Strut Your Mutt Dog Walk 1/31 Register Now!

Have a super fun day with your dog(s) or come meet a wonderful dog who would proudly strut with you fur-ever! January 31st will be a day to celebrate our beautiful dogs and benefit our Humane Society/SPCA! Registration can be done prior to the event or at 8am on the day of the Strut! Strutting starts at 9am! No cost to visit but a $25 donation to walk the route and 100% of your donations will benefit the HS/SPCA of Sumter and the programs they have to help local animals in need. This event is being generously hosted by Buffalo Ridge Animal Hospital. Visit http://www.strutyourmuttthevillages.com for more details.

HS/SPCA Considers BOCC Animal Services Adoption Responsibility

Recently there have been many conversations regarding the welfare of the homeless animals held at Sumter County's Animal Services shelter. At their recent December 9th public meeting, The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) directed an initial proposal to the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County to accept the responsibilities involved with all aspects of adoptions of dogs and cats at the County operated facility. "As Chairman/President of our society let me make it clear that nothing is yet definitive but it is under careful review by our Board and staff with regards to all requirements our non-profit animal rescue would face including the potential impact on our "Kibbles on Wheels" pet food program and Spay/Neuter voucher program offered to the public. Our 'Kibbles' program provides 15 Tons of free pet food to Sumter low income residents' pets and our 'Big Fix' Spay/Neuter program has already altered 200 animals in 2014 while funding for an additional 136 has been set aside. Our organization is still in discussion of IF/HOW we can best serve the animals in Sumter, whether under our non-profit or otherwise. We have not made any premature commitment to anything as we are still reviewing the logistics of this proposal and how the goal can best be accomplished to help the most animals. The rumors and incorrect information is already circulating that this was already a 'done deal' when in fact, it is not."

County Administrator, Bradley Arnold has been in constant communication responding to questions that have arisen from the public, animal advocacy groups as well as the HS/SPCA of Sumter. He stated that "should the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter, our first choice to take over the adoptions, decline the County's offer, another rescue will be offered the opportunity. We, the County Commissioners, have seen the growth and progress our local HS/SPCA has made in recent years. They have demonstrated a stable quality program at placing many deserving animals into caring permanent homes. We would like that to continue with animals that they access at our County shelter as well."

As PR Chairperson Claudia Labbe' noted "should our HS/SPCA accept the responsibility of adoptions at the County animal facility, we shall certainly be reaching out to local, regional and even national support groups with transfers, transport and media exposure to increase adoptions (of all breeds of dogs and cats). Funding for these additional animals will also be carefully evaluated, which would include the pursuit of grant funding. We have a greatly appreciated support network of volunteers and donors within our community who would understand what we would be trying to achieve. We believe our community would stand behind our work and get involved."

We will soon release to the public and you the decisions of our Board of Directors. Until then rest assured our Board of Directors will not enter into an agreement without due deliberation.
Bill Gottschalk

A Gift of a Volunteer Mabel H.

As a young child growing up in Miami, Mabel befriended two neighborhood dogs who entrusted themselves with her gentle manner and that's when Mabel realized she fell in love with the company of animals. She recently mentioned that she "realized the importance of trust. Especially with anything or anyone that is smaller, younger or weaker than you are." Since then her life has been shared with many beloved animals. Currently her life is VERY filled with the love of four dogs, six rescued cats and a handsome horse she has has since his birth!
Mabel expressed that she regretted not volunteering sooner as her strong connection with animals is the most fulfilling and natural thing she does all week. Their acceptance of her is equaled by her not judging them for whatever their pasts put them in our care. To quote Mabel "volunteering for no recognition or payment is the most fulfilling thing you can do for yourself as a person. After a few hours with these animals, my heart is more compassionate, my mind tells me that there are other things in life are more important than worrying about myself or my problems and it teaches me that the best things in life are not 'things.' It is an honor to serve all of the animals."
This holiday season, Mabel we think you and our other volunteers are a gift and we are grateful for your kindness in changing many lives two and four footed!

We Are Fur-Ever Thankful to YOU!

