Brevard County Animal Services has maintained a “no-kill” status for several years. In a perfect world, healthy animals would not have to be put down. There would be no overpopulation and no unwanted furry friends. Unfortunately, for many government-run facilities, the euthanasia rate grows out of control, and healthy animals are needlessly euthanized.
Overcrowding forces animal service staff to make a hard decision to obtain kennel space. Brevard County shelters are trying to increase their live release rate by systematically fixing the chinks and holes in the processes that create this sort of tragedy. If an animal is in decent physical condition and has a safe disposition, then the animal deserves to be able to live their best life.
A Community Effort
Wayne Ivey, the sheriff in Brevard County, announced that this Florida state division’s Animal Services reached a ‘no-kill’ status as of the completion of the 2015/2016 fiscal year. Obtaining this status took the whole community’s help, a determined team of staff members, and years of hard work.
To the community’s benefit, Brevard County has shown a history of improved care. The local County Sheriff’s Office took over Animal Services on October 1st of 2014, when the live release rate was an average of 55%. They felt that they were doing a disservice to homeless/surrendered animals by not making rehoming a priority. Just in 2007, Brevard County took in and housed 15,841 dogs and cats in only two shelters, and regretfully 9,632 of those poor helpless creatures were euthanized. That means 61% of those animals were put to sleep to ease over-crowding and to end the suffering of sick and emaciated animals.
The completion of the 2014/2015 fiscal year, the live release rate increased by 25.34%. The 2015/2016 year brought on an even more exciting change. Brevard County Animal Services reached a ‘no-kill’ status by exceeding a 90% live release minimum rate for a whole year. They have been able to sustain this percentage ever since. They achieved this by putting effort into running business diagnostics to help them spot weak procedures. For example, they needed to increase resources to support housing more furry friends. Now, the live release rate has gone as high as 96% for some months.
Brevard County Programs
Their high marks are most likely due to the great programs that Brevard County Animal Services have implemented. This agency adopts out dogs and cats that have already been microchipped, vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and properly licensed. They manage intake properly, mitigate surrenders when needed, have open or discounted adoptions, maintain a vast selection, host plenty of events, and more.
They also have a fee waiver called ‘Silver Paws’. This is when seniors (age 60 years and older) are encouraged to become a pet parent to a dog or cat that is 6+ years old. This sort of program also applies to our nation’s warriors as well. Any soldier or veteran will receive a pet free of any charge. What better way to thank the United States’ strongest than to award them the privilege of a furry companion! The animals act as a therapy to help those who are elderly or have gone to war. The program seeks to ensure the pets’ and pet parents’ happiness and health.
It is clear to see that this community takes pride in their efforts and is always taking the next step to be better for our fluffy companions. Organized transport, specified care, and close supervision sets this county apart from others across the nation. Sheriff Wayne Ivey also announced that Brevard County obtained and worked out a brand-new partnership with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Brevard (SPCA). They did not require the services of the North Animal Care Center anymore, so they closed it and took advantage of their partners’ location. The organization geographically expanded to help animals in further regions.
Individual sanctuaries in the area have started surrender prevention programs where all options must be exhausted before a drop off occurs. Instead of using government money to house and feed the pets, they try to help the owners keep their companion, or they try to rehome them through advertising their animal for them. This saves the County funds. It’s a win-win! Lives are saved, and money can be put towards bettering the division as a whole.
The Animal Sanctuary has even taken the assistance program further. This shelter is a cage-free organization. Pounds are often used as dumping grounds for pet parents that can’t take the time to rehome their animals. They put their efforts towards saving animals that are genuinely in mortal danger instead of taking in owner surrenders. Brevard County’s utopian style animal shelters and sanctuaries lead as an example for the rest of the shelter community.
Do you want to know how you can help?
If you have adopted a shelter pet, provide them with the best care you possibly can by enlisting the help of Space Coast Pet Services. We are proud to serve all animals, including rescue pets. Most ex-shelter animals are not happy being in boarding facilities as it reminds them of the time they spent cooped up in a pen. These traumatized pets may have abandonment issues and have severe separation anxiety from their person, their usual scents, and their home.
Space Coast Pet Services offers pet sitting, in-home pet care, dog walking, yard clean up, and will even take your pets to their appointments! If you are in Rockledge, Melbourne, Suntree, Viera, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, or Satellite Beach, we are here for you and your pets! Book services for your rescue baby today!
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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