Sierra – a sweet, playful one-year-old terrier mix – was transferred to the Jacksonville Humane Society from another shelter in May 2016. When she arrived, staff and volunteers immediately noticed that she was extremely shy in and out of her kennel. Not only was she afraid of the leash, but she had to be carried around the shelter because she was too afraid to walk! Our behavior team swept into action and made a behavior modification plan for Sierra.

Our staff and volunteers worked with Sierra to build her confidence so that she could be placed up for adoption and find a forever home. She really enjoyed spending time with other dogs, so we paired her up with other pups when being leashed, leaving her kennel, and even during walks. Slowly, staff saw improvements. A tail wag here, a gentle nudge there. Sierra was on the right path!

In addition to using a companion dog during her training, the staff and volunteers patiently fed her stinky (but delicious!) wet food by hand and enticed her with other high-valued treats like spray cheese and peanut butter. Using these high-value treats verses a common treat really gave Sierra the incentive to push past her fears. These techniques helped her to build confidence, build trust in people and even look forward to spending time with them!

Soon, this one shy girl became the life of the party. She actively sought out attention from staff, volunteers, and even adopters! Her new mom came to JHS looking for a best friend and after one look at those big brown eyes, she decided that Sierra was the one. Proudly sitting next to her new mom while the adoption paperwork was completed, Sierra was a totally different dog. It took time, patience, and a whole lot of treats, but thanks to the help of our staff and volunteers, this once timid and fearful pup is now a confident dog who makes a new friend wherever she goes!

Our behavior team is here to not only help the dogs and cats at JHS. Do you have a behavior concern or need guidance? Make sure you  visit our website, complete with a behavior library, resources, training schedule and contact information to help guide you and your furry family member in the right direction. 

Read the latest version of our newsletter before it’s mailed to your home!

Highlights include updates on our new buildings, a life-saving story for a 1 lb. kitten who was thrown from a car, and secret update about our Toast to the Animals event!

Join us this Saturday and Sunday for FREE pet adoptions! It’s going to be one Bow-Wow-Meow of a LUAU that you don’t want to miss. Hundreds of cats and dogs for a $0 adoption fee! (Additional fees may apply.)

What: Free Dog, Cat, Kitten and Puppy Adoptions!

When: Saturday, June 11th 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  and Sunday, June 12th 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.


The Jacksonville Humane Society, 8464 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32216

Animal Care & Protective Services, 2020 Forest Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204

This event is sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society! #SaveThemAll

Bow-Wow-Meow- LUAU FB Flyer

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please click here to view the event on Facebook and directly contact our staff!

Do you have puppies, kittens, or small dogs?
If there are puppies, kittens, or small dogs, they will be adopted quickly, so we advise you to come early.

How can I see the pets who will be available for adoption?

Jacksonville Humane Society Pets: Click Here

Animal Care and Protective Services Pets: Click Here

Please remember – things change hourly at each shelter so there are no guarantees that a pet will still be available when you arrive.

What does the “Free Adoption” or “$0 Adoption Fee” include?

The adoption fees that we collect help us provide food, shelter, important medical care and inoculations for the animals. Each adoption fee includes the following for your new pet (retail value is approximately $400):

  • Cost of spaying and neutering
  • Initial inoculations
  • Microchip implant (all animals)
  • FeLV/FIV Combo Test (Feline Only)
  • Occult Heartworm Test
  • Flea and Tick Prevention
  • Monthly Parasite Prevention

Are the pets fixed? Vaccinated?
Yes, every pet available for adoption will be fixed and given their vaccinations, including rabies. The only exception to the rabies vaccine is kittens and puppies under 4 months of age.

What should I bring?
Please bring your photo ID.

Can I bring my own pets to meet potential new ones?
Shelters and busy events can be stressful for pets! Ask our staff about the sleepover program.

Where can I see the pets who will be available?
Shelters do not know in advance which pets they can bring because we will be doing adoptions at our facilities until Friday. You can always view adoptable animals at and

What does “Additional Fees May Apply” mean?

The city of Jacksonville requires all adopters under the age of 62 living within Duval County (excluding Jacksonville Beach) to purchase a rabies tag at the time of adoption for any pet that has received its rabies vaccination. The cost for the tag is $20. Some exceptions to apply: click here for more information on pet licensing.

All dogs must go home on a collar and leash and all cats must be in a carrier. You can bring these items with you, or they are available to purchase at the Jacksonville Humane Society boutique for a minimal cost.

The purchase of heartworm prevention will be added to the adoption fee for dogs over six months. Prices vary from $30 to $40 depending on the weight of the dog. If you’d prefer, you may purchase up to a one-year supply for the dog you adopt.

It’s “Dog Bite Prevention Week” and this is a great time to remind ourselves and others that dog bites can be prevented!

Many of us grew up with a family pet. There is a lot more information available now to keep our pets and our kids safe. Always supervise children and dogs. Never leave a child unattended around a dog. Begin teaching your child at an early age how to safely interact with dogs both inside and outside your home.

