Featured

Local Rodeo Camp Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Ten years ago, Sandy Johnson, owner of Johnson & Johnson Show Horses, located in Sarasota, Florida, started the J&J Summer Youth Rodeo Camp to accomplish her dream of helping local young equestrians hone their horsemanship skills.

The week-long camp, which runs from Monday, June 29, 2020 to Friday, July 4, 2020, features events including barrel racing, pole bending, cattle sorting, roping, keyhole, jumping, goat tying and a variety of “classic” camp activities including egg and spoon and stake races. The summer camp ends with a relay race including the week’s events, followed by the legendary “Saddle Race” where every camper plays a role. After the saddle race event, the scores for the weekly events are compiled and added to the final relay and saddle race scores, and the fastest team wins. 

“This camp is made possible by an awesome group of parents and kids with a passion for rodeo, horsemanship, teamwork and improving skills,” said Sandy Johnson, founder of Johnson and Johnson Show Horses & JJ Summer Youth Rodeo Camp. “This camp is something I dreamed up and I’m so proud to see new and returning campers each year. Many of our campers return to help after they age out of the program, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see our campers progress in their confidence and ability to communicate with their horses throughout the week and beyond.”

Campers are not required but encouraged to have an understanding of rodeo, and understand the basics of working with horses and teammates. The athletes range in age from five to 18, with a variety of differing skill levels. The cost for the camp, hosted daily during the week from 9am to 2pm, is $250 per participant.

On the final day of the camp, Johnson hosts an awards ceremony for the campers where the young athletes and their horses are awarded for their hard work and dedication. This year, as an added surprise in celebration of the camp’s ten year anniversary, the campers plan to thank Johnson and her team during the final events and ceremony. Campers will share testimonials and reasons they appreciate the camp experience and the event will be followed by a potluck meal, prepared by the families of campers. The awards ceremony, following the potluck lunch, is scheduled for 2:30pm on Friday, July 3, 2020.

Johnson, along with her daughter, Jamie Lee Johnson and right hand woman, Kris Anderson, operate the camp and plan the annual events. Throughout the year, Johnson trains and shows reined cow horses for many clients and teaches upper level competitors through the Johnson & Johnson Show Horses business. To learn more about the summer camp or future events, contact Sandy Johnson at 941.809.7464. 

About Johnson and Johnson Show Horses

Located in Sarasota, Florida, Johnson & Johnson Show Horses was founded by Sandy Johnson to share the family’s love and appreciation for agriculture and rodeo lifestyle. Training beginners and advanced riders, for fun and competitive sports, Johnson and her team are proud to offer local riders the opportunity to grow their talent and relationship with their horses. To learn more about the J&J Summer Youth Rodeo Camp, or to find pricing or information on training and private lessons, contact Sandy Johnson at 941.809.7464.

Lakewood Ranch Yoga Studio Invites Community to Grand Opening Event

Bradenton, Fla. – The Yoga Barre at Lakewood Ranch, a yoga studio founded in 2021, invites the public to attend the location’s official grand opening celebration weekend, with events and free classes planned for October 1 – 3, 2021. 

“After a very interesting few months, facing the unique opportunities of building and opening a business amid a global pandemic, we are excited to invite our community to attend our official grand opening weekend for The Yoga Barre at Lakewood Ranch,” said Janette Brown, owner and instructor at The Yoga Barre. “If the past few years have taught us anything, it is the importance of physical and mental health, and we are proud to offer a welcoming studio with a variety of classes taught by an incredible and knowledgeable group of instructors. We believe our community will greatly benefit from The Yoga Barre, and we cannot wait to celebrate our grand opening with you!”

The Yoga Barre, located at 4124 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. in Bradenton, FL, is a full service yoga studio with a variety of instructors and classes including aerial yoga, kids yoga, Vinyasa flow, power yoga, restorative yoga, Buti yoga, and more. The mission of The Yoga Barre is to provide a space where people can rest their minds, energize their souls, move their bodies and explore their inner selves through yoga. 

