SPCA Suncoast pet shelter's financial situation is 'dire,' threatening to close

SPCA Suncoast has been around for over 50 years
Posted at 5:53 PM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 02:49:17-04

When dogs and cats around New Port Richey are down on their luck, they might end up at the SPCA Suncoast. But now, after serving the community for over 50 years, it's the shelter that needs saving.

"It's breaking our hearts. It's very sad," says Dee Ford, the President of the shelter's Board of Directors.

Ford took over as President about a year ago, which is when she realized just how bad the financial situation is.

"I said, 'Oh my Lord,' you know? This isn't good," says Ford.

The non-profit pet shelter doesn't get money from county, state or federal governments, or even from the national SPCA organization. Ford says they rely on donations, which are down dramatically from years past so far in 2017.

"A lot of good people donate food to us. They donate cleaning supplies. I don't know where we would be without them," Ford tells ABC Action News.

Ford says, in the past, donation funds may have been taken for granted, and so there wasn't much saved up.

She says they are working these days with a very strict budget, and hope to do more community outreach.

"We also have a new shelter manager who is absolutely motivated to work with the community which we haven't done enough of," says Ford. "We need to work with the community and show them what we do here."

What they do, in addition to spay and neuter surrendered or abandoned animals, is commit to what they say is a "no-kill policy" while employing 6 people full-time.

And right now they are caring for about 40 dogs and about 80 cats.

Shelter Manager Justin Edwards says he is finding no-cost alternatives -- like zip-tied fencing and leashes for locks -- because the shelter doesn't have the money right now to replace broken or rusted cages.

Ford tells ABC Action News they need at least $25,000 to keep the lights on for another month or two. 

If you want to donate, click HERE. The pet shelter has also launched a GoFundMe campaign.