January 23, 2018

Greener Grass for Shelter Dogs in Manatee County

The dogs at Manatee County Animal Services will have greener grass to play and run on thanks to some very generous local businesses and the Picture Them Adopted group.

Picture Them Adopted is a program of photographers and volunteers who take professional pictures of the dogs and cats at Manatee County Animal Services to try and increase their chances of adoption by showing their personalities through a great photo. The two areas where the dogs are photographed were not so picture perfect however.  So the group stepped in to try and get sod donated to fix up the photo areas.

Caryn Hodge, PTA organizer, contacted Sandy Moses of Sandy’s Lawn Service to present the problem. Sandy in turn contacted several companies she thought might chip in to help. According to Sandy, “Everyone I called wanted to help…It was amazing.” Harmony Care prepared the area by pre-treating for weeds and providing starter fertilizer for the sod. The county public works department prepared the areas by clearing debris and also installed the sod.  Sandy’s Lawn Service provided the top soil. The areas that needed to be covered equaled 3150 square feet. A total of 9 pallets were needed to cover the areas.

Initially, Sandy had several companies that were willing to contribute, and then one phone call changed the entire course of the project. Burnett’s Nursery, Big Earth and Bethel Farms were all ready to help by donating a portion of the sod. Sandy then called Everglades Farm Equipment to see if they would also pitch in. Gary Noel at Everglades decided to donate all of the sod required. He contacted his sod provider, SMR Sod Farms. They immediately came on board to provide the sod to Everglades at a considerable discount and to deliver the sod at no charge. According to Caryn Hodge, PTA organizer, “Sandy Moses took our request and did most of the footwork to make this happen.”

According to Moses, this project came along at the perfect time. “I have been grieving the loss of my 13 year old Golden Retriever, Cesar. Working on this project helped me deal with the loss and honor him at the same time.” Sandy states further, “It was my pleasure to work with these companies. What a great project this was to try and save the precious lives of these animals. Manatee County sure is an animal loving community.” Sandy’s comments are echoed in the efforts many have put forth in helping the county to become a NO KILL county by the end of 2012. The county was at 45% in September 2011. Currently they are at 80%. According to PTA organizer Ruth Uecker, who was also instrumental in helping to coordinate the sod project, “Providing a better environment and nicer play/run area for the dogs, makes them happier and therefore, more adoptable.”  Picture Them Adopted and Manatee County Animal Services extend their deepest gratitude to Sandy’s Lawn Service and the other companies that were so instrumental in getting this project accomplished.

For more information on animal adoptions, the NO KILL effort and how you can help Manatee County reach their goal visit www.manateecounty.org/pets.

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