A group of Hollywood residents is in the beginning stages of creating an organization known as the Hollywood Animal Rescue Team (H.A.R.T.). According to Donna O’Keefe, a volunteer with the H.A.R.T., the goal of the new group is to save the many dogs that are picked up off the streets and prevent thousands of dogs from being euthanized.
In addition, the organization hopes to build a shelter, possibly at Stan Goldman Memorial Park, which is located at 800 Knights Road in Park East and already includes the “Hollywood” dog park. It would provide shelter for dogs that are found on the streets for up to five days. After the five days, the dogs would be handed over to a no-kill shelter.
Another possible location being considered is at the corner of I-95 and Hollywood Boulevard.
“Animal abuse has been thrust to the forefront and has become a major topic and focus for those of us who wish to see a change in the laws regarding animal cruelty and/or abuse,” said Hollywood resident and H.A.R.T. volunteer Susan Hart.
The organization hopes to raise $250,000 for its endeavors, and support is growing for the cause. According to O’Keefe, the manager of the Hollywood Walmart has offered to set aside 2018 grant money for H.A.R.T. The manager also said that in addition to the grant money, Walmart would be donating dog and cat food and litter to the organization. In addition, Waste Pro USA and other sponsors have promised to make contributions.
Hollywood Commissioner Traci Callari is pleased that efforts are being made to develop this program. She said meetings have been conducted and many people are interested.
“We have had an unbelievable turnout and we are having meetings about the shelter,” said Callari. “I love this. It is all based on volunteers with a passion for animals.”