Animal rescue uses poinsettia sale to help pups
SARASOTA COUNTY - A Suncoast animal rescue charity is turning profits from a poinsettia purchase into a profit for pups.
Tony Nigro said it is his calling; "Once you see a dog that is medically needy or going to be euthanized, makes you want to do the best that you can to help them," he said.
Determined to find every dog on the Suncoast and beyond a loving home, Nigro teamed up with Lisa Martin–Manns in 2014. The duo launched the non–profit, Tender Heart Charities Inc.
"We take in discarded, neglected, abused, death row, medically–needy and we focus on taking them out of the kill shelters," Martin-Manns said.
Sometimes they connect a lost dog to its owner and others times, they foster the animal themselves. "First of all, we vet them and then as soon as we get them vetted, they go up for adoption," she said.
Rehab and medical bills quickly add up for the non-profit. "If they have any kind of issues, where they have to be rehabbed for personality, we try to get them aside and get them a trainer and rehab them that way," she said.
The non–profit relies on donations and fundraisers to cover expenses. "What we're primarily trying to do is put the money in the bank so we can fund their expenses," she said.
This holiday season, the non-profit is holding a poinsettia sale on the corner of Cattleman Road and Palmer Boulevard in Sarasota. Martin-Manns said, "It's just one of many fundraisers we try to do."
Money collected from fundraisers like this one help benefit rescueslike Atticus.
Nigro said, "He was going to die within probably days of us getting him. He had surgeries because he had blockages in his intestines from living on the streets...rocks bottle caps."
More than $5,000 of surgeries later, Atticus is happy and healthy.
You can stop by the non–profit's tent everyday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the corner of Cattleman Road and Palmer Boulevard. Tender Hearts Inc. is also seeking fosters and volunteers.