Leon County, Fla. is ASPCA's Newest Partner Community

<p>Collaboration Aims to Increase Adoptions, Decrease Euthanasia</p>
May 23, 2011

NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that Leon County, Fla. has been selected as the newest ASPCA Partner Community-one of 10 communities nationwide currently working with the ASPCA to provide positive outcomes for at-risk and homeless pets.

The ASPCA Partnership will include the following Tallahassee-area animal welfare agencies: Tallahassee-Leon Community Animal Service Center (or TLCASC, a city-run and operated shelter); the Leon County Humane Society (or LHS, a local pet adoption and advocacy organization); and Be The Solution, Inc. (or BTS, a local spay/neuter group).

"The Tallahassee community has already shown incredible support for its local animal welfare organizations by supporting TLCASC in last year's first-ever ASPCA $100K Challenge, where they won an award for the best community engagement," said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. "If the passion they demonstrated during that contest is any indication of their hard work, then I think we're going to see some amazing things from this community in the years to come."

"Our community is honored and grateful to be an ASPCA Partner," said Erika Leckington, executive director of TLCASC. "We are looking forward to a collaboration that will ultimately increase the numbers of dogs and cats we can save through more adoptions, return of lost pets to owners, transfer to agencies where adoption is guaranteed and targeted spaying and neutering, thereby decreasing the euthanasia rate of our shelter pets."

"Each of the organizations brings unique assets to the partnership. Building on the strong relationships which already exist while working in concert with the ASPCA will allow tremendous progress and benefit for the animals of our community," said LCHS Executive Director Sonya White.

"We are thrilled to be selected as an ASPCA Partner Community and hope this honor will bring even more attention to our efforts to provide spay/neuter vouchers to those in need in order to reduce pet overpopulation. By working together with the ASPCA, LCHS, and TLCASC we are confident that we will make a positive impact on the community," said Gerry Phipps, founder and president of BTS.

"Homelessness is the number one risk factor for companion animals in the United States," added Mr. Sayres. "We have proof that collaborative relationships within a community can work and believe that our partnership in Tallahassee will enable our partners to save even more animals."

Since 2007, the ASPCA has been lending its support, financially and through training and other human resources, to communities around the country with the goal of helping them save more animals. The ASPCA's work focuses a collective effort on sustainable, data-driven plans and programs that engage the community in providing positive outcomes for these animals.

Since the ASPCA began its Partner Community program in 2007, hundreds of thousands of animals have been adopted, returned to owners, transferred to other agencies where adoption is guaranteed or spay/neutered as a result of the exceptional collaboration among partner agencies in each community.

In addition to Leon County, Fla., the ASPCA's Partner Communities are Austin, Texas; Buncombe County, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Cleveland, Ohio; Miami-Dade County, Fla., Oklahoma City, Okla.; Sacramento, Calif.; Shelby County, Ala.; and Spokane, Wash. The ASPCA's investment in these partnerships--in the form of direct grants, capacity-building, training, ASPCA staff expertise, and strategic planning--varies from a one- to five-year period to address homeless animal issues in each community.