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Member Highlights

FAAWO member agencies share inspiring stories of how their work strengthens the human-animal bond ... one person, one companion animal at a time.

FAAWO MEMBERS: If you would like to share stories of how your organization's proactive approach to a challenge has improved the lives of both people and companion animals, please email your information via the share button below. Copy should be no more than 300 words. Include photos and video links.


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  • 20 Oct 2020 10:17 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Story and photo courtesy of The Association of Animal Welfare Advancement

    When the pandemic first hit, Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando regularly asked staff what they needed and how they were doing. Their top 3 concerns? Their safety, their paycheck, and their families. In order to fully support employees who needed a safe space for their children to finish up the school year remotely, the Florida agency set up a Bring Your Child to Work Program. 

    Here are the key components that made the program such a success:

    • They set up their virtual school in a dedicated, safe space.
    • They provided workstations and tablets for students.
    • They used volunteers to act as room monitors.
      “We set up clear guidelines for them,” explains Rodriguez. “They would not be managing behavior, but helping the children get on their Zoom calls and answering questions.”
    • They allowed employees to check in on their children as needed during the day—not just on breaks—and gave them flexibility to schedule their breaks so they could eat lunch with their kids. “It meant a lot to our employees—and it did not negatively impact production or disrupt their daily responsibilities,” says Rodriguez.

    Florida students are back in brick-and-mortar schools for now, so the program is on hiatus. “But we know if schools close,” Rodriguez says, “we’re ready to pump it back up again. Employees know that they can still work and their children will be taken care of.”

  • 20 Oct 2020 10:13 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    In September, Southeast Volusia Humane Society put a fancy twist on cat adoptions with their Real Housecats Adoption Promotion. For the entire month, adoption fees for cats featured in the event were just $20! Volunteers with the Society got creative with wardrobe and accessories giving these cats all the bling with NONE of the b@!ch often seen on the popular Real Housewives TV series. The promotion was loads of fun and a huge success for cats (all found homes!) and adopters alike.

  • 19 Oct 2020 12:51 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Photos and information courtesy of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League

    Each year, dozens of local animal rescue groups join together for the Countdown 2 Zero (C2Z) Adoption Event - Palm Beach County’s largest one-day adoption event- in an effort to save the lives of hundreds of animals. Due to COVID-19, the 7th Annual Countdown 2 Zero Adoption Event was held as a virtual event and took place for one-week, instead of one-day. 

    Organized by Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League and Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control, the 7th Annual Countdown 2 Zero Adoption Event found homes for 331 animals during the one-week adoption event (September 26-October 3, 2020). 

    “The 2020 C2Z had a different feel - however, the mission was still the same - saving the lives of animals in Palm Beach County,” said Rich Anderson, Executive Director/CEO of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League. “All of the rescues involved were committed to making sure that those in our community still had the opportunity to participate in the largest pet adoption event in Palm Beach County… and in light of our current circumstances we enjoyed the opportunity to create a fun, virtual event that resulted in 331 animals finding their forever homes!” 

    The C2Z “Virtual Adoption Village” website allowed attendees to connect with participating partner groups and sponsors from wherever they were! The Live Video Chat rooms enabled people to ask rescue groups participating in C2Z questions and could schedule an adoption appointment prior to making the drive to a shelter location. 

    The seven C2Z adoption events have now found over 1,800 animals their forever homes. 

    Rescue organizations that participated in the 7th Annual C2Z Adoption Event included: Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League; Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control; Adopt A Cat Foundation; Ali Cat Rescue; Animal Rescue Force; Barky Pines Animal Rescue; Big Dog Ranch Rescue; Blessed Paws Animal Rescue; Boston Terrier Rescue of Florida; Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic and Ranch; Save A Pet Florida; and Tri-County Animal Rescue. 

    Sponsors included: 1-800-PetMeds; Nozzle Nolen Pest Solutions; Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA; Sunny 107.9 FM; 850 WFTL; Paws & Cherish; Flagler Bank; Velocity Community Credit Union; WPBF 25 News 

    Countdown 2 Zero is a public/private community collaboration, initiated by Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control, and the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, to bring local animal welfare organizations together and end the euthanasia of adoptable animals in Palm Beach County. To learn more, please visit countdown2zero.org or email info@countdown2zero.org 

  • 11 Sep 2020 5:01 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Article featured in The New Barker Dog Magazine

    New Law Helps Protect Family Pets

    As our nation responds to the COVID- 19 pandemic, reports of increasing rates of domestic violence have surfaced across the country, including Florida. Thankfully, a new lifesaving law (SB 1082), signed by Governor DeSantis, went into effect on July 1, 2020.

    "This law now makes it clear that courts may include family pets in tem­porary restraining orders, and we thank Governor DeSantis for signing this bill to help domestic violence survivors and their pets reach safety," said Jennifer Hobgood, senior director of state legislation for the ASPCA, Southeast Region.

