County Animal Services receives award from national leader in no-kill movement

Posted on August 27, 2020 by Staff reports

Santa Rosa County (SRC) Animal Services has been recognized with the Transformational Change award for the highest increase in lifesaving progress for shelters admitting 2,001-6,000 pets in 2019 from Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters.

Animal services was selected for the Transformational Change award based on national shelter data and work from calendar year 2019 (compared to 2018). National, state and shelter level data can be found on the pet lifesaving dashboard published by Best Friends.

Dora Thomason, shelter director, added, “We are so appreciative to everyone for the support given to Santa Rosa County Animal Services. Together we have shown we can accomplish so much with the support of those in our community.”

“It’s incredible to see so many shelters around the nation taking dramatic steps to increase lifesaving,” said Brent Toellner, senior director, national programs for Best Friends Animal Society. “Whether it be through new programming, progressive leadership or better collaborative partnerships, these groups are showing that lifesaving success is possible regardless of a shelter’s size or location.”

Santa Rosa County Animal Services is a member of the Best Friends Network, which comprises thousands of animal shelters, spay/neuter organizations, and other 501(c)(3) public charity rescue groups across all 50 states working to save the lives of dogs and cats in their communities.

“Our team has been through many challenging times over the past two years and it is very rewarding to see the team recognized for their hard work and dedication to making the needed changes,” said Brad Baker, public safety director.

Together, Best Friends and its network partners like Santa Rosa County Animal Services are working to achieve no-kill for dogs and cats nationwide by 2025. Reaching this goal will mean that every shelter in the country is getting the community support it needs to save every dog and cat who can be saved. When a shelter is saving at least 90% of the dogs and cats it’s admitting, that shelter is designated as no-kill.

The county animal shelter serves over 3,000 animals each year that come through the shelter’s doors. For more information on the shelter programs and services, visit