Sara Roberts Foundation Supports New College Animal Betterment Project

The Homeless Animal/Animal Betterment Project at New College of Florida has received an $8,150 grant from the Sara Roberts Foundation, a Sarasota-based animal welfare charity.

The funding will expand the project, in its second year, by supporting a work-study volunteer coordinator position and other activities. The Sara Roberts Foundation also supported the project last year.

Last year, New College students performed nearly 300 hours of volunteer work at local animal rescue agencies, including Humane Society of Sarasota County, Cat Depot and Save Our Seabirds. The coordinator will help line up students with volunteer opportunities, track and publicize activities and help develop new programs.

Project director Sandra Gilchrist, professor of biology at New College, said some possibilities are partnering with local groups to build dog houses and cat gyms for low-income families, to work with local support groups to keep companion animals with families who are in distress, to help at adoption and spay/neuter events and collecting food and arranging medical care for companion animals of people who are left homeless.

The grant also will support a second year of classes in animal CPR and first aid, taken by 24 students this year, and outreach activities to collect pet food and gently used accessories, like leashes or pet crates, to recycle for use by adoption shelters.

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