Hillsborough Moving Toward No-Kill Animal Shelter

Hillsborough County is taking steps to drastically reduce euthanasia of shelter animals. Let's continue this movement in Pinellas!

Hillsborough County took a huge step forward in the animal community a couple of weeks ago by moving toward making its animal shelter a no-kill zone.

Hillsborough County Animal Services has been trying to get its euthanasia number down. It has gone down from 30,000 in 2005 to 14,000 last year. What a great feat! Now, the county is trying for even fewer.

Now, there are always going to be some exceptions to the rule, such as very sick dogs that cannot be saved, but those things cannot be helped. 

Animal Services employees are being redirected in how to maintain operations while saving most animals from euthanasia.

Some of the steps that they are working on are:

  • increasing adoptions, 
  • working on a Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) program for feral cats, and 
  • communicating the importance of pet sterilizations.

This is a huge thing, and I hope that it will come to Pinellas County. A group called Save 90 has been advocating for these animals. Save 90 has its name because its members hope to save 90 percent of shelter animals from being euthanized. 

I want to bring this to everyone’s attention in hope that you, too, will get on board with this group, or inform your county of what a great idea it is.

In past columns, I have shared a couple of stories of animals who were going to be put down or . Luckily for those two dogs, they had someone looking out for them, but what about the other thousands?

We need more people to step up and be the voice for these babies who cannot speak. Let people know these animals are scared or just ill. Fight for these dogs that you know can be saved!

Please help by going to your local shelter or rescue to adopt! See animals for adoption at Pinellas County Animal Services or, right here in town, Dunedin Doggie Rescue.

Amy Howland April 30, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Shelly, unfortunately there is much more to this "no-kill" movement and things are very grim in Hillsborough County right now. The steps taken by the Save90/no-kill movement are nice soundbites, but do not come close to addressing any real problem. Save90 claims there are plenty of homes for unwanted dogs, but I notice one of your posts addressed why the adoption process takes so long. Under Save90, there is no adoption process - this is why their 1 sentence bullet point is to increase adoptions. HCAS is one of the best county shelters in the country, evidenced by their statistics and the awards they have received, yet Dennis McCullough was fired after he spoke out against the no-kill movement. The official word from the BOCC is he retired, but I have never seen someone "retire" while being escorted out of their office in tears.
Merrill May 07, 2012 at 02:13 PM
The new director of Hillsboro Animal Services comes from a no kill shelter in Texas where they managed to achieve "save 90" very quickly. It has been done in Manatee county here and Broward is fast moving towards that. All it takes is expending as much effort (and less $) on outreach, adoptions and partnering with rescues as WAS spent on intake and killing. Save 90 works!!
Amy Howland June 22, 2013 at 09:33 AM
Here we are a year later and Hillsborough did not go no kill and Save 90 has all but disappeared. Ausin continues to hemorrhage money, is so over crowded that they are refusing to take in ANY animal, and routinely gives away animals for free. I went to Manatee County Animal Services and took pictures & video and saw nothing that resembled "success."


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