With the support of a $16K donation from Melissa Canfield, Brandon’s Honorary Mayor and Hi-Tech Automotive’s owner, Raining Cats and Dogs Shelter & Sanctuary was able to expand its facility.

The sun is shining at Raining Cats and Dogs Shelter & Sanctuary, and with good reason. With the support of a $16K donation from Melissa Canfield, Brandon’s Honorary Mayor and Hi-Tech Automotive’s owner, and donations of time and materials from local businesses, some very deserving animals will soon have an expanded, air-conditioned kennel.

Laura Santo founded Raining Cats and Dogs because of a deep love for animals and the great need she saw in the community. It provides homes for abandoned dogs and cats through its shelter and network of foster homes. Completely nonprofit, the 503(c)(3) is also entirely dependent on volunteers, like Karyn Scech of Yellowfin Realty. Schech not only donates a portion of every real estate closing, but she also gives her time as a coordinator and community liaison, and she oversaw the kennel project.

“The community rallying around us has been unbelievable,” Scech said. “Without the generosity of these people and businesses, what we do wouldn’t be possible.”

To make the living space functional and comfortable for the animals, they needed to both revamp a garage area and set up a brand-new shed. Raining Cats and Dogs needs to thank Manny Polizzi with Home Service Heroes for wiring the new shed to accommodate a new outlet and AC, Chris Seufert of 360 Painting of Brandon for painting both the inside space and entire shelter outside with donated time and materials, Tuff Shed Mulberry for moving the donated shed free of charge from Hyde Park to Plant City, Brice Lynch with Lynch’s Enterprise Home Maintenance for installing and insulating the plywood inside the shed and Joe Scech of REA Remedial Solutions for donating the flooring for the shed.

Schech is excited for the new space, but she also invites the community to consider donating their time: “The care of animals requires so much upkeep. From keeping the facility clean and functional to washing dog and cat bowls to socializing animals to get them ready for adoption.”

Raining Cats and Dogs is always looking for loving volunteers of all ages and abilities. Don’t do poop? Don’t have to. You tell the shelter what you’re comfortable with and it can find a place for you to use your skills. Whether it’s helping to clean up the cat room or spending time with one of its permanent residents to take a dog on a walk, it can use your help. Children under 16 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and it welcomes individuals with special needs.

If you are a school, church or organization member or individual in need of community service hours or just want to do your part to help, it needs you and can provide proof of hours worked. Specific, specialized skills needed include people experienced in pet grooming and photographers to help post pictures of animals on social media for adoption. To donate items, please check out its wish lists posted on amazon.com and chewy.com.

For more information or questions about financial or time donations, please visit Raining Cats and Dogs on Facebook or reach out on Facebook Messenger at www.facebook.com/RainingCatsandDogsShelterandSanctuary. You can also email rainingcatsanddogsshelter@gmail.com. Raining Cats and Dogs Shelter & Sanctuary is located at 2708 E. SR 60 in Plant City.

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