Dog Walkers Help Adoptable Dogs Prepare for New Homes

One of our volunteer opportunities here at Suncoast Humane Society is being a Dog Walker! All of our dog walkers perform the very important duty of enriching and helping train our adoptable dogs while they wait for their forever humans to find them and take them home. Each of our dog walkers is required to go through orientation and training to teach them how to properly handle our adoptable dogs, as seen below:

Animal behaviorist training volunteer dog walkers

Our Animal Behaviorist/Technician Jorge trains dog walkers in our animal care center’s play yards.

To help potential volunteer dog walkers have an idea of how they will be performing their volunteer duties, one of our volunteers created this instructional video on the proper dog walking procedures:

 

If you are interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity, please contact our Events and Volunteer Manager Jacqueline Elliott at 941-474-7884 or by email at jelliott@humane.org. We would love to have your help!

 

Start the New Year with Suncoast Humane Society

Volunteer snuggles adoptable cat

Suncoast Humane Society volunteer Chris is a cat cuddler and visitor assistant at our animal care center in Englewod, Florida. He is pictured here with currently adoptable cat Maggie.

Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions is to give back to your community or help those in need. The homeless pets at Suncoast Humane Society could use your help! Many of the volunteer opportunities available at Suncoast Humane Society are at our animal care center in Englewood. Other important opportunities focus on vital programs and services away from our shelter. For example, we currently need volunteers to assist staff at our Englewood, Venice, and new Port Charlotte thrift store locations. Proceeds from all three of the Society’s thrift stores benefit our programs, services and homeless pets at Suncoast Humane Society.

Suncoast Humane Society employee Justin lifts donated armchair at thrift store

Suncoast Humane Society Thrift Store Assistant Justin assists with the donated items at the Society’s thrift stores. Our volunteers at our thrift stores help perform tasks vital to the operation and success of the thrift stores’ fundraising.

We are fortunate enough to have over 300 volunteers who generously give of their time and skills. These volunteers are vital to the continuation of our mission to “reduce the number of homeless animals and improve the quality of life.”

If you are interested in helping homeless pets while meeting new people with similar interests, please contact Events and Volunteer Manager Jacqueline Elliott at 941-474-7884 EXT 422 or by email at jelliott@humane.org.

Help Homeless Pets at a Thrift Store?

Doesn’t sound logical, does it? But you can help the homeless pets of Suncoast Humane Society by volunteering at our thrift stores.

Many of the volunteer opportunities available here at Suncoast Humane Society are at our animal care center in Englewood. Other important opportunities focus on vital programs and services away from our shelter. For example, volunteers are always needed to assist staff at the three thrift stores in Englewood, Venice, and newly opened Port Charlotte. The proceeds from all three of our thrift stores benefit the programs, services, and homeless pets at Suncoast Humane Society.

We are fortunate enough to have over 300 volunteers who generously give of their time and skills. These volunteers are vital to the continuation of our mission to “reduce the number of homeless animals and improve the quality of life.”

CJ Hardy volunteer with Suncoast Humane Society

CJ Hardy, volunteer at Suncoast Humane Society thrift store

One such volunteer is CJ Hardy, who volunteered at the North Port  thrift store location and now volunteers at the new Port Charlotte thrift store location. She began volunteering at the thrift store to stay active in the community: “Being semi-retired, I wasn’t ready to stay at home. I needed more in my life and loving animals the way I do, I decided to volunteer at the Suncoast Humane Society thrift store. It’s such a fun place to work and a great way to meet other who are also not ready to stay at home. It’s difficult when you are new to an area and volunteering is a great way to meet new people.

“Recently, we adopted Gypsy [from Suncoast Humane Society], a 3 year old mix of German Shepherd and Chow, and what a love she is. She has enhanced our lives and we have given a home to a dog that needed it.

Gypsy with new family CJ and Mac

Gypsy with her new family, CJ and Mac

“This is our home now and I am truly blessed by how volunteering with the Suncoast Humane Society has enhanced and enriched my life by first and foremost, helping the animals, and also by filling my life with new faces and fun.”

If you are interested in helping our homeless pets while meeting new people with similar interests, please contact our Events and Volunteer Manager Jacqueline Elliott at 941-474-7884 or by email at jelliott@humane.org!

Holiday donations help the pets of struggling families

Kathy Damewood pauses for a photo with her Pet Pantry donation in December 2014.

Kathy Damewood pauses for a photo with her Pet Pantry donation in December 2014.

Among other services, our Community Outreach/Education program features our Pet Pantry, a service we have in place for struggling families and their pets. The program is offered to pet owners in need who are unable to afford pet food for their pet(s). Our wish is that by offering aid in the form of free pet food to pet owners, they will not be forced to surrender their animals or put their health at risk due to lack or poor nourishment. This assistance is temporary until the owners are in a better position to provide for their pets.

To help contribute to our Pet Pantry, all donations of pet food to our organization go to our Pet Pantry. You may have thought that the food you donate goes to our adoptable pets, but it does not. Our adoptable pets are fed Hills Science Diet pet food, and they stay on the same food throughout their stay with us in order to minimize stomach upset or other digestive ailments.

