ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — With animal shelters overcrowded in many communities, desperate times have led some local business owners to pitching in to help out.
Melissa Vendal is the owner of 4 Paws Resort Orlando, a boarding and daycare facility that can handle up to 25 dogs daily.
While her day is already filled with lots of cleaning, feeding and play time, seven months ago Vendal got an urgent plea for help from Puppy Pleasers Rescue.
“Renee from Puppy Pleasers reached out to me, and she said that they had 75 dogs that they didn’t know where to put,” said Vendal.
According to the email, they were all taken from a single property and the rescue did not have enough space to house them all. Despite her workload, Vendal said she decided to step in and help.
“We took in three of the 75 dogs at the time,” she said, explaining that was all the space the small boarding facility could offer. Since then, Vendal said she has fostered 10 others.
She said she does it because she knows the need, and with several dogs of her own, she can’t imagine not jumping into help during a crucial time like this.
According to Vendal more than 200 dogs were surrendered in Lake County in just one month. She said that many animals in similar circumstances are euthanized when there is no longer space at the shelters and no one to foster.
Vendal said that while it is a task to care for 25 plus dogs at a time in one day, she washes nearly 30 blankets daily, provides undivided attention to each dog and implores anyone that can to foster if they can.
“It’s a really easy,” she said. “The shelters take care of the food and microchips, and if anyone is interested and needs help finding out how to foster, they can call any shelter and they’ll be happy to help you.”
For more information on how to adopt or temporarily foster animals in need, visit the Orange County Animal Services website.