    Staff and volunteers at Flagler Humane Society in Palm Coast worked with the ASPCA and The Humane Society of The United States to promote the importance of this legislation in

    Florida. "We would like to thank Governor DeSantis as well as Senator Albritton, Representative Killebrew and Representative David Silvers for their sponsorship," wrote Amy Carotenuto in a letter to the editor of The Daytona Beach News-Journal, "Special thanks to our own local Representative Paul Renner, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, who helped ensure the bill passed," added Carotenuto, who is the executive director for the Flagler Humane Society.

    Florida now joins 30 other states who have enacted similar policies that safeguard humans and pets from violence in the home. The Florida law allows judges to name pets in domestic violence protective orders much in the same way that children and other family members can be named into restraining orders.

    "Too often, those living in an abusive situation do not seek safety out of fear for what may happen to their pets," said Carotenuto.

    Seventy-one percent of domestic abuse survivors reported that their partner had implicitly or explicitly threatened the pet as a way to maintain power. More than 50 percent of pet­

    owning women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their abusers threatened, harmed or had killed a family pet.

    Children who are exposed to domestic violence are nearly three times more likely to treat animals with cruelty than children who are not exposed to such violence (Source: Currie, 2006).

    Animal cruelty committed by children is often symptomatic of future abuse

    toward other animals or people.

    Only 10 percent of domestic violence shelters in the country allow animals and have pet-friendly on-site facilities for families with pets. This leaves pet owners with the difficult

    decision to leave their pet at home or stay in an abusive household to be with their pet.

    For a list of domestic violence shelters in Florida that are pet friendly, go to SafePlaceforPets.org

  • 10 Sep 2020 4:48 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Courtesy of Pensacola Humane Society

    COVID-19 drastically changed how animal shelters operated around the country. As state stay-home mandates went into effect many shelters, Pensacola Humane Society included, scrambled to figure out how to keep animals safe and cared for while maneuvering the ever-changing rules and regulations that the global pandemic brought. One of the positive things to come out of it all was the way it brought together animal shelters around the nation with regular zoom calls keeping people in the loop, offering advice and being a sounding board as we all tried to make the best decisions. Another positive that came out of all the changes caused by COVID-19 was the forming of our Help Team. The Help Team was created to offer support, advice and help to the community of Pensacola by way of phone calls and emails, regularly communicating with the community remotely. 

    The Pensacola Humane Society Help Team has a staff of 4; 2 full time team members, and 2 part time team members all of whom were repurposed from existing positions thanks to moving to a more foster-centric model of sheltering. Our Help Team specialists interact with every person who contacts the shelter looking to surrender or rehome an animal, needing behavioral resources, or looking for TNR/Spay and Neuter resources. Since May 14, 2020, the Help Team has worked with 641 families regarding 1,641 animals. 1,097 of those animals were able to either be kept in the home or rehomed by the family, 43 were confirmed to have been taken to the local municipal shelter and 43 were referred to another rescue better suited to their needs. 126 of those animals were cats who went through our TNR program, 175 had “other” outcomes (needed spay or neuter, veterinary recommendation, housing options, etc.)  Only 168 animals have been taken into our care. These statistics are amazing because PHS does not have the capacity for the number of animals that need our help daily. With the creation of the Help Team, we can keep pets and their people together, re-home their current pet without the animal going into the shelter or offer advice to those who just need someone to listen. This results in many more animals being saved. The intake diversion rate hovers around 85% Based on the data of our first 3 months in operation, the program received a $25,000 grant to help supplement TNR, Spay and Neuter, pet deposits and rent, temporary boarding due to eviction or Domestic Violence, and all of the other resources we currently offer. 

    Our foster team kicked it into high gear when COVID-19 hit. The team was able to get every remaining adoptable animal under our care into foster homes. The foster team has focused on building our foster base and offering extensive training opportunities and innovative foster “hacks” along with varying lengths of fostering to meet the different lifestyles of our foster families. Our foster team is working hard to find foster homes for every cat and dog that comes into our organization. Keeping a cat or dog out of a kennel and having the animal’s transition directly upon intake to a foster home has a significant impact on the animal’s physical, mental, and emotional health. The animal is less stressed in a foster home along with other benefits such as one-on-one training and attention from their foster family, socialization with other dogs and cats and children and more. The foster families fill out surveys on their animal to send back to the foster team so that the team knows what the behavior is like and how the animal is doing.  This valuable information helps them to spread the word and to get the animal adopted! The team streamlined the foster program with the use of Trello and Calendly. The Trello board is a great tool.  Fosters and the public can see the board which showcases animals in need of foster care. Calendly is an easy and effective scheduling program for fosters to make appointments to pick up animals, drop off animals, and come in for check-ups. 

    The number of animals in foster in August were 78 total, 49 cats and 29 dogs. That helped to free space in the shelter to take in more animals! There were 57 active foster families in August and 29 new foster families. Recently PHS was able to take in a blind cat because we had a foster family lined up who was able to care for a special needs cat. The cat was adopted a little over a month later! July 14th PHS received a plea from a shelter that asked if we could take animals as they were running out of space and did not want to euthanize any because of not having any more room. We were able to take 9 dogs from this shelter and they were all sent straight into foster care. 

