The ARC Advocate
March 2011 - Vol 1, Issue 3
In This Issue
ARC's New Leader
Buddy's Feral Cat Program Honored
ARC's Emergency Medical Fund
Buddy's "Dream Team"
"Don't Call it Euthanasia"
Credits & Contact
Editor and Writer:   Chris Hawes

Contributing Editors: 
Caroline Resnick and Brenda Terris


941-780-3046 or

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

ADDY Awards for ARC

ARC's new branding campaign, "They Don't Understand But You Do," earned three silver ADDY's from the Suncoast chapter of the American Advertising Federation. The campaign adorns ARC's website, brochures and posters. It was conceptualized by Morrow & Co., a Sarasota-based communications consultant company owned by ARC board member Debra Morrow. Click on the photo to see our website.


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Brenda Terris: ARC's New Executive Director  

Brenda Terris

Brenda Terris, ARC's new executive director

More than two decades of marketing experience and widespread name recognition among Sarasota's philanthropists are just two standout qualities of Brenda Terris, the new executive director of  the Animal Rescue Coalition.


The former executive director of Sarasota Season of Sculpture, Terris describes herself as "proactive" and a "pet enthusiast."  She comes to ARC after three years with Season of Sculpture, five years as a marketing executive with the Wall Street Journal, and more than a decade in senior marketing positions for PricewaterhouseCoopers.


Terris took over the position full-time in September. "What hasn't been a challenge?" she says of her job. "I walked into a situation where the former executive director and office manager had both left.  And there are some huge issues I've dealt with since coming on board."


Those big issues include attracting $80,000 in new grant funds by writing more effective grants, and pursuing plans to either renovate ARC's existing office or seek out new, more accessible headquarters.


"She works very hard and has already had two successful events," says Ed Sarbey, ARC co-founder, referring to Terris's leadership of January's Dogs' Night Out and February's Gala, each of which surpassed fundraising goals. "She has raised the idea of 'hitting the ground running' to an art form."


Sarbey said he was drawn to Terris by her impressive local references from people familiar with her work with the Sarasota Season of Sculpture. 


Soon, Terris will set her sights on reviving ARC's adoption program, which has fallen by the wayside over several years of leadership transition. "There was a time when 13 organizations looked to ARC as their parent organization, and I think we just kind of fell out of that," Terris says. "I think it's a key goal for us to become a leader in local adoption efforts, as a clearinghouse."


Terris hopes to diversify ARC's board to be more ethnically inclusive and to represent a greater diversity of professions. She also plans to continue improving ARC's ability to attract grants. 

Buddy's Feral Cat Program Honored   



Buddy's Feral Cat Program, one of Sarasota's most active and effective humane spay/neuter programs, was named Sarasota's Best Feral Cat Program by the Sarasota Pet's Choice Awards.


"This is good news for society's forgotten cats," says Caroline Resnick, director of the feral cat program, which sterilized almost 1,300 cats last year and prevented more than 8,000 kittens from being born without a home. "It shows that feral cats and efforts to humanely care for them are being accepted by the mainstream."


The program works with residents, experienced trappers and feral cat colony caregivers throughout Sarasota and even Charlotte counties. In addition to a feral cat clinic that provides sterilization and vaccinations to up to 120 feral cats monthly, the program equips concerned citizens with humane traps and education on the practice of Trap-Neuter-Return. 

Rhino and McRib: ARC's Emergency Medical Fund (EMF) at Work
rhino healthy

Rhino, a rescued pit bull mix, after recovering under the care of Ashton Animal Clinic and ARC's Emergency Medical Fund

When "McRib" first arrived at Ashton Animal Clinic in late January, he was more than 60 percent underweight, weighing only 37 pounds when he should have weighed 80.  He couldn't walk, and his scrotum was "literally scalded" from being left by his former owners in his own urine, says Leila Cucknell, Ashton's clinic manager.


A week later, "Rhino" arrived in nearly the same condition: drastically underweight, with his collar embedded into his neck.

rhino before recovery

Rhino, a rescued pit bull mix, before his recovery


Both pit bull mixes had been rescued by Sarasota County Animal Services from neglectful owners. Both have now been nursed back to health thanks to the staff at Ashton, and to ARC's Emergency Medical Fund (EMF). "They're both totally amazing creatures," Cucknell says. "They are completely forgiving animals. With their loving personalities, you'd never know they had such a rough start on life. They're forever grateful, and you can just see it by the way they are now."


The EMF funds medical supplies for stray or abandoned animals, and the fund helped more than 600 animals last year. Dr. Laurie Walmsley, Ashton's owner and ARC's medical director, donates her time and services to save animals like McRib and Rhino.


But the support doesn't end there. Ashton and ARC also work to find homes for the animals they save. McRib, for instance, was adopted by Bradenton resident John Baumgarten after Ashton posted a picture of him on CraigsList. "He's happy, and hyper, and just loveable," Baumgarten says. "He's a dog I can go and play fetch with, and just enjoy time with in the yard.  I feel great about adopting him."


