Foster Homes Needed for Senior Pets

Shyla, Senior Adoptable Dog at Suncoast Humane Society

Shyla, Senior Adoptable Dog at Suncoast Humane Society (click for more information)


As an open-admissions Animal Care Center, we accept all pets who are surrendered to us from our service area spanning over 450 square miles, including Charlotte County, most of Sarasota County, and the Boca Grande portion of Lee County. Because we accept all pets regardless of health, temperament, size, or breed, some pets require additional care in foster homes before becoming healthy enough for adoption.

Recently, we have received an increased number of senior dogs that require more time and medical care before becoming available for adoption. In order to help these dogs find forever homes, we need foster parents who are willing to open their homes and hearts to provide temporary shelter and basic medical care for these dogs in need. Our foster parents are provided pet food, veterinarian care, and medicines, and only have to provide water, shelter, and most of all, lots of love and attention.

If you are interested in helping these senior dogs on their journey to their forever homes, please contact Jacqueline Elliott, our Events and Volunteer Manager here at Suncoast Humane Society, by phone at 941-474-7884 or by email at You can also apply to become a volunteer online on our website.


Nylabone: Thank you!

Nylabone Donation December 2014 Suncoast Humane Society

Nylabone recently donated chew toys for our small, medium, and large adoptable dogs to us!

Our adoptable dogs just wanted to say a quick “thank you” to Nylabone for their recent generous donation of chew toys for our small, medium, and large dogs to help make their stay at our animal care center a little more pleasant.

Your donation is much appreciated!

Thank you, Boca Grande Club!

Thank you to Boca Grande Club Marquee 2015

The 7th Annual Tennis Ball, generously sponsored by Grande Aire Services, Inc., Gulf to Bay Sotheby’s International Realty, and Italiano Insurance Services, Inc., and hosted by the Boca Grande Club, raised over $40,000 for the programs, services, and homeless pets here at Suncoast Humane Society. This fundraising event is vital to the continuation of our mission to “reduce the number of homeless animals and improve the quality of life.”

A seven week Boca Grande Club Professional Tennis Exhibition Series begins later this week to continue to raise funds for us. It will be held every Wednesday from January 28 through March 11 at the Boca Grande Club tennis courts. Sixteen of southwest Florida’s top male and female players will be competing for $5,000 in prize money. There will be three women’s doubles, three men’s doubles and one mixed doubles match between the top women and men point earners of the series. Come out and watch former world professional players play top level doubles while enjoying a beverage during a warm Florida sunset. A $5 donation to benefit the Suncoast Humane is suggested.

What YOU Helped Us Do in 2014

Freya the puppy found her new home with Christina and Stanley.

With your support, homeless pets like Freya were able to find forever families.

2014 marked the beginning and continuation of many beneficial programs and services here at Suncoast Humane Society. Without your financial support, we wouldn’t be able to offer these programs and services to our community. Here’s what you helped us do in 2014:

Sweet Pea the Kitten cuddles with her new family

Through your donations, Sweet Pea was able to find her forever home.

Your support, through your financial and material donations, have helped us be a helping hand to the pets and people in our community. Without your support, we could not offer the wide array of programs and services that we do. In 2015, as we plan our organization’s future at our new location, we need all the community support that we can get. Please contact us at 941-474-7884 or visit our website to learn more about our Capital Campaign for our new facility. We truly appreciate your support now and as we grow in the future!

Grand Opening of Venice Satellite Adoption Center

Suncoast Humane Society Satellite Adoption Center Venice Petco

We are so proud to announce that we are expanding our Pet Placement Program again with a new satellite adoption center in the Petco located at 1651 US 41 Bypass, Venice. The grand opening for this satellite cat adoption center is scheduled for Saturday, January 24!

This is the fourth satellite center that we have established for cat adoptions, with three other locations in Englewood, North Port, and Port Charlotte. With the growth of these satellite adoption centers, we are looking for volunteers to help with adoptions and some housekeeping for the cats. If you are interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity, please call our Events and Volunteer Manager Jacqueline Elliott at 941-474-7884 or email her at You can also apply to become a volunteer online, and see more information on this volunteer opportunity on our website too.

Suncoast Humane Society Satellite Adoption Center Venice Petco

Karen Owens, Satellite Adoption Coordinator for Suncoast Humane Society, poses with adoptable cats Rudy, Patty, and Shyanne at the Venice Petco satellite adoption center.

To whom are you donating?

Phillip R. Snyder, Executive Director for Suncoast Humane Society

Phillip Snyder, Executive Director of Suncoast Humane Society with his dog Gabby

By Phillip Snyder, Executive Director of Suncoast Humane Society

Published in the Englewood Sun on January 18, 2015

Doesn’t it just tear your heart out to watch the television commercials that feature neglected and abused dogs and cats? The national animal welfare organizations that sponsor these ads provide music and lyrics that get you all choked up, as a celebrity or the organization’s representative describes the horrors these poor animals are facing. Over the holidays, many of the commercials even used Christmas music as a touching theme.

Several organizations that advertise nationally use this type of advertising. At least three of these organizations have their commercials airing on our local cable and network stations.

