Our Story

    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.

    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 has earned 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. The space evolved and grew over the decades, leading to a full-scale renovation and expansion, completed in 2021. Today our 38,000ft2 facility can hold more than 200 animals at any given time, ultimately resulting in 3,000 lives saved each year. HSSC officially became a no-kill shelter in March 2009, meaning no adoptable pet is ever euthanized to make space for another.


    Our Mission

    As the area’s premier no-kill shelter, HSSC engages the hearts, hands, and minds of the community to help animals.

    Our Vision

    A community where all animals are cared for and loved.

    Our Values

    We achieve our mission by providing compassionate care to our shelter pets, finding them permanent homes, and promoting responsible pet ownership in our community.

    Close your eyes and imagine an animal who left its mark on your life. Maybe it was your childhood pet. Maybe it was an animal that helped you through a rough patch. Maybe it’s your current fur baby. Think about how much that animal meant to you and how it changed your story.

    Now multiply your story by 3,000. That’s the number of cats and dogs that are saved by the Humane Society of Sarasota County every year.