Every season is “In-Season” for Suncoast Humane Society
By Lena Hart, Marketing & Event Planning Manager Suncoast Humane Society
The future home of Suncoast Humane Society
The recent nationwide search for a new Executive Director hasn’t slowed down Suncoast Humane Society’s sails a bit. This living, breathing, good-deed-producing, well-oiled machine has been combatting pet overpopulation while leaving an imprint on many people’s and pets’ hearts for nearly FIVE decades. And we look forward to the next 50 years of serving as your regional animal care center. Since our inception in 1971, our mission has continued to evolve while our services to the community have grown exponentially.
Gone are the days of just being a “pound,” or an adoption facility. Our purpose has expanded to provide and advocate for compassionate, humane care and treatment for all animals; provide comprehensive educational programs for children and adults; and provide community services that enhance the human and companion animal bond. At Suncoast Humane Society, we advocate that awareness is essential to the well-being of all animal life, and that awareness is only achieved through education. Our adoption program includes consultation with an experienced staff member to ensure that the pet being adopted will fit into a particular home and lifestyle. Through our adoption program, we have placed thousands of animals into new homes, while providing education and support to the adoptive family.
The enrichment programs for our shelter’s animals keep growing and include programs like Dogs About Town, Dog’s Day Out, portalized housing for cats, Aromatherapy, Reiki, soothing cello performances, reading to the dogs, Healing Touch and more. Our dedicated staff and volunteers do a wonderful job of keeping animals socialized and feeling loved during their stay at our shelter. We offer various levels of dog training at very competitive rates to help owners and pets overcome challenges, and to help new adopters better communicate with their pets. From basic obedience to therapy/service dog training, every family can benefit from time spent interacting positively with their dog. We provide Pet Therapy visitations to schools, hospitals, senior and assisted living facilities, and nursing homes serving over 28,000 adults and 7,700 children. Our Pet Therapy program allows those without pets to benefit from interaction with animals. Many of the pets in this program are alumni of Suncoast Humane Society.
Our humane education program has reached thousands of students, but humane education is not just about the children. We provide weekly assistance to numerous people dealing with feral cats, wildlife challenges, or domestic animal and pet behavioral matters. We offer an abundance of information as well as referral services. We assist seniors who are on a limited income in finding and adopting that perfect pet at discounted fees. Our love of animals knows no discrimination. When it comes to adoptions, Suncoast Humane Society thinks and operates in regional terms. We transport adoptable animals to rescue agencies in other areas, rescuing animals we know we can find homes for. This is labor-intensive, but we have a dedicated staff that is determined to find the best home possible for the animals in our care. We have opened doors in the community for pets and their people by mobilizing and rallying support for pet-friendly functions. We have established an online presence not only with the help of our social media platforms and our website, but also on nationally acclaimed sites like Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet, and many others which stimulate interest in our homeless animals available for adoption, not just in our own community, but across the country.
We are building our future. For those of you who have driven down San Casa Drive in Englewood, Florida you may have seen our “Future Home” signs at the 11.5 acres of land that have already been purchased, awaiting groundbreaking for our new facility. We have raised more than half of our $10 Million Capital Campaign project that will allow us to build a state-of-the-art Animal Care Center, thanks to wide community support. We invite the public to take a tour of our current facility to see first-hand, and to fully understand our vital need to build a new home for Suncoast Humane Society, and most importantly, for all those we serve.
Most people have a general idea about and understand the purpose of humane societies and other animal shelters. Many animal shelters have similar big-picture goals (animal rescue, preventive health care, sheltering and adopting). Homeless animals arrive at Suncoast Humane Society nearly every day, and where there is demand, there is supply. Suncoast Humane Society is always “in-season.” The extraordinary phenomenon that fuels an organization like Suncoast Humane Society is the passion and perseverance of those who are personally invested in our mission. It is those individuals’ desire to go above and beyond for animals who don’t have a voice, and for the overall greater good of our community. It is the loyal staff members, volunteers and donors who keep “showing up,” and also those “newbies” who have decided to embark on a new mission to help the world become a better place, one shelter at a time. So for those of you who are wondering what we are up to…. all oars are in the water and we are excited about our future!