Incorporated in 1952 as Sarasota’s first nonprofit animal welfare organization, the Humane Society of Sarasota County (HSSC) has grown to be the area’s premier no-kill shelter. A home is found for every adoptable pet in our care.
We take tremendous pride in being the area’s premier no-kill shelter, and with that comes the responsibility to lead by example. Our mission will always be focused on saving the lives of cats and dogs and enriching human lives along the way. Learn more about What We Do.
HSSC is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. We rely solely on contributions from individuals, organizations, and corporations. HSSC receives no federal funding, nor are we funded by any national humane organization. HSSC is the only animal welfare organization in Sarasota to earn the coveted 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator.
In the fall of 1951, Donald Evans lost his dog. Eventually, the dog catcher caught the dog, but no one contacted Mr. Evans. His beloved dog was euthanized. Mr. Evans was so upset that he vowed to start a Humane Society to prevent this from happening to others. On the night of January 15, 1952, 70 people met at the Sunshine Kitchen and formed the new society.
The Humane Society of Sarasota County, Inc., was incorporated on February 8, 1952.
The Articles of Incorporation read, “The purposes of this corporation are: promoting the welfare of all animals in Sarasota County, Florida; caring for and finding homes for animals; encouraging kindness toward animals and assisting in the enforcement of all laws and ordinances for the protection of animals; operating an animal shelter for animals; and pursuing other humane objectives.”
HSSC’s original kennels held 48 dogs and the shelter had room for only 6 cats. Today, we are fortunate to have a total of 82 air-conditioned dog kennels that were newly built in 2010 and we can shelter up to 80 cats in three different rooms, one of which is a free-roaming room. In March 2009, HSSC officially became a no-kill shelter, meaning no adoptable pet is euthanized to make space for another. There are over 100 animals in the shelter on any given day. Every year, HSSC finds homes for over 1,400 dogs and cats.
Our sprawling campus features four buildings, a spacious courtyard, training and agility parks, and a memorial garden. Our public Animal Clinic is located just a mile away at 1090 N. Tuttle Avenue.
The Adoption Center houses adoptions and retail, administration, animal receiving, and all felines. We have three diverse cat spaces capable of holding a total of 80 cats: the Kitty Kat Club for young cats; the Lounge free-roaming room for adult cats; and the Manor for adult cats. There is also a cat quarantine room to keep sick animals isolated from the general population.
The Dog Building holds all canines, as well as the shelter clinic and various staff offices. There are three wings, called “pods”, for housing up to 82 dogs. Each kennel provides the dog with indoor-outdoor access through a guillotine-style door. The inside portion is air conditioned while the outside portion is semi-open-air and looks upon a fenced yard.
The Education Center is a multi-purpose space used for everything from Volunteer training to Pet Therapy evaluations to Fur Fun Camps.
The Training Building, located on the northeast corner of campus, is where all K-9 Obedience Training Courses are held. Course participants can access the training building through the gate on the east side of the Adoption Center.