By Sandra Meyer
On Saturday, April 28, a fire at Animal Coalition took the lives of three beloved cats and destroyed at least 70 percent of the building. The fire was found to be arson and a suspect is in jail after being tied to the fire by DNA evidence.
ACT is a 501(c)(3) organization that has performed over 80,000 low cost spay and neuter surgeries for residents of Tampa area communities. It also provides affordable pet medicines and animal health services and participates in the Hillsborough County’s voucher program for income-qualified families.
Due to the extensive damage, it may be several months before ACT can return to the Gilchrist Ave. location. The staff worked quickly to find a temporary facility to offer its services at 1719 W. Lemon St. in Tampa while the original location is rebuilt. On Friday, May 9, the Shot Clinic reopened for shots and medications only. Clinic hours for shots are 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and no appointment is necessary.
Besides damage to the building, there was a loss of important medical equipment and supplies that will have to be replaced. ACT has set up a donation site at www.phoenixfund. actampa.org to help rebuild its facility and replace equipment destroyed in the fire. Recently ACT took part in the first Give Day Tampa Bay on Tuesday, May 6, which was hosted by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. The foundation called on the community to donate to a local charity during a 24 hour time period. During this time, Tampa Electric (TECO) presented ACT with a $10,000 check to help with repairs.
Executive Director of ACT, Linda Hamilton said, “We want to make our appreciation known to our employees and to the public. We could not have survived without them. We are humbled and appreciative of all offers and support, and will reach out as we know more about what we need. “
For more information on ACT and its services as well as updates on repairs, visit www.actampa.org or on Facebook, search Animal Coalition of Tampa. ACT can be reached at 250-3900.