Participants will receive 10% off all packages to The Yoga Barre during the grand opening weekend and will have access to free classes on Friday: YoPump (10/1, 7:30 – 8:30am), Barrelates (10/1, 9:00 – 9:30am), K-Vibe (10/1, 10 – 11:15am), Gentle Yoga (10/1, 11:30am – 12:45pm), Hatha Yoga (10/1, 1 – 2:15pm), Power Yoga (10/1, 2:30 – 3:30pm), Vinyasa (10/1, 4 – 5:15pm) Aerial Yoga (10/1, 6 – 7:15pm) and Buti Yoga  10/1, (8-9:15) . There will be a free class on Saturday, Yoga in the Park and the Grand Opening party will be held from 6pm – 9pm, with complimentary chair massages and vedic thai from Lindsey Bennet and Cara Levitt of hOMe Massage & Wellness, snacks provided by Atria Cafe. The event activities also include a free Barrelattes in the Park class; for a full list of events and details, visit https://lwryogabarre.com/grand-opening/

The grand opening event will also feature a raffle with prizes and gift certificates donated by local businesses. Brown has partnered with Stronger than Silence, a survivor-led organization dedicated to elevating the stories of women who have survived and thrived after experiencing domestic abuse; 100% of the proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to the organization’s “Fifty to Freedom” campaign. To learn more about this cause, visit https://www.strongerthansilence.com/

For more information on the upcoming event, the grand opening raffle, classes offered and the current calendar of events, visit https://lwryogabarre.com/ or contact Janette at 941.867.0812 or janette@lwryogabarre.com

About The Yoga Barre

Founded in April 2021, The Yoga Barre, located at 4124 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. in Bradenton, FL, is a full service yoga studio with a variety of instructors and classes including aerial yoga, kids yoga, Vinyasa flow, power yoga, restorative yoga, Buti yoga, and more. The mission of The Yoga Barre is to provide a space where people can rest their minds, energize their souls, move their bodies and explore their inner selves through yoga. The Yoga Barre creator and owner,  RYT 500 and Reiki Master Janette Brown, is a Sarasota native with certifications in Aerial Yoga, Children’s Yoga, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Spin and HIIT. Along with her partner Ryan and children Avery and Arden, Janette founded The Yoga Barre to share her passion and knowledge of Yoga practices in the Lakewood Ranch and surrounding communities. To learn more, visit https://lwryogabarre.com/

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PHOTO ID: Janette Brown, The Yoga Barre owner, provided by Joanna Rettler Photography

Humane Society of Sarasota County Plans Events to Celebrate National Pet Month

Sarasota, Fla. – The Humane Society of Sarasota County (HSSC) is proud to announce plans to celebrate, educate, raise awareness, and boost pet adoptions for “National Pet Month,” celebrated throughout May.

The organization, the area’s largest no-kill shelter, has planned a series of events throughout May 2021, including a discounted pet adoption day and a blood drive, to share resources and community partnerships while raising awareness and promoting pet rescue and adoptions.

“We are incredibly excited to recognize May, “National Pet Month,” with a variety of fun and exciting events. This is an awesome time for animal lovers to celebrate pets, and our planned celebrations for this month aim to bring together animal welfare charities, professionals, businesses, and more to promote good pet ownership and awareness,” said Anna Gonce, executive director of the Humane Society of Sarasota County. “We’re excited to bring this celebration into this community, and we can’t wait to help our amazing shelter pets find loving homes as we empower our pet parents on their journey!”

Events planned throughout the month include: HSSC’s “Adopt BIG” day on Thursday, May 13, 2021, highlighting the shelter’s large breed longer-term residents (HSSC pets living in the shelter for 25 days or longer) with a discounted rate of $25 per adoption (qualifying pets will be highlighted on the organization’s website); and a blood drive, in partnership with Suncoast Blood Bank, held at the Humane Society of Sarasota County campus on Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 10am to 1pm; the first 25 donors will receive a surprise gift from DOGPerfect Pet Supply store (www.dogperfect.com).

