Gardenland Mission Inc is a community cat rescue and sanctuary, founded and incorporated as a Florida not-for-profit organization in 2009, and granted federal 501(c)(3) public charity status effective in 2012. Our mission states that Gardenland Mission Inc is “dedicated to the rescue and care of feral, abandoned, and in-need animals in our community."
Gardenland Mission Inc is the only organization in the community of Gibsonton that provides services for in-need animals. We also participate in the trap, neuter, return (TNR) programs of Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County Pet Resources, and have processed over 600 community cats throughout our years of operation.
Gibsonton Florida is a small community in southern Hillsborough County. The need in our community of Gibsonton is two-fold. First, there is a vast number of homeless cats in the area. These cats have been abandoned by their owners. They find their way to one of the many local colonies of community cats. Because most of the abandoned cats have never received veterinary services, they breed and produce feral kittens. The second problem is related to the first in such that many residents in the community of Gibsonton are of a low-income status, and cannot afford veterinary services for their pets.
Humane Society of Tampa Bay has estimated that Hillsborough County has approximately 200,000 community cats. Based on the number of zip codes in Hillsborough County, it has been estimated that Gibsonton, 33534, has about 1% or 2,000 of these community cats. The growth of the community cat population has been slowed, thanks to the TNR programs.
Additionally, there are no veterinary services in the community of Gibsonton, a community of about 16,000 with income levels per capita estimated to be 38% lower than the national average. The availability of low-cost local veterinarian services and supplies is in great need.
Although the abandonment of cats cannot be controlled, the care and maintenance of the community cat colonies can be controlled. Many cats that are newly abandoned can be rehabilitated and placed for adoption. Unadoptable cats can be trapped, neutered, and returned to their colonies to help eliminate breeding and reduce the growth of the colonies. And, a low-cost animal clinic established in our community would provide veterinary services for our low-income residents which will also help minimize the problem of community cats.