Without a doubt, Florida residents have felt the decrease in tourism this summer, as oil from the BP spill continues to wash up on beaches. But the economy isn’t the only thing hurting. The spill has most directly affected the birds and marine animals that live in the Gulf waters.
Hoping to reduce the devastation, Pinellas Park Pet Supplies “Plus” began collecting donations for Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, the largest wild bird hospital in the United States.
“We’re a store full of animal lovers, so the most important thing to us is the safety and welling being of the animals,” says Darren McArdle, store manager.
By becoming a donation drop-off site, Pinellas Park Pet Supplies “Plus” makes things convenient for customers who want to help but were unsure of who to donate to or what was needed. As a “thank you” gift, each donor receives a coupon for $1 off her purchase.
The requested items are inexpensive and easy to find, but can help save wildlife affected by the oil spill. The retail price of a 10.3 oz bottle of Dawn original blue dishwashing detergent is just $2.29, but it is a literal lifesaver. Back during the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, rescue workers realized its effectiveness for cleaning oil-drenched seabirds. Other requested items include panty hose, new brushes and toothbrushes, t-shirts, towels, sheets, and other linens. Since they began collecting in mid-May, Pinellas Park Pet Supplies “Plus” has filled 25 large boxes with supplies.
Along with collecting supplies, the store’s grooming center collects animal hair for Make Mine Bluegreen, a local organization dedicated to keeping the oceans healthy. Both human and animal hair can be made into “booms,” mats that naturally soak up oil. So far Pinellas Park Pet Supplies “Plus” has collected 26 lbs of hair.
The Pinellas Park Pet Supplies “Plus” store is located at 7331 Park Boulevard North in Pinellas Park, Florida. For more information, contact the store at (727) 541-1199 or visit PetSuppliesPlusFL.com. —Valerie Lute