top of page
  • Writer's pictureSusan Houser

Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville is a city of 837,000 people on the northeast coast of Florida.  It is the largest city in Florida and the 12th largest city in the United States. The city is located in Duval County, which has a population of about 865,000. The governments of the city and county were consolidated in 1968. The Jacksonville metro area has over 1.3 million people, which is the 4th largest metro area in Florida after Miami, Tampa-St. Petersburg, and Orlando.

The Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services Division (ACPSD) is a city-run department that handles animal control and sheltering for the city and Duval County. The shelter accepts owner surrenders with no noted restrictions except for a small fee. It does not perform owner-requested euthanasia.

ACPSD works closely with two large non-profits in the city. The Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS) takes in some strays and adoptable owner surrenders and pulls animals from ACPSD. First Coast No More Homeless Pets (FCNMHP) offers low-cost spay-neuter, vaccinations, and veterinary care, and does over 30,000 spay-neuter surgeries per year.  FCNMHP collaborates with ACPSD and Best Friends Animal Society in a program called Feral Freedom  that  has made Trap-Neuter-Return the default solution for feral cats in Jacksonville.

In 2014 the city of Jacksonville and Duval County became one of the largest No Kill jurisdictions, with a live release rate for ACPSD of 92%. If animals who died or were lost in shelter care are counted as euthanasias, the modified live release rate was 90% for 2014. Combined shelter statistics for ACPSD and JHS have been provided by JHS, but are not in the format I use for calculations. JHS’s live release rate was even higher than ACPSD’s, though. Total intake for ACPSD and JHS for the year was 17,099, which is about 20 animals per 1000 people. That intake number does not include the feral cats who go through the Feral Freedom program.

At the 2014 Best Friends national conference, the Jacksonville coalition presented a playbook detailing how they got to No Kill. For years they have had a heavy reliance on spay-neuter programs, including their model feral cat program, to bring down intake. The coalition is also doing a lot of adoptions – ACPSD and JHS did over 10,000 adoptions in 2014. That is 12 adoptions per 1000 people.

ACPSD’s live release rate was 35% or less from the year 2000 up until Scott Trebatoski was hired as director in late 2008. The live release rate climbed to 50% in 2009, his first full year as director, then went to 74% in 2012 and 85% in 2013. Trebatoski left ACPSD in March 2014 to become director of the Hillsborough County (Tampa) shelter, and was replaced by Nikki Harris. Harris previously worked for the Nebraska Humane Society and FCNMHP before moving to ACPSD as shelter manager.

Jacksonville-Duval County is counted in the Running Totals as a 90%+ community.

1 view


bottom of page