Orange County, Fla. – With animal shelters overcrowded in many communities, desperate times have led some local business owners to step in to help.
Melissa Wendell is the owner of 4 Paws Resort Orlando, a boarding and boarding facility that can accommodate up to 25 dogs per day.
While her day is already filled with lots of cleaning, feeding and playtime, Wendell made an urgent plea for help from Puppy Lovers Rescue seven months ago.
“Renee reached out to me with Puppy Players, and she said they have 75 dogs that they don’t know where to put them,” Wendell said.
According to the email, they were all taken from one property and the hunter didn’t have enough room to house them all. Despite her workload, Wendell decided to step in and help.
“We took three out of 75 dogs that season,” she said, explaining that the small boarding facility had only room to offer. Since then, Wendell said she has fostered 10 others.
She said she did this because she knew the need, and since she has several dogs of her own, she couldn’t imagine not jumping to help at such a critical time.
According to Wendall, more than 200 dogs were surrendered in Lake County in just one month. She said many animals in similar situations end up dying when there is no space in the shelter and no one to adopt them.
Even though Vendal is tasked with taking care of 25 plus dogs in a day, she washes about 30 blankets every day, gives each dog her undivided attention and begs for all she can to foster.
“It’s very simple,” she said. “The shelters will take care of the food and microchips, and if anyone is interested and needs help figuring out how to adopt, you can call any shelter and they’ll be happy to help you.”
For more information on how to adopt or temporarily adopt animals in need, visit the Orange County Animal Services website.