S.M.A.R.T. Saving Missing Animals Response Team in Flagler County

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Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting with Caroline Johnson, the founder of S.M.A.R.T.  She talked about her passion for our community, and for the four legged inhabitants of our community and how she plans to help provide services for those animals. Flagler County as many know, is growing so very fast, and with the human population growing it means our animal population is growing as well. With the sheer amount of missing pets, abandoned pets and pet owners who find themselves in a jam financially regarding their pets, it means our community needs more help. S.M.A.R.T. was born to help provide the much needed services our community needs.  We talked about the community and our animals; below you can read the interview questions and answers about S.M.A.R.T.

When was SMART born? How did it all start?

Caroline replied, ” SMART was created in Sept 2022 after a decade of several volunteers doing searches, rescue and finding dogs forever homes. We did all the same volunteer work but found we were missing out on the help of businesses and individuals looking to provide a tax-deductible donation.”

What drove you to become involved with helping animals?

Caroline said, “I started out just helping stray dogs on a lost pet page 13 years ago. I recently moved to Florida and not working gave me the free time to help.”

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?

Caroline replied, “Reunited lost pets is equally as rewarding as earning the trust and love of an abused dog.”

What is your current goal with SMART?

Caroline said, “To develop a consistent, trustworthy, and reliable voice for the animals and families who need us.”

How can the community help with SMART? Money? Supplies? Volunteer?

“Most important currently would be foster homes and financial support for the vet and training costs. We always need dog and cat food, supplies etc., but our biggest hurdle is foster homes and financially need,” said Caroline.

How do you hope to inspire the community?

“Our hope is to inspire people to get out there and help with the huge animal population that are homeless or abused. With so many opportunities to help the animals, find a way to give back. Rescues are struggling to keep up, and we rely on the community and businesses,” replied Caroline.

How can the local business community get involved to help with SMART?

Caroline said, “Helping is with fundraising events or sponsorship would be huge. Donate gift cards or gift baskets that can be raffled or auctioned. ”

What are your some of your events and fundraisers coming up?

Caroline replied, “We have restaurants doing days of dining to donate. SMART will get a percentage of proceeds. We set up at European Village twice monthly at the Farmers Market. We also are set up at First Friday in Flagler Beach. One of the bigger events coming up is the Hang 8 Surf Event May 20th. All of these events can be found on our Facebook page or website www.smartflagler.com.”

Where do you see this organization in 5 years? In 10 Years?

“The vision is for a facility in Flagler County where we have the ability to help more animals and families. We want to be known as a resource for those abused and abandoned animals and also for the families with lost pets. We want to continue the outreach we’ve provided for years of assisting families in the Flagler County Community with not only lost pets, but emergency vet care which they can not afford,” replied Caroline.

 

 

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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