to help clear the root systems of these decades-old trees. The fences, which provide safety from the main road and allow the dogs to be let outside in cycles, need to be replaced. And the shelter’s roof needs to be replaced or repaired before any more rain arrives.
“Our animals in St. Johns County are in foster homes,” says Joan Guglielmo, director of operations at the St. Augustine, FL, sanctuary. “Because of Hurricane Irma, we are getting daily calls from pet owners who have been made homeless by the storm. Many of the people are unable to take their pets with them to temporary lodging. Ayla’s Acres would like to be able to provide boarding assistance for their pets in order to keep their dogs and cats from being permanently surrendered. The majority of people and their pets need short-term assistance.”
Guglielmo says the average cost to stay at a boarding facility is $30 per animal per day with a rescue-group discount, so our $1,000 grant will allow Ayla’s Acres to provide more than a month of boarding days. Guglielmo anticipates the average stay will be seven days. “We constantly work toward adding more foster families,” she says, “but the need for assistance for temporary boarding is paramount.”