Donation over $30,000 funds Seminole County Animal Services mobile adoption unit

SCAS dedicated the unit to Marjorie Grimmett

By Anna Johnson - Digital Journalist, Clay LePard - Reporter

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A donation of over $30,000 to Seminole County Animal Services was put into use on Saturday when the organization unveiled its new mobile adoption unit at an adoption event in Winter Park.

The $30,957.50 donation was from the estate of Englishwoman Marjorie Grimmett, who passed away last year. Grimmett instructed that the money go toward pet adoptions specifically. 

Not only did the money go toward aiding in adoptions of pets in the shelter, it ended up allowing the pets to be brought to meet potential new owners.

The trailer has 12 pet compartments, all of which are air conditioned. The unit includes its own generator and water supply. A spokesperson for SCAS said the unit will be used for off-site adoptions, rabies and microchip clinics and other special events. It will also be used to transport emergency pet supplies in the event of a major storm or natural disaster.

"Usually we go out to an event and have to turn around put the dogs out on concrete and crates and it's so hot," program coordinator Diane Gagliano said. "We couldn't bring cats out to an event because of how hot it is. [The new trailer] just makes everything so much easier, neater cleaner and cooler." 

Grimmett now watches over every animal up for adoption that rides in the unit; the trailer is dedicated to her and emblazoned with her name.

"I would like to express my gratitude on the behalf of my Aunt Marji that the funds are being put to good use," Grimmett's niece, Mandy Start, said. "I know she would love that the trailer is dedicated in her honor."

For months, it had been a mystery why Grimmett, from Middlesex, England, had left the donation in her will. 

"We all felt kind of funny because we're like, 'No, we really don't know her,'" Gagliano said.

It turns out Grimmett had lived in Sanford in the 1970s and 1980s.

"We actually got a phone call from Marjorie Grimmett's friend [on Friday], who knew her when she was living in Sanford," Gagliano explained.

"She adopted a dog from us in the 1980's1980s. We got the missing piece of the puzzle."

Officials with Seminole County Animal Services are already working on planning more events to get the adoption trailer out in the community.

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