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The ARC Advocate
January 2011 - Vol 1, Issue 2
In This Issue
Dog's Night Out January 14
ARC's Emergency Medical Fund
ARC's Spay/Neuter Mobile Unit
Outreach to Mobile Home Communities
Feral Cats: Feeding Bans Don't Work
Coming Soon: ARC Safari

ARC's biggest fundraiser of the year, a formal gala featuring drinks, dancing and more, is coming Feb. 19. This year's Gala features a safari theme. Click here to order your tickets -- and watch next month's newsletter for more about this elegant affair

Credits & Contact
Editor:  Caroline Resnick

Christine Hawes



The ARC Advocate is sponsored by Animal Rescue Coalition, 47 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota; website is
Animal Rescue Coalition,

ARC's Mission


ARC's mission is to end the killing of adoptable dogs and cats in Sarasota and Manatee counties by means of a proactive spay/neuter program, comprehensive adoption program, and various other initiatives designed to recognize the profound benefits to people of animal companionship.




New Level of Fun at Dog's Night Out Jan. 14 

Dog's Night Out

Interested in treating your dog to some Chihuahua Chicken, or snacking on Chef Pawblo Barker's Sushi? Are you one of those people who loves the silliness of the 2000 movie "Best in Show?" Then "Dog's Night Out," coming Jan. 14, is your kind of evening.

This annual fundraiser for the Animal Rescue Coalition, a special occasion at Saks Fifth Ave. for both humans and dogs, is taking on a new level of fun -- and meaning -- this year. In addition to the traditional red carpet parade for patrons and their pets, this year's event will feature the "Bow Wow Bistro" and the "Pooch and Pals Fashion Show."

"We really wanted to make the event more about the animals this year," says co-chair Eric Massey. "And we wanted to make sure it was playful."

The Bistro, coordinated by co-chair Molly Klauber, will feature a five-course meal in both human and canine form. Patrons of Dog's Night Out will have the option of taking home a "doggie bag" of treats for their pets.

The fashion show, coordinated by Michael Krempel, is intended to capture the spirit of "Best in Show," Krempel said. "It will be kitschy, and fun, and edgy, and light-hearted," he said.  "Everything will be over the top, and definitely NOT out of the box."

As in years past, Dog's Night Out will feature a red carpet parade and prizes. Caterers for the evening are Michael's on East, Woof Gang Bakery and Max's Dog Bakery. Scott Anderson, director of gift planning for the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, will serve as the fashion show emcee.

Admission is $55; the event is 6-9 p.m. at Saks, 3501 S. Tamiami Tr. Click here to reserve your tickets now.
Emergency Medical Fund:  Helping the Helpless
More than 600 stray and abandoned animals who otherwise would have been euthanized or left to die from serious injuries or conditions received life-saving medical care through ARC's Emergency Medical Fund (EMF) in 2010.

The program is just one of the many ARC services in need of the public's support through donations and attendance at upcoming fundraisers that include Dog's Night Out on Jan. 14 and the ARC Safari Gala Feb. 19.

Founded by three ARC board members in 2003, the EMF provides needed medications and supplies for abandoned, stray, or abused animals picked up by Sarasota County Animal Services. Dr. Laurie Walmsley, ARC's medical director and owner of Ashton Animal Clinic, donates her time and services to run the EMF program. Walmsley and her staff also work to find foster and adoption homes for EMF animals.


Multiple broken bones, a broken pelvis, and a stainless steel apparatus holding her bones in place did not break Abby's kind and gentle spirit.

"Abby" is just one of the animals saved this past year through the EMF. Discovered on the side of the road by an animal services officer, "Abby" was suffering from several broken legs and a broken pelvis. Walmsley fitted the kitten with casts for her legs and applied a stainless steel apparatus to hold her broken bones in place. The small brown tabby is now fully recovered and has been adopted into a loving home.

"This program is Sarasota's community treasure," says Caroline Resnick, ARC's feral cat program director, who occasionally brings in feral cats needing emergency care. "Dr. Walmsley works hard to help any animal who would otherwise be left to die on the side of the road."

Please support the Emergency Medical Fund with your attendance at Dog's Night Out and/or the ARC Safari Gala by clicking here. Or, you can make your donation directly to the EMF by clicking the donate button below.


ARC's Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic: 29,000 Animals and Counting

Nearly 30,000 cats and dogs have been sterilized by ARC through its mobile spay/neuter clinic since the clinic went on the road in 2002, but more work remains. ARC will soon add a fifth day to the mobile clinic's schedule and is seeking the public's help in funding this increased outreach, says Executive Director Brenda Terris.

"Our mission is for every adoptable pet to have a permanent home, and the only way for that to happen is to control dog and cat overpopulation by spaying and neutering," Terris says. "ARC is providing an important and humane solution to a very difficult problem."

