More Than a Village – It Took a Team
By Phil Snyder, Executive Director Suncoast Humane Society
April 14, 2007 seems like yesterday, until I stop and think of all the changes that have occurred, both personally and professionally, since my first day as Executive Director of Suncoast Humane Society.
Surviving through thick and thin, Suncoast Humane Society has grown to be a very effective animal care and welfare organization. It operates one of the few open admissions shelters in Florida that accepts and offers relief to nearly 2,500 homeless animals, never turning away an animal in need. An additional 6,500 pets belonging to the public in surrounding communities are spay/neutered, given needed preventive health care, including vaccinations, heart worm and other parasite prevention, and microchipping.
In total, through the programs and services, thrift stores, adoption program including satellite centers, pet therapy teams, social media and more, Suncoast Humane Society touches the lives of 50,000 animals and people each year. That, folks, is an effective non-profit, public service organization.
I know you have heard the phrase, “it takes a village.” With this humane society, it has certainly taken much more. An effective Board of Trustees, a wonderful management team, a support staff that has worked under very stressful conditions in an aging shelter, eager and selfless volunteers, and a faithful and ever increasing donor base, have all helped to make Suncoast Humane Society what it is today.
It has been a privilege and an honor to serve as Executive Director for twelve and one half years. I have been blessed with waking up each day knowing I had the opportunity to help the organization make things just a little better for animals and people alike.
Yes, I am still alive, and no, I am not retiring. So that leads to the obvious. My wife, Nancy, our two Newfoundland Dogs, Muddy Waters and Sophie Tucker, will soon be exploring new opportunities in Chattanooga Tennessee. I am very excited to be starting with another wonderful organization, the Humane Education Society. My wife will be dazzling Tennesseans with her artistry with pastries and decorative cakes. We have previously lived in and loved Tennessee, and truly look forward to new adventures.
Suncoast Humane Society deserves your continued support of their programs and services. They are over half way to their dream of a new facility for the animals, staff and the community. THEY NEED YOUR HELP to make that dream come true. It is a dream, yes, but also a necessity. They must have a new, modern facility which will provide comfort and care for the animals entrusted to them, a healthy work environment for staff that cares for the animals, and a facility that will better serve the community in general. The capital campaign is a call for the future, while operational donations continue to be needed in support of their work today.
It has been a rewarding time in my life. I wish to thank Sun Newspapers and the Boca Beacon for allowing me to share stories in their publications on a regular basis. I thank everyone that read and commented on them through the years. Most of all, I deeply appreciate the friends, acquaintances, constituents and donors that offered their continuing support. Best of everything to everyone.