Local Girl Scout, Linnea H. knew she wanted to help to prevent animal homelessness, but she never anticipated what was to happen over the next year.
The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest award a Cadette Girl Scout (grades sixth through eighth) can earn requiring one to learn the leadership and planning skills necessary to follow through on a project that makes a positive impact on the community. Working toward this award demonstrates commitment to helping others, improving the community and the world, and becoming the best a girl can be.
Linnea has recently completed her Silver Award. She discovered that animal homelessness is a big problem in the Tampa Bay area.
“There are many shelters full of homeless animals in the Tampa Bay area, and I personally observed a few feral cats around FishHawk,” she said.
She had also seen many well cared for pets through her pet-sitting service and wanted more animals to experience that quality of life. She decided to use her Silver Award to help reduce animal over-population and homelessness.
Linnea connected with the Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing low-cost spay, neuter, and well-care services to animals.
Karen Hubby, ACT Development Office Manager said, “Our goal is that all animals are treated with respect and dignity. Part of that is doing something about animal over-population.”
Lack of spaying and neutering is a large factor contributing to animal over-population, which leads to homelessness. ACT offers low-cost spay/neuter and shot services. Linnea went to ACT and toured their facility. Together, she and ACT decided that she could make a difference by raising money to purchase surgical equipment.
She quickly set to work to raise the money. Over the summer of 2014, she conducted a “Dog Walk-a-thon” in which she asked people to sponsor her to walk dogs. By the end of the summer, Linnea had walked 25 dogs and raised $395.
By the time the funds were raised and were ready to be sent to ACT, they were needed more than ever. In April of 2014, ACT was victim to arson. A fire destroyed the clinic and killed three beloved clinic cats, which Linnea had met on her visit. ACT’s clinic is now open in a temporary space, still providing much-needed spay and neuter services, and they are raising funds to find a new permanent home.
Linnea’s Silver Award funds raised will help with the purchase of a Bear Hugger, a device that warms and comforts animals after they come out of surgery. This will free up manpower which is currently being used for this purpose.
“A Bear Hugger just seems like such an appropriate gift, after all they’ve been through,” Linnea said.
You can help ACT raise funds for a new permanent home by donating by mail as follows: Make Check Payable to Animal Coalition of Tampa and be sure to write “Phoenix Fund” on the memo line. Mail to: ACT Phoenix Fund, 17633 Gunn Hwy, #180, Odessa, FL 33556 or on-line at www.actampa.org.