Rescue Garden President and founder Jona Bumstead declared Juliet (JJ) a permanent resident after rescuing the golden retriever in 2017.

From their furry tail wags to their affectionate, albeit slobbery, kisses, it may seem next to impossible that our faithful canine friends sometimes struggle to find a loving home. Unfortunately, this reality becomes even more likely for injured and elderly pets in shelters.

Seeking to change that, Rescue Garden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2017 that delivers both veterinary care and a comfortable home for senior and hospice pets in Brandon. Primarily geared toward assisting dogs, the rescue works with local animal shelters such as the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to provide companionship for animals deemed unadoptable.

“Rescue Garden is an important piece of the puzzle to help Brandon-area pets,” said Jona Bumstead, president and founder of Rescue Garden. “Our work benefits both the animal shelters and the pets in our community, as well as the people living here.”

Becoming a nonprofit in 2020, veterinary care provided to pets ranges from medication and supplements to surgeries. If the health of these pets improves, they can eventually be adopted.

These rescues spend most of their time in the care of Bumstead in her home, alongside occasional help from foster homes. Typically housing between three and seven pets at a given time, presently, Rescue Garden has four dogs in its care: Jameson, a 12-year-old chihuahua; Juliet (affectionately nicknamed JJ), a 12-year-old golden retriever; Timmy, a 12-year-old schnauzer mix; and Emi Rose, a 13-year-old Yorkie terrier, who has just recently been adopted.

To keep supporting these pooches, Rescue Garden is hosting an upcoming quarter auction at 12 Noon on Sunday, March 5. There is no RSVP required, and those interested can purchase quarters on-site to participate. This event will be held at TAT Civic Association Inc., located at 3210 Darlington Rd. in Holiday.

Rescue Garden also hosts various fundraisers throughout the year, including its annual Puppy Picasso event on social media, which viewers can watch as pets decorate items with colorful paw prints; last year, bookmarks were painted and then sold for donations. Usually hosted in October, the annual Pearls for Pups fundraiser pairs with Pearls for Pups Co. to sell handmade pearl earrings, the proceeds of which will go toward Rescue Garden.

The rescue is also currently finishing the construction of a cottage for the pets complete with air-conditioning, heat and electricity, a project Bumstead cites as the beginning of creating more spaces for the community to become involved.

“I envision building even more cottages in the future that our community can actively come and volunteer at and enjoy time with the dogs,” said Bumstead.

For more information about Rescue Garden, visit its Facebook page at, its Instagram page @Rescue_Garden or its Stay Connected page at For more details, email

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