To learn more about upcoming HSSC events, contact Alissa Jackson, Marketing Coordinator, at ajackson@hssc.org.  To view a list of pets and HSSC residents available for adoption, visit www.hssc.org/pets.adoption.

About The Humane Society of Sarasota County

The Humane Society of Sarasota County is the area’s premier no-kill shelter and relies solely on private donations, bequests, and community support to continue its mission to engage the hearts, hands, and minds of the community to help animals. Programs offered include pet adoptions, humane education, pet therapy, a pet pantry, a volunteer program, and a full-service, low-cost animal clinic that is open to the public. For a list of hours, locations and to learn more information, visit www.hssc.org.

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Preferred SHORE ‘Florida Realtors’ Team Prioritizes Diversity, Inclusion

​Sarasota, Fla. – Veronica Brandon Miller, a realtor with Preferred SHORE, formed her ‘Florida Realtors’ Team in 2019 and is proud to announce the addition of a new team member, Milagros Iliana Chunga (Mili). Miller and Chunga have partnered for a diversity initiative created to help represent the variety of demographics in the community.

“Diversity creates space, inclusion provides a seat and a voice,” said Veronica Brandon Miller, REALTOR© with Preferred Shore. “This is an exciting and necessary opportunity to expand our horizons – to be a strong voice for real estate in our community, we must appreciate the role of diversity as an important factor in helping embrace ‘homeownership’ regardless of the communities that are served. Alongside Mili, and through the growth of our Florida Realtors with Preferred SHORE team, we can help represent all demographic groups in our market area.”

Born and raised in the Providence of Huaral, Lima Peru, Chunga graduated cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies and political sciences from the University of San Martin de Porres (USMP). She holds the professional title of attorney at law and opened her own business after moving to the United States in her early twenties. Chunga became a U.S. Citizen in 2011, is a business owner, an animal rights advocate, and is proficient in English and Spanish, enabling the duo to serve a variety of homebuyers and sellers. 

“Inclusion equals Opportunity. Opportunity for those who have otherwise not been considered to actively- and freely-participate,” said Mili Chunga, REALTOR© with Preferred Shore. “Conversations are key. Please do not be silent. Speak up respectfully and let’s bridge some gaps. Everyone has a story. A house is more than just a piece of property. It is the stage upon which the drama of life unfolds. Where you live is a monumental achievement in the pursuit of the American dream. It is the most significant transaction that most people will ever make, and it is a pleasure to assist people in achieving their goals.”

To learn more about the partnership and newly launched diversity initiative, visit www.thefloridarealtor.com

Aqua Plumbing & Air Celebrates National Skilled Trades Day

Local company plans initiative to promote skilled trades opportunities, awareness

Sarasota, Fla. – Aqua Plumbing & Air, a local heating, air conditioning and plumbing company, invites the community to recognize National Skilled Trades Day on May 5, 2021. In an effort to celebrate those who are employed as skilled trades workers, the company hopes to inform the community about the benefits of skilled trades jobs and encourage those considering careers within the industry, by partnering with local job fairs, hiring organizations and technical colleges and trade schools.

“As a company and a community, we are well aware the impact of the drastic drop of interest in skilled trades positions over the past 30 years. With the push to attend universities and colleges, only 20% of high school seniors express an interest in the field, while we are facing labor shortages due to lack of qualified tradesmen and women, and those retiring from the field. Simply put, there are more jobs than workers,” said Chuck Jacobson, co-owner of Aqua Plumbing & Air.

Established by City Marine Technologies in 2019, National Skilled Trades Day aims to “increase awareness about the benefits of skilled trades jobs in the United States and to celebrate skilled trades workers,” according to a press release distributed by City Marine Technologies.

