Meet Fran, our Shelter Hero!

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is recognizing volunteers who go above and beyond for homeless pets through their #HillsShelterHeroes contest. When we caught wind of this, we knew we had to nominate Fran Keough as our Shelter Hero!

Here’s her story:

Fran - Shelter Hero Pic Collage

For Suncoast Humane Society, Fran Keough epitomizes the word volunteer. Over the last five years, she has dedicated two days a week to volunteering in our cattery. In those two days a week, it’s truly remarkable what she’s accomplished and continues to accomplish.

Initially, Fran started out as a visitor’s assistant and a cat cuddler but has since taken on many different roles. During her time here at SHS, she has taken our cattery under her wing and has transformed it into what you see today. She not only spends her time cuddling and getting to know each cat but also creates, organizes, color codes, and classifies cage cards. She looks at each cat’s known (and unknown) history and really gets a feel for their personalities. After she tracks the facts, she makes lists for our staff on specific traits like: lap cat, cat friendly, dog friendly, kid friendly, age, and health. Fran’s lists have become a vital resource to our cattery because they take away the guessing game and make it easier for a family to find exactly what they’re looking for in a feline companion. Her lists also include what enrichment needs each feline has. Some need additional one-on-one quiet time to ease their fears, others like our sweet Goof Ball (yes that is his name) are high energy and need more time to run and bounce off the walls!

And then, there are the beds. Putting her gift as a seamstress to work, Fran purchases yards and yards of plush fabric to create beds for all of the cat cages in the cattery. Each feline rests on a soft handmade bed as they wait for visitors to pass by. These beds were so popular, Fran began making more of them for the shelter to sell to the public. From small crate sized beds for cats to extra-large beds for dogs, we have customers who buy them by the armful as presents for their pets and for their families.

Fran is a true leader. Not only does she jump in and do whatever is asked of her but she also helps others without being asked. She is warm and personable but what really stands out to us is her dedication. When she had to have surgery on her foot, she was told she’d have to rest and take it easy for a few months. But that didn’t stop her. As soon as she possibly could, she arranged to come in on a quiet day of the week. There she was strolling around in her wheelchair making sure that all of her lists were up to date and current. Taking time to rest and relax was just not in Fran’s vision. So with her extra time at home, she was on her sewing machine making beds for the homeless animals of Suncoast Humane Society. And of course, as soon as she was mobile again, she was right back with us… sharing her compassion for both animals and people.

Thank you, Fran Keough, for all that you do for Suncoast Humane Society and our furry friends!

Thank you, Hinck Wealth Management!

Hinck Shred Event Donations

We would like to say a HUGE thank you to the members of Hinck Private Wealth Management for collecting a very generous amount of proceeds as well as pet supplies during their recent shredding event. You guys are pawsome!

We Need YOU!

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We are seeking area business and group sponsorships for our 8th Annual Critter Classic Golf Scramble. This popular charity event will be held Saturday, April 16 at the prestigious Riverwood Golf Club, located at SR 776, at 4100 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.

Over one-third of golfer spots have already been filled, and golfers are encouraged to sign up as quickly as possible in order to secure a spot for their team.

Your registration fee as a golfer includes a continental breakfast, green fees and golf cart, golf bag handling, two drink tickets, and a great buffet lunch. The continental breakfast opens at 7 a.m., and check-in is at 7:45 a.m. with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Mulligans, a 50/50 raffle and other great raffle prizes are available too. You can register and conveniently pay online here.

We have a variety of sponsorship levels available for area businesses and groups. For information on all exclusive sponsorship benefits, please contact Special Events Manager Jacqueline Elliott at 941-474-7884 or by email at jelliott@humane.org.

Didn’t Make it to the Tennis Ball?

You can still help us!

Harbor Hottest Tennis ball

Harbor Style Magazine just opened voting for its annual “Harbor’s Hottest” contest! We would like to compete for one of the categories: Best Fundraising Gala. For the last two years, we have been voted a finalist for this category and would LOVE if we were able to win 1st place this year!

Voting is free and requires just your email address and some basic info. The ballot is open until March 18th and can be assessed online at www.harborstyle.com. You can vote for any number of categories. Once you submit your ballot, you are entered in to win a weekend for 4 at the Four Points in Punta Gorda.

When you vote, please enter Suncoast Humane Society Tennis Ball and Tournament under the Fundraising Gala category. Results from this Harbor’s Hottest contest will be printed in the June 2016 issue.

Thank you so much for your votes!

Please note: one ballot per unique email address is allowed, and multiple ballots from the same email address will void the votes.

(Why is this important? Community awards like this one help us qualify for some grants that require proof of community engagement. Grants help us continue to provide our services and programs, helping more animals and helping improve our community overall!)

Save-A-Lot Saves the Day

Save-A-Lot Donation

We would like to say a big thank you to the Port Charlotte Save-A-Lot for their generous donation! They recently held a wine tasting at their store and asked customers for monetary donations to benefit the Suncoast Humane Society. After the event was over, Save-A-Lot used the monetary donations to buy pet food from their store as well as other items from our Wishlist. Thanks again Port Charlotte Save-A-Lot, we appreciate your support!

Celebrating 5,000 Spay/Neuter Surgeries

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We are proud to announce that our Preventive Health Care Clinic has performed its 5,000th spay/neuter surgery! Our clinic, which is located inside our animal care facility, performs spay and neuter surgeries for cat and dog owners of any income level. By offering affordable services, it encourages everyone, regardless of income, to properly care for their pets.

Executive Director Phil Snyder states, “We hope to see a continued increase in the number of animals spayed or neutered through our clinic’s services, and an eventual overall reduction of animal surrenders to our facility. This begins with an increase of the overall ratio of altered pets to unaltered pets coming into our care.” Snyder adds, “Spay/neuter of companion animals is the primary focus of our No Birth campaign, the logical solution to lowering euthanasia rates at open admission animal shelters.”

We believe that spaying and neutering your pets is a necessary requirement for the effective control of the homeless animal population. It also is beneficial to animal health and behavior. Having your pet spayed or neutered is an essential component of responsible pet ownership.

Our Preventive Health Care Clinic services are by “appointment only”. For more information, pricing, or to schedule an appointment for your pet, please call  941-474-7884 Tuesday through Saturday.

Holiday giving trees help pets in need

Giving Tree Donations

We would like to thank all of those who donated pet food, toys, cleaning supplies, and much more to our Giving Trees during the holiday season! Your generosity not only helped the homeless pets in our care but also helped support the pets of struggling families in our community. All donations of pet food went to our Pet Pantry program, which helps financially struggling families with pets by temporarily providing them with free pet food. Thanks again for bringing joy to homeless pets in need!