Flagler Humane Society Ends Year With 50% Fewer Euthanized Animals, Among Other Milestones
FlaglerLive | January 15, 2015
Flagler Humane Society is marking ones of its best years caring for animals since opening its doors in 1980.
Milestones for 2014 include a 50 percent reduction in animals being euthanized, a 25 percent increase in adoptions and a 12 percent increase in lost animals being returned to their owners. Stronger leadership and policies led to the society achieving an 88 percent save rate for all animals entering the shelter. It performed 2,476 spay and neuter surgeries at the shelter and through partnerships and collaborations with local veterinarians. There were 3,660 animals housed at the shelter in 2014.
“We are very proud of the life-saving work going on at FHS and the gains we have made this year, especially considering we are an open-admissions shelter that does not turn anyone away,” said Gary Shelton, medical director at the society and its board president. “We are continuing to reach out to animal welfare organizations to help more animals and we would not have been able to do this without the continued support of our community.”
The humane society also saved the lives of 166 more animals than last year by partnering with other shelters and transferring in animals that were struggling to be adopted.
“Helping out and working together with other shelters helps us save more animals and reduces the number being euthanized everywhere,” said Humane Society Executive Director Amy Carotenuto. “FHS is accountable to the community because we are not supported by the county or any other government entity and it feels great to be able to share this news. We don’t turn anyone away so to know we have made this much of a difference for the Flagler area animals is fantastic.”
The society does not get subsidies or donations from local governments, but the cities and the county do have fee-for-service contracts with the society: Palm Coast pays the society $75 per cat picked up, which Carotenuto says “partially covers what it costs us to care for the animals.” And the county contracts with the society for annual services in the range of $170,000 a year.
New and innovative marketing and adoption specials have contributed to the surge in adoptions. The society hosted two free adoptions events including the “Free Labor Day Love” event, when 25 cats, 14 dogs, two guinea pigs and one ferret were adopted in one day. It also hosted a “Certified Pre-Owned Pet Event” where adoptions were sponsored by Flagler Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. There were 17 dogs, 12 cats and two pigs adopted that day. FHS also took part in four mega-adoptions events in Jacksonville where approximately 40 to 50 animals were adopted per event.
The humane society has used social media to help reunite lost animals with their owners. “We created a new Facebook page to post found or stray animals which has absolutely contributed to the 12 percent increase of animals being returned to their owners,” said Melissa Rock, the operations manager at the humane society.
The shelter did see a 4 percent decrease of stray animals coming in, but there was an 8 percent increase of animals being surrendered by their owners.
The humane society has also taken a lead role in coaxing Palm Coast government toward formal adoption of the trap, neuter and release approach to feral cats, an approach the society enacted in Flagler Beach with success last year.
Flagler Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization formed in 1980 with the mission of taking in homeless animals, caring for them and finding them loving, forever homes where they can live out their lives as part of a family. Flagler Humane Society is not supported by the county, any municipality or government entity. For more information visit the website.