Community Pet Project of Seffner is partnering with the Pet Resource Center, Animal Control, Friends of Hillsborough County Animal Services and Code Enforcement for the first time to help build or repair doghouses for local pet owners.
“July is National [Doghouse Repair] Month,” said Community Pet Project Director Rhonda Eldridge. “Together, we are not only repairing but building doghouses for those that qualify in Hillsborough County. If they have an existing doghouse that needs repaired, we will leave a new one, take the old one and recycle it into a new one.”
The organization works very closely with the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, especially the pet retention team.
“They told us that they were hoarding pallets to build or fix doghouses, but it never happened,” Eldridge said. “I was looking through a list of monthly holidays and came across National Doghouse Repair Month. I was like, ‘What a perfect time for this idea to come to life.’”
According to the county ordinance, “All pets are required to have access to shade, a shelter for bad weather, complete access to clean water and healthy food and being provided necessary medical care.”
“If cited for a failure to provide essentials or proper care, the fines are at least $100 and up to $500 for multiple violations,” Eldridge said. “The people we will be helping can’t afford adequate housing, so they most definitely can’t afford the fines.”
Community Pet Project was organized in 2017 as an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) charitable organization serving Hillsborough County. Many area rescue volunteers often encounter homeless and at-risk people who are desperately trying to care for their pets. For some, their pets are the only reason they are able to survive a life of hopelessness and despair, and many end up surrendering their pets to local shelters because they are unable to provide for their pets. The need is great, and through the Community Pet Project, volunteers work to help these people keep and care for their pets.
Eldridge and her team hope to build 100 doghouses.
“We would love to see this become a yearly project and get more community involvement,” she said.
Residents needing houses are asked to email Eldridge at firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests will be presented to the community that receive the applications to see if they qualify.
To learn more about Community Pet Project, visit www.communitypetproject.org.