Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

What is the difference between the YOUR Humane Society SPCA and Sumter County Animal Services (SCAS)?

  • YOUR HSSPCA – No-kill shelter, funded by donations, Mission: Protect Animals
  • SCAS – Animal control facility – funded by tax dollars, Mission: Protect the Public

Is YOUR HSSPCA subject to Freedom of Information requests?

Freedom of Information laws apply to government agencies.  The HSSPCA does not carry out any government function per the State Attorney’s office.  See this document here.

I’ve heard you have a lot of money in the bank.  Why don’t you just build a bigger shelter?

Our HSSPCA 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 HSSPCA 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.  

Is YOUR Humane Society a no-kill shelter??

YOUR Humane Society is a no-kill shelter and has always maintained a no-kill philosophy.

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.

Does YOUR HSSPCA have any other programs in addition to adoptions and transfers?

In order to carry out our mission, the HSSPCA has a number of programs:

The HSSPCA 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 HSSPCA 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 HSSPCA offers pets for adoption daily (except Sundays) at our Lake Panasoffkee shelter, Petsense and at 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 HSSPCA 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.

What is YOUR Humane Society SPCA’s policy on cat declawing?

YOUR Humane Society SPCA is opposed to the practice of cat declawing. Only in cases where it is deemed medically appropriate (such as tumors, infection or other chronic health issues determined by a licensed veterinarian) should the onychectomy procedure be considered. Even with advancements in technology, such as laser claw removal, maiming a cat and potentially leaving him/her with long-term issues cannot be justified for what is ultimately an owner-convenience procedure. The onychectomy procedure seeks to remove the existing claw and prevent further growth. To do so, a portion of the bone must be removed.

Cat owners who have concerns about scratching behavior should seek non-surgical management techniques such as vinyl nail caps, or simply offer scratching posts. Keeping the cat’s nails trimmed can also help with destructive scratching.  The HSSPCA will strive to educate prospective adopters and the public at large about the anatomic details of what a declaw involves and the alternatives to declawing.  HSSPCA will not adopt a cat to a person who intends to declaw.

Why Spay/Neuter?

Spaying is a general term used to describe the ovariohysterectomy of a female animal. Neutering is a general term used to describe the castration of a male animal. However, neutering is often used in reference to both genders. The surgical procedure, performed by a veterinarian, renders the animal incapable of reproducing. Here are answers to some questions you may have about this beneficial procedure.

When can I have this procedure done?

American Humane Association believes that all cats and dogs adopted from public or private animal care and control facilities should be spayed or neutered (i.e., sterilized). Such sterilization includes pediatric spaying and neutering of kittens and puppies. American Humane Association supports the passage of laws and regulations mandating that all cats and dogs adopted from public or private animal care and control facilities be sterilized.

American Humane Association encourages the veterinary profession to assist, whenever and however possible, in reducing the number of unwanted pets. This involvement includes supporting the neutering of cats and dogs adopted from public or private animal care and control facilities – thereby controlling the ongoing contribution of offspring to pet overpopulation.

Pet owners should work with their veterinarians to determine the appropriate sterilization ages for individual cats and dogs. Veterinarians are encouraged to work with clients, especially those who are well known and likely to permit an unwanted pregnancy to occur prior to surgery.Short-term and long-term health risks for each animal should always be assessed. American Humane Association encourages research into the development and use of nonsurgical methods of sterilization.

Why should I have my pet neutered?

Animal shelters, both public and private, are faced with an incredible burden: What to do with the overpopulation of dogs and cats that they cannot find homes for? Approximately 3.7 million animals are euthanized at shelters each year, due to the sheer fact that there are not enough willing adopters. Having your pet spayed or neutered ensures that you will not be adding to this tremendous burden.

What are some of the health and behavioral benefits?

Through neutering, you can help your dog or cat live a happier, healthier, longer life. Spaying eliminates the constant crying and nervous pacing of a female cat in heat. Spaying a female dog also eliminates the messiness associated with the heat cycle.

Neutering of male dogs and cats can prevent certain undesirable sexual behaviors, such as urine marking, humping, male aggression and the urge to roam. If you have more than one pet in your household, all the pets will generally get along better if they are neutered.

A long-term benefit of spaying and neutering is improved health for both cats and dogs. Spaying females prior to their first heat cycle nearly eliminates the risk of breast cancer and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer. Neutering males prevents testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate gland, and greatly reduces their risk for perianal tumors.

Neutering just costs too much!

The cost of caring for a pet, including providing veterinary care, should be considered before acquiring an animal. Many animal shelters offer low-cost spay/neuter services, and there are also many low-cost spay/neuter clinics across the country. To find low-cost options in your area, call your local animal shelter. The reality is that the cost associated with providing adequate care for just one litter of puppies or kittens is often more than the cost of spaying or neutering. The cost of feeding, worming and first vaccinations for a litter can be upwards of $200 to $300. You must also consider that there could be complications with the birth that require hospitalization or surgery. You will also be faced with finding good homes for the offspring yourself or placing more animals into your local shelter. The cost of the well-being of not just your companion animal, but of future generations, should be considered.

Can’t I allow my purebred dog to have just one litter?

Mixed breed or purebred — there just aren’t enough good homes. Purebred animals also often end up in shelters. In fact, 25 percent of shelter dogs are purebreds. Responsible purebred breeders have homes for their potential litters before they breed.

I don’t even own a pet! Why is this my problem?

All of us are affected by animal overpopulation. Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to shelter and care for stray, abandoned and unwanted pets. Human health is threatened by the danger of transmittable diseases (including rabies), animal bites and attacks. Property may be damaged and livestock killed when pets roam in search of food. Animal waste is proving to be a serious environment hazard, fouling yards and parks. It is only when all of us assume the responsibility for pet overpopulation that we will see any decrease in the problem.


Isn’t it wrong to deprive an animal of the natural right to reproduce?

No, it’s wrong to allow these animals to reproduce millions of unwanted offspring that are eventually killed because there aren’t enough responsible homes.

If I find homes for my pet’s litters, then I won’t contribute to the problem, right?

Wrong. Only a finite number of people want pets. So every home you find for your pet’s offspring takes away a home from a loving animal already at a shelter.

Shouldn’t every female pet have at least one litter before being spayed?

No. In fact, your pet will be healthier if she never sexually matures.

Shouldn’t children experience the miracle of birth?

No. A more important lesson to teach your children would be responsible pet ownership and concern for life by explaining why their pet should not have babies.

Doesn’t neutering alter an animal’s personality?

No. Personality changes that may result from neutering are for the better. Not being distracted by the instinctual need to find a mate helps your pet stop roaming and decreases aggressive tendencies.

Won’t animal shelters take care of the surplus animals?

No. Shelters do their best to place animals in loving homes, but the number of homeless animals far exceeds the number of willing adopters. This leaves many loving and healthy animals in our community that must be euthanized as the only humane solution to this tragic dilemma. Only spaying and neutering can end the overpopulation problem

What are Heartworms & how do they affect my pets?