Petco Foundation Invests In Lifesaving Work in YOUR Humane Society SPCA

Petco Foundation Invests In Lifesaving Work of YOUR Humane Society SPCA.

Grant of $20,000 will extend efforts to save more animal lives in Sumter County, FL

LAKE PANASOFFKEE, FL Feb. 28, 2018  – YOUR Humane Society SPCA (formerly The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc.) has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to support its “Big Fix” Free Spay/Neuter Voucher program for the dogs and cats of qualifying low income Sumter residents.

YOUR Humane Society SPCA is a 501(c)3 non-profit, no-kill shelter helping animals in need throughout Sumter County, Florida since 1982.  The HS/SPCA had 827 S/N vouchers redeemed in 2017 in their continuing mission to reduce the rate of homeless and unwanted pets within Sumter County.

The Petco Foundation investment will provide the spaying or neutering of over 200 additional dogs and cats of qualifying low income Sumter County residents along with producing educational S/N literature reaching underserved communities within the county.

Chairman of the Board Celine Petrie noted “YOUR Humane Society SPCA exists to ensure a better tomorrow for the pets of our county through many programs including education, spay/neuter vouchers, adoption and our ‘Kibbles’ Free Pet Food Pantry. This grant from the Petco Foundation will be instrumental for our ‘Big Fix’ Free Spay/Neuter Voucher program to prevent countless animals being born who would be at greatest risk of becoming homeless, abandoned or potentially euthanized. On behalf of everyone at YOUR Humane Society SPCA, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for this funding and for Petco Foundation’s ongoing support of our organization.”

For more information about the HS/SPCA or the Petco Foundation, visit or Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by using the hashtag #PetcoFamily.

About YOUR Humane Society SPCA

YOUR Humane Society SPCA is a 501(c)3 non-profit, no-kill shelter helping animals in need throughout Sumter County, Florida.  Donations directly help to cover the cost of saving, treating, and caring for neglected, abused and abandoned animals. Learn more about the HS/SPCA at, 352-793-9117, on Facebook or at the shelter located at 994 CR 529A, in Lake Panasoffkee, Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm and Sat. 8am-4pm. Visitors are always welcome!

About the Petco Foundation

At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life.  Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $200 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 5.5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit to learn more about how you can get involved.

our programs

YOUR Humane Society SPCA (formerly known as The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc.) receives no funding from the State, Federal or County government. We also do not receive any money from the Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA or Best Friends. We totally rely on the donations from the local community.

Outreach Education

Humane Education is the key to teaching the next generations about responsible pet ownership and the welfare of all types of animals.

YOUR Humane Society SPCA has been quite busy speaking to students of all ages with our Humane Education Outreach Program expanding. YOUR HSSPCA Director Joe Sprague pointed out that “engaging with students of all ages and youth groups is vital to ensure that the next generations become informed and act as guardians of animals.” He recently welcomed Beacon College students for a visit to our no-kill shelter’s campus to learn an overview from many staff and volunteers. The students are taking a course in Animal Shelter Operations and Management, where they learn of the important role of an animal shelter within a community and major aspects of operations within a sheltering system from animal health, administrative duties, funding, public assistance and educational programs whether in government or non-profit sheltering.

In recent months, YOUR Humane Society SPCA has been invited to speak to local elementary school aged children in Wildwood, Florida and Lake Panasoffkee, Florida regarding career day events and what it is like working with animals professionally. Sprague added that “our HSSPCA team members are sometimes able to also bring a furry ambassador such as a puppy or kitten for another important educational lesson – teaching safety around animals, how to be a kind and responsible pet owner as well as how to be a voice against animal cruelty.” Your local non-profit also regularly speaks to area clubs for adults who want a guest speaker discussing near and dear topics about animals and the vital work of the no-kill shelter which has been serving the community for 37 years now. To have our guest speaker come to your next school event or club meeting, contact YOUR Humane Society SPCA at 352-793-9117.

