(Frequently Asked Questions)
Is the HS/SPCA of Sumter County a no-kill shelter?
The HS/SPCA of Sumter County is a no-kill shelter and has always maintained a no-kill philosophy.
What is the difference between the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County and Sumter County Animal Services (SCAS)?
HS/SPCA – No-kill shelter, Mission: Protect Animals
SCAS – Animal control facility – Mission: Protect the Public
Why does the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County work with Sumter County Animal Services (SCAS)?
When a reporter asked Willie Sutton why he robbed banks, he reputedly replied “because that’s where the money is.” The HS/SPCA works with SCAS because that’s where the animals are! Also, over time we have been able to develop a good, professional working relationship with SCAS which has allowed us to gain improvements for the animals at the county facility and changes in local ordinances.
Is the HS/SPCA subject to Freedom of Information requests?
Freedom of Information laws apply to government agencies. The HS/SPCA does not carry out any government function per the State Attorney’s office. See this document here.
Does the HS/SPCA have any other programs in addition to adoptions and transfers?
In order to carry out our mission, the HS/SPCA has a number of programs:
The HS/SPCA speaks at meetings of clubs, organizations and schools. We distribute educational literature on subjects such as spay/neuter, animal cruelty prevention and hurricane preparedness and participate at various venues throughout the county year-round in addition to providing proven animal management guidelines to our County’s leadership for best practices.
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.)
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; in 2017 we did 874. 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, at PETCO in Lady Lake and PETSMART in The Villages. 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.
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.
Are you related to the Humane Society of the United States and/or the ASPCA?
Many people do not understand that these organizations do not have local “chapters” and being a part of them is simply not an option. Many people mistakenly believe that money donated to these organizations trickles down to local chapters but there is no such thing. People also sometimes ask us to stop running those sad commercials on TV – but it’s not us! We have the privilege of being a Best Friends Network Partner allowing us to share in progressive animal care methods, learning opportunities and access to grants.
I’ve heard you have a lot of money in the bank. Why don’t you just build a bigger shelter?
Our HS/SPCA has maintained a financial responsibility to our donors and the animals in our custody. Any well-managed business has a reserve to see them through lean times and emergencies. Our reserves represent less than one full year’s expenses at current budget levels. Some of our saved funds are restricted specifically for a capital campaign while the rest is available for daily operational expenses. New shelters are expensive to build and one must also consider the increased cost of supporting the new shelter on an ongoing basis. The HS/SPCA is currently investigating the most cost-effective way to expand our shelter.
Are your Board members and Fundraiser paid?
All our Board members and the Fundraising Chairperson have always been unpaid volunteers. The only individuals who are paid are the minimal Operational/Administrative staff and Animal Care staff which are supplemented with the team effort of our great volunteers.