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The ARC Advocate

February  2012
Available for Adoption
Manatee kitten for adoption
Animal I.D. #A048344
Isn't she adorable?  Manatee County Animal Services gets creative, partnering with local photographers to produce high quality photos of available cats and dogs,  This means more animals are getting out of the shelter and into homes.  For more information, go to  Photo: Benjamin McGraw Photography.
ARC's Upcoming Gala Event
ARCademy Awards Gala Event
Animal Rescue Coalition's Best in Show Gala is on February 18, 2012 at Michael's on East.  "The ARCademy Awards" will feature the best animal films of all time.  Attendees will vote for their favorite film with their RSVP card.  Tickets are $200 and feature cocktails, dinner, dancing and a live and silent auction. Don't miss out on what will be THE animal event of the season.
Dog's Night Out at Saks
Dog's Night Out

Don't miss ARC's annual Dog's Night Out at Saks Fifth Avenue on March 9 from 6-8 pm.  The theme of the event, co-chaired by Wendy Mann Resnick and Deb Knowles, is "Run With The Big Dogs" and features dogs from some of Sarasota's most influential leaders


Tickets are $75 and $25 per dog.  Includes cocktails and tapas.  Call 941-957-1955 ext 7. 

ARC's New Medical Directors
Dr. David Smith
Dr. David Smith, ARC's Medical Director and Chief of Staff at Bay Road Animal Hospital

Animal Rescue Coalition is pleased to announce that Dr. David Smith and Dr. Nan Rosenberry of Bay Road Animal Hospital have become Medical Directors for the organization.    


The doctors will oversee the clinical consultation of the mobile spay/neuter clinic,  the maintenance and implementation of  protocols, provide emergency care through ARC's Emergency Medical Fund,  and oversee compliance regarding state laws and regulations.


Dr. Rosenberry has been an active volunteer with ARC for twelve years. "I'm very excited to be taking an even more active role in Animal Rescue Coalition's programs," said Dr. Rosenberry.  "Dr. Smith and I believe in ARC's mission and look forward to taking ARC to a new level," Rosenberry added.


Dr. Rosenberry
Dr. Nan Rosenberry, ARC's Medical Director
Bay Road Animal Hospital is an AAHA accredited hospital  with  two locations in Sarasota.  Bay Road also brings additional knowledge and resources via their practice manager of  23 years, Lisa Beaumont, and  Trevor Baxter  who is Bay Road's hospital administrator.  Both are invaluable in putting new protocols into place allowing ARC to expand its program services and help more animals.

Dr. Smith has been practicing veterinary medicine for over 35 years and has owned Bay Road Animal Hospital since 1980.  He has over three decades of veterinary experience, treating small animals such as cats, dogs, birds, and exotics.  He attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine after completing his undergraduate work, graduating in 1973. 

Dr. Rosenberry brings more than 19 years of veterinary experience and has had an interesting life and career.   She earned her veterinary degree from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Boston.  She also has a BS from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  She joined the Peace Corps from 1985-1989 and served in Honduras. She moved to Sarasota in 1999 and has donated more than 500 hours of her time volunteering for feral cat programs. She's married to her husband Steve and has an 8 year old son Connor who attends Pine View School for gifted children.   

Trevor at Bay Road
Trevor Baxter and
Lisa Beaumont
Lisa Beaumont and Punkin
Nathan Winograd in Tampa on How to Build a No Kill Community
Nathan Winograd
To learn more,
The two counties adjacent to the north of Sarasota County - Manatee and Hillsborough - have committed to becoming true No Kill communities by adopting the 11-point program promoted by national No Kill leader Nathan Winograd. On Saturday, Feb. 4, Winograd offered a three-hour No Kill workshop in Tampa.  In attendance at the workshop were ARC representatives, animal welfare professionals, animal group leaders, and feral cat advocates who wanted the latest recommendations on saving the lives of as many local cats and dogs as possible.

Winograd said one of the keys to succeeding in becoming a No Kill community is "comprehensive" implementation of  the 11 points in the program.  "It must not be limited to a few dozen animals (being adopted out) or a couple of hundred surgeries."

While 30 places in the United States have now succeeded in implementing his definition of No Kill, which means saving more than 90% of the animals being turned in to local shelters, other places have selectively adopted only parts of the program or implemented programs partially.  In those cases, the change to No Kill does not happen quickly and critics then attack the movement saying it does not work.

What are the 11 parts of the program?  

  1. A TNR Program
  2. High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter
  3. Working with Rescue Groups
  4. A Foster Care Program
  5. Comprehensive Adoption Programs
  6. Pet Retention Efforts
  7. Medical and Behavioral Rehabilitation
  8. Public Relations / Community Involvement
  9. Working with Volunteers
  10. Progressive Field Services & Proactive Redemptions
  11. A Compassionate Director

"No Kill is not going away," Winograd told the audience of about 300.

In his talk, Winograd covered the 100-year-plus history of animal sheltering.  He gave the background of Henry Bergh, the founder of the ASPCA and talked about the history of humane societies.  The push to stop the killing of animals as a way to manage shelter populations began in the 1970s with the first four spay-neuter clinics opening in Los Angeles.  While the killing of massive numbers of pet animals immediately decreased there, the program only ran a few years before government budget cutting ended it.

