Happy to report that, though the animal contingent was terribly outnumbered, huge kudos go to Commissioner Rose Ferlita for stepping up and committing to finding some sort of solution for the budget cuts facing Hillsborough County Animal Services. There were well over 350 citizens at the meeting, which filled the commission room as well as an overflow upstairs room. Lots of news coverage and cameras. Speakers were limited to 2 minutes each and over 60 people spoke up about Parks & Recreation, Children’s Issues, Consumer Protection, etc. Only about 12 people spoke up for the animal services issue.
But, the animal speakers came to the commission with concrete suggestions to solve the budget issues and with a plan of working together, non-profits and county agencies. Commissioners Ferlita and Beckner applauded this team approach and vowed to find a way to facilitate this in order to avoid the animal service cuts. There was no other issue that they made that commitment to.
Special thanks to everyone who wrote emails and helped make this a hot topic. About 20 representative emails were read to the commissioners and to the public during the meeting. Big Cat Rescue was well represented when those of Deborah Albert and Barbara Frank were read into the record.
Now, we have next week’s Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting to look forward to and how we can make a difference there. Julie Hanan
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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