SEMINOLE IS CHANGING. IT’S TIME OUR SHELTER CHANGED, TOO!

Change Save Seminole is a community movement to end the unnecessary killing of healthy, or treatable dogs and cats at our local shelter.

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kitten licking
labrador smiling

Who Is Change Save Seminole?

Seminole County and our community is changing, and we have an immense opportunity to have a real, data-driven conversation on the need to implement life-saving changes at Seminole County Animal Services (SCAS).

Change Save Seminole aims to inform, educate, and mobilize the public around this opportunity and work hand-in-hand with our local elected officials, shelter leadership, and staff to bring SCAS to No-Kill status, which means 90% of the dogs and cats that enter the shelter ultimately leave alive.

57% of all shelters in the United States achieved No-Kill in 2022, up from just 26% in 2016. Together, we can change Seminole and save these lives.

Want to learn more about No-Kill? Visit NoKillFacts.com.

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THE FACTS

According to the best available data from 2023, Seminole County Animal Services (SCAS) currently has a “save” rate of 72.6%, with 70.2% of cats and 75.2% of dogs entering the shelter eventually leaving alive. It is important to note that these numbers reflect the "save" rate when factoring out Owner Requested Euthanasia.

With the buy-in of our community, the support of shelter leadership and staff, and the attention of our local elected officials, we can save these lives and transform Seminole County from one of the highest killing shelters in the United States to a model of life-saving.

4,665
Dogs & Cats
Entered Shelter
3,386
Dogs & Cats Left Alive
812
More
Lives to save for us to reach our goal of at least 90%

the Needs

For our county and Seminole County Animal Services (SCAS) to join the growing tide of No-Kill communities and shelters, we must embrace two key solutions:

Implement a Robust Community Cat Program!

With cats accounting for the majority of the animals killed each year at SCAS, we must move away from simple catch-and-kill programs that have failed to meet the needs of our community and indiscriminately kill healthy cats.

A community cat program, also known as a Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return or TNVR program, humanely traps unowned, outdoor cats where they are then neutered/spayed and vaccinated, before being returned to where they were found.

Neutering/spaying removes these cats’ ability to reproduce while also addressing numerous community complaints such as yowling, aggression, and spraying. Vaccination reduces the spread of diseases such as rabies, ensuring a healthier cat and community.

All of this is achieved without killing these animals and allowing them to continue living successfully outdoors.

1

Develop a More Robust Foster Program!

No community can achieve No-Kill status without the buy-in and support of its people. One of the foundational tenets of No-Kill is the development of a large network of individuals, families, nonprofits, rescues, and more in the local community all dedicated to doing their small part in saving the lives of healthy dogs and cats.

Want to sign up to be a foster? We can help. Click below and fill out our Contact Form and make sure to check “Become a Foster.” A member of our team will reach out and kickstart your rewarding journey as a pet foster.

2

Dispelling Misinformation

Instead of accepting free help and expertise to improve lifesaving at the shelter, Seminole County officials are engaging in a misinformation campaign. Below are excerpts from their response to constituents sending letters imploring them to save more lives and our direct responses.

Read and decide for yourselves.

No Kill Shelter: Since 2016, Seminole County Animal Services has not euthanized animals due to space or breed issues.  All animals that are euthanized must go under a veterinarian review and be determined as sick, ill, injured, or dangerous. All adoptable animals are given loving, caring homes, offered to foster families, and/or transferred to partnership rescue groups/organizations.

The goal of 90%: Since Seminole County Animal Services has not had to euthanize animals due to space or breed (pit bull, rottweiler, etc) – the shelter has already achieved over 90% success rate.

The Truth

Seminole County officials claim that because the Seminole shelter hasn't killed an animal "due to space or breed" that our shelter is already no-kill. 

This is plainly false. 

No-Kill is about more than just not euthanizing for space; it is a commitment to getting at least 90% of all impounded animals out of the shelter alive.

90% is a statistically proven no-kill benchmark where, with the right programming and best practices, only 10% of impounded animals will likely need to be euthanized for any reason, including behavioral or illness issues. 

Utilizing 2023 data, Seminole County reported that only about 73% of animals entering our shelter leave alive based on their own numbers. Again, these are their own numbers.

We respect that Seminole County Animal Services doesn’t euthanize for space or breed, but if 27% of animals aren’t leaving the shelter alive, then we are still short of the nationally recognized no-kill benchmark of 90% save rate.