“Not only are those in skilled trades likely to graduate and begin working faster than those attending a university; there is an opportunity to avoid the debt that typically comes with a four-year degree. Those in skilled trades often only need a certification to start their career, which means they can begin earning with little to no debt from education. National Skilled Trades Day aims to raise awareness – if we are going to create growth in our country, we must celebrate the critical jobs that fall under Skilled Trades,” said Jacobson.

For ideas on how to observe National Skilled Trades Day as a school, business, individual or community, visit https://www.cmtcompanies.com/national-skilled-trades-day/. To learn more about current opportunities to work with Aqua Plumbing & Air, visit https://www.aquaplumbingsarasota.com/careers/.

To learn about Aqua Plumbing & Air’s local initiatives, visit https://www.aquaplumbingsarasota.com/

About Aqua Plumbing & Air

Since 1974, Aqua Plumbing & Air has served homeowners and businesses throughout Sarasota, Bradenton and the surrounding Southwest Florida region. With a purpose-driven company culture, Aqua Plumbing & Air offers the highest quality service at the lowest possible price. Providing residential and commercial plumbing, water treatment, HVAC and electrical services, the Aqua Plumbing & Air team is 100% dedicated to customer satisfaction, fast response to calls for service and provision of professionally trained and insured service technicians. To learn more, visit https://www.aquaplumbingsarasota.com/

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Preferred SHORE Partners with Child Protection Center to Host Blood Drive

On March 30 and 31, 2021, Preferred SHORE, a local real estate company, and Child Protection Center, a nonprofit organization, partnered to host a blood drive through the SunCoast Blood Centers (SCBC). Through community support, staff participation and social media awareness, the partnership resulted in helping 57 lives and families.

Preferred Shore broker Robert Milligan contacted their business neighbor, Doug Staley, Executive Director of Child Protection Center, to partner for the drive after local events impacted the current community blood bank reserve.

“We know that this is an incredibly giving and thoughtful community, and we saw another example of that as we hosted our recent blood drive in partnership with the Child Protection Center staff and supporters,” said Robert Milligan, president of Preferred SHORE. “When we heard that the SunCoast Blood Centers needed blood, we felt the urge to jump in and do something to help, and this was the perfect partnership to make it happen. Over the course of two days, we were able to make an impact and help save lives in our community, and we are incredibly grateful to every person who stopped by, donated, shared online and helped us partner with the local SunCoast Blood Centers for this tremendous effort.”

According to information provided by the SunCoast Blood Centers, 150 whole blood donations and least 25 platelet donations are needed daily to keep up with the needs of the community and local hospitals. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs donated blood. Approximately 32,000 pints of blood are used each day – and just one pint of donated blood can save as many as three lives.

Preferred SHORE and Child Protection Center staff were joined by team members, real estate agents and community members for the March 30 and March 31 event, which came together as a response to a call put out by the SunCoast Blood Centers.

“Although our primary mission statements might look a bit different, as a real estate company and a nonprofit organization works towards the prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse, this is a great example of how our community works to create change,” said Doug Staley, Child Protection Center Executive Director. “Our team is proud to partner with local businesses for events that have a far-reaching impact; when there is a traumatic event, it is incredibly inspiring and vital to see local organizations partner to lend a hand and create positive opportunities to make things better and help the community heal.”

“SunCoast Blood Centers hopes that this partnership encourages other businesses to host a blood drive,” said Joan Leonard, community liaison at SunCoast Blood Centers. “Blood donations are essential for those suffering traumatic injuries, but is also utilized for circumstances including cancer care, anemia, blood disorders and more. So, we sincerely hope that the community can help us meet our goal.”

