Polk County made a list no one wants to be on, ranking as the top county in the state for the amount of animals euthanized.
Wednesday, officials took a big step to change that. Nearly 100 kittens and cats were transported to Virgina where they’ll hopefully find their forever homes.
In February, SPCA Florida in Lakeland was approached by the Best Friends Animal Society about making Polk County a no-kill county, and they got right to work.
“We are in our third month, and so far we have not had to euthanize any kittens due to lack of space,” said Shelley Thayer, Executive Director of SPCA Florida.
The main focus this year is to save all the kittens in the county by partnering with Animal Control of Polk County.
“Any animal that we can get out alive obviously is another animal that gets a new forever home,” said Kristall Barber with Polk County Animal Control.
Seventy-two cats and kittens were loaded up into vans for a road trip Wednesday in the group’s first transport. They’re all off to Charlottesville, Virginia with volunteers who are happy to help.
“We jumped on the road to come down, and our fosters are so eager to take these kittens and these nursing moms and get them back home,” said Chelsea Mitchell with SPCA Charlottesville.
SPCA Florida found six states with no kill programs that will hopefully play a role in this new initiative.
“Without programs like this, many of these kittens you see today would be parished,” said Thayer.
SPCA Charlottesville is making the transport free of charge. They will also spay and neuter the kittens before sending them to their foster homes.
If you’d like to volunteer with SPCA Florida in Lakeland, click here.