Are you a no kill shelter?
No. The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast (HSTC) is an open admission shelter – meaning we never turn animals away regardless of health or temperament. There is no time limit an animal can be housed by the HSTC. No kill shelters pick and choose the animals they will provide care for, turning animals away on a daily basis.
What is your euthanasia policy?
We take the responsibility of euthanasia very seriously. It is one of the most important humane services we provide. Our policy and procedures are aligned with the best practices for euthanasia as suggested by the Florida Animal Control Association. The drugs used to euthanize animals are all strictly monitored by state and federal authorities and allow for no suffering for the animals; and we are routinely inspected to insure that we are following state guidelines. We have a three-member committee that oversees all euthanasia decisions at the shelter. Staff and veterinarians serve on a rotating basis in order to avoid “compassion fatigue.”
How do you determine what animals will be euthanized?
Not all euthanasia decisions are determined by HSTC. Pet owners, veterinarians and animal services can all request that an animal be euthanized. HSTC always treats euthanasia as the last resort. Many animals cannot be placed in homes for adoption for various reasons previously stated. At times animals brought to our shelter are terminally ill or have been so gravely injured that there are no viable options to save the animal. Sadly, there are times the only humane option is to euthanize the animal. Currently, Martin County laws do not allow us to trap, neuter or spay feral animals for release back into the wild, but we are working to change that.
Some critics have said that HSTC has performed inhumane euthanasia.
HSTC follows strict guidelines set forth by the Florida Animal Control Association, which is approved by the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine. All HSTC technicians are state certified and have completed a 16-hour course before they can perform euthanasia as required by Florida Statute 828.058. Florida statute does not require a veterinarian to be present for euthanasia. The HSTC has undergone four independent investigations – none of which have found us to be in violation of any statutes nor have we performed any inhumane actions.
Do you work with rescue groups?
Yes. We encourage partnerships with rescue organizations. We have teamed with over 100 organizations from around the state.
Despite what some may claim it is important to understand that the majority of animals that we transfer to rescue organizations were never going to be euthanized or considered for euthanasia at our shelter.
How long do you hold stray animals before you place them up for adoption?
By law we have to hold them for five nights. On the sixth day if the animal is healthy we begin assessing and preparing the animal for potential adoption.