For more information, please call (941) 999-1179 or visit http://www.preferredshore.com

Local Award-Winning Autistic Filmmaker Featured in National Film Challenge

Jennifer Msumba, filmmaker, enters “The Roommates” in Easterseals Film Festival

SARASOTA, FL – Jennifer Msumba, a local award-winning filmmaker, musician and writer, wrote, directed and entered her latest film, “The Roommates,” in the 2021 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. The film highlights Msumba’s emotional support dog, Lemonade, as her fast-talking roommate with wit, wisdom and humor.

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge voting period is open until April 5, 2021; votes are counted by views, engagement and sharing of the entries through social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. The challenge period includes Friday, April 2, 2021: National World Autism Awareness Day. To view Msumba’s entry, visit https://youtu.be/6dfvXFt2N1E.

“I like to inspire and motivate viewers to have confidence, to get out of their comfort zones, and to try new things,” said Jennifer Msumba. “No matter what you have gone through, just believe that there are good days ahead.”

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is a national, annual event to empower filmmakers, with disabilities, as they tell unique stories providing opportunities for inclusion and representation. Launched in 2017 by Actor Nic Novicki, the challenge grew in 2017 as Novicki partnered with Easterseals Southern California to expand the challenge. Msumba won the 2020 Easterseals Disability Challenge Adobe Best Film Award for “The Fish Don’t Care When It Rains,” a film created by Msumba to show the ability of a fish to accept circumstances, and how people can learn to do the same.

With more than 30,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, Jennifer Msumba has a lifetime of experience sharing her story. A former student at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton, Massachusetts, Msumba made national headlines in 2014 after suing the JRC and testifying before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to encourage banning the use of shock devices in treatment of those with autism and other disabilities. During her time at the JRC, Msumba experienced shock treatments, food deprivation and social isolation; her testimony assisted in the FDA’s decision to ban electrical stimulation devices (ESDs) used in cases of self-injurious or aggressive behavior. An exclusive interview with Msumba and Anna Werner was featured on CBS Evening News (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFYae6WyTWs). 

In addition to her interest in making films and creating stories, Msumba is a gifted musician with music on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms. To learn more, visit https://www.jennifermsumba.com/. To find additional information about the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, visit https://disabilityfilmchallenge.com/.

About Jennifer Msumba
Jennifer Msumba uses her filmmaking and music platform and talents to support and equip persons with autism and their families. In addition to receiving the 2020 Easterseals Disability Challenge Adobe Best Film Award for “The Fish Don’t Care When It Rains, Jennifer was recently chosen by Amtrak to be a social media resident for their #AmtrakTakeMeThere campaign while vlogging and sharing her experiences traveling as a person with autism. She was recently featured on A&E’s new series “The Employables,” which follows adults with Tourette’s Syndrome and Autism as they search for meaningful work. Jennifer serves as a motivational speaker and gives interviews. To learn more, visit https://www.jennifermsumba.com/.

Aqua Plumbing & Air Celebrates National Sleep Awareness Week

Local Company Promotes Better Sleep, Better Health Initiative

Sarasota, Fla. – Aqua Plumbing & Air, a local heating and plumbing company, is excited to announce the first phase of the company’s newly-launched educational initiative to empowering and educating the community about home systems, safety and maintenance. From March 14 to March 20, the company invites the public to celebrate “National Sleep Awareness Week,” bringing awareness to sleep and its effect on overall health and well-being.

Created by the National Sleep Foundation, National Sleep Awareness Week began in 2008, to correspond to Daylight Savings Time, when most Americans lose an hour of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, forty-five percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days, and that DST can be an opportunity to make beneficial changes to sleep routines, habits and environments.

“We believe in making positive, impactful changes to ensure good health. In fact, we are passionate about a good night’s sleep! Studies show that a cooler room temperature is optimal for good nighttime sleep, because it regulates your body’s internal temperature regulation,” said Skip Stanton, co-owner of Aqua Plumbing & Air. “It is said that sleep deprivation has a serious negative effect on your chances of cardiovascular health, putting you at risk for a number of life-threatening conditions. So, for your own safety and the safety of others, make sure you allow yourself the time to rest, and if you can, no better time than the present.”

