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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 16, 2017

Just recently an individual visiting Suncoast Humane Society stated, “If I had a large farm I would take them all home.” She of course, was referring to all the homeless animals in the shelter that day. She did not know, but she was talking about 150 dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and hamsters being sheltered that day. Her statement sounds like an immediate solution to the homeless problem at an animal shelter, doesn’t it? Well not exactly.

June was Adopt a Cat month, celebrated by many humane societies and animal shelters across the country. It is a month dedicated to creating awareness of the millions of cats and kittens waiting at animal shelters for that special home. It is a month where we hope to get as many adopted as possible.

It was a pretty successful adoption month for Suncoast Humane Society. 76 cats and kittens were adopted, along with 46 dogs and puppies. This was far ahead of June 2016 numbers. That is not bad considering June is “off season” for many seasonal residents.

But guess what? Today, less than two weeks after adopting out 122 pets, there are again over 100 dogs and cats at Suncoast Humane Society. Where is that large farm anyway? This is not unique to any one humane society or animal shelter. It is the time of year when puppies and kittens are born, and an increase of the number of homeless animals ending up at shelters.

Thankfully humane societies and animal shelters, especially those that accept all animals in need of help, are here to take those animals. Many other homeless animals are abandoned, left to fall victims of human carelessness, to suffer from accidents and disease.

I have heard the large farm reference several dozen times over the years. I know it is always said with the best of intentions. Compassionate people want to help end pet overpopulation and homelessness. Realistically, though, you would need an awfully large farm, as shelters continue to fill up in a hurry. On top of that, we are talking about companion animals that need individual love and attention. They wouldn’t do well as farm animals.

So, without that large farm, humane societies and animal shelters will continue to address the problem by creating awareness, providing education, and most importantly, spaying and neutering. Fact is, if they are not born, they will not become statistics at an animal shelter. As long as dog and cat births top human births 10 to 1, forget about that large farm idea. Do your part by being a responsible pet owner and supporting your local humane society.