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The information contained within this blog is for information purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of FAAOW.

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  • 13 Dec 2019 11:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New legislation seeks to protect consumers and pets from predatory financing arrangements

    Today, Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) and Rep. Sam Killebrew (R-Winter Haven) announced new legislation – S.B. 186/H.B. 363 – to end deceptive rent-to-own “pet leasing” arrangements that are being offered at Florida pet stores and leave consumers and pets at great risk. They were joined by representatives from the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and the Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations(FAAWO), as well as supporters from the Leon County Humane Society, Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County, Flagler Humane Society, Pensacola Humane Society and SPCA Tampa Bay.

    Puppies sold in pet stores are often accompanied by soaring sticker prices. To make the puppies appear more affordable, pet sellers partner with private lending companies that offer leasing plans. These agreements are not only saddled with hidden fees and high buyout payments, they are actually leases, meaning the new family does not legally own the dog. Instead, the dog is the property of the leasing company for the entire length of the lease, which might last several years. Besides taking advantage of unknowing consumers, having a third party retain ownership of a pet raises serious ethical questions about who is permitted to make important medical decisions on behalf of the animal.

    “This deceptive and predatory practice is heart-wrenching, it not only affects costumers it has harmful effects on our pets,” said Sen. Taddeo. “To many of us, our pets are part of our family. Once they are home with us, I can’t fathom being forced to choose between making a monthly lease payment or having the pet repossessed.”

    “As a volunteer with Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue, I have seen firsthand the impact cruel breeding can have on dogs raised in commercial breeding facilities where they are often kept in dark, cramped and dirty conditions and they never get to experience love and kindness,” said Rep. Killebrew. “Dogs are not like cars and they should not be used as collateral by the pet industry that places profit over the welfare of animals. This bipartisan bill will help protect consumers from financial loss and prevent financing companies from threatening to repossess beloved family pets.”

    “The ASPCA has long warned consumers to be skeptical of the pet stores and online sellers who may try to deceive them about the sources and health of the dogs they sell, and pet leasing is just one more example of the disregard many pet stores have for the well-being of their animals,” said Jennifer Hobgood, senior director of state legislation for the ASPCA, Southeast region. “These deceptive, predatory financing arrangements benefit only the lending company and the pet seller—not the consumer, and certainly not the animal involved. We thank Senator Taddeo and Representative Killebrew for introducing this critical bill to protect consumers and pets from these deceptive financing schemes, and we hope Florida will join the growing number of states that have enacted laws to prohibit pet leasing.”

    “Pet leasing schemes result in a predatory financial transaction. New pet owners need support and guidance, especially if it turns out the pet isn’t a good fit,” said Martha Boden (left), president of the Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations, Tampa Bay SPCA, CEO. “Leasing exploits the human/animal bond at the expense of animals and the people who love them. The Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations supports this bill and looks forward to the end of this callous practice.

    In 2019, Miami-Dade County implemented a local ban to prohibit pet leasing, and several states have passed laws in recent years to end the deceptive practice of pet leasing, including: California, Connecticut, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Washington State. A similar bill is currently being considered by lawmakers in Michigan.

  • 21 Nov 2019 10:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The ASPCA’s Government Relations Division brought together 35 shelter leaders from the Florida Animal Control Association (FACA) and FAAWO’s bricks and mortar shelters for a day of high-level discussion on the status of animal welfare in Florida.

    Participants shared in the exchange of ideas, discussed how to strengthen collaboration between FAAWO and FACA, and helped frame the future of animal welfare in the sunshine state. 

    The event was sponsored by the ASPCA and hosted by FAAWO.

    Kate MacFall, HSUS, State Director, Jen Hobgood, ASPCA, Senior Director, State Legislation, Southeast Region, and Diana Ferguson,  Esq., Rutledge Ecenia, FACA Lobbyist, presented on 2020 FL State Legislation.  Florida Representative Sam H. Killebrew, District 41, an advocate for animal welfare legislation, attended to learn about the animal welfare challenges in the sunshine state.

    Shannon Poindexter, ASPCA Legal Advocacy Counsel, presented on Effective Policy Approaches to Animal Cruelty and Neglect

  • 21 Nov 2019 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of  the  benefits of FAAWO membership is that your shelter can be featured in our monthly ENewsletters!

