Tuesday, January 16, 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

Pasco man fatally struck on Interstate 70 in Kansas

SALINA, Kan. — The Kansas Highway Patrol says a Florida man died after he was hit by a car as he walked along Interstate 70 near Salina.The patrol says 35-year-old Cody Nordlund of New Port Richey died Sunday night.He was walking in an eastbound lane...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
North Korea calls Trump a ‘lunatic’ and a ‘loser’ in response to nuclear button tweet

North Korea calls Trump a ‘lunatic’ and a ‘loser’ in response to nuclear button tweet

North Korea’s official news agency responded Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s controversial "nuclear button tweet," describing it as the "the spasm of a lunatic," according to AP."The spasm of Trump in the new year reflects the desperate mental st...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Forecast: More warm weather, but frigid conditions are returning to Tampa Bay

Forecast: More warm weather, but frigid conditions are returning to Tampa Bay

The sunny skies and warmer temperatures that took hold on Martin Luther King Day will extend into Tuesday across Tampa Bay.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area They will last only a day, however, as the region will see a shor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Boat fire claims 42-year-old mother of two; cold kills fish, attracts vultures, Licht on Bucs’ ‘brutal’ year; warm returns, for a day

The Daystarter: Boat fire claims 42-year-old mother of two; cold kills fish, attracts vultures, Licht on Bucs’ ‘brutal’ year; warm returns, for a day

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• It will actually warm up just a tad before another cold front arrives and sweeps east across the Gulf coast. Tuesday’s highs will be in the 70s but expect cooler temperatures...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Help wanted: Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa has 250 jobs to fill

Help wanted: Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa has 250 jobs to fill

TAMPA — Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is holding a hiring event next week to fill more than 250 positions. The event will take place in the Hard Rock Cafe from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 24. Available positions include culinary, beverage, hotel, spa, ...
Published: 01/16/18
Thanks to Hurricane Irma, you need a boat to get to Shell Key again

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, you need a boat to get to Shell Key again

AT THE SHELL KEY PRESERVE — From a boat puttering along in the water, the sandy beach seems to go on and on. Then, abruptly, it ends at a mass of tangled, overturned mangroves where a great blue heron sits on an exposed root.And there, stretching for...
Published: 01/16/18
Bill to ban orca breeding filed in House faces pushback from SeaWorld

Bill to ban orca breeding filed in House faces pushback from SeaWorld

A bill that would outlaw the breeding and performing of killer whales in Florida has cleared the initial hurdle that kept it off the table last year: getting a lawmaker to file it in the first place. In an effort to solidify a voluntary policy change...
Published: 01/16/18
Vultures drawn by fish killed during cold snap pose hazard for MacDill flights

Vultures drawn by fish killed during cold snap pose hazard for MacDill flights

TAMPA — The recent cold snap has been more than just an inconvenience for Floridians. It’s been tough on fish and potentially hazardous to flights at MacDill Air Force Base.The National Weather Service says temperatures in early January fell to as lo...
Published: 01/16/18
Editorial: Balancing the playing field for workers’ compensation

Editorial: Balancing the playing field for workers’ compensation

For the longest time, injured workers in Florida were basically at the mercy of the whims of employers to treat them fairly. A 2003 law aimed at reducing the cost of workers’ compensation coverage for businesses had the desired impact, but it also di...
Published: 01/16/18
Review: Truth and lies are the focus of ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Review: Truth and lies are the focus of ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Maybe Jack Nicholson was wrong. We can handle the truth.The #MeToo movement is giving a microphone to once unheard voices. Political lies are constantly challenged. At the Golden Globes, Oprah’s rousing speech asserted "the most powerful tool is spea...
Published: 01/16/18