Homeless with Pets In Sarasota

January 23, 2014


Seniors for Pets was founded with one mission:  To help senior citizens with financial difficulties pay for basic veterinary care for their dogs and cats.  That said, we certainly recognize that there are plenty of younger people who need help retaining their pets.  In a perfect world, there would be plenty of money to help everyone, but such is not the reality.  As one small non-profit organization, we can’t change that, but we can certainly make people aware of other needs in our society and as individuals, we can reach out a helping hand.

Two nights ago, I was included in a group Chat conversation on Facebook with several other ladies who work in the Sarasota animal welfare world.  Gini Hyman volunteers with Sanctuary of Sarasota, a 501(c) 3 non-profit group that helps the homeless of the area.  According to Vallerie Guillory, the director of the Sanctuary, Gini not only brings food to the shelter most nights, she stays to visit with the men and women who stop by to eat and knows most of them by name.  She has met several of the dogs belonging to these homeless people and understands their needs and concerns regarding their pets.

I put out a plea that same night on our Seniors for Pets Facebook page, asking for volunteers to deliver pet food, blankets, dog & cat supplies to the Sanctuary of Sarasota the next day.  Several of you did so, and I thank you.  Vallerie Guillory is grateful, and I know those homeless men and women with pets appreciated your thoughtfulness.  Jim and I delivered pet beds, flea & tick preventatives, dog collars and leashes, dog and cat treats and dog food.

Gini Hyman posted a photo on Facebook of Cindy Alvis Britton, who runs a transitional group home for formerly homeless young men with mental health issues.  She allows them to have their pets.  Cindy stopped by the Sanctuary yesterday to pick up a few pet supplies for the men.


Winter is not over in Sarasota.  We are sure to have more chilly nights.  If you live in this area, please take some time to think about how you could help.  Check out the Facebook page for Sanctuary of Sarasota.  Read about what they do.  Deliver supplies to help people deal with the cold weather.  Contact Vallerie and offer to deliver food.  Make a monetary donation to their organization.  Businesses should be able to donate supplies that would help their mission.

Other non-profit organizations will be working to convince the homeless pet owners to allow their dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered and will help fund the vaccinations needed.  Rhys Miller of Fairytail Endings is one of those.  Animal welfare groups working together for the good of the community is a positive happening.  We are delighted to be a part of this endeavor.  I’m also very pleased to get to know Vallerie Guillory, who is active in improving the plight of women and children in our community.  She is a remarkable woman!

The Sanctuary is located at 1005 N. Washington Blvd. behind the Dealer’s Choice building.   They own several acres with a prefab building.

Seniors for Pets friend Wendy Smith said it best:  “We are all one step away from being homeless.”  It really could happen to any of us at anytime.

As Gini Hyman said, “When you know what is going on in your community, you know what to do.”

And now you know!   Let’s all get busy and do something about it.


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