If someone wanted to help First Coast No More Homeless Pets. If they wanted to donate their time, money, or pet food, how can they do that? What’s the best way for people in the community that want to to help FCNMHP?
We rely so heavily on everybody’s support, we try to make it as easy as possible. We have a lot of different ways people can support us. If it’s a monetary donation that works great, they can do that online or they can come in to either of our locations.
In addition if they’re looking for volunteer opportunities, which really make a difference for our day to day operations, and definitely at these events. We rely on over 300 volunteers to pull off this mega pet adoption. They can contact us over the phone or on the website. We have a Volunteer Director that can come in and talk to them about different positions we have where they can make a difference.
Donating pet food is great because we do have our Pet Food Bank. We’ve donated well over a million pounds of pet food to families that need it, and they have different drop off locations throughout the city. They can drop it off at one of our veterinary hospitals, and if it’s a large donation we can even help with the pickup as well.
A lot of high school students today are required to volunteer, does First Coast No More Homeless Pets work specifically with high schools? Have you had high school students volunteer to get the credit(s) that they need?
Yes. Absolutely. We use a lot of younger volunteers this time of year for that very reason. We partner with a lot of local schools. Frank Peterson is one of the local schools. We actually take a lot of their students, and we offer internship opportunities. Part of that does come with volunteer hours.
They have the opportunity to come in and work alongside the team, and help support the teams. They get exposed to everything we do, and they really get a good feel for what it would be like to have a job working with animals.
Is there anything else you’d like potential adopters to know before visiting the Mega Pet Adoption Event?
I think the biggest thing they should know is, it [adoption] is truly saving a life, when they take the time to get to know an animal that’s been in the shelter. If they decide that they can take that pet home and make it a part of their family, they’re opening up a cage for another animal that’s going to come in, and it doesn’t put the animals at risk for euthanasia. So it is a lifesaving event.
Every single animal that walks out of the Jacksonville Fairgrounds, and follows a new family to their car, they really have changed that pet’s life. And hopefully their life will be changed by it too.
I think that’s something that can be lost on people at times. I even forget about it sometimes myself. It’s not just this pet that you’re helping, you’re clearing up space for the next pet that comes in.
Yes. Absolutely. The local rescue and shelter groups work so hard to have the resources available to care for these animals, but there is a constant flow of pets coming in. People that are looking to make a difference are the true heroes of this event.
I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today, Jennifer. I know you all are very busy, as always.
We love what we do and making a difference here. We’re really excited about this event. It’s been several months since we’ve had one. So hopefully there are lots of families looking for new fur-babies!
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.