Jacksonville Humane Society to help other shelters obtain no-kill status

JHS receives $100K grant to start new mentorship program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In an effort to make sure every animal has a home, the Jacksonville Humane Society was presented Friday morning with a $100,000 check from Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization, to help end shelter deaths in Florida.

The grant aims to cut down on the number of pets euthanized in shelters. According to Best Friends Animal Society, about 4,100 shelter pets nationwide are killed every day simply because they don’t have a home. Florida is one of the states where the largest number of shelter pets are killed. 

"It's unfortunate, no one wants that designation for their state. I think it just calls to the need. That's why we're here," said Kenny Lamberti, Best Friends' southeast regional director.

JHS is a no-kill animal shelter and does not euthanize healthy or treatable companion animals in its care. The nonprofit organization credits community involvement for finding forever homes for animals through fostering, volunteerism and financial contributions. 

"Keeping the community informed, aware and engaged -- not just always going to them when we have a problem," said Denise Deisler, CEO of JHS. 

With the financial contribution from Best Friends, JHS will be able to start a new mentorship program. JHS will host other shelters and organizations in the state, share its successful model, and provide in-depth training. Organizations will then be able to come up with individual strategies for their communities, with the goal of making Florida a no-kill state. 

"For us it's a way to paw it forward, because we learned the things we learned by reaching out others," Deisler said. "(It's) nice to be able to repay that and share with others."

JHS is assisting Best Friends in its mission to bring every shelter to no-kill status by 2025.