By Michelle Colesanti

Ten girls from Brownie Troop 1268 recently spent the day touring the Hillsborough County Animal Shelter.

The girls wanted to earn their pet care badge and reached out to the shelter’s Volunteer Coordinator, Christine O’Dell. As part of their chosen Brownie project, the girls made 260 homemade toys for the animals during their meetings. Assistant Scout Leader Judy Moss said that along with the toys, they also collected donations of towels and food for the animals.

As part of their visit, the girls went through the dog kennels with a volunteer who taught them how the shelter workers use the “Four Paws on the Floor” training for dogs to teach them not to jump on people.

O’Dell then took the girls through the cat areas and they also visited two bunnies that were currently available for adoption.

Brownie member Abby Deltano, a fourth-year Girl Scout living in Valrico said, “I’m very excited to be here and would like to volunteer here when I am older.”

“We made toys and it was fun to visit the shelter,” mentioned troop member, Jessica Pittman.

The troop meets at Quest Church on Kingsway Ave. in Seffner every other Thursday, and the girls have been together for four years.

The shelter takes in 75 to 100 animals every day and donations are not only welcomed, but very much needed.  Even though the holiday season will soon come to an end, the animals’ needs for supplies are ongoing. The dogs always need clean towels, linens, blankets and washable dog bedding, food and treats, toys, dog brushes, flea combs and gentle shampoos, flea treatments, stainless steel bowls, paper towels, baby wipes, leashes, collars, harnesses and bandanas and collapsible wire crates.

The cats need colorful, plastic salad-type bowls from the dollar store (a space to curl up in), kitty litter (clay-type), kitty beds, non-plastic food bowls, toys (prefer water resistant), scratching posts (small sizes), treats and food and airline-type carriers. Laundry detergent is needed too. Yellow donation boxes are located at the shelter entrance where donations can always be dropped off.

The shelter is located at 440 N. Falkenburg Rd. in Tampa, and is open daily from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. for adoptions.

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.