Rhino is still waiting to be adopted, and the EMF still needs your support to save animals that otherwise would be left to suffer and often die. To inquire about adopting Rhino, call Ashton Animal Clinic at 927-2700. To lend your support to this one-of-a-kind program, click the donation button below.


Make a Donation 

Feral Cat Day Volunteers: ARC's "Dream Team"

Buddy's Feral Cat Dream Team

Buddy's Feral Cat "Dream Team"

On the third Sunday of every month, 30 to 40 volunteers arrive at Ashton Animal Clinic between 6 and 7:30 a.m.  They toil for four to eight hours on a dozen tasks involved in spaying and neutering up to 120 cats at each monthly clinic.


They're all part of what  feral cat program director Caroline Resnick calls the "dream team:"  everyday people who help Resnick run the feral cat clinic that is Buddy's Feral Cat Program.  "These are people who have a real love of animals," Resnick says. "We all want to make a difference in our community, and that's the glue that holds us together."


The volunteers' jobs include anesthetizing cats, cleaning cages, prepping cats for surgery, administering medications and vaccinations, monitoring the cats' recovery, and cleaning up. 


Davette Shaffer, for example, oversees the cats' recovery after surgery and has been a "dream team" member since 2007. "I volunteer because I want to help the cats out," says Shaffer, who also helps out at other area feral cat clinics. "I feel so bad for them. There's so many of them, and the public in general has this idea about them that says 'so what?' or 'it's just an animal,' or 'I can't afford to feed it' or this and that."


Lucy Cowan joined the program as a volunteer in 2010 after Resnick helped her spay and neuter a colony of feral cats that Cowan was feeding near Sarasota High School.  In addition to fulfilling whatever needs arise during the clinic itself, Cowan has built ramps and other structures for the program.  She has also recruited other volunteers to join the effort. "I like the feeling of knowing that the male cats aren't going to be fighting and tearing up each other, and knowing that females won't have to endure getting beat up to protect their kittens.  And I like the people.  There are a lot of friendships made at Feral Cat Day."


Joyce Fuller is another volunteer who helps out at other area feral cat clinics. Fuller, who handles vaccinations, began volunteering in 2009 after she was referred to the program by the Cat Depot.  She hasn't missed a clinic since. "It's like a M.A.S.H. unit. You haven't really got time to think.  You just have to do it.  It's am amazing experience to take care of all of these cats, usually upwards of 100.  Most people cannot even imagine what it's like."


For those who cannot volunteer their time, financial help is always welcome and needed because the program is provided to the community for free, Resnick emphasizes.  If you'd like to donate to Buddy's Feral Cat Program, click on the donation button below.

Make a Donation

Guest Column: "Please Don't Call It Euthanasia!"

tina clark

Blogger Tina Clark with her dog Tess

This article is reprinted with permission from Tina Clark from her blog, "With Respect to Animals." Tina can be reached at

"Euthanasia: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy." (Webster's 10th Collegiate Dictionary)


The vast majority of animals killed in pounds are not hopelessly sick or injured, and yet so many of the e-mails I receive, articles and rescue posts I read, or people I hear speaking about animals in the pound who are about to be killed say that they are going to be "euthanized." This is not euthanasia. Being killed when you are healthy or treatable and want very much to live is not a "good death" (the literal meaning of the word).


I would like to appeal to everyone involved in rescue and animal advocacy (and everyone else for that matter) to stop using the word euthanasia when describing an animal who is not terminally ill or irremediably suffering, but is being killed by the "shelter" only for ostensible lack of space. We must stop using euphemisms that hide the truth, even in an attempt to be "politically correct." To use this word in this way is not only inaccurate, but it plays into the idea that killing is the best thing for the animal, even if he/she is healthy or treatable. It gives the killing an aura of legitimacy and kindness that it should not have, and it therefore helps to perpetuate the killing. Words are powerful, and the words we use, and hear used, affect our attitudes and world view in profound ways we often don't even realize.


When I have made this appeal in the past, I have been asked what word I suggest be used instead. While there are a number of words that would be much more accurate than euthanasia, the most obvious, straightforward, and accurate choice is simply killing. There is no need for dramatics. I'm not advocating that people use inflammatory words like murder or slaughter (although some would argue that these words are even more accurate). I am simply advocating that we speak the truth and do not continue to use a word that is not only grossly inaccurate, but also does a great disservice to the animals.


So I ask you to please join with me and pledge not to use the word euthanasia when referring to killing healthy or treatable animals. And when you hear others using the word, please also remind them to do the same. If we all insist on this correct usage, we can change the way people talk about killing for space. Of course, this will not stop the killing, but it will put it in its true light, and that will go a long way to help people see it for what it really is, and that can only be a step forward.

ARC is a charitable, (501)c(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to end the killing of adoptable dogs and cats by means of a proactive spay/neuter program, comprehensive adoption effort, feral cat program and various other initiatives designed to recognize the profound benefits to people of animal companionship.