Granted, these animal-welfare and -protection organizations do provide valuable programs for animals on a national level. They are a resource, when needed, for local humane societies, animal care/control, and rescue groups. They offer advice and materials on a variety of programs and issues. Some national organizations will provide assistance when there are local weather-related disasters, or even with large-scale cruelty investigations, such as dog fighting or hoarding cases.

What bothers me is the fact that, when watching their sponsored television commercials, one would think they operate animal shelters, right here in southwest Florida. I am quite sure that representatives of local human organizations in other areas of the country feel the same. Is that the intent? And does it make us donate? I think it is, and I think it does.

These national organizations do not operate animal shelters anywhere close to our area. One nationally advertised organization does operate shelters in a northeastern state. Another operates an animal sanctuary of sorts in a state in the West. A third does not operate any animal shelters for dogs or cats, anywhere at all. Again, they do provide resources in areas of humane legislation, public awareness and education. But they do not operate local animal shelters in southwest Florida.

It is your local humane societies, animal control, adoption agencies and rescue groups that save animals locally and give them that second chance at life.

I have friends tell me that they have supported the Suncoast Humane Society because they wrote a check to one of the national organizations. One individual called me recently, very upset when she realized she mistakenly had donated a vehicle to a national organization, following one of these ads. She thought she was donating to us. I have had to inform many people that national organizations are not governing bodies to local humane societies, and there is not financial trickle-down effect.

Again, national humane organizations have their own agendas, and their programs do need financial support. This being said, please remember, it is your local shelters that are the voice for animals here at home, and they desperately need your support. It is good practice to check the websites of local organizations or call to find out just how each organization helps animals and people, and most, of call, who is worthy of your financial support.

Poisonous Plants and Your Pets

Taking care of your pet involves a lot more than feeding, watering, exercising, and taking them to the vet when needed. Pet parents should also be aware of the toxins in their pet’s environment and take precautions to avoid them. Some of these toxins are in live plants!

Nancy Sodel’s three year old Doberman Pinscher Cole ingested part of a Sago Palm and later passed from Sago Palm toxicity. In Cole’s memory, she authored two different informational brochures, with information from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control. To learn what toxic plants to avoid, read below:

Sago Palm Male Plant

Sago Palm – Male Plant

Sago Palms contain multiple toxins, with the most potent being Cycasin. Even with aggressive treatment, the survival rate for Cycasin toxicity in animals is only about 50%. In humans, Cyacasis not only causes liver failure, but is a neurotoxin as well. Therefore it is important to not only keep pets away from Sagos and other toxic palms, but to keep young children away from them as well. In the southern United States, Sago Palms (also commonly sold under the names of Coontie Palm, Cardboard Palm, Cycad or Zami) grow throughout Florida, most of Louisiana and in the southern reaches of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. In the western United States, their growing area includes much of Texas, Arizona, and California. Outside of the United States, they are found in the New World tropics, southern Africa, south and east Asia, Australia, and the south Pacific. In Australia, loss of cattle afflicted with the “zamia staggers” led to government cycad-eradication campaigns. This family of palm plants are not only found in outdoor landscapes, but as ornamental houseplants as well. While most toxic plants warn potential predators with a foul odor or bitter taste, the Sago Palm is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Because Sagos do not have these typical distractors, animals do not instinctively know not to eat or chew on the plants or the seed pods. The following palms are also TOXIC:

Cardboard palm

Cardboard palm

King Sago

King Sago

Cycad Palm

Cycad Palm

King Sago

King Sago

Coontie Palm

Coontie Palm

Ornamental cardboard palm

Ornamental cardboard palm

Ornamental Sago Palm

Ornamental Sago Palm

WARNING! Due to the toxic components in these palms, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling any part of the plant, as well as to wash your clothing and any gardening tools that came into contact with the plants.

In addition to these palms, the following plants are also toxic:

Peace Lily

Spathiphyllim in peace lilies contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause causeoral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue.


Cyclamen contains cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion. Cyclamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported.

Castor bean fruits

In Castor Bean, the poisonous principle is ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases can result in muscle twitching, seizures, coma, and death.


Schefflera and Brassaia actonophylla contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue in pets who ingest.


Members of the Rhododenron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.


All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects – including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia, and even death.


Ingestion of Colchicum autumnale (Crocus) by pets can result in oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage, and bone marrow suppression.


Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestion of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.


The bulb of Narcissus spp. contains toxins that cause intense GI irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.


Chrysanthemums are part of the Compositae family, which contain pyrethrins that may produce GI upset including drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. With heavy consumption, depression and loss of coordination may also develop.


Kalanchoe contains components that can produce GI irritation, as well as seriously affecting cardiac rhythm and rate.


The bulb portions of Tulipa spp. contains toxins that can cause intense GI irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.


Ingestion of Cannabis sativa by companion animals can result in depression of the central nervous system, incoordination, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, seizures and coma. Since passing medical marijuana licensing in Colorado, that state has seen a dramatic increase in the number of pets with marijuana poisoning.


Amaryllis species contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia and tremors.


More commonly known as Philodendron, if chewed or ingested, Pothos can cause significant mechanical irritation and swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

All information courtesy of “Sago Palms and Other Toxic Palms” and “15 Poisonous Indoor & Outdoor Plants” brochures authored by Nancy Sodel and designed by Elizabeth Barrett. Information originally sourced from ASPCA Animal Poison Control.