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PetSmart Charities Donor Saves Lives Again and Again

Hard work and dedication come easy for Annina Donaldson. At 32 years old, she’s the vice president of her family’s manufacturing company in St. Petersburg, Fla. She’s also devoted to her life passions: she’s a big-time sports enthusiast and an animal welfare advocate. So, she became a PetSmart Charities donor and an advocate for our work to find a lifelong, loving home for every pet.

woman with catsShe’s a fan of felines, and has 2 adopted cats: Pimms, a 5-year-old Russian blue, and Ryda, a 5-year-old gray-striped cat. Her brother, Robert, has an adopted pit bull mix named Perla.

Robert also works at the family business, and Perla goes to work with them every day.

Annina’s pets — and even her brother’s dog — are like family members. “There’s so much good with animals. They bring companionship, and they’re relatable,” she said.

Generations of pet lovers

Annina’s passion for pets runs in the Donaldson family. Her mother, Lynn, and uncle, Dan Jr., have been helping pets since they were about Annina’s age.

Annina’s grandfather owned a machine shop in a St. Petersburg industrial park. It was also a site where people would often drop off cats. There were so many cats, and the family knew they had to do something about it.

Lynn, and Dan Jr., would catch the cats, pay to get them fixed and then put them back where they found them. It was their early version of a present-day method of helping community cats, trap-neuter-return.

A furry surprise at the “pawfice”

The Donaldson family’s compassion for pets carries through to this day.

Earlier this year, Annina and her brother were walking Perla outside their office building near a fence when her tail started to wag. Annina looked over and saw 2 eyes peering through the trash. “I saw these eyes and a little face. I knew there was more than one kitten in there,” she said.

Turns out, there were 3 kittens! One was all black, one was all gray and one had gray stripes. They all needed help. She enlisted some fellow workers, and they cleared debris out of the way to get to them.

They appeared to be in good shape, but Annina took them to the vet just to be safe. Her gut was correct — their health was good — but they did need extra care so they could build up their strength and grow in a safer place.

She knew she had to give them a home, and her parents agreed to take them in.

”Too cute” kittens land a permanent place in the family

Annina said the kittens, named Namaste, Lula Belle and Franka Blu, are quite the trio: they sleep on each other and play together. “It’s like a living episode of ‘too cute,’” she said.

The kittens are so cute that Annina, her mother and her sister agreed to share responsibility when it’s time for them to find permanent homes. The women said the kittens’ playful and loving personalities won them over. 

But that’s all the kittens have in common — Annina said their personalities are unique. “Namaste is the feistiest cat. But when it's time to sleep, she wants to snuggle. Lula Belle is a devil in disguise. She has an angel face but is the first to pounce, especially during bedtime. Franka Blu is the one always getting caught but is the lover of the 3. She always wants to be held or near someone,” she said.

Deep love for pets drives determination to make a difference

This love for pets has led Annina to become a frequent PetSmart Charities donor. After a large cat hoarding rescue in her area, she rallied her employees and friends to raise money to help with our relief efforts. She makes other donations whenever she can.

“Animals don’t have much choice in the matter. Humans have taken over their territory. They bring so much joy, I can’t image them not having homes,” she said.

It’s because of her family’s deep roots in animal welfare that Annina plans to continue to support the cause. She believes PetSmart Charities is the best organization to do so.

“I absolutely love the fact that PetSmart Charities is such a positive proponent for animal welfare. They have such happy stories, and people actually want to help.”

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