The true answer to the problem still lies in high volume, low-cost sterilization, he said. Meanwhile, in the United States, the cultural attitude toward pet animals has changed radically as animals have gone from being viewed as farm workers to backyard pets to beloved family members who live indoors and sleep in the beds of their owners. The public largely believes now that it is wrong to kill animals in shelters unless they are very sick or very aggressive.

"Dogs and cats have gone from the barnyard to the backyard to the bedroom," Winograd said. "We have entered the age of companion animals... It's not about money, it's about leadership."

He criticizes many current shelter leaders as "hiding behind excuses" that the public is to blame for pet overpopulation and other factors in which they claim that shelter killing is necessary.  Winograd notes that there is a substantial increase today in spending, both on pets and animal welfare issues.  His statistics say that this year, 23 million Americans will bring new pets into their homes.  With 4 million cats and dogs estimated to be killed each year now in U.S. shelters, Winograd argues that there are plenty of new homes to save 3.6 million of these animals.

Several million families will purchase animals from breeders and others already know they will get a shelter pet or "rescue" animal, but some 17 million are undecided.  The No Kill solution has a heavy focus on reaching this audience and convincing them to adopt one of the cats or dogs that would otherwise be killed at a shelter.

"No Kill starts at the top. We must hold shelter and political leadership accountable," Winograd said.

Chief of Manatee County Animal Services, Kris Weiskopf 

Kicking off the conference was Manatee County Animal Services Director Kris Weiskopf, who said his team of top management heard Winograd's philosophy about one year ago and decided to change its operating model.  Weiskopf had run Manatee's animal control for 13 years under the old way of doing things, and now since embracing No Kill, his community is seeing success.  His goal is to save 91% of incoming animals by December 2012.

Weiskopf also credited Winograd's book, Redemption, with providing inspiration to undertake a strong No Kill effort.


At the end of the meeting, Tampa leaders said their county commission is being presented with a new policy to change Hillsborough along the lines of the Manatee No Kill program.  Tampa currently is seeking a new director for its shelter, and the hiring process will require candidates to not only be familiar with No Kill but to embrace it.

Winograd said he is now appealing to shelter directors like Weiskopf  to ask themselves, what will be their legacy?  Will they be remembered as the one who wouldn't change and whose programs didn't work, or will they move forward with this new approach?

20 Year Feral Cat Veteran Barbara McCarten
Barb McCarten
A friend to feral cats, Barb McCarten 
Venice resident Barbara McCarten has been trapping cats locally in south Sarasota county since 1992, way  before formal and widely accepted trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs were even thought about. She is 76 years young and  "retired," although she probably works harder now for the cats than she did in her previous careers as a hospital worker, and before that, a catholic nun.

After 20 years of non-paid cat rescue work, her friends want to know why she doesn't stop trapping cats and enjoy her retirement years more. "Who else would do it?" she responds. "Can you imagine what this place would look like if no one helped the ferals?"  She is looking for someone to pick up where she will leave off one day, but McCarten says it's difficult to find a volunteer who is willing to do all the hard work of cat trapping and sticking with it permanently.
In the meantime, she has lost count of the number of cats she has helped, guessing it to be in the hundreds.  With her slim figure and neatly cropped white hair, one would never guess that McCarten is strong enough to expend the huge amount of physical energy it takes to do mass cat trapping.  Those who know her realize she is underestimating by far how many cats she has brought into clinics, or how much she has spent of her own money to spay and neuter feral cats through the years when funding was nonexistent.  She also has found homes for hundreds of  free-roaming cats and kittens once back from surgery.  "Many times people end up taking the cats in.  It makes me feel good to get them off the streets."
The two most significant areas of feral cat overpopulation in her trapping territory are North Port and Nokomis.  McCarten says, "The reason is that people in these communities are constantly abandoning unfixed cats that are left to fend for themselves."
Closer to home, McCarten has taken on a large scale trap-neuter-return project at a Honda dealership.  She has worked with great dedication and has full cooperation of the business owners and their managers.  More than 30 cats have been through the trap-neuter-return program and many kittens adopted into homes from the cat colony.  Today, two years after the project, the location is still under her watchful eye.  She is happy to report that no kittens have been born at that location in 2011.  The employees feed the cats, and in return, the cats do their job in keeping the rodents away.  Some of the cats have won the hearts of the employees, and those cats have been promoted to house pet status. 
McCarten recalls the last litter of kittens at the Honda dealership. "They were born in a stack of tires."   Even though they were "feral" kitties, she took them to a nursing home and immediately the kittens were being cuddled lovingly by the Seniors.  "They were as tame as anything you've ever seen, even though they were supposed to be 'feral,'" she said.  Barb is also quick to point out that the mother cat was spayed and brought back to the colony once the kittens were old enough. 
McCarten comes to nearly every ARC Buddy's Feral Cat Day, usually bringing 8 to ten cats from all over south Sarasota County.  She says the biggest change in her 20 years of working a trap-neuter-return program here is the presence of more TNR groups like ARC, Sarasota in Defense of Animals, and the Venice Cat Coalition. "The funds are there now," she said.  Her own cat rescue group is known as Feral Friends, and she also works closely with St. Francis Animal Rescue of  Venice.

If you would like to help feral cats in south Sarasota county, please click on the donate button below. 

The Animal Rescue Coalition is a not-for-profit organization whose 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 efforts, feral cat program, and various other initiatives designed to recognize the profound benefits to people of animal companionship.