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!

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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!

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!)

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!

Holiday donations bring joy to pets in need

Holidays Donations- CC Utilities & Moose Riders

Thank you Charlotte County Utilities and Moose Riders Chapter 1933 for your generosity during the holiday season! Your generous donations of pet food to our Pet Pantry, and items such as cleaning supplies, toys, and much more from our Wish List, helped not only the pets in our care but also the pets of struggling families in our community. Again, thank you for sharing your holiday spirit with the many pets in need. We truly appreciate your continued support!

We have exciting news!

Our board of trustees and staff are proud to announce that Suncoast Humane Society has received the coveted 4-star rating by Charity Navigator. This top honor, from America’s largest independent charity evaluator, has been awarded for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Charity Navigator 4 Star Logo

Out of the thousands of nonprofit organizations Charity Navigator evaluates each year, only one out of four earns a 4 star rating. This indicates that Suncoast Humane Society outperforms most other charities in America.

We work very hard to earn the trust of our donors, and meet the challenges of helping both animals and people of our community. Every day we strive to be a more effective humane society.

Thank you for your trust and support. We couldn’t have received this top rating without you!

To view our 4-star rating, please visit Charity Navigator’s website or view the letter from Charity Navigator announcing our 4-star rating here.

You Rock, Vineland Elementary!

Vineland Elementary Donation

We would like to say a special thank you to the second graders at Vineland Elementary School for their recent generous donation! Jane Silva, one of the second grade teachers, contacted us after all of the second grade classes decided that instead of exchanging gifts this year, they would like to hold a donation drive to benefit the animals of Suncoast Humane Society. What a great way to make the holidays a little merrier for our adoptable pets! As a token of our appreciation, six Pet Therapy teams stopped by each of the second grade classrooms to thank both the students and teachers and also presented each classroom with a 2016 pet calendar. Thanks again for allowing our pet therapy teams to visit and for your donation!