The past two years have cost many their lives or their livelihoods, and more animals
than usual were dropped off or surrendered to shelters during the pandemic shutdown.
munity and became aware that the animal welfare
community — organizations whose mission is to
help advocate and care for animals, were operating
well beyond their caring capacity.”
When the original Humane Society of St. Lucie
County’s shelter closed, the municipalities it served
created a shelter, but it wasn’t in the business of
accepting animals that were dropped off when
someone’s new landlord wouldn’t allow pets; were
brought in when an owner died and no one could
step in; or were left at the roadside when someone
decided they no longer wanted the responsibility of
caring for an animal.
Kittams says that the dozens of incredibly caring
animal welfare organizations in St. Lucie County
were stretched well beyond their capacity to provide
adequate and compassionate care.
“Any organization can only handle so much, and
that’s what was happening here,” Kittams says.
“Local rescue shelters were being overwhelmed, and
understandably, the City of Fort Pierce and St. Lucie
County did not want to be in the business of animal
sheltering, but the need was tremendous and it
looked like it would go on forever.
“In an effort to provide for the animals, we put
together a proposal to start a new nonprofit, founded
with the sole goal of administrating an open admission
humane society at the Savannah Road location,”
According to the Humane Society of the United
States, “An open-admission humane society means >>
Whenever it is possible, Sunrise Humane
Society does its best to help its pet owners
in need with pet food to help get through