News and Information from FAAWO members

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  • 20 Oct 2020 6:23 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Pethealth Inc. is excited to announce that Maddie’s® Pet Assistant (MPA) will officially be powered and managed through the 24Pet® brand. The MPA app will still work the way you know and love, with continued support for organizations, adopters, and foster caregivers – all remaining free-of-charge. Automatic data imports will continue from PetPoint and other shelter management software.

    What’s Maddie’s Pet Assistant? Once they bring their pet home, foster caregivers and new pet parents often need assistance. They turn to the expertise of MPA, a complimentary app for mobile devices, that provides resources and support.

    Besides submitting questions, photos, and videos, with the click of a few buttons, foster caregivers and pet parents can also answer surveys crafted by your shelter.  If they indicate a concern in one of the check-in surveys, they’ll receive an immediate response in the app and via email, with tips, advice and resources crafted by shelter medicine veterinarians and behaviorists to help resolve the issue. Your organization's staff and/or volunteers can review all submitted survey responses at any time to offer additional, direct support as needed. Foster parents and adopters can also receive vaccination reminders, track the pet's weight, post questions to a community forum and more.

    MPA is another tool that Pethealth is excited to provide to help keep animals in loving homes.

    The Pethealth Client Engagement Support team is here to assist! Check out the brand-new support website for articles and videos, here.

    If you are new to Maddie’s Pet Assistant, connect with your client services representative, Guinn Mcmillion, to learn more about how it could benefit your organization. 


  • 14 Oct 2020 9:33 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Guest Blogger Guinn Mcmillion, Pethealth, Inc.

    I grew up on a horse farm in Massachusetts, where we had many barn cats. Some were dumped, knowing my family would care for them but most arrived because there was always at least one pregnant cat roaming around. Pawning them off on people who boarded their horses with us was usually pretty easy. Needless to say, in the early 80’s, spaying and neutering wasn’t at the top of mind. We continued this routine until one memorable evening when our veterinarian neutered every male cat on our property right on our kitchen table while my parents assisted. It was only then that we were able to slow down and eventually put an end to our makeshift “adoption program”.

    Since then, altering companion animals has been a priority among the animal welfare industry and has helped to save hundreds of thousands of lives. Today, altering pets before they are adopted has been a long standard practice.

    Did you know, in the state of Florida, 22% of companion animals entering the shelter are already altered and only 64% of animals leaving the shelter are altered before they go. (this number excludes animals euthanized). The Florida numbers are consistent with the national average as well. When looking at the animals being adopted, only 79.6% are spayed or neutered prior. I was surprised and thought that percentage would be higher. How do we get closer to 100%?

    Should we offer spay/neuter services to folks reclaiming their pets? Should all pets being transferred be altered before the trip?  Whatever the solution may be, we must carry on recording our data and analyzing it frequently. This will allow us to continue to make informed decisions to save more lives in Florida and across the country.

    Guinn Mcmillion is the Senior Director of Client Services with Pethealth, Inc, a Fairfax Company. 

  • 29 Sep 2020 11:32 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    I am so excited to be part of FAAWO! With so many experienced and talented people in this industry I feel lucky to be a part of it. As you heard, Pethealth is now a proud sponsor of FAAWO so you’ll be seeing quite a bit of me over the next year.

    We have seen a lot of action here at Pethealth over the last year and I’ll be keeping you all in the loop. When Chameleon joined Pethealth a little over a year ago, our first order of business was to celebrate our growing family and make it easier for us to work together. The most common way shelters interact and work together is by transferring animals from one place to another in order to provide new re-homing options. Knowing that this has been critical to the life-saving mission, we have expanded the functionality of our signature transfer tool that has long been a valuable part of PetPoint. We knew that expanding the ability to transfer between both software systems would help save time, paper and thousands more animals being sent to other facilities across the country. Not only can you send electronic records from Chameleon to PetPoint but between Chameleon systems as well. Who wants to touch a pen in this day and age anyway?

    Shout out to our longtime partner Halifax Humane Society who uses the transfer tool to minimize luggage for these high-flying transports.

    To all of the folks using Chameleon and PetPoint, I am your point of contact so feel free to reach out if you need help.

    Guinn Mcmillion, Senior Client Services Director, Pethealth


  • 17 Sep 2020 11:06 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Many people are not aware that the ASPCA has two dedicated forensic teams whose jobs are to assist animal control agencies, law enforcement and prosecutors across the United States with suspected cases of animal cruelty.  The New York City based team assists the New York City Police Department and the District Attorney’s Offices.  The National team is based in Gainesville, FL and assists law enforcement agencies and prosecutors from all across the United States.
    The Organization recently announced the opening of the ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Science Center in Gainesville, FL.  This facility is the first and only multidisciplinary forensic laboratory in the United States dedicated to animal cruelty casework involving companion and other domestic animals.  It is staffed by three Forensic Veterinarians, a Forensic Veterinary Assistant and a Certified Crime Scene Analyst. 


  • 14 Sep 2020 7:36 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    At the conclusion of Week 10 of the Humane Society of the United State's #SpayTogether initiative, Florida leads the nation at number 3 with 4773 surgeries – more than 80% of the State's goal! There are 18 grantees in Florida who are rocketing towards the finish line at the end of this month. Six are already done and the others are well on their way.