Keep reading …


Did you know …

JHS has a behavior library to help parents and children learn how to properly love and care for you four-legged family member. Please click here to learn more!


Related Resources:

Kittens. You can’t go on Facebook these days without kittens somehow finding their way onto your screen. Whether it’s a funny video or snarky meme, those sneaky little fur balls are everywhere – hiding behind curtains, sleeping on iPads, pouncing on dogs – it’s a non-stop comedy routine.


And here at JHS, non-stop is our daily experience. Every day during “Kitten Season” we receive underage kittens who are too little to thrive in the shelter setting.

Kitten Season is the term given to the time of year when kittens arrive at shelters by the thousands. From where do these fuzzy ninjas come? It might be your neighbor’s unfixed family pet or a stray cat who found herself in the family way. According to statistics from the ASPCA, a cat can average 2 litters per year and each litter can average 4-6 kittens. That’s a lot of YouTube videos. And a lot of orphaned kittens.



They have the potential, but without a home, will these little ones make it to internet stardom? At JHS, we give them every chance. And one of those chances can be with you. Sign up today and become a foster parent. Here’s what it takes:

  1. Pick up the kittens and any needed supplies from JHS.
  2. Keep the kittens at your home and (here’s the best part) help them thrive and learn to be cats! Many fosters keep them in a spare room or bathroom, and label it “Kitten Therapy Room.” How marvelous – no co-pay.
  3. Bring the kittens in to JHS every 2 weeks for veterinary check-ups, boosters, and vaccines – at zero cost to you!
  4. Once kittens reach 8 weeks, return them to JHS for adoptions. (Yes, you can find them homes in the meantime, or even adopt yourself! All kittens can go to their new homes from JHS after spay/neuter surgery.

A very serious need are foster parents who can help with kittens who need to be bottle fed. We call them “bottle babies” and they must leave the shelter the same day they arrive. It’s a fun and rewarding experience. Take a look:

Are you ready to make the leap from kittens on your screens to kittens in your home?  Please complete this profile and return it to our office in person, or via email: foster[at] Don’t wait – do it right meow!


Keep Reading:

Want to know more about fostering pets for JHS? Click here.

Looking to adopt? Check out our available kitties.

Did you find a litter of kittens? Here are some do’s and dont’s.

The Jacksonville Humane Society is an amazing place, thanks to a group of amazing people called volunteers! Did you know that JHS has 200 active volunteers who selflessly give their time each week to benefit the dogs and cats? It’s true! Let’s take a look at just a few of the ways they brighten the day for our shelter pets …

1) Administrative Help

We send a lot of snail mail, and receive a lot in return! Volunteers help us with data entry and keeping our envelope situation under control. Admin volunteers also help out at the hospital by returning phone calls and greeting customers. This is one spectacular team!


Looks like desk work has gone to the dogs!

2) Shelter Prep Team

Cleaning up after pets isn’t easy but our volunteers make it fun. The Shelter Prep Team is responsible for deep cleaning our kennels and changing the bedding. This helps keep our pets healthy – one of the biggest responsibilities at any animal shelter.

volunteerShelter prep team

Caring for animals, one kennel at a time!

3) Dog Volunteers

There are 2 levels to this position. Our volunteers begin with clicker training in the kennels and work their way up to loose-leash walking on property. They also get to help with off-site adoption events!


Dog slobber is part of the dress code!

4) Cat Volunteers

This is a purrfect position for feline fanciers! Our cat team cleans kennels, helps with adoptions and cuddles kitties. They even help with our cats at the Petsmart stores on Southside Blvd. and the St. John’s Town Center.


Check meowt, cat lovers!

5) Photographers

Many folks come to our shelter specifically to adopt pets just based on a photograph. Luckily, we have many wonderful volunteers who take pictures of our adoptable pets to help them find loving families.


Say cheese … or cookie!

6) Foster Parents

Fosters are volunteers who give their time at home. They bring underage puppies and kittens home with them to help them grown big and strong so they can be adopted! Some fosters take adult pets and find them new, loving families so they never come back to the shelter. Fostering is a great way to give back from the comfort of your own home.


Fosters are rock stars!


Volunteers are an amazing support source for the staff and animals at JHS. We couldn’t save lives without them! Thank you to each and every one of our volunteers.

To learn more about how you can join this group, please keep reading… 

Everyday Heroes – A Devoted Mom

Ding! went the bell on our front desk in the administration building.

“Hello?” called a voice. “Is anyone here?”

I rounded the corner and ran into a giant ball of fluff. Behind the fluff was a human. Both the fluffy ball and the human smiled at me.

“Do you remember us?”

Since I don’t work in adoptions, I did not remember the person or the dog. But what happened next is something I won’t forget.

The woman’s name was Loretta and the fluff was a gorgeous husky-shepherd mix named Kona. Loretta adopted Kona from JHS back in December. She brought him in for us to see how well he was doing. Kona certainly charmed the ladies in our admin office, and then his mom shared something that made us smile.

