TAVARES – In celebration of our nation’s veterans, the Lake County Animal Shelter is offering a special program to encourage pet adoptions among veterans.
The program was launched on Friday, Nov. 12, and waives fees on any pet adoptions for veterans. This promotion is made possible by a donation from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mary Ellen Robertson Chapter.
That donation was heartily welcomed by the Lake County Animal Shelter, noted its director, Whitney Boylston.
“We are honored to accept this donation from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution,” she said. “This will benefit both our local veterans and our homeless pets.”
What is the Companion Pets For Our Vets Program?
The program is called Companion Pets For Our Vets, which the Daughters of the American Revolution is doing in special partnership with the Lake County Animal Shelter. The premise is simple: this project will provide pet adoption assistance to current and former military vets.
“Pets have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial to their humans,” said Cathy Trout, Service to Veterans chair for the Mary Ellen Robertson Chapter, which is based in Leesburg. “Caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, and lessen feelings of loneliness. We hope this project will enrich the lives of our military veterans and their families, and find loving forever homes for homeless pets.”
The Lake County Animal Shelter is at 12280 County Road 448, Tavares. Call 352-343-9688 for more information and photos of adoptable animals in their care, or visit their social media page on Facebook at Facebook/Animal Shelter.
What’s New at the Lake County Animal Shelter?
In January 2019, Lake County’ broke ground on a larger and far more high tech shelter than the one that had been hosting stray animals for decades.
The Lake County Animal Shelter built this new shelter to have the space needed to temporarily house hundreds of dogs, cats and other pets as they wait for adoption, and the building doubled the size of the older building to 31,000 square feet.
The older shelter was built in 1994, but that 13,000 square foot facility was too small and frequently struggled with overcrowding issues, while also suffering from faulty air conditioning problems.
In response, the Lake County Commission voted to approve the construction of a new animal shelter, financed by a one-cent sales tax that voters reauthorized in 2015. The commission also made the need for a new shelter more urgent by adopting a no-kill policy for Lake County, meaning animals are only to be euthanized if they’re too sick or too aggressive to be adopted.
Instead, the county has pushed for a strong adoption program to find homes for stray cats and dogs, and the shelter has responded with special adoption programs throughout the year, including their ongoing Caturday special adoptions.
Officials at the animal shelter say the no-kill policy has been working, and the county has placed more than 3,700 pets in recent years.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Of Cats And Wolves.” Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.