Monday, April 23, 2018
News Roundup

SPCA shelter trying to recover from flood

NEW PORT RICHEY — When Gail Fawcett learned that a water pipe break had flooded the SPCA Suncoast shelter last week, her first thought was the shelter's 100 animals.

On that front, at least, the news was good.

"The animals are fine," Devlynn Saunders, the shelter manager, told Fawcett. "We're not."

When Saunders opened the shelter Thursday morning, she found herself standing in three inches of water. A copper pipe in the bathroom wall of the 50-year-old building had broken, flooding most of the interior and destroying many shelter supplies.

A half-ton of food supplies for the animals was ruined. The shelter phone, computer and air conditioning systems were disabled, the shelter's walls soaked through. The building's medical bay, administrative offices and staff break and supply storage rooms were also affected.

But the shelter's four-legged residents were safe and dry in other areas of the property. For Fawcett, who volunteers as executive director of SPCA Suncoast, the animals' safety and well-being is paramount. It's why she came to the shelter in the first place.

"I don't get paid to be here, and as a private (nonprofit) organization we don't get national funding," she said. "I'm here because animals complete my life."

Fawcett, Saunders and their 10-person staff had been making plans for additions and improvements for the SPCA Suncoast building, constructed in 1964.

"Now those improvements will have to be put on hold," said Fawcett.

The animal shelter now faces significant repair costs, mass replacement of pet and office supplies, sanitizing costs, plumbing repairs and wall and floor replacements.

Special equipment has been brought in to help dry everything out, including UV lights to kill bacteria and germs and sizable fans to dry the area and combat mold and mildew.

Since Thursday's flood, community sponsors such as Gulfport Networking, SERVPRO, Gladiator Construction and Petco have come forward with offers of help and materials for the shelter. In addition, residents have stepped up with donations of pet food and other supplies.

Fawcett credits her staff with seeing the shelter through tough times.

"These people are amazing," she said. "They're working in extreme heat, doing whatever it takes."

Staff members are continuing to care for the animals, even performing needed spayings and neuterings in limited space in the medical bay.

"We're piecing everything together, trying to make it work," said Saunders.

It will take more help to restore the shelter's operations. Cash donations are most needed; additionally, donations of everything from dry wall to pet food, computer to phone equipment is appreciated.

"This is devastating," Fawcett said. "Little by little though, we'll make our way back."

 
Comments
PolitiFact Florida: Does Gov. Rick Scott want to privatize Social Security?

PolitiFact Florida: Does Gov. Rick Scott want to privatize Social Security?

The president of a PAC that works to protect Social Security says Florida Gov. Rick Scott doesn’t have the backs of senior citizens.Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, the president of the Social Security Works PAC (and a former member of the band Sha Na Na), blast...
Updated: 1 hour ago

The Daystarter: Scott touts term limits in D.C.; All Children’s Heart Institute had "challenges"; impasse hearing between Hillsborough school district and union; Rays complete sweep of Twins

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• We’ll have highs today ranging from the lower 80s to upper 80s with scattered showers and thunderstorms likely throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service.• As you h...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hooper: Leader’s vision may lead to new Woodson Museum spot

Hooper: Leader’s vision may lead to new Woodson Museum spot

Premier Eye Care CEO Lorna Taylor received the inaugural Winnie Foster Lifetime Achievement Award at a Carter G. Woodson Museum event Sunday in St. Petersburg.The award is as much about what she hopes to do as what she’s already done for the museum. ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Can New Tampa handle nearly 700 more homes? Not without major changes, council member says

Can New Tampa handle nearly 700 more homes? Not without major changes, council member says

TAMPA — New Tampa was built on sprawl. Big houses, often in gated communities with lots of green space, are the operating principle for developing the area Tampa annexed in pieces starting in the mid 1980s.But residents who love the good schools and ...
Published: 04/23/18
Lightning Round 2 playoff tickets on sale Monday

Lightning Round 2 playoff tickets on sale Monday

Single-game tickets for the Lightning's Eastern Conference semifinal series go on sale to the general public at 1 p.m. Monday at nhl.com/lightning/tickets.The Lightning plays the winner of the Bruins-Maple Leafs series. Game 6 of that series is Monda...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Developer Bill Bishop created

Developer Bill Bishop created "walkable communities"

Bill Bishop was a developer by definition, but those who know him best considered him to be an artist whose canvas was Hillsborough County.Among the communities he created from scratch are Pebble Creek, Westchase, Waterchase and Highland Park. He als...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: St. Petersburg man on LSD knocks out teen girl at RaceTrac while her parent pumps gas

Deputies: St. Petersburg man on LSD knocks out teen girl at RaceTrac while her parent pumps gas

ST. PETERSBURG — A man punched a 13-year-old girl inside a RaceTrac convenience store Saturday, knocking her unconscious as her parent pumped gas outside, Pinellas deputies reported. Kolbe Wayne Smith, 27, of St. Petersburg now faces charges o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How Baker Mayfield can benefit the Bucs

How Baker Mayfield can benefit the Bucs

TAMPA — The buzz surrounding this year's NFL draft is a class of talented quarterbacks deep enough to challenge the record six taken in the first round in 1983, a group that included future Hall of Famers John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.Th...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy and the universal language of playoff hockey

Andrei Vasilevskiy and the universal language of playoff hockey

TAMPA — As usual, Andrei Vasilevskiy didn't speak in front of the cameras after the game. He has been like that since he hit the NHL. He still isn't comfortable with his English on TV.But Vasilevskiy spoke loudly and clearly in the first-round ...
Updated: 7 hours ago