    #SpayTogether is a stimulus fund administered by The Humane Society of the United States that provides surgery support grants, on-ground assistance, training in high-quality/high-volume spay and neuter procedures and discounted veterinary supplies and services to shelters and clinics affected by COVID-19.


  • 31 Jul 2020 4:29 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)
    • FAAWO will be monitoring and assisting with information and resources before, during and after Isasias makes landfall.  Here is some helpful information to assist you with your readiness:

      First, communicate with your EFS17 county coordinator who will have the ability to connect directly with the state to report your needs and fast track resources to you.  

    • ESF17

    • Click Here

    • Florida State Animal Response Team

    • Click Here

    • The Florida State Animal Rescue Coalition 

    • Click Here

    • Humane Society of the United States - Kate MacFall, Florida State Director, (850)508-1001,

    Check with us frequently for updates. Let us know if you need any assistance. Contact Heather Thomas, Vice President, (352) 415-2353

  • 7 Jul 2020 8:39 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Courtesy of the ASPCA Media Team

    Under normal circumstances, adults, children, and pets living in an abusive home can face major obstacles to escape harm’s way. In this time of quarantine, the necessity of staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has made domestic abuse situations substantially more dangerous for both people and pets. As our nation responds to this pandemic, reports of increasing rates of domestic violence have surfaced in many areas, including Florida. 

    Research indicates that up to 89 percent of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters report that their abuser threatened, harmed, or killed a family pet. Additionally, as many as 48 percent of domestic violence survivors with pets delay seeking safety, fearing what would happen if they left their pets behind. 

    Fortunately, on June 18th, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed C.S./S.B. 1082, which will help keep people and pets together by ensuring family pets can be included in orders of protection from domestic violence. This lifesaving law now makes it clear that courts can include family pets in temporary restraining orders. 

    The new law, which takes effect on July 1, 2020, was championed by Sen. Ben Albritton (R-Bartow), and Reps. Sam Killebrew (R-Winter Haven) and David Silvers (D-West Palm Beach) and unanimously passed the Florida Legislature on March 12, 2020. 

    The bill received strong support from state law enforcement agencies, including Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, who appeared in a video in support of the bill alongside his dog, Junny. Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan and retired Police Chief Frank Fabrizio also joined Rep. Killebrew in a video endorsing the bill. A Mason-Dixon poll showed 83 percent support for the measure from registered Florida voters.

    Recognizing that more volatile domestic situations are a threat to vulnerable people and pets, the ASPCA recently unveiled a position statement, outlining the proactive steps that can be taken now to minimize the damaging impact of COVID-19 and help ensure that people and pets have a safe and secure place to call home during the crisis and long after it has passed.


  • 7 Jul 2020 8:06 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    As we near the peak of kitten season it is more important than ever to educate your local community on the many reasons why it is not necessarily the best idea to separate kittens from their mother by bringing them to your local shelter.

    The Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League is one of several shelters participating in Don’t Kit-Nap the Kitten Season this year.  Below is a link to their news release regarding this promotion which they have offered to all FAAWO members to use as a template if you would like to begin this messaging in your community.  Thank you Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for sharing this resource!  The graphic developed by Miami Dade Animal Services.


  • 23 Jun 2020 10:23 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Leaders at animal shelters say they are preparing for a potential increase in surrenders related to financial challenges caused by COVID-19 job loss.

    However, when the increase could happen isn’t yet known. Shelters initially anticipated seeing an increase during the time marked by high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, but sources reported no uptick. Instead, many shelters experienced an increased interest in fostering programs.


  • 14 May 2020 8:48 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)


    June 23, 2020

    Animal shelters brace for surrenders; shelters implement procedures, plan for future

    Leaders at animal shelters say they are preparing for a potential increase in surrenders related to financial challenges caused by COVID-19 job loss.

    However, when the increase could happen isn’t yet known. Shelters initially anticipated seeing an increase during the time marked by high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, but sources reported no uptick. Instead, many shelters experienced an increased interest in fostering programs.


    June 23, 2020


    FEMA has released the Mass Care/Emergency Assistance Pandemic Planning Considerations Document For State, Local, Tribal, Territorial and Non-Government Organizational Planners, Providers and Support Agencies document.  This document has an appendix for Household Pets, Service and Support Animals starting on page 34.  There is information throughout the document about pets and service animals including definitions, pet food, etc. 


    May 14, 2020

    ATTN 2019 Florida Animal Friends Grant Recipients

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on your activities, the Board of Directors of FL Animal Friend has extended the deadline for completion of your project and your report.

    Instead of filing no later than September 1, your final report is now due no later than 5 PM on November 1, 2020.

    May 14, 2020


    Here is the press release describing the important points from a new study that was just published. The study was conducted by a premier infectious disease research group at the Wisconsin veterinary school and demonstrated that cats are susceptible to infection by COVID virus from people and infected cats can spread the virus to other cats housed in close association (same housing unit). Infected cats shed virus from the respiratory tract (not the gastrointestinal tract) for 6 days.

    The importance of these findings are highlighted near the bottom of the press release, including for shelter cats.


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Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations
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