YOUR Humane Society SPCA hosted our first For The Love of Animals Expo this year.  The event included entertainment, prizes and auctions as well as pet adoption opportunities, which made for a fun and exciting day! The For the Love of Animals Expo showcased many regional animal rescues and shelters along with our own adoptable animals to help connect loving adopters with great pets of all kinds.  

The popular Strut Your Mutt Charity Dog Walk took place at the For The Love of Animals Expo.  It provided dog owners the opportunity to stay healthy and active by walking their dog(s). Next year we are looking forward to an even bigger event and an even bigger success.

Our Special Guest this year was Derrick Campana.  Derrick has a popular show on Animal Planet and is internationally known for his work designing prosthetics for all kinds of injured animals, giving them a new lease on life. 

The For The Love of Animals Expo will take place on January 18 from 9 A.M. – 3 P.M. This family-oriented event will be another opportunity for animal owners and those who may be looking for a new pet to have a full day of entertainment and an opportunity to pick up animal information and information about the community and local businesses.

Save the Date! 01.18.2020 More Booths. More Groups. More Business. More Education. MORE ANIMALS…

Hurricane Dropoffs

In our efforts to help disaster victims in the South, YOUR Humane Society SPCA along with Boondocks K9 Search & Rescue collect Donations & supplies at our campus in Lake Panasoffkee, FL.

Visit Boondocks K9 Search & Rescue Facebook Page for more drop off locations & animal housing during hurricanes. 

This community assistance program is a vital necessity in reducing the pet over-population problem facing Sumter County animals who are then at risk for potential euthanasia. Funding goes quickly and unwanted litters appear even quicker, so apply now and help reduce the pet overpopulation problem within Sumter County by contacting our shelter at (352)793-9117.

This FREE program is available to Sumter County residents who are on Government Assistance (i.e. Welfare Food stamps, Disability or Medicaid).

This program is dishing out over 4,000 lbs of dog and cat food each month to neutered pets of qualifying low income residents within Sumter County.  More than 215 animals are served up a daily meal so that owners facing financial hardship are not forced to surrender their furry family members due to a lack of food. 

Approved participants can pick up food monthly, at our campus on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Questions about this program? Call us at (352) 793-9117 and ask for the Office Manager.

If you meet the criteria listed below, you can apply for the program.  

  • Must be legal owner of animal

  • Proof of Government Assistance (Social Security Disability, SSDI or Federal/State/County assistance, etc.)

  • Pets must be spayed/neutered with proof of rabies vaccination

Our Sponsors

Many Thanks to our Local Business Supporters. Without them we could not accomplish what we do!

Floral City & Lake Panasoffkee Animal Clinic

  • 1310 N CR 470
  • 352-569-4015

Buffalo Ridge Animal Hospitals & Emergency Center

Freedom Title & Escrow

George Nahas Chevrolet

Mid-Florida Agencies/Florida Blue



ReMax Premier Realty

  • The Villages West/Wildwood 352-461-0800
  • The Villages South/Fruitland Park 352-460-4396

Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming, The Villages 

Affiliated Title

Ameris Bank

Law Office of Jody L. Fisher

Hartman, Hartman & O’Brien PA

  • Umatilla, 352-669-5515



Mission Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care  

PAWS Animal Hospital

PRS (Prosthetics Research Specialists, Inc.)

Publix Super Markets

Sparr Building & Farm Supply

Tom Heller, Remax Premier Realty

TSC (Tractor Supply Co)

  • Bushnell, 352-568-2208

Ultrex Printing

Village Pet Spa

VIP (Veterinary Inclusive Prosthetics & Orthotics)

Walmart Supercenters

  • CR/466, The Villages, SR48 Bushnell

Whole Earth Pet Supply

Local Media Support

BOCC Statement

HS/SPCA Statement to the Board of County Commissioners on 11/14/17

We at The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc. are deeply concerned about some of the misstatements being made about our no-kill organization by some members of the public at County Commission meetings.  Further, as the format of public forum is not amenable to dialogue, these statements have been entered into the public record with no opportunity for us to reply.  As with social media, it is impossible to catch and/or correct every misstatement and I will not attempt to do so here. 

