HSSC works closely with Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services (SCAS), taking animals regularly to help prevent overcrowding and give chances to more pets in need. In addition, our Fureign Exchange Program provides extra exposure to some of their long-term animals.
Fureign Exchange students spend up to two weeks at HSSC. During that time, they are highly visible to all potential adopters—both those who come to the facility and those who follow HSSC online. They benefit from special treatment, medical care, socialization, and enrichment. The adoption process is the same as any other HSSC pet. The adoption fee includes a comprehensive medical exam, vaccinations, spay or neutering, deworming, micro-chipping, and a complimentary first exam at the Animal Clinic of the Humane Society of Sarasota County.
Since the program began in late 2016, over 40 Exchange Students have spent “a semester” at HSSC, and over half of them were adopted during their visit.
Lieutenant Daniel Tutko of SCAS is optimistic for the program’s future. “Our hopes are that homeless animals in our community will receive the heightened visibility they deserve, and a change of scenery may be just what they need to help secure their permanent homes.”
The first Fureign Exchange Student, Scarlett, arrived at HSSC November 28, 2016, and was adopted just two days later.
When animals stay in a shelter for a long time, their enthusiasm wanes noticeably. They can become depressed and stop vying for attention. As a result, potential adopters don’t always notice them. One of the most effective ways to reinvigorate these pets is to give them a day out, or even a vacation.
Adoption Ambassadors are HSSC volunteers who temporarily foster an animal that needs a little extra promotion. Adoption Ambassadors find creative ways to showcase the animal, whether through videos or social media shares, and they can process the adoption right on site. The adopter need never come to HSSC.
For those who cannot commit to fostering, being an Excursion Buddy is a fun and easy way to help long-term and hard-to-adopt dogs get out of the shelter. Excursion Buddies take an animal from the shelter, typically to a pet friendly locale, then bring the pet back a few hours later. Boutiques like Camilyn Beth Studio turn the streets of Sarasota into a runway, taking photos of models with “well-heeled” shelter pets.
Snoopy checked into Residence Inn by Marriott Sarasota-Bradenton and spent a week working the front desk and greeting guests before one family decided he needed to come home with them permanently.
Our friends at Bayside Pet Resort in Osprey gave shy guy Tasso an opportunity to shine. He spent his days playing in their state-of-the-art boarding facility, and it wasn’t long before he caught the eye of a great family and was adopted.
HSSC has a long-standing relationship with Animal Rescue Coalition (ARC). Donors contribute to ARC’s Emergency Medical Fund, which, in turn, pays for animals from Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services (SCAS) to receive medical treatment at the Animal Clinic of the Humane Society of Sarasota County.
This collaboration is designed to resolve medical issues for homeless pets, increasing their chances of finding a forever home and stretching SCAS’s budget. HSSC provides area rescues with a discount on our already affordable fees for veterinary services, both at the shelter and at the Animal Clinic.
Pictured below is an animal prepped for a dental cleaning, paid for by ARC's Emergency Medical Fund.
HSSC surgically removed Cash’s eye when he was a resident of SCAS. The surgery was covered by ARC’s Emergency Medical Fund. Cash adapted well to having one eye, and he eventually came to HSSC as a Fureign Exchange Student.
The Pets for Vets” program pairs HSSC dogs and cats with area veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These animals relieve stress, give the veterans hope, and add meaning to their lives. Pets for Vets is a collaboration between HSSC and Bayside Pet Resort.
Veterans seeking an emotional support animal must be referred to HSSC by a psychiatrist. HSSC’s K-9 Behavior Specialist and Feline Specialist review each request and work hard to find a suitable animal for each veteran. Animals are selected to compliment the personality and lifestyle of the individual veteran. These dogs and cats are not trained service animals, and that is not the intent of the program. The goal is simply to provide companionship and emotional support for veterans.
HSSC waives the adoption fee for veterans participating in the program. All eligible dogs and cats are up-to-date on their vaccinations and flea and heartworm preventives, and they have been spayed or neutered. Bayside Pet Resort makes sure each animal is groomed before the final meet and greet. HSSC sends each animal home with a starter kit of supplies. In addition, HSSC provides a complimentary first appointment at the Animal Clinic of HSSC, as well as a substantial discount on all Animal Clinic services for the first year. All of this is to ensure that caring for these companion animals is never financially burdensome for the service men and women in the program.
Bayside Pet Resort’s highly experienced trainers provide ongoing training at no cost to the veterans. Bayside also provides discounted daycare, overnight boarding, and grooming services for dogs and cats adopted through the Pets for Vets Program.
Since the program’s inception in early 2017, seven dogs and one cat have been paired with veterans.