Though this time of year is our busiest with community events and pet adoptions, we must slow down and take this opportunity to express our most sincere gratitude to our supporters. You, the community, have allowed us to live up to and honor our mission with your contributions of time, funds and the labor of love. For this we're Fur-ever thankful.
Each year brings us new challenges. Our shelter has continued to grow, assisting and adopting more animals than ever before. And you have continued to be there. Giving spare change in our donation box or leaving a legacy of compassion in your estate planning, each gift is important to accomplish the goal of helping local animals in need. For this we're Fur-ever thankful.
To all our local media, you have helped spread the word of our necessary work. To those who helped make our shelter environment more effective with additional kennels and quarantine, to those businesses and clubs who sponsored events, you have shown the real meaning of community and made a big difference. For this we're Fur-ever thankful.
We are a volunteer-based non-profit organization, blessed to have a skilled devoted staff which guides our volunteer team so well. To our volunteers, busy with their own lives, your commitment to help on all levels is so appreciated. We always welcome more people like you. For this we're Fur-ever thankful.
We approach a time of annual reflection and our gratitude must reflect back to shine on all of you, our community. Without you, we would not have been able to achieve our shelter's mission of connecting endearing animals with wonderful people. For this we're Fur-ever thankful.
If you are new to us, we extend an invitation to visit our shelter and learn how to be a part of the important work accomplished there. On behalf of the animals we strive to protect, we wish you and your pets a safe, healthy and love-filled holiday season.

HS/SPCA Awarded Two Grants for Spay/Neuter Vouchers!

We wish to say how THANKFUL we are for both the recent grants awarded to us! The DeBartolo Family Foundation and the Bernice Barbour Foundations' generous grants (totalling $7,000!) to our Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County! We can spay/neuter pets of low income residents, via our voucher program, which will continue to reduce the high euthanasia rate in Sumter County. With our sincere gratitude for your continued support and kindness... MANY THANK YOUs!
To those in need of spaying/neutering their pets, please submit your request to our office Mon.-Fri. 10am-2pm while funds last!

August was National Make a Will Month But...

it's OK to make your will at any time, just don't forget to recognize those that make your community a better place to live. Making a will is a topic so many people avoid for a slew of reasons; their health is good, nothing tragic or unexpected will happen to them at this time of their lives, they believe they don't have much in assets to leave anyone, or it simply is a taboo topic they will deal with 'someday' in the distant future. Unfortunately reasons can change in an instant. Would you want your possessions to be decided by a court or the State to receive all your valuables?
"A prepared will can provide peace of mind knowing everything that is important to them has been accounted for and left to those people or local charities that mean something significant to that individual" noted volunteer Claudia Labbe' of the HS/SPCA of Sumter County. "As many people know, I am actively involved with our local HS/SPCA and I made plans accordingly to help continue assisting them in the important work they do even after I have passed. I have had the joy of witnessing how many lives of animals and people are improved by the efforts of the HS/SPCA of Sumter and I want that to continue no matter what form my planned gift is that I can give. Contributions from supporters are what keep the HS/SPCA of Sumter operating."
The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter offers a guideline of valuable information to those wanting to assist the local non-profit via their estate planning preparations. All donors are encouraged to seek independent financial and legal counsel when executing wills, trusts, contracts and other agreements. The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County will provide information and assistance to donors, however, the ultimate responsibility regarding evaluations, tax deductibility, and/or similar legal state, local and/or federal compliance issues rests with the donor and/or such counsel as the donor may wish to secure. For those interested in saving lives by "Leaving a Legacy of Compassion," please contact us at 352-793-9117, info@hsspca.org or at PO Box 67/994 CR 529A, Lake Panasoffkee, FL, 33538 for a copy of the guidelines.

Purina O.N.E. Dry Cat Food Donations Urgently Needed!

If our supporters could lend us a paw please...we have a request for Purina O.N.E. Dry Cat Food for the cats in our custody awaiting adoption. (Keeping their diet consistent helps them not have any digestive upset. This is why we ask for a specific type of food.)
Donations may be dropped off at local business such as: HighFive Frozen Yogurt, both Buffalo Ridge Animal Hospitals, PAWS For a Moment Natural Pet Food Market, Whole Earth Pet Supply, PAWS Animal Hospital, Bone Crazy Dog Grooming, Sparr Farm & Feed and our shelter too! You can also snail mail your donation earmarked "pet food" to us at Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc., 994 CR 529a Lake Panasoffkee, FL 33538 or securely online here with our DONATE button. We truly thank you for your kindness!