It seems quite unfair to us that people can speak third-hand hearsay and questionable or unsupported statements with no regard and no consequences and without an opportunity for those unfairly harmed to respond.  In an attempt at creating a balanced view, we respectfully request that this statement be entered into the public record of the BOCC.

The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization now in its 35th year of serving the people and animals of Sumter County.  The objectives of the HS/SPCA are to:

  1. Encourage responsible animal ownership practices through education,

  2. Report incidents of animal cruelty and/or neglect to government agencies chartered to take appropriate action,

  3. Provide care for adoptable animals that are injured, abused, unwanted, or abandoned,

  4. Secure permanent homes for as many adoptable animals as possible,

  5. Provide spay and neuter services for animals to be adopted, as appropriate, to reduce unwanted animal populations.

In order to carry out our mission, the HS/SPCA has a number of programs:

  • In addition to daily public contact in person and by telephone, the HS/SPCA speaks at meetings of clubs, organizations and schools.   We distribute literature on subjects such as spay/neuter, animal cruelty prevention and hurricane preparedness and participate at various venues throughout the county year-round.

  • The HS/SPCA has operated a “Kibbles” Pet Food Pantry since 2002 to feed the pets of low-income residents so they do not have to give up a beloved family member.  As part of this program, pets are required to be spayed or neutered and up to date on rabies vaccinations (we help with these services if required.)  This program currently serves 133 families with 184 dogs and 204 cats.

  • We operate “The Big Fix”, a free Spay and Neuter voucher program for low-income residents in order to decrease the numbers of homeless pets and improve their health and well-being.  We spayed or neutered 878 pets in 2016; we anticipate exceeding this in 2017as we have done 805 so far.  Spay and neuter is a key element towards eliminating the homeless pet problem.

  • The HS/SPCA offers pets for adoption daily (except Sundays) at our Lake Panasoffkee shelter and at PETCO in Lady Lake.  We bring adoptable pets to a rotating list of Recreation Centers in The Villages on the third Friday of each month.   In addition, we include adoptable animals at special public fundraisers and other events as occasions allow.  We partner with reputable no-kill rescue organizations locally and, on occasion, even out of state to give as many animals as possible a chance for a loving home.  A staff member is devoted full time to this essential task.

  • The HS/SPCA operates a fostering program.  Animals that benefit most from foster care are moms with new babies, animals recovering from injury or illness and animals that do not do well in the shelter environment.  The foster home environment gives these animals the extra help and attention they need to become socialized and improves their adoptability.

  • We maintain a “Hope fund.”  Named for a newborn kitten that was observed being thrown from a moving vehicle and was saved by caring Sumter residents, the Hope Fund was created to assist abused and neglected animals in emergencies or with critical care needs.  Examples from this year include:

    • Rafael, a cat with a degenerative and painful eye condition which had already blinded him.  He received surgery to remove his eyes and alleviate his pain, recovered well and was adopted by a woman who loves him unconditionally. 

    • Lilith, a young black-mouth cur was caught in a snare trap that left a huge, deep gash in her neck that affected her breathing.  She required difficult surgery and a long recovery period with careful care as the wound had a high potential for infection.  Despite her horrific ordeal Lilith came to trust her caregivers and now has a much better chance at life.

