Bella taking a drink from the small pond with a fountain at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center’s new serenity garden.

Man’s best friend just recently received a new serenity garden, which appeals to all of the five senses, at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center in Tampa. The Hillsborough County Pet Resources Foundation assisted with funding it. The foundation strives to provide enrichment for the shelter pets in this county.

Scott Trebatoski, director of the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, shared how the serenity garden came into fruition.

“Our employees actually came up with the idea, did the research and diligently worked on it together,” Trebatoski said. “They also maintain it as well,” he added.

The serenity garden features a white gate enclosure with a small shallow pond with a fountain, a sandbox for dogs to dig in, a couple of gardens and gazebos too. The dimensions of the serenity garden would be 50 ft. by 100 ft. It also includes nontoxic plants, wheatgrass and more. With it being a relatively new concept, as time progresses, some additions might be coming in the near future as well.

With more than 50 years of experience, the foundation works to help the animals get adopted quickly and smoothly as they transition into their forever home. Its mission focuses primarily on raising the funds to help with the support and promotion of every aspect of the pet programs at the Hillsborough County Pet Resources department as well as the public animals in Hillsborough County and its partners. The foundation also focuses on supporting outreach programs and multilevel community education.

Through its certified Points of Light Service Enterprise program, Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center offers volunteer opportunities and fostering for an animal. Due to the pandemic, specific protocols were implemented for those interested in volunteering.

“All in all, in regards to the development of the serenity garden, I think it is incredible how much our employees care,” Trebatoski said.

For more information, visit To donate, go to It is located at 440 N. Falkenburg Rd. in Tampa and is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., by appointment only. Call 744-5660.

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Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.