Friday, November 17, 2017
News Roundup

SPCA shelter trying to recover from flood

RECOMMENDED READING


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
Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

The main course was expected: a pair of sleek silver Tesla semi-trucks that get 500 miles per charge, go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds and — if the hype is to be believed — promise to single-handedly transform the commercial trucking industry.B...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

The tough hit that Florida jobs took from Hurricane Irma was not long lived, as predicted by economists. The state added 125,300 jobs in October, almost breaking even from the 127,400 jobs it lost in September. According to state figures released Fri...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jameis Winston denies allegations that he groped Uber driver

Jameis Winston denies allegations that he groped Uber driver

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston denied allegations that he groped a female Uber driver in March 2016 in Scottsdale, Ariz."A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Editorial: Good for Tampa council member Frank Reddick to appeal for community help to solve Seminole Heights killings

As the sole black member of the Tampa City Council, Frank Reddick was moved Thursday to make a special appeal for help in solving four recent murders in the racially mixed neighborhood of Southeast Seminole Heights. "I’m pleading to my brothers. You ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jeffrey Tambor accused of sexual harassment by his ‘Transparent’ co-star

Jeffrey Tambor accused of sexual harassment by his ‘Transparent’ co-star

"Transparent" actress Trace Lysette has accused actor Jeffrey Tambor of sexually harassing her on the set of the Amazon series.Lysette’s allegations mark the second time the star, who plays Maura Pfefferman on the critically acclaimed dramedy, has be...
Updated: 1 hour ago
William March: Why Jose Vazquez had to campaign from a prison cell

William March: Why Jose Vazquez had to campaign from a prison cell

Jose Vazquez, Democratic nominee in the Dec. 19 state House District 58 special election, doesn’t seem like a criminal. He’s 43, divorced with six children, and has worked as a security guard and in auto recycling. He was a high-level political field...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

There are probably a handful of essentials, things you must have on the Thanksgiving table lest some family members begin to riot. But I find there are often a couple of slots open for new things, chances to get weird or creative or, gasp, healthy. ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

How are we doing?That was the Big Question posed more than once this past week in Tampa Bay. First, the Tampa Bay Partnership and USF debuted in-depth and new ways to measure Tampa Bay across a wide range of indicators to gauge whether we are gaining...
Updated: 3 hours ago
We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

What one thing could be added to the Tampa Bay startup community to help it grow and prosper?The Tampa Bay Times reached out to these leading area entrepreneurs and startup experts for answers.RELATED COVERAGE: Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? D...
Updated: 3 hours ago
19 digital billboards now spread word of reward in Seminole Heights killings

19 digital billboards now spread word of reward in Seminole Heights killings

TAMPA — To help spread the word about reward money offered in connection with four unsolved shooting deaths in Seminole Heights, two billboard companies have donated the use of a combined 19 digital billboards.On Thursday, police announced the reward...
Updated: 3 hours ago