New Butterfly Garden Provides a Place for Grieving Pet Owners
Animal Services has a new reflection area for pet owners when a pet dies.
Tails wag at Pinellas County Animal Services when lost pets reunite with their families or stray animals find forever homes.
But Animal Services can be a sad place when families say good-bye at the end of a pet's life.
"People leave devastated," said Animal Adoption Coordinator Tyson Youts. "They have just lost their best friend. I worry for everyone. You have someone who is very upset. There was no place for them to go."
Now thanks to Youts' vision and the Eagle Scout project of Alex Uzzo, Animal Services has a butterfly reflection garden.
Tucked next to the building's entry is a trellis with a bench facing a natural area with native plants and pet statues. The building's entryway has a couple benches and plants, which soften the wooded area between the building and the parking lot.
The idea behind the butterfly garden is the rebirth mythology around butterflies, Youts said.
Uzzo, 17, of Palm Harbor, researched and found native plants to build a butterfly garden with the help of Wilcox Nursery on Indian Rocks Road. He built and stained the benches with plans from the Internet. The project cost about $1,000, which Uzzo said he raised through a car wash and private donations.