      The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc. is and has always been a “no-kill” organization.  Although “no-kill” is a problematic term, the most common currently accepted definition is a live release rate of 90% or greater.  After a recent visit with our County Administrator to a much larger open-admissions government-operated shelter in Jacksonville we believe that a 90% live release rate is a goal that is not unobtainable for Sumter County Animal Services.  The HS/SPCA has worked with, and will continue to work with, Sumter County Animal Services (SCAS) with the goal of improving both the conditions at their facility and the County’s live release rate.  Some of the improvements that the HS/SPCA has been able to get implemented at SCAS through professional, respectful discussions are:

  • Cats had no hold time; now they receive the same hold time as dogs   

  • The number of cat cages in the hold area has been increased from ten to twenty

  • Deworming of animals – all dogs are now dewormed (3 day treatment) on intake, given DHLPP and Bordetella vaccines, are treated for fleas with Capstar and are given a heartworm test

  • Medical care has improved somewhat with more vet calls for sick animals

  • The County now pays for pain medications for spays and neuters

  • The County now pays for rabies vaccines for animals 4 months of age or older adopted or transferred from SCAS

  • Photos of SCAS animals are posted on the HS/SPCA social media and website

  • Intake photos of stray animals are made available on the same day to facilitate owner reunification via our website

  • Transfers of animals out of state, e.g. 30 cats to NH,  11dogs to MD, 30cats to MD(pending) – the County has paid for rabies vaccines and health certificates

  • The County began using Kuranda beds in the dog kennels

  • Dogs now get out daily for exercise time

  • TNR – Feral Freedom-type program for feral cats is in planning stages.

    The HS/SPCA continues to work with the County to discuss further improvements we would like to see such as the following from a September meeting with Bradley Arnold, Herschel Wiley, Anne Miller and Celine Petrie:

    Critical Changes needed at Sumter County Animal Services

  • No euthanasia for time limits when kennel space is available

    • Give HS/SPCA the maximum time to find a place for them

  • Refine and publish criteria for “unadoptable” animals

    • e.g.  July euthanasia report listed zero feral cats and 32 unadoptable cats (64%); if they were not feral, what made them unadoptable?  Ten dogs were unadoptable (19%)

  • Timely and appropriate medical care

    • e.g.  July euthanasia report listed 2 injured cats, 15 sick (total of 34%) and 26 sick dogs (76%)

    • Improved quarantine measures in place to reduce the spread of infections (e.g. URI in cats)

    • Notify the HS/SPCA  promptly of sick animals and litters born and let us  decide if we can take them or find a rescue organization for them.

The HS/SPCA is aware of an organized group of local residents expressing reforms they want to see implemented at Sumter County Animal Services.   The Board of the HS/SPCA has not been contacted by this group, nor does it have access to their plans.  We admire their passion and share their goal of a no-kill Sumter County but cannot endorse some of their methods towards achieving this goal.

The HS/SPCA is composed of a dedicated group of volunteers and paid staff who work hard every day to save and improve the lives of animals in our County.  In addition to adoptions and transfers to other no-kill rescue groups, we engage in public education on animal related topics and offer free spay/neuter services and free pet food to low-income residents.  In 2016 we directly adopted 577 animals and transferred 1136 to our rescue partners for a total of 1713 animals saved.

This year we have placed over 1500 so far.  We operate at capacity or near-capacity every day.  Sometimes we operate at over-capacity, such as during peak “kitten season.”   Our office is an old modular classroom so maxed out for space that I frequently share a desk with our Shelter Manager or Treasurer while I am at the shelter.  Our animals are housed in small outbuildings that are in good condition but offer limited space.  We need to expand in order to better serve even more animals. 

The County Commissioners frequently urge the concerned public to volunteer with us.  We welcome volunteers to assist in a multitude of areas of our lifesaving work, well beyond walking dogs and cleaning litter boxes.  Our most critical need at this time is for people with business, banking, building and fundraising experience to help us plan and accomplish building a new, larger shelter on our five-acre site.  Community, business and governmental support and involvement are key to achieving and maintaining a no-kill county of which we can be justly proud.

Maintaining good working relationships with animal advocates, rescue groups and SCAS is critical to the HS/SPCA’s mission of saving animals in Sumter County.  We will continue to work to save animals with everyone who is willing to do so in a respectful and lawful manner. 

Thank you.

Celine Petrie

Chairman of the Board

The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc.

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