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2911 47th Ave N, St Petersburg, FL 33714

Friends of Strays gets a New Van

Friends of Strays recently decided to trade in their unused box truck and beat up van for a new van. After driving the old van to the airport to pick up dogs from St. Croix and scraping the top of the van on the ceiling of the airport parking garage, the shelter knew it was time to invest in a new vehicle.

Friends of Strays Board Treasurer, Bill Grom, took on the challenge of working with local dealerships to find the best deal possible. The goal was to find a new van that the shelter could use to transport the animals and take to shelter events. One of the dealerships that the shelter worked with was Maher Chevrolet Truck Center. Daryle Hamel was recommended to the shelter by Friends of Strays Board Chair, Mo Eppley, who knew Hamel through a marketing committee she serves on with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Hamel went above and beyond the call of duty to gain the shelter’s business. Hamel came to the shelter to inspect the box truck, which wasn’t running at the time, and brought a colleague out to inspect the difficulties the truck was experiencing. Hamel and his associate found the problem was within the lift gate that was keeping the shelter from being able to tow the truck to the dealership.

Hamel also worked with Nicholas Bergin of The Wrap Element, a local vehicle wrapping company, who agreed to sponsor the decaling of the new van to help us get our branding and messaging out into the community.

Friends of Strays purchased their new Chevy Express Van from Maher in June and had the decaling designed and installed within the next week. The shelter has been enjoying the exposure they have received from driving the van around town to local events and transferring animals from other shelters that are over capacity to Friends of Strays.

“Many can recall the days of yellow pages to look up current businesses, but with the advent of ad hoc Internet search engines, millions of small business owners lose a valuable visibility edge. Many owners are now turning to vehicle wraps and graphics to expand their reach and create a unique brand in their relevant communities. TheWrapElement.com provides businesses with high impact 3m vehicle, fleet marine and architectural wraps and recently decided to give back to the community by partnering with Friends of Strays to create a custom vehicle wrap to help bolster their brand. This, in turn, allows Friends of Strays to reach a wider audience and further their mission of saving the lives of abandoned pets and successfully rehoming them.” – Nicholas Bergin, The Wrap Element

“Friends of Strays (FOS) is a well-run organization and a vital component to our community. Given the number of businesses that could've been asked to assist FOS, we mean it when we say it was an honor to be given the opportunity and help out.” – Daryle Hamel, Maher Chevy Truck Center

Friends of Strays is a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter dedicated to the care and adoption of homeless companion animals.

Adopters and animal lovers are encouraged to donate, educate, and/or volunteer to help support the Friends of Strays mission. For more information, email Friends of Strays at info@friendsofstrays.org or check out their website at www.friendsofstrays.org.