Six Chambers of Commerce?

Chamber of Commerce Blog Post

One thing you might not know about us here at Suncoast Humane Society is that we are members of 6 area chambers of commerce, including (listed in alphabetical order) the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce, North Port Area Chamber of Commerce, Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce, and the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce. We are members of all of these active chambers because our service area covers over 450 square miles, including all of Charlotte County, most of Sarasota County, and the Boca Grande portion of Lee County! By having memberships in these chambers of commerce, we are able to be listed in each chamber’s directory, increasing our exposure to locals and newcomers alike, and boosting awareness of our programs, services, and homeless pets. We are proud to be a member of these chambers!



Boca Grande Dog Show Raises Thousands for Homeless Pets

Attendees of the Boca Grande Dog Show got to spend time with Suncoast Humane Society trained pet therapy dogs.

Attendees of the Boca Grande Dog Show got to spend time with Suncoast Humane Society
trained pet therapy dogs.

The Boca Grande Dog Show, recently hosted by the Boca Grande Woman’s Club, raised a whopping $13,000 for us here at Suncoast Humane Society. The biennial event was held at the Boca Grande Community Center.

Dog show judges awarded prizes in multiple categories, including a new coveted “Rescue” class. Contestants shared heartwarming stories on how each dog was rescued and is now in its permanent, loving home. Adoptable dogs from Suncoast Humane Society as well as trained pet therapy teams were also seen strolling through the grounds.

Our Executive Director, Phil Snyder, states: “This was truly a fun and exciting event that warranted a huge turnout of dog owners and animal lovers. We wish to thank the Boca Grande Woman’s Club for its generosity and support of our programs, services, and the homeless pets entrusted to our care.”

Canine attendees loved participating in the Boca Grande Dog Show, with prizes awarded in multiple categories, including “Rescue.”

Canine attendees loved participating in the Boca Grande Dog Show, with prizes awarded in
multiple categories, including “Rescue.”

Even the little ones got in on the pet therapy fun at the Boca Grande Dog Show.

Even the little ones got in on the pet therapy fun at the Boca Grande Dog Show.

Thank you, Clip Joint!

As an open admissions animal shelter, we accept all pets that come to us from our service area, regardless of breed, health, temperament, or size. This means that sometimes the pets we take in are not in the best condition, and sometimes require grooming because their fur has grown to such an unmanageable, matted length. We are grateful and would like to thank Jan of the Clip Joint for donating her services to our dogs that need a little “prettying up” before they are made available for adoption. Note that some of the dogs we take in require a very close cut in order to get rid of the matting and other fur issues they were experiencing. See Dartagnan and Pierre’s transformation below:


Dartagnan before

Dartagnan after

Dartagnan after

Pierre before

Pierre before

Pierre after

Pierre after

Thank you, Clip Joint!


Local Homeless Cats Find Love in UK

By John Hackworth, Editor of the Englewood Sun

Originally printed in the Englewood Sun on April 23, 2015

Little Girl and Binx settle in for their car ride to Fort Lauderale on their way to their forever home in England. They will be flying in a climate controlled cargo area on a direct British Airways flight.

Little Girl and Binx settle in for their car ride to Fort Lauderale on their way to their forever home in England. They will be flying in a climate controlled cargo area on a direct British Airways flight.

Brian and Jenny Port were not looking for a cat.

As a matter of fact, the two residents of the United Kingdom were not even supposed to be in Englewood.

“We flew into Orlando, and I had a bit of a bad back,” Brian Said. “We were supposed to drive up to North Carolina, but we decided not to do it.”

So, the couple, from Winchelsea Beach, East Sussex, spent their February vacation in Englewood.

And, while at the Palm Plaza Englewood Winn-Dixie store, they decided to go next door to the Pet Supermarket to see some animals the Suncoast Humane Society was offering for adoption.

“If we had not gone there, nothing like this would have happened. We were just looking to entertain ourselves,” Brian said.

What happened was the couple fell in love with a black female cat named Little Girl. She and her brother cat Binx had been up for adoption since November 2014.

But a few days later, the Ports were on a plan back to England – without the cats.

“It is quite expensive to fly a cat to England,” Brian said. “It costs more than to fly a human.”

But they couldn’t forget the cute faces and the two cats that had waited so long for a home.

So, earlier this month the adoption team at the Society’s Animal Care Center received a call from the United Kingdom. The Ports wanted to adopt the two cats after learning on the Society’s website that they were still available.

The adoption interview was conducted and approved, and the Ports went to work planning the cats’ travel to their new home in England. Binx and Little Girl had already been microchipped and appropriately vaccinated; however, they had to stay in Suncoast Humane Society’s free roaming cattery for an additional 20 days, to comply with international travel laws applying to pets.

A pet transport company in Fort Lauderdale was contacted and arrangements were made with British Airways to carry the cats to their new family.

“We have experienced many heartwarming adoption stories and had a few long distance relationships. I remember one special situation where one of our dogs went to New York City,” Executive Director Phil Snyder said. “This, however, an adoption from England, is a first.”

You can check Suncoast Humane Society’s blog and Facebook page for the latest developments in Binx and Little Girl’s journey to England and their forever home.

