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Jacksonville Humane Society Gets $100K Grant In Effort To Make Florida A No-Kill State

The Jacksonville Humane Society was awarded a $100,000 grant on Friday for a new mentorship program aimed at helping other communities in Florida reach no-kill status.

The grant was awarded to JHS by the Best Friends Animal Society, a national nonprofit that aims to end the “unnecessary death of dogs and cats in shelters.” According to Best Friends, “no-kill is achieved when an entire community, including all shelters, is saving at least 90 percent of pets in shelters.”

The remaining 10 percent of those animals “are not saveable,” said JHS CEO Denise Deisler. That includes animals that are too sick and can’t adequately be treated as well as animals who are deemed too dangerous to be safely released to the public.

JHS is a no-kill shelter and Jacksonville has been a no-kill community since 2014. But the rest of the state doesn’t stack up.

“Florida is the fourth worst state in the nation for animal deaths in shelters,” said Deisler.

So Best Friends is looking to JHS to help save animals in the Sunshine State.

“Jacksonville Humane, they just do everything effectively and efficiently. They really stay true to the mission,” said Kenny Lamberti, Southeast Regional Director of Best Friends. “They do work inside the shelter walls but also in the community to help keep dogs and cats in the community, with their families, so they don’t end up in the shelter system. Because even the greatest most beautiful shelters, like this is, it’s still not a home for a cat and dog.”

“We’re giving a $100,000 grant to the Jacksonville Humane Society for a mentorship and training hub, which is going to allow this organization to bring other organizations in to study best practices on how to implement more life saving practices at their own organization,” said Lamberti. “We’re hoping that they can be a leader here, and then spread that through the entire state of Florida and then even beyond that.”

“This grant allows the Humane Society to take our experience in creating a no-kill Jacksonville and mentoring and helping others in the state accomplish the same and improve their life saving,” Deisler said. “The grant moneys allow us to fill in with the staff and develop the curriculum and do what we need to help mentor in the other communities without taking anything away from the work that we’re doing here in Jacksonville.”

Approximately 4,100 shelter pets are killed every day nationwide because they don’t have a home. Statewide, about 53,000 animals are killed in shelters every year.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.