    Let us know about the great things you are doing!  Adoption events, spay neuter programs, TNVR, local ordinances, no kill initiatives, construction projects, special needs adoptions, fundraising events, expansion of services, community partnerships or any special stories you would like to share with your FAAWO partner shelters are what we are looking for!

    You can send us new releases, photos, video, or any other copy you may have about the things your  shelter  is doing to impact your community.

    We would also like to know how FAAWO can help your organization.  Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    Become a Member today then send your stories and ideas to info@faawo.org

  • 21 Nov 2019 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Flagler County Sheriff’s Department has announce that the Grinch has been arrested and has received a sentence of community service.  And this community service will  be  competed at the Flagler Humane Society!  The  Grinch is asking for the public to help him complete his community service by bringing donated pet food & supplies on December 10th to the shelter.  Flagler Humane Society will be open late that day and have free adoptions, pet photos with the Grinch himself and with the Sheriff's K9 bloodhound will  also be on site for photos and meet and greets.  Happy Holidays from the Flagler Humane  Society.

  • 21 Oct 2019 9:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From UF Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program Blog

    You’re probably familiar with the practice of ear-tipping community cats to identify them as having been spayed or neutered. Would it surprise you to know that since 2010, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ Veterinary Medical Care Guidelines for Spay-Neuter Programs has also recommended “the use of a simple green linear tattoo to identify all neutered pet animals” ... 


  • 11 Oct 2019 2:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    "Falco", the special-needs kitten, is cradled by an Animal Welfare League adoption counselor 

    Recently Stephen Bardy Executive Director of the Pet Alliance of Orlando, reached out to Karen Slomba, a fellow FAAWO member and CEO of the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County, with a challenging kitten issue. The kitten was found and fostered by a private citizen and then brought to Pet Alliance at 8 weeks of age. The kitten presented with several challenges including possible neurological issues, blindness and possibly no desire to use a litterbox. (We all know that last issue can be a very tall hurdle!)

    Based on her previous experience with another FAAWO member agency, Stephen knew Karen would be a great resource. Karen was generous in her support and offered to assist with evaluating and finding the kitten a home.

    The staff at Animal Welfare League were so welcoming.  Medical records were shared and personal observations were discussed.  And while Pet Alliance thought they had lined up the perfect adoption candidate, it was not to be.  Never daunted, Karen asked someone to take the kitten home for a few days to observe it.

    They learned quickly that the kitten indeed had no issues with a litter box!  Small victories are important to celebrate! 

    While this sweet kitten will have some long term, manageable medical needs, there is so much reason for optimism as a result of everyone working together.  This beautiful black kitten is now up for adoption.

    “One of the great benefits of being a member of FAAWO is the ready availability of many knowledgeable members.  Understanding that I could ask for help and it would be met with phenomenal collegial support is a member benefit that cannot be measured,” said Stephen.

    CLICK HERE for a list of member shelters in your area that may able available for collaboration.

    CLICK HERE to become a member of FAAWO and enjoy networking benefits like this

  • 30 Sep 2019 3:45 PM | Nash McCutchen (Administrator)

    Photo courtesy of The Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League

    FAAWO has assisted with the Bahama recovery coordination.  Working together have been:

    • The Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, Palm Beach County
    • Humane Society of the Treasure Coast, Martin County
    • Humane Society of Broward County
    • Humane Society of Greater Miami
    • Cat Depot, Sarasota
    • Humane Society of Naples
    • Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County, Port Charlotte
    • Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue, Bradenton

    Special acknowledgement goes to Rich Anderson, CEO, Peggy Adams Animal Rescue, for coordinating the successful transport of 158 dogs and cats from the Bahama Humane Society to Florida shelters.  Rich worked with the Bahama Humane Society, Nassau, IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and Wings of Rescue.

    The dogs and cats now receiving TLC in Florida Shelters will be held for a quarantine period before available for adoption.  Each agency, based on the recommendations of their veterinary team, will determine the length of quarantine of 14 to 30 days.

    The Bahama dogs and cats received on September 17th were cleared for adoption.  Future transports may include lost pets that may need to be held to provide them a chance to be reunited with their owners. 

    Foster Care for Bahama Evacuees with Pets

    Evacuees relocating to the US may have difficulty finding temporary housing that permits their pets.  We aren’t certain as to how large the need may be, but we’re attempting to identify member organizations that may be able to assist with foster care.