Pet Therapy brings holiday cheer

pet therapy dog in Santa costume

Cappy the therapy dog recently visited the Doctor’s Hospital to spread holiday cheer to those who need it most!

Spending the holidays in the hospital can be a very stressful time. Thankfully, our Pet Therapy teams like Cappy and his mom Dee have been bringing holiday cheer to some of those who need it most.

One of the multiple services of our Community Outreach/Education program is our Pet Therapy service. Our volunteer teams of canines and their humans help provide the human-animal bond for adults and children who need it most. This free community program of ours features about 50 pet therapy teams who visit health care facilities, schools, and provide reading fun at local libraries.

Our pet therapy teams currently cover three counties and are dually evaluated under Suncoast Humane Society AND the national program, Pet Partners, formerly known as the Delta Society. Each team is reevaluated every two years in order to insure the high degree of appropriateness expected and is covered under liability insurance by Pet Partners.

To see upcoming  Doggie Tales and Read with the Dogs events, please visit the events tab on our Facebook page. To learn more about our Pet Therapy teams, please give us a call at 941-474-7884!

Port Charlotte Thrift Store Now Open

Port Charlotte Thrift Store storefront

Our new Port Charlotte thrift store location is now open for business!

After months of hard work and preparation, our new Port Charlotte thrift store location (1825 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33948) opened for its first day of business on December 15, 2014! This is the new location to which our former North Port thrift store moved to, and we’re so happy to have found a new space that better fits our expanding needs! The new Port Charlotte thrift store location is over 8,000 square feet, more than twice the size of our old space, and we’re so excited to see how this thrift store will help us raise the funding necessary for our programs, services, and homeless pets.

When you visit our Port Charlotte thrift store in the next week, you’ll see the sale on Christmas items as soon as you walk into the store:

Christmas sale at Port Charlotte thrift store

Our staff, including our Director of Thrift Store and Outreach Services Claire Berten, and Port Charlotte Thrift Store Manager Pam Martinez, and more than a half dozen volunteers (including those working behind the scenes) were quite excited on the soft opening day.

Suncoast Humane Society staff and volunteers on opening day for Port Charlotte thrift store

Pam and Claire even paused for a fun photo in front of the store on opening day, where they’ve been working hard alongside our faithful volunteers to make this new thrift store location happen. We can’t wait to give you details on the grand opening event for this thrift store; it’s in the works! Thank you for your initial and continuing support of our new Port Charlotte thrift store location.

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Why Microchipping Your Pet Matters

With the recent story of a Naples dog being reunited with his family after 7 months because of his microchip, it’s more important to remember why microchipping your pet matters. Cooper, a three year old bully breed, was able to get out of his house after workers from the family’s pool service company left the front gate open. After searching locally for some time, the family started to give up hope that Cooper would ever make it home, until one day the family received a call from an animal shelter – in New Hampshire.

The family suspects that he didn’t get very far on his own and are unsure of how he got 1,500 miles from home before someone scanned him for a microchip, but they are just happy that Cooper was able to come back home to them. What happened was Salem Animal Control in New Hampshire scanned Cooper, who came to them as a stray, for a microchip, which was registered with the family’s contact information and current phone number. Cooper was reunited two weeks later with his family after a 23 hour drive back to his Naples home. A microchip made his reunion with his family possible!

As a humane society, we also deal with lost and found animals who either have or don’t have microchips, and it’s much easier to reunite missing pets with microchips. Our Lost & Found service is offered as part of our Pet Placement Program, and is only available for public use through the generous support of our donors.

 

Missing dog Jersey looks a bit sheepish while dad Thomas springs him from Suncoast Humane Society's lost and found room.

Jersey got separated from his dad Thomas and looks a little sheepish to be here at Suncoast Humane Society! There’s nothing to be embarrassed about though, Jersey, because now you’re home safe with your dad, where you should be.

Getting your pet microchipped in the first place is really simple with Suncoast Humane Society’s low cost preventive health care clinic. Simply call us at 941-474-7884 to schedule your appointment. Microchipping is just $25 per pet, and includes initial registration with the microchip company. Make sure to contact the microchip company directly after you get your pet microchipped if you move OR get a different phone number. The microchip will not be useful unless it has a good contact phone number connected to it and registered with the microchip company.

Missing cat Bailey was reunited as part of Suncoast Humane Society's lost & found service, part of their Pet Placement Program.

Bailey got separated from mom Diane, and was turned into us as a stray. Diane contacted us to file a lost report, and sure enough, we had him! Bailey is definitely happy to be home.

Though you might think of microchipping your dog first, microchipping your cat is very important too, even if he is an indoor only cat (which we would love all cats to be). Stranger things than an indoor cat getting outside have happened, and having your cat microchipped to help reunite you if that happens is a great step to avoid heartache.

And if you were wondering, a microchip is not a GPS tracking device, but rather an identification chip inserted between the shoulder blades of a pet that can be scanned by a special device that nearly all animal shelters, animal services, and veterinarian offices have. It’s a great preventive measure to take to help your pet stay safe and come back to you should he go missing!