Opportunities for Dog & Cat Care Volunteers!

If you love dogs and cats and want to make a difference in the lives of rescued animals then consider volunteering at our HS/SPCA. The Society is in need of reliable volunteers at our facility in Lake Panasoffkee.

Care of the dogs/cats include kennel/litter box cleaning, feeding, brushing and walking dogs. AM/PM shifts are available and duties are divided amongst volunteers. MOST OF ALL, THESE ANIMALS NEED HUMAN LOVING & BONDING!

To find out how you can help, contact us at 352-793-9117 or by email at info@hsspca.org. Our Lake Panasoffkee facility is located at 994 CR 529A which has office hours of Mon. - Fri., 10am to 2pm. See if volunteering to care for rescued animals is something you would like to do! All applications will be considered.

PET ALERT Emergency Window Clings Available

Have you received your PET ALERT Window Cling pack yet? We offer a 2-pack for only a $4 donation. Imagine that $4 could save the lives of your treasured pets if the emergency rescuers knew how many & what kind of pets you had in your home.

Fill out the info on the cling & place one on your front & back doors. We can mail (2-3) 2-packs in a #10 envelope for just $1 extra & you can give them to family & friends to keep beloved pets safe. They are a thoughtful way of keeping pets safe and make great stocking stuffers! Order your PET ALERTS via Paypal here on our website for your's today!

Corporate Membership Provides Great PR!

Our Society has been able to grow & better serve its community's needs thanks to the many great corporate supporters over the years. Now that we celebrated our 30th Anniversary in 2012 we look forward to another exciting 30 years+! If you are a local business wishing to gain great exposure, you should become a Corporate Member, for only $100 for an entire year!

This is a great way to increase your visibility as our website receives +/- 4000 hits a month & our Facebook page is fast approaching 1000 Fans right now. Show your customers that you are a compassionate member of the community when you assist us in saving the lives of innocent animals within Sumter!

Different Ways You Can Help Save Lives!

Creativity is imperative to staying resourceful. "We need to be creative and resourceful in these times when the economy is seriously affecting our donations. Lack of funds and food directly affect our ability to save lives" commented Fundraising Chairperson Claudia Labbe. So the HS/SPCA is offering some tips on how the community can show its support. "So many people are taking on second jobs, that they may have less personal time or finances to help, and though we certainly need donations and volunteers, we understand their priorities. So we outlined a few ways supporters and their communities can still help."
End of Year Donations for tax purposes are a great way to help! Please consider all the work we do and know that this is a great way to help while receiving a tax deduction.
Estate Planning & Memorial Bricks:
Leave a "Legacy of Compassion" and be remembered as someone who will continue helping animals in need even after your passing? You can make final memorial preparations by including a bequest in your will, gifts of property/real estate, beneficiary of life insurance policies, IRAs and other retirement plans requesting that donations be made to the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc. in your name.
We also have $50 memorial/honorary bricks for an everlasting tribute at our facility proudly on display at our entrance.
Party Gifts:
Why not have a pet theme for your holiday party? Instead of a useless gag gift or a pointless $5-10 stocking stuffer, give a gift that will help feed or shelter an animal in need. Create a Wish List of items needed such as pet food, gift cards or pet beds. If your guests don't have time to go shopping, then have a jar where they can put some cash or a check made out to us!
There are two approaches for birthday parties as well. Pet parties are growing more popular and the pet parents are asking that guests bring pet food or monetary donations for animals less fortunate than theirs. Local children have also been doing this for their own birthday parties, asking their invited friends to bring pet supplies all while learning and growing from the gift of giving.
It is becoming increasingly popular for people who are entering a 2nd marriage to not need more household items, so ask your guests to bring pet food or a donation to help. Many will also ask that guests make a monetary donation in honor of their special union.
Community Service:
Youth groups such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America are always searching for ways to earn community service hours or merit badges. Help them organize a pet food drive, bake sale, car/pet wash, lemonade stand or spare change drive. HS/SPCA volunteers can speak to them about all the work done in the animal rescue field and how they helped make a difference. Fire/police stations and local grocers and businesses can setup donation points for a pet food drive at their sites.