LAKELAND – In addition to putting out fires and responding to medical emergencies, firefighters have been known in the past to take on one extra chore.
Who hasn’t heard the urban legend of the firefighters placing a ladder against a tree, and climbing up high to rescue a cat that can’t otherwise figure out how to get down?
If it sounds like something you’re more likely to see in an old Hollywood movie than in real life, then consider this: the Lakeland Fire Department has a new product out that demonstrates that their firefighters do indeed rescue pets – and they have photos of those cats and dogs to prove it.
Lakeland Fire Department has teamed up with the SPCA Florida this holiday season for what is being billed as “the ultimate stocking stuffer,” a “Rescued Pets 2016 Calendar.”
It features Lakeland firefighters in photos with SPCA Florida’s rescued pets – one for every month. The photos are set alongside helpful information and safety tips from both organizations.
The calendar was created as part of a partnership the two agencies announced earlier this year. All proceeds from the calendar will go directly to helping animals rescued by the Lakeland Fire Department that are encountered on human emergency scenes.
“Thanks to the partnership of the two organizations and donations like yours through the purchase of this calendar, many animals have and will continue to be treated at SPCA Florida’s Reva McClurg Animal Medical Center featuring a state-of-the-art hyperbaric chamber for pets,” noted Janel Vasallo, public information and education officer for the Lakeland Fire Department, in a news release about the calendar.
“The funds collected from the sale of this calendar will also help with the purchase of new animal-specific rescue equipment for LFD apparatus,” she added. “The high quality calendars are only $10 and make the perfect gift for the upcoming holidays.”
The calendar can be purchased at the SPCA Florida website, or in person at their headquarters at 5850 Brannen Road S. in Lakeland ; the Lakeland Fire Department Administration Building at 701 E Main St.; and Wellness Wagon weekly route stops.
Cash and checks are accepted at all sites.
“This partnership is just another great way for SPCA Florida to expand on its mission of helping animals while the Lakeland Fire Department can show its compassion and care for all of the living creatures in its community,” Vassilo noted.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com..