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1. Resources available in Collier County for pet owners in need

The local non-profit organization, For the Love of Cats, and the East Naples Community Park is hosting grab and go pet food pantries from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m., Tuesdays. The pet food pantries will take place through the duration of the Safer at Home order.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created financial difficulties for many Collier County residents. Some pets suffer and are abandoned when their owners lose the ability to care for them.  The goal of pet food pantries is to keep pets in their homes.

"We can't stand by and see pets abandoned for lack of food. Our furry friends are too valuable, and their love can be lifesaving. We have to help them stay with their families," said Jan Rich, Founder of For the Love of Cats.

For the Love of Cats also provides cat and dog food to Our Daily Bread, the local food pantry on Marco Island. For the Love of Cats and Collier County Domestic Animal Services (DAS) are also assisting the Saving Grace Pet Food Bank in Naples. All pet food donations made to DAS that are not used in the shelter are donated to Saving Grace.

2. Alligator seriously injures truck driver

A tow truck driver was flown to Lee Memorial Hospital Tuesday night after he was bit by an alligator while swimming in rural Collier County near Port of the Islands.

Greater Naples Fire Rescue District responded to the incident around 7 p.m. The man was taken to Physicians Regional in Naples and was flown to Lee Memorial as a trauma patient, according to Fire Chief Kingman Schuldt.

The man was bit on the arm and neck by the alligator, Schuldt said.

The incident happened on Tamiami Trail east of Port of the Islands and West of the Everglades. – Jessica Rodriguez/Staff

3. Marco Island Noontime Rotary welcomes new member Linda Cassens

Dr. Linda Cassens practiced as a licensed psychologist for 15 years and was instrumental in her family business, Cassens Transport. 

Among Cassens’ many philanthropic contributions are her dedication to two YMCA’s (Our Marco Island Y and Edwardsville, Illinois Y where she developed the early childhood development center) and Allison’s Friends of Hope, a foundation which Linda founded in memory of her daughter to raise money for cancer research with over $1 M raised and donated. 

Not only have Cassens’ financial contributions improved the lives of thousands of people, the donation of her time and talent have also proved instrumental to many of the organizations on whose Boards and committees she has sat and continues to serve, by providing her leadership skills, her knowledge, and compassion.

In her spare time, Linda enjoys Italian cooking, reading, sports, travel and music.  She rings in the Bell choir and is a Stephen Minister at the Marco Presbyterian Church. Linda believes “Life is about giving back.”

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