About Aqua Plumbing & Air

Since 1974, Aqua Plumbing & Air has served homeowners and businesses throughout Sarasota, Bradenton and the surrounding Southwest Florida region. With a purpose-driven company culture, Aqua Plumbing & Air offers the highest quality service at the lowest possible price. Providing residential and commercial plumbing, water treatment, HVAC and electrical services, the Aqua Plumbing & Air team is 100% dedicated to customer satisfaction, fast response to calls for service and provision of professionally trained, bonded and insured service technicians. To learn more, visit https://www.aquaplumbingsarasota.com/

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Total Indoor Environmental Solutions Urges Companies to Clean their Air

Local Air Quality Company explains the benefits of indoor air quality, offers air system audits

SARASOTA, FL – Total Indoor Environmental Solutions (T.I.E.S. 360), a local air duct, dryer vent cleaning and air conditioning repair company, invites local businesses and organizations to participate in the T.I.E.S. 360 “Clean Air Partners” initiative. Through this new initiative, T.I.E.S. 360 will perform a complimentary “Indoor Air Quality Audit” for local companies and commercial spaces.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans, on average, “spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.” As “indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased in recent decades” due to factors such as “energy-efficient building construction,” “increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal care products, pesticides, and household cleaners.”

“Indoor air quality in the workplace is the subject of much attention these days, and for good reason. The air quality of our indoor environments can greatly affect health, comfort and productivity of building occupants,” said Kay Lenard, President of Total Indoor Environmental Solutions. “With all the time people spend indoors it’s important to know the symptoms of poor indoor air quality and the steps to combat the negative health effects associated with it. We are proud to offer our audits to help our fellow businesses and organizations ensure a safe work environment for their staff and employees.”

The Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends coil cleaning and air duct cleaning for homes and buildings. Not only do clean air ducts help reduce symptoms from indoor air pollution, but they may also increase energy efficiency by reducing the amount of energy required to filter the indoor air and maintain desired temperatures.

For more information and to set up an audit for a local business or organization, please call (941) 870-3302 or visit www.ties30.com

ABOUT TOTAL INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS
Total Indoor Environmental Services (T.I.E.S 360) is a family owned and operated company, servicing the Sarasota County, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tampa areas with superior HVAC services. T.I.E.S. 360 is a member of the Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). NADCA members possess general liability insurance, are trained, and tested regularly, sign on to a code of ethics, and clean and restore heating and cooling systems in accordance with NADCA standards with a high level of security. To learn more, visit www.ties36

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Aqua Plumbing & Air Celebrates World Plumbing Day

Local business promotes the important role plumbing plays in societal health and amenity

Sarasota, Fla. – Aqua Plumbing & Air, a local heating, air conditioning and plumbing company, invites the community to recognize World Plumbing Day, held each year on March 11. Initiated by the World Plumbing Council, World Plumbing Day was created as an opportunity to recognize the important role plumbing plays in societal health and amenity.

“World Plumbing Day is a fun but informational ‘holiday’ to encourage people all over the world to reflect on the vital role plumbing plays in preserving their health and way of life,” said Chuck Jacobson, co-owner of Aqua Plumbing & Air. “Plumbers have a huge responsibility when it comes to health. Plumbing knowledge protects your home hygiene. Without even realizing it, you could damage your pipe or plumbing system, while a plumber can identify the issue and fix it while keeping your system safe.”

According to the World Plumbing Council website (www.worldplumbing.org), tasks such as having a shower, getting a glass of water from a tap and flushing the toilet, “are possible thanks to trained plumbers and advances in plumbing.” The World Plumbing Day initiative was created to educate and celebrate, and spread awareness of, “the importance of plumbing and plumbers in protecting public health and improving amenity.”

