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PhilRuffin and Gabby-smPhil Snyder, Executive Director

Press Articles


englewood sun logoBy Phil Snyder, Executive Director Suncoast Humane Society

Published in the Englewood Sun on July 02, 2017

Humane Societies and animal shelters in Southwest Florida find themselves in a topsy-turvy world compared to their counterparts up north.

It is a fact that dogs and cats have more puppies and kittens during the spring, summer and early fall months, even though we have less of a support base, including donors, adopters and volunteers. This year is certainly no exception. As an example, Suncoast Humane Society has received numerous homeless animals this spring, including over 20 puppies and 60 kittens since May 1.

With the rise in homeless animals this spring, especially the very young ones, the need for foster homes and permanent adoptive families is greater than ever. More volunteers are needed to assist staff with various duties including providing animal comfort and socialization. The need for increased donations to support efforts to care for these homeless animals continues even though to us humans, it is “off season”.

Problems surrounding homeless animals will remain with us throughout the year, but for now, “Where have all of the people gone”? If they could speak human language that might be the question animals in shelters would be asking throughout the “off season.”

Suncoast Humane Society and other animal care groups have lost many of their valuable volunteers for the summer. Dog walkers, welcome desk greeters, cat-cuddlers, and thrift store assistants included. There are fewer people around to adopt the increasing number of homeless animals at the shelters.

Suncoast Humane Society’s three thrift stores in Englewood, Venice and Port Charlotte rely on the sale of donated household and other usable items to provide nearly one-third of their operating budget. However, the dog days of summer (no humane society pun intended) could result in fewer donated goods and a huge drop in shoppers.

This is nothing new to Suncoast Humane Society and I am sure it isn’t to the other great non-profits throughout Southwest Florida. It may not be easy to make the most out of fewer resources, but we know the animals and the community need our services.

So, if you are one of our brave hearts who live here year round, charities like Suncoast Humane Society rely on you for support. Please donate as you can, adopt a pet if you can, and volunteer as your time permits. Remember, homeless animals depend upon us for help. They really don’t recognize “off season”. Off season is really on season for them. In fact for many it can be “in season”. Get the picture?