By Fine Print Staff
The photos above were taken of animals at the Alachua County Humane Society (ACHS), a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to finding homes for adoptable pets. “When you adopt a dog, you’re saving a life and helping us get a step closer to ending euthanasia,” said Eric Van Ness, the humane society’s executive director.
ACHS initially gets all their animals from Alachua County Animal Services just before their last day on death row (AKA the euthanasia list). Adopting a pet from ACHS is less expensive than patronizing a pet store, and all the money is directed toward saving as many lives as possible. Since 2000, ACHS has worked hard to reduce its own euthanasia rate by 98 percent.
“People don’t realize that when they buy dogs from pet stores, they’re only adding to the overpopulation problem,” Van Ness added. Any dog or cat adopted from a shelter is always spayed or neutered, healthy and up to date on its shots. At no additional cost to adopters, ACHS provides a veterinary exam, a dog training session, a 30 day gift of ShelterCare Pet Insurance and a microchip for detecting the animal’s location if it ever gets lost.
ACHS is the leading agency of Maddie’s Pet Rescue, a coalition of five local shelters that have worked to reduce the city’s euthanasia rate from over 7,000 animals each year to under 3,000. The coalition’s goal is to completely wipe out the city’s need for euthanasia by 2015. Unfortunately, the road is paved with obstacles and can’t be crossed without an increase in volunteers. Read more >>
Reporting by Barbara Bermudez. Photos by Erik Knudsen and Ashley Crane.