Facts listed by the WPC include the following statistics: 3 in 10 people currently lack access to safe, readily available water at home, 900 million school children across the world have no handwashing facilities, a critical barrier in the spread of deadly diseases, and 6 in 10 people lack safely managed sanitation.

“World Plumbing Day recognizes the critical link between health and plumbing facilities, and the importance of maintenance, upkeep and service for plumbing systems throughout homes, businesses and schools. We know that good plumbing isn’t just a nice, convenient utility to keep your bathroom looking pretty – it’s the safest and quickest way to maintain and protect your health,” said Jacobson.

As an added measure, the company is offering $99 off the cost of an Everlast Residential Stainless Steel Water Heater installation, including a lifetime factory warranty. To learn more about World Plumbing Day, visit https://www.worldplumbing.org/worldplumbingday/. To learn about Aqua Plumbing & Air’s local initiatives and plumbing safety commitments, visit https://www.aquaplumbingsarasota.com/

About Aqua Plumbing & Air

Since 1974, Aqua Plumbing & Air has served homeowners and businesses throughout Sarasota, Bradenton and the surrounding Southwest Florida region. With a purpose-driven company culture, Aqua Plumbing & Air offers the highest quality service at the lowest possible price. Providing residential and commercial plumbing, water treatment, HVAC and electrical services, the Aqua Plumbing & Air team is 100% dedicated to customer satisfaction, fast response to calls for service and provision of professionally trained, bonded and insured service technicians. To learn more, visit https://www.aquaplumbingsarasota.com/

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Humane Society of Sarasota County Unveils New Sensory & Enrichment Garden

Innovative garden to benefit and improve animal behavior and welfare

In an effort to continue the mission of finding a home for every adoptable pet in its care while focusing on saving the lives of cats and dogs, and enriching human lives along the way, the Humane Society of Sarasota County (HSSC) is proud to announce the addition of a new sensory and enrichment garden to the HSSC facility.

The garden, with key components intended to reduce stress for the shelter animals, is planned by staff to stimulate the HSSC residents’ senses, leading to more successful transitions to and from life in the shelter.

“We are able to provide shelter for animals, particularly dogs, in desperate need of help, however some of which find it hard to cope in kennels,” said Anna Gonce, executive director of the Humane Society of Sarasota County. “By activating all of a dog’s senses – touch, smell, sight, sound and taste – the sensory garden is designed to reduce stress and help them relax in their new surroundings.”

Thanks to the generous legacy of T. Ralph Taylor, Jr., a long-time supporter, the HSSC has finished the installation of the sensory garden, featuring an assortment of herbs and flowering plants, sand pits for digging, bridges and fountains, all designed to provide relaxation and reduce stress.

“We are incredibly grateful to Mr. Taylor, and the support of many local businesses, individuals and volunteers, including gifts in kind, for bringing this dream to fruition: this garden will enrich the lives of our animals with a 360-degree approach to animal behavior and welfare. We look for innovative ways to encourage natural behaviors that give our dogs constructive outlets for their anxious energy,” said Gonce. “A sensory garden is one of the best ways to ensure our dogs are getting all of the mental and physical stimulation they need to live a happy, healthy life. This will change the lives of dogs that come into our care and better prepare them for finding their loving, forever homes.”

HSSC volunteers involved in this project include Jackie Fountaine, Nicki Lawrence, Geraldine Myers, Jamie Hunt and HSSC teen volunteers. Mariposa Nursery in Bradenton & Your Farm and Garden in Sarasota supplied the plants and provided educational resources to continue the health and growth of the garden. 

About The Humane Society of Sarasota County

The Humane Society of Sarasota County is the area’s premier no-kill shelter and relies solely on private donations, bequests, and community support to continue its mission to engage the hearts, hands, and minds of the community to help animals. Programs offered include pet adoptions, humane education, pet therapy, a pet pantry, a volunteer program, and a full-service, low-cost animal clinic that is open to the public. For a list of hours, locations and to learn more information, visit www.hssc.org.

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