    Let us know if you have foster volunteers that may be willing to provide temporary care for an evacuee’s pets. Email us at info@faawo.org.  Provide your contact name, your agencies address and phone numbers. 

    Here are some links to templates for disaster foster care applications and agreements.  


    Disaster foster care template Pet Admission form sample.pdf

    Foster Pet Care for evacuees copy sample.pdf

  • 23 Aug 2019 11:42 AM | Nash McCutchen (Administrator)

    On Friday, August 9, the Flagler Humane Society hosted a “Town Howl” event to recognize local leaders in animal welfare. During the 2019 Florida state legislative session, state lawmakers passed legislation to ensure veterinarians can report evidence of animal cruelty to law enforcement. 

    The event recognized two local officials who have supported animal welfare over the years.  State. Rep. Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) was vital in the passage of this lifesaving measure that will help protect animals from abuse and neglect.  Flagler County Attorney Al Hadeed was also honored for his years of representing our officers in their rescues of animals from abuse.

    Attending the event were members of the humane society and animal welfare community along with local mayors, commissioners and the Flagler County Sheriff.  Also in attendance were FACA attorney Diana Ferguson and Jen Hobgood from ASPCA.

    About Flagler Humane Society

    FHS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1980. Our mission is to take in and provide care for homeless animals and find lifelong matches in permanent homes. We coordinate regionally on wellness programs, cruelty investigations, population control and education.  We never turn any animal in need away.  We are the community resource and advocate for all animals.”

    For more information visit www.flaglerhumanesociety.org  

  • 23 Aug 2019 11:31 AM | Nash McCutchen (Administrator)

    The FAAWO Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Joan Carlson-Radabaugh has accepted its offer to become the organization’s first administrative director.

    “We are so pleased Joan is willing to share her vast experience and wisdom in this essential role on our leadership team,” said FAAWO Board President Martha Boden. “Joan has earned the respect of her peers throughout the country. She stood out among all the candidates as the ideal professional to help the Board define and expand FAAWO’s future.” 

    For more than three decades, Joan has effectively promoted innovative animal welfare by raising community awareness and standards for animals, and collaborating with governmental agencies, non-profit community agencies, donors, and grass roots advocates. Her dedication to the welfare of companion animals and wildlife in her leadership of two animal shelters in Florida and three shelter capital campaigns, multiple animal investigation and legislative appointments, and facilitation of Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts. 

    In this role for FAAWO, Joan will oversee member and sponsor cultivation, guide the work of the Board and its committees, and establish the foundation essential to growing FAAWO’s ability to support collaborative animal welfare throughout Florida. She started in the role August 19th. Watch for more information from Joan as she introduces herself to FAAWO members and shares her plans for the months ahead.  

    If you would like to contact Joan please email her at joanradabaugh@faawo.org

  • 19 Jul 2019 12:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    To help Polk County Animal Control increase their live release rate, and build bridges within our community, SPCA Florida decided to organize a Mega Adopt-a-Thon.  Our goals were to save more lives, and develop a positive relationship with our local veterinarians, Humane Society and Animal Control.

    The biggest challenge was how to spay and neuter 300 dogs and cats to take to the event. 

    Seventeen local veterinary clinics each agreed to spay or neuter 10 kittens.  Many kept the kittens, brought them to the event, and represented their clinic.  Others simply sterilized the kittens and gave them back.  All were surprised by the young age of the kittens (8 weeks, 2 lbs.) and a few clinics requested only male kittens or backed out due to the young age. (Note: We discovered that all seventeen clinics spayed and neutered pets at 5-6 months.)  SPCA Florida also had one of our veterinarians work at Polk County Animal Control to help with spay and neuters and they graciously paid her as a relief vet.

    A sponsor stepped in to cover our reduced adoption fees of $20 for puppies, dogs, kittens and cats.   The event was promoted throughout the community using everything from posters to social media and other advertisement.

    The day of the event arrived and over 1,000 people lined up to adopt!  294 animals found new loving homes in less than eight hours! It was a great event that SPCA Florida and Polk County hope to turn it into an annual event!

    The Mega Adopt-a-Thon was a new event for SPCA Florida and Polk County and the organizers would like to thank Best Friends Animal Society and Denise Deisler, ED at Jacksonville Humane Society for their great tips!  The end results show that with some organization and creativity, Mega Adoptions work!

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Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations


Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

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