Together, we can work to change that and save these lives.

The non-profit organization that created the ‘Change Save Seminole’ campaign did not factor in owner-requested euthanasia for sick animals. This low-cost service is provided to persons with sick/ill animals. Seminole County Animal Services will offer end-of-life services after a review from a qualified veterinarian staff member.

The Truth

Seminole County officials falsely claim we do not factor in the shelter's "owner-requested euthanasia" program when calculating their save rate. 

This is, again, plainly false. 

According to Seminole County's own 2023 numbers, this program only accounts for around 31% of all animals euthanized at the Seminole county shelter.

Our concern is the other 69% of animals that are currently being killed and finding ways to work together to save those lives.

To be clear: the owner-requested euthanasia program is not holding Seminole County back from achieving no-kill status, and many no-kill shelters across the nation have similar programs and still meet the 90% benchmark for life-saving.

The non-profit organization was made aware of the over 80 animals currently in foster homes in the County but did not include this in the report.

The Truth

This is yet another claim with no basis in reality. Change Save Seminole has never denied that there are fosters in our community…we’re saying we need more!

No-kill is a community effort, and the only way for any community to achieve no-kill is through a robust network of fosters. What Seminole County has today—between individual fosters, foster partners, and more is great. But it needs to be expanded—and there’s nothing wrong with that.

With the buy-in of the community, and more people stepping up to be fosters, more lives are saved, and there is less stress on the shelter and its resources.

Seminole County has a foundation to be built upon here. And Change Save Seminole wants to help!

Community Cat Program: Seminole County Animal Service has a robust community cat, or ‘Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return’ (TNVR) program.

The Truth

Once again, this is a misrepresentation of our actual position, which is that our local community cat program needs to be expanded from its current size and scope.

According to Seminole County's numbers again, nearly 1 outdoor cat a day is being killed in the Seminole county shelter.

A “robust” TNVR program doesn’t result in this many deaths. We can invest more in community cat programs, expand them, and save these lives as well.

Seminole doesn’t have to settle for quarter- or half-measures.

When it comes to foster and community cat programs, two things can be true at the same time: the county can be doing these things already, and there can be room for improvement if we all work together.

Why are our County Commissioners fighting so hard against free help and expertise solely dedicated to helping them save more lives?

Send a Letter

For Seminole to save at least 90% of the pets that enter our shelter, we need the attention and support of our local elected officials, specifically our county commissioners who oversee Seminole County Animal Services (SCAS). Send the following by completing the form below:

"To Whom it May Concern:
I am a resident of Seminole County and I am writing to you today to implore you to support Seminole County Animal Services (SCAS). Our county and community is changing and the time is now to transform our local shelter from one of the highest killing shelters in the United States into a model of life-saving.

According to our own SCAS data in 2023, only 70.2% of cats and 75.2% of dogs that entered our shelter ultimately left alive for a total “live release” or “save” rate of 72.6%. Of the 4,665 animals that entered SCAS, nearly 1,300 were killed.

Other communities with far less resources than ours have been able to take the needed steps to save the lives of healthy, or treatable, dogs and cats that enter area shelters and achieve No-Kill status—where 90% of the animals that enter the shelter ultimately leave alive.

Since SCAS is under your oversight and its operations are funded through county tax dollars, I am asking that you direct the shelter to immediately begin to: (1) implement a community cat program that humanely traps, neuters/spays, vaccinates, and then returns unowned, outdoor cats to where they were found; and (2) invest in a broader foster program to help temporarily place dogs and cats. If the shelter requires additional funding or staff to achieve these goals then I ask that you make life-saving of these animals a budget priority and appropriate the necessary tax dollars to support these changes.

Furthermore, if there are nonprofits willing to assist in any way, please embrace their help and expertise. We cannot get to No-Kill by continuing with the status quo. Seminole County is changing and it is time that our shelter joined the nearly 60% of all U.S. shelters that achieved No-Kill in 2022 (up from just 26% in 2016). Thank you, and as a resident, I will consider your response to my letter strongly in the future. For more information on our opportunity together please visit changesaveseminole.org."

Contact us

We can’t Change our community and Save these lives without you! Please take a moment to reach out to our team and get connected to join our movement. Together, we can bring Seminole to No-Kill!

Thank You!
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