Hernando County firefighter’s assisted by Withlacoochee Electric workers came to the rescue of the lost and abandoned dogs waiting for their forever families at Hernando County Animal Services.

Hernando County firefighters came to the rescue of the lost and abandoned dogs at Hernando County Animal Services over Father’s Day Weekend.

Deputy Fire Chief, Kevin Carroll, was at the shelter during the course of business a couple months ago when he asked shelter manager, James Terry, about a pile of lumber and roof sheeting laying in the yard. 

Carroll learned from Terry that the wonderful gift had been donated for the pups by Pet Luv’s Rick Silvani over a year ago to build hurricane proof shelters for the animals to escape the hot sun. 

“We had this wonderful gift donated but unfortunately the volunteer who was going to help me with the project became gravely ill and the materials were left laying there,” Terry explains.

After securing the building permit and an engineered set of plans Carroll went to work.

“I contacted Captain Tim LaRoche and asked if he and some others would be willing to help me put the shelters together.  Without hesitation, Captain LaRoche and Driver Engineer Rob Leondike volunteered their time to help.” said Carroll.

As with most big projects, this one had it’s bumps to overcome as well. On the first day, the men were using a small auger to dig the holes for the corner posts, but due to the hard clay-like nature of the soil, the small auger quickly broke. 

“After taking a few minutes to think how else we could manage to dig these holes, I contacted David Lambert from Withlacoochee River Electric Company (WREC) and asked if he had an auger truck that they use to dig holes for power poles, in the area to assist us.  David Lambert called me back within minutes and stated a truck was on their way.  Approximately 30 minutes later, not one, but two Withlacoochee crews arrived with an auger truck from the Hudson Office, and had all holes bored out in less than an hour and even jumped into the holes to help dig out the remaining dirt. We were extremely grateful to WREC, as this saved us hours, if not days of work,” Carroll describes.

Carroll says the job isn’t quite done but they are almost there, “As of last Friday, we have one shelter completed, and only need a few hours on another day here soon to place the metal roof on the other.”   

Shelter manager James Terry expressed his appreciation and thankfulness over the phone this morning saying, “I am amazed and very grateful for the tremendous help from these men. This isn’t the first time they have come over to help us and we are very grateful.”

These shelters will allow the animals, volunteers and prospective adopters to be able to spend more time outside playing in the summer months.