Press Conference with Mayor to Announce Big News for the Animals | Urban Wildlife
An estimated 2,700 additional homeless, Jacksonville dogs and cats will have new hope of finding families in 2012, thanks to $340,000 grant presented by Best Friends Animal Society® to one of the city's leading animal welfare agencies.
The grant, to be presented to First Coast No More Homeless Pets (FCNMHP), will be used to help fund operation of FCNMHP's Mandarin Adoption Center, as well as fund a team of FCNMHP staff members working at Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services. The team will work to leverage volunteers and donations in order to dramatically increase the number of cats and dogs adopted through a variety of efforts.
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown praised the development as a step forward to help save animals that find their way into Jacksonville animal shelters. The Honorable Mayor Alvin Brown, along with Best Friends CEO Gregory Castle, FCNMHP Founder/Director Rick DuCharme, Cheif of JACPS Scott Trebatoski and special guest, Jacksonville Humane Society Executive Director Denise Deisler, will all be in attendance at a Press Conference announcing the Best Friends Animal Society Grant and FCNMHP's plan to make Jacksonville a NO KILL City on February 14, 2012 at 10:30am at Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services on Forest Street.
There will also be a Community Meeting open to all interested parties on February 13, 2012 at 6pm at Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services lobby located at 2020 Forest Street.
Rick DuCharme, executive director of the adoption center, said the grant will be a big help to the adoption center during difficult economic times.
"Faced with the possible closure of the adoption center by the city, we were able to raise enough money to operate for six months," DuCharme said. "With the grant from Best Friends, we can now operate for a full year and pursue our goal to double adoptions."
Best Friends has been funding a program with First Coast No More Homeless Pets to spay/neuter free-roaming, unowned cats and reduce the number of cats entering into Jacksonville shelters. A success in each of the last three years, the program reduced the number of cats dying in the shelters by 4,500 a year, Overall shelter deaths decreased by 17 percent from the previous year.
"Best Friends has financially supported some of our programs over the last four years, but from an inspirational standpoint, Best Friends has been mentoring, educating and inspiring First Coast No More Homeless Pets for the last 10 years," said DuCharme.
Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society, said his organization has been impressed by the success of the program in recent years.
"We continue to be amazed by the accomplishments of our partnership with First Coast No More Homeless Pets," said Castle. "We trust that our grant will not only continue this success but help FCNMHP blaze new trails in animal welfare and save more lives."
"Our FCNMHP team will work with the volunteers and the staff at Jacksonville Animal Control & Protective Services to assist dogs and cats who need extra help to make them more adoptable and thereby increase adoptions," DuCharme said. "Between both agencies, our goal is to find homes for more than 2,700 dogs and cats."
"We are grateful to Best Friends for stepping up and helping make our dream of turning Jacksonville into a no-kill-possible city," DuCharme said. "We are really looking forward to this public-private partnership between First Coast No More Homeless Pets and the City of Jacksonville, sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society."