Of the many church and charitable opportunities of which I volunteer my time and donate money the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando (P.A.G.O.) is my favorite. And don’t get me wrong as I do enjoy all of them. It’s like asking a parent to choose their favorite child. Of course I’m their favorite… at least that’s what they tell me (and probably the same thing to my siblings). 😉
Formerly known as the SPCA of Central Florida, P.A.G.O. has been around since 1937 when it began as the Orlando Humane Society and is one of the oldest and largest agencies in Florida. They have two locations:
- Orlando: 2727 Conroy Road Orlando, FL 32839 407-351-7722
- Sanford: 2800 County Home Road Sanford, FL 32773 407-323-8685
“Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando educated, shelters, places, and heals pets and their families with compassionate, responsible care maintained to the very highest professional standards.”
“Create more caring communities by promoting happier healthier pets and their families.”
If you enjoy spending time with cats and dogs and looking for an opportunity to give back then Pet Alliance is a worthwhile consideration. They do so much with so little including some of the following:
- Pet adoptions (on and off-site) and taking in pet surrenders.
- Behavioral resources to help owners understand basic dog and cat psychology.
- Bark U Academy’s group seminars for families adopting new dogs providing specific skills and behaviors for both the dog and families.
- Puppy and Kitchen Socialization.
- Referrals for other training classes including in-home training.
- Veterinary clinic including the Mobile Clinic, spay/neuter services and other preventive care as well as referrals for emergencies.
- Countless volunteer opportunities at the shelter including many events throughout the community.
- Foster homes for puppies, dogs, cats and kittens.
- Community events for schools, reading programs, pet CPR and first aid and guest speakers.
- Summer camps for children.
- Pet food services to pets in elderly homes as well as basic veterinary care.
What I enjoy most is that you get to see the direct tangible benefits of the time and/or money you donate. If you’re working in the shelter with the dogs and cats you see pets receive (if needed) the medical and behavioral care they need and happy families taking dogs and cats to their forever homes.
I think of it as playing with dogs all day, but give my time as both a Bark Buddy and a Kennel Coach alternating weekends and absolutely love it. If you’re too busy to volunteer, then a donation as little as $5.00 can go along ways and can purchase one pool for the dogs to play in the water on one of Florida’s hot summer days.
And it can be hot working in the shelter some days, but there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer at events. I’ve helped with the Fashionable 5K and 1-mile dog jog, the Dimanche Chic SPCA Fashion Fundraiser hosted by Jackie and David Siegel and look forward to many others. The 2014 Furball Rescue at SeaWorld is coming up on October 25th and you can see all events on their calendar. Pet Alliance does more than just “speak to, heal and care” for dogs and cats… they engage the community in education, fun events and awareness for animal welfare.
Some of the many partnerships Pet Alliance has include those with Fun Spot America, Florida Hospital, WMMO 98.9, Reed Nissan, Stanley Steamer, WFTV Channel 9, Heartgard, Frontline, SunTrust, Hard Rock Café and the Orlando Sentinel.
Any gift of your time and money is much appreciated and can be done by clicking either volunteer or money or… just show up at one of Pet Alliance’s many events and have some fun. As silly as it sounds I’d just like to say thank you to Pet Alliance for letting me volunteer and help in any small way that I can. What they do, who they are, the staff, other volunteers and especially all the pets there make it worthwhile and enjoyable experience each and every time I volunteer.
BY: Cory Prado
*The Orlando Sentinel always does a fantastic job covering our many events.