    Without the Help team, Foster Team, an amazing volunteer team and team of employees, our ability to help would be much more limited. We are so thankful to everyone who work tirelessly to help animals and our community in the best way possible!

    Check us out at pensacolahumane.org

    Pictured above are members of the Animal Care Staff, Help Team, Director of Animal Care and Volunteer Coordinator. 

  • 8 Sep 2020 5:18 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Courtesy of SPCA Tampa Bay

    SPCA Tampa Bay has been innovating a lot these past couple of months. With those new innovations, inevitably come new pitfalls. Our team is currently struggling with some of the consequences of moving our veterinary center to curbside and drop-off pick-up. We’ve asked clients to call to check-in but it’s clogging up our phone lines. Clients give vague descriptions of their cars which leaves our staff searching the parking lot for longer than they should. Additionally, some local facilities around us have closed and subsequently increased the number of clients we get seeking treatment.  

    We’re trying new things to relieve these pressures. To avoid looking for “the gray SUV" we’re working on installing numbered signs for our parking spots. We’re also exploring texting capabilities with clients to relieve pressure on the phone line. We started setting up a parking lot table for an hour each morning to receive drop-off patients and further free up phone lines. We see partners around us also coming up with new solutions to operate in our current normal. Adaptation has always been a part of our industry and every day is a chance to try a new solution. 

    Find out more about SPCA Tampa Bay

  • 26 Aug 2020 8:32 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Flagler Humane Society put a creative twist on senior pet adoptions as part of a Clear The Shelters Promotion for the month of August.

    Pets were accessorized in the nostalgic styles we identify with lovable human seniors - round-rimmed spectacles, wool caps and wigs, sweater vests and scarves -  then photographed in various settings to show off their unique personalities. The promotion read:



    Snag a Senior Snuggler All August Long and help the ones who need it most

    We love this adorable idea! 


    Flagler Humane Society would like to give special thanks to Magdalena, one of their adoption specialists and (sometime photographer), who used portions of downtime here and there to capture these wonderful shots. A labor of love! 

  • 26 Aug 2020 7:09 AM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    More than 500 people virtually attended the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches’ Annual Business Awards Breakfast. These awards recognize Palm Beach County companies and individuals that lead with confidence and demonstrate a solid commitment to their business goals, their employees and their local community.

    Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League is so incredibly grateful to be chosen as the 2020 NonProfit of the Year!


    2020 AWARDS

    Non-Profit of the Year:

    Health & Human Services Organization of the Year:

    • Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County 

    Diversity Organization of the Year:

    • Mittleman Eye

    Young Professional of the Year:

    • Jennifer Ferriol, The City of West Palm Beach

    Small Business Person of the Year:

    • Robert Banting, Anderson Carr, Inc.

    Business of the Year:

    • GL Homes

    Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to

    • William M. B. Fleming, Jr., Palm Beach Atlantic University - PBA

  • 7 Jul 2020 2:59 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    Courtesy of SPCA Tampa Bay:

    The Sunshine State kicked off another hurricane season on June 1. Usually our SPCA Tampa Bay Veterinary Center is encouraging clients to prepare their emergency kits. For years that messaging has prompted clients to swing by during their commute home to grab extra pet food or medicine for their kit. It’s also not unusual to have them drop-by our lobby unannounced for a copy of their pets’ records.

    This year isn’t like most though. Our calls to action have to be a little different. If you want to drop-by our lobby, you need an appointment and clients must have a mask. If you want to pick up food or medications, we can only accommodate curbside. That means our clients have to call ahead so we can prepare their order prior to their arrival.

    Our messaging is special this year because it’s harder to focus on just the list of things we recommend you pack. We have to prioritize important safety procedures for visiting our practice that will help protect our staff and clients.

    Many of our calls to action are driving people online. Our veterinary center’s Vet2Pet app has also taken a new place in our hurricane preparedness plan. We’re promoting it like never before as a virtual way for our clients to make requests. We’re encouraging record, medication and food requests all be submitted through the app. Clients can also check their pets’ vaccination status there. We are happy to find many more clients have downloaded the app.

    Starting on our messaging this hurricane season was a reminder that for the time being, everything about the way we do business needs to be considered with a pandemic overlay.

    Find out more about SPCA Tampa Bay
  • 7 Jul 2020 2:35 PM | FAAWO (Administrator)

    There are many stories that have inspired us during the pandemic.  During the COVID-19 lockdown eight volunteers with Misty’s Pals, a pet therapy program of the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast, made an unusual visit to Symphony at Stuart, an assisted living facility. Typically, these volunteers and their pets spend time visiting with the residents indoors but due to COVID-19 restrictions, they remained outdoors and visited residents outside their windows.  They have ongoing relationships with 19 nursing homes/assisted living facilities and two hospitals in Martin and St. Lucie counties.

    To learn more about the humane society’s pet therapy programs, visit the website at HSTC1.ORG



    Find out more about Humane Society of the Treasure Coast

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Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations
4205 NW 6th St, Gainesville, FL 32609



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

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