Pinellas County Animal Services earns $10,000 grant for inclusive practices

Rose Burke

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Funds to continue dog house program and preventative care/sterilization vouchers

Maddie’s Fund and the Michaelson Found Animal Foundation have awarded Pinellas County Animal Services a $10,000 grant for piloting the “Best Overall Effort” to open doors to adopters and volunteers and welcome the entire community during their Open Arms Challenge.

During the challenge, which ran from Nov. 22, 2021, to Jan. 3, 2022, 194 challenge participants were asked to embrace inclusive practices to create new partnerships with organizations outside of animal welfare to remove barriers to adoption, fostering and volunteering. Pinellas County Animal Services accepted the challenge by expanding their Community Outreach Program to offer services to underserved citizens in the county, which included updating literature in English and Spanish. They also increased mobile food banks to underserved locations in person and began early intervention by providing education rather than enforcement with their Community Outreach team to reach communities and citizens that needed one-on-one customer service.

“Pinellas County Animal Services strives to encompass and be inclusive of ALL residents of Pinellas County as beneficiaries of our services,” said Animal Services Director Doug Brightwell. “Staff and volunteers believe in the caring and compassion of our residents as they join us in finding forever homes and improving Animal Welfare. This gift to our Animal Welfare Trust Fund will enable us to continue our dog house program and vouchers for preventive care and sterilization.” 

The challenge provided an opportunity for Pinellas County Animal Services to continue their partnerships with veterinarians, SPCA Tampa Bay and the Humane Society of Pinellas and create new partnerships with local food banks and Good Pup, an organization that offers a week of free training and support to shelter customers and citizens who Animal Service’s Enforcement division assists in the field.

To learn more about Pinellas County Animal Services, visit www.pinellas.gov/animalservices.

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