For years, the mobile clinic has visited four Sarasota County locations every week, traversed to Manatee County several times a month, and visited North Port and Venice on a rotating basis. Starting in February, the mobile clinic will begin visiting Myakka City. The clinic provides free or discounted spaying and neutering services to residents who qualify by income.

For more details on the mobile clinic's schedule and income guidelines, and to make a reservation for your pet, call 955-1957, ext. 4.

Outreach to Mobile Home Communities

For 20 years, Sarasota's Sun-n-Fun RV Resort responded to an overpopulation of feral cats by trapping and sending them off to the county shelter, where the vast majority of them were systematically killed. For 20 years, the massive RV resort made no progress in eliminating its problem.

But when park managers finally began to work with feral cat advocates and implemented a Trap-Neuter-Return program in 2007, Sun-n-Fun's feral cat population stabilized and began to shrink.

ARC hopes to bring this same consciousness and success in feral cat management to participating trailer parks throughout the area by starting an education and trapping initiative in collaboration with park managers.  ARC will work with trailer park management to find colony caregivers, who will feed and monitor the cats' needs, watch for any new cats entering the colony, and ensure those newcomers are humanely trapped and sterilized.

Trailer parks are notorious for having large stray and feral cat populations because their residents are often more transient, says Feral Cat Program Director Caroline Resnick. Park managers who choose to remove cats soon discover the "vacuum effect:" unaltered cats move in to fill the space. Attempting to relocate the cats is also rarely successful, Resnick says, because colonies tend to bond with each other and are comfortable in their environment.

By contrast, a sterilized feral cat colony can actually play a valuable role in trailer parks: rodent elimination.

"We need to build an ongoing relationship with the management of trailer parks," Resnick says. "Management needs to understand that aggressive spay/neuter efforts will stop the breeding as well as nuisance behaviors such as spraying and fighting."

For more information on ARC's feral cat program, contact Resnick by clicking here.

Feral Cats: Why Feeding Bans Don't Work

BuddyLogoBuddy's feral cat program does more than spay and neuter feral cats.  We educate and advocate for their continued humane care.  
 This article is reprinted with permission from Alley Cat Allies.

Alley Cat Allies opposes feeding bans for feral cats. These bans are inherently cruel and do not come close to achieving their intended goals. Feeding ban laws, ordinances, and policies are misguided policy and are wholly ineffective.


Feeding bans do not work and are not scientifically supported. Attempts to eradicate feral cats by starvation fail because there are other food sources that are a by-product of urban and suburban environments. Feral cat populations' density and locations are not contingent on individuals intentionally providing food for the cats. Studies have shown that other sources of food are always available - including food scraps in household trash and municipal garbage facilities. Cats are territorial and bond to their surroundings. As scavengers, they can find food in garbage cans and dumpsters.

In certain situations, feral cats who have been fed on a consistent schedule can become dependent on their caregivers for food, and in these cases, to abruptly discontinue care is cruel and can lead to the death of some cats. But cats will not disappear simply because compassionate people can no longer legally feed them.

Feeding bans encourage cats to roam further to find food, making them more visible, which can actually increase calls to animal control. Managing a colony with a program that includes Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and consistent, organized feeding discourages roaming because neutered males are no longer searching for mates, and there is decreased competition for dominance rank. Cats who are fed on a regular schedule tend to stay in close proximity to their feeding stations. Feeders can also exercise control over the behavior of feral cats, by gradually moving their feeding stations into less-trafficked areas.

Feeding bans discourage the practice of TNR, which is the only effective course of action for stabilizing the feral cat population. Scientific studies as well as decades of hands-on experience show that TNR programs work to end the breeding cycle, improve the cats' health, and make them better neighbors by ending mating behaviors. With a feeding ban in place, TNR is impossible to carry out, and the cats continue to have new litters of kittens.

Feeding bans punish the very people who are working to improve conditions for the cats and for the community. In the last 20 years, the number of local nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping feral cats in the community has grown to over 250 nationwide. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, spending their own time and money, organize low-cost spay/neuter clinics, carry out Trap-Neuter-Return programs and organize foster programs for adoptable cats and kittens. These Good Samaritans are an asset to the community. Feeding bans force their work into secrecy.

Feedings bans are difficult to enforce. Compassionate people will continue to help the cats. Feeding bans are complaint-driven and rapidly deteriorate into a situation of extreme cruelty, with no net benefit to the community.

Feeding bans ignore the real problem, which is the lack of affordable spay/neuter services in the community. Feeding bans are punitive and tend to direct resources towards administrative tasks like enforcement and away from incentive-based programs that encourage spay/neuter. Ineffective ordinances like feeding bans are a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Alley Cat Allies encourages communities to reject cruel, punitive, and ineffective ordinances and instead to embrace humane programs that really work to stabilize the population and keep cats out of animal shelters, including Trap-Neuter-Return for feral cats and subsidized and low-cost spay/neuter for all cats.