And as for the Port’s future with their new pets: “We’re getting up in years. These cats will probably outlive us,” Brian laughed.

The Suncoast Humane Society and Phil Snyder contributed to this article.

Animal Control Is Underappreciated

Garfield 20141933

By Phil Snyder, Executive Director of Suncoast Humane Society

Published in the Englewood Sun on April 19, 2015

Unless you are in that field of work, I’ll bet you didn’t know that Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week has come and gone. And, if you didn’t know, it is another example of how the important servces performed by animal control officers and animal control agencies, in general, are underappreciated.

Due to the population explosion of people, and especially of dogs and cats, the need for effective animal-control services has increased over the years. As late as the 1950s and ’60s, animal control departments still were called dog pounds (from the word impoundment), managed by dog wardens. Field staff were referred to as dog catchers. Very few pounds even sheltered cats, as stray dogs were considered the main problem, both with public safety and public health. In most states, the scare of rabies was much higher than today.

Over time, factors such as pet overpopulation, whose birth rate is 10 to 1 over humans, the public’s growing concern over the treatment of pets, and the need for better public service in general led to the expansion and improvement of many animal-control programs. Pounds became animal shelters, and the agencies became animal control and even animal services. Dogs, cats and other domestic animals were better regulated and protected by laws and ordinances. Shelters became better equipped to care for dogs, cats and other animals kept as pets by the public. Some animal-control facilities even have arrangements for housing straying livestock or other farm animals.

State animal-control organizations grew across the counntry with the purpose of sharing and providing valuable resources. Those resources include professional advice, training and networking to local animal-control agencies. They also monitor legislation and seek better laws that both regulate and protect animals.

In 1978, the National Animal Control Association (now the National Animal Care and Control Association) was born as a national resource for professionalizing services and programs.

The number of complaints from the public to city and county governments regarding stray dogs and cats, injured animals, animal neglect and animal abuse is very high. The money budgeted from animal-control programs, by governments, is normally not enough to meet the demand. It definitely does not meet the need. Some animal-control departments stand alone as a government agency, but many are under public safety or public health, and usually take a back seat to other needs at budget time.

Why isn’t everyone always happy with animal control? Think about it! If your dog is picked up running loose, you are mad. If the animal-control officer is unable to capture the neighbor’s loose dog you complained about, you are mad. If the cruelty complaint you report does not end in a conviction, you are mad. How could they possibly please everyone?

Many of the services provided by animal control go unnoticed and definitely unappreciated. I hate to think of how it would be to not have their services. The result would be an increased number of dangerous dogs roaming our neighborhoods, more people bitten, sick and injured animals left unattended, and no help for animals suffering from neglect and abuse. I know we would learn to appreciate what we lost.

Thank you, 7th Annual Critter Classic Supporters!

7th Annual Critter Classic attendees peruse the raffle baskets available at the annual golf scramble hosted at Riverwood Golf Club, Port Charlotte, Florida.

7th Annual Critter Classic attendees peruse the raffle baskets available at the annual golf scramble hosted at Riverwood Golf Club, Port Charlotte, Florida.

Thank you to all our sponsors, golfers, and Riverwood Golf Club for helping make the 7th Annual Critter Classic such a fun success! This shotgun golf scramble raised over $30,000 for our programs, services, and homeless pets. A special “thank you” goes out to our Title Sponsor, Modern Woodmen of America with Area Financial Respresentative Donna Lapton, Gold Tee Sponsor Riverwood Golf Club, Silver Tee Sponsor Integrity Employee Leasing, Scoreboard Sponsor Hinck Private Wealth Management/Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Breakfast Sponsor Rich “Big Daddy” and Markie Harms, Lunch Sponsors Patterson Veterinary & Virbac, 19th Hole Sponsors The Sand Trap Bar & Grill, Italiano Insurance Services, Inc., Englewood Eagles #3885, Howard’s Restaurant, Key Fertilization and Pest Control, and Murtha & Murtha Mergers & Acquisitions, LLC, Hole-in-One Sponsors Berlin Sign Company, Anthony C. Leonard Enterprises, and Art and Monica Thompson, Beverage Cart Sponsors Merrill’s Heating & A/C, Inc. and Pet Passings, our tee & green Sponsors, raffle donors, staff, and volunteers!

A Tale of Going the Extra Mile

Peanut (adopted)

Peanut was adopted after one of our volunteers drove his potential adopter to our animal care center in Englewood from Venice!

Our staff and volunteers are always going the extra mile to help the homeless animals they care for and the people who will love them. Our Satellite Adoption Coordinator Karen Owens shares this story about how one of her satellite adoption center volunteers helped a potential adopter find just the right cat to adopt:

“Cat adoption volunteer Dee was enriching cats our Venice Petco Satellite [adoption center] when Dottie came in looking for a companion cat. She didn’t connect with the cats there so Dee offered to drive Dottie to the shelter – going the extra mile – (really 14 miles) where Dottie fell in love with Peanut and took him home. Dee reports that Dottie talked to Peanut all the way back to Venice!”

We loved this story; we hope you did too!