More than 170,000 unwanted pets are killed in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties each year. Tri-County Animal Rescue is a no-kill nonprofit animal shelter, seeking to reduce and end the practice of euthanizing homeless animals. Since their founding in 2001, they have saved more than 50,000 domestic animals from being euthanized, and found them homes through the adoption center.
Suzi Goldsmith, Co-Founder & Executive Director, says that Tri County believes every animal should have a happy forever home: "We are important because we are a 100% no kill animal shelter. We do not believe in euthanasia unless the animal is so ill that even after we have done everything to try and save their life, it is undeniable that they are suffering. I do not wish to speak on behalf of kill shelters or other shelters in the area and their reasoning. I just know that we are important because we think every animal has the right to live a happy life."
A no-kill shelter must meet two criteria: first, an animal must never be killed except for a humane reason, to end pain and suffering, and second, the shelter must never transfer an animal to another facility that does euthanize animals.
The shelter relies on donations and volunteers. There are fundraising events events year-round, says Goldsmith: "We recently had our 14th annual Doggie Ball on April 10th with 673 people attending. It was our 20th anniversary celebration. In 2016, we held the Doggie Ball, the Kentucky Derby party and on November 20th this year we will be having the Peppermint Bark and Brunch in West Palm Beach." The shelter also runs a thrift shop, and donations for the shop and shelter are welcome.
The shelter could not operate without volunteers, she adds: "Many of our volunteers have been with us for 10 or 20 years. We would not be the shelter we are today without the support we have received from our wonderful volunteers." Volunteers help with a range of tasks like fostering, fundraising, donating supplies, special projects, events, dog walking, and the cat room.
Despite the hardships faced by shelter workers and animals alike, the success stories make it all worthwhile.
"We adopted Magic a black kitten and he has been such an amazing addition to our home. We are so grateful we were able to bring him into our home. He couldn't be happier and we couldn't be happier with him. He's such a joy in our lives! Thank you so much to all of you for matching us with such a perfect kitten!"
"Hi I adopted Sassy in January and I just wanted to let you know that she is the most fabulous dog in the world. We have bonded since the first hour she was here. I have learned so much about her and I know there is more to come. We sleep together and she never leaves my side. Thanks so much for my little angel."