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reality sound bites.


From Happy To Devasted To Determined.


March 24, 2014 – Princess Colon, the 80,000th client and her humans with ACT tech, Melanie.


On March 24, the Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT) announced that they had reached a milestone: 80,000 spay/neuter surgeries while simultaneously celebrating the clinic’s eighth birthday. The surgery was performed on Princess, a 10-month-old Shih Tzu. The low cost spay/neuter clinic first opened in March,


2006 in a 1200 square foot clinic on Lemon Street near downtown Tampa. Having outgrown that facility, ACT moved into new, larger facilities on Gilchrist Avenue, also near downtown Tampa, during the summer of 2013. To celebrate the milestone surgery, Princess and her


family received a $100 ACT gift card and would be recog- nized during the clinic’s annual Spay-Ghetti/No Balls Dinner and Silent Auction fundraiser on April 5th at the Yuengling Brewery’s Biergarten in Tampa. The clinic, with the help of the Film and Media Arts


department at University of Tampa, also produced a fun video to the Pharrell Williams hit tune, Happy. Cast mem- bers were employees, volunteers, clients and friends of the clinic, including photographer Laura Allen and her Yellow Lab, Lucy. Then, on April 19, the unthinkable happened. An


arsonist set fire to the clinic, destroying it and killing the three, longtime resident cats. Employees were left out of work. Linda and Frank Hamilton, the clinic’s founders were in shock. It was a chilling and sad sight to see that Saturday morning; eerily quiet except for the muffled sounds of peo- ple crying. Devastation turned to determination almost immedi-


ately. The community rallied, including the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. The original Lemon Street location was vacant, and the board voted to re-locate there. A re-build- ing fund was set up to handle donations. On Friday, May 9th, the clinic re-opened at 1719


Lemon Street, Tampa. The 14th Annual Stride for Strays will take place six


months to the day of the fire. October 19th at Raymond James Stadium should be ACT’s biggest Stride yet. Every walker who signs up will receive a free t-shirt with the art of a heart and three paws on the sleeve to commemorate Jazz, Boy and Momma Cat, the three cats killed in the fire.


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April 19, 2014 –The waiting room at Animal Coalition of Tampa after the fire. Photograph by Anna Cooke.


20 THE NEW BARKER


Raise The Roof On The New Clinic: To sign up as an individual walker or create a team for the 3K Walk, go to StrideForStrays.org. For vendor participation, call Dana Williams, Outreach Specialist for ACT at 813.957.5823. Temporary Clinic Location: 1719 West Lemon Street, Tampa. 813.250.3900. Actampa.org


www.TheNewBarker.com


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