“I just want people to know that there is no such thing as a perfect pet. You have to give animals time to remember how to be a pet again – how to live in a house and be a part of the family.”

Turns out Kona presented some challenges to his new mom when he first arrived home. He had some destructive behaviors and a few medical issues, but Loretta said she was committed to him and that he’s doing better every day.

Pets are like people. For some, transitions are easy and change is welcome. For others, transitions are difficult and change is daunting. Regardless of how your pet reacts after you adopt, every day with your family is better than a day in the shelter.

It’s important to measure your expectations for any new pet you bring home. Just because the first few days aren’t great, doesn’t mean that the future is bleak. Give your pet time to adjust and relax. Go slow – it’s a big day for both of you. With your support, your pet can make big improvements, feel safe, and become their very best. Keep working with your pet and you will be rewarded.

The Jacksonville Humane Society is steadfast in our mission of helping people and pets. Do you have behavior concerns about your pet? Let us help! Reach out to our behavior staff via the hotline, or use the resources in our behavior library.

Kona loves his mom because she is his hero. And Loretta wouldn’t have it any other way.


Long-timer. It’s a word you frequently hear shelter staff use when referring to a dog or cat who has been waiting in adoptions for a long time. “She’s a long-timer,” they say. Or, “He’s been with us forever.”

How does a pet become a long-timer? We wish we knew. It’s not really something you can diagnose. Sure, some might say that a long-timer dog has a particular look – an adult dog, a black dog, a large dog, a dog with lots of energy, etc.


Truth be told – there is no formula that can predict how long a pet will have to wait for a family. It might surprise you to know that long-timer pets come in a wide array of colors, shapes, ages, and sizes. (Read the myth about black pets.)

There was Zahara, the two year old tabby cat who was friendly, affectionate, and liked other cats. It took her over 100 days to find a home.



Who can forget Rosco, the adorable brown-eyed Boxer mix with the wrinkly face and cute spots? He was finally adopted on his 365th day in the shelter.


There’s no exact reason why a pet will stay in the shelter for any length of time. Adopters may think that a longer stay equals hidden issues. Imagine, walking by a kennel and seeing a sign that reads: I’ve been waiting forever! Your heart might say, “Oh no! I want to save this one!” Then your head interrupts — “I bet there’s a reason that dog is still here.”

Being in the shelter for any length of time can be stressful on animals. We provide our pets with a wide variety of engagement and interaction, but we can’t change the fact that this is a shelter. While it may be hard on the animals, it can actually be a bonus to adopters who take home a long-timer. Here are three excellent reasons.

#1 – Improved Behaviors: JHS has a behavior team that works diligently with identified pets to increase their adopt-ability and take them from good to great. For example, Sebastian, a spirited two-year-old terrier mix, spent his first day in the play yard tugging on his leash and trying to climb the fence. A few months later, after some hard work with our staff, Sebastian was able to go on a field trip with a volunteer to a local park. The volunteer reported he was very easy to walk on his leash and stayed by her side the whole time. What an improvement!


 Sebastian learned all his manners during his 9 months at JHS!#2 – Earning Trust: The shelter is a new place and even the friendliest dogs can be anxious. That’s definitely an area where JHS and our amazing volunteers can help. One of our current long-timers, Happy, was very afraid in her kennel when she first arrived. She would cower, bark and run from adopters who came to see her. Our staff and volunteers spent many days walking by her kennel and giving her treats, using a clicker training tool to help her overcome her fears. Now, Happy shows genuine interest in her potential adopters and will gently tip-toe up to meet you. We know that she will adore the family who takes her home!


Our sweet Happy is still looking for a home!

#3 – Extra Details: Another additional bonus is that we can provide more information about the long-timer pets, simply because our staff has spent ample time with them. For example, current long-timer Tiki can give a double-paw high five, loves to ride in the car, and is very tolerant of wearing bunny ears. (She’s also house-trained and loves toys.) You can even watch Tiki in action on the local news: . Imagine taking home this TV star!



So, while we don’t like pets to wait for a long time, adopting a long-timer is a great choice for many families. You will take home extra information and tips from our team about keeping your new pet’s behavior on the right track. And one more bonus – most of our long-time residents’ adoption fees have been sponsored by the Peaches Pays fund!

Next time you visit a shelter to find your new furry family member, take a second look at those long-timers. Remember, they have only been there so long because the right family hasn’t come along yet. And that family might just be YOU!


Roberto’s new mom said, “We can’t imagine why it took him so long to find a home. We think he’s perfect.”

Please come meet our current long time residents!

Current Dogs:

  1. Taylor 497 days*
  2. Buck 384 days
  3. Gloria 209 days
  4. Happy 203 days
  5. Candy 195 days
  6. Jethro 186 days
  7. Leo 164 days
  8. Brandi 133 days

Click here to view dog pictures and profiles.

Top Cats:

  1. Ellen 42 days
  2. Kaci 37 days
  3. Joy 35 days

Click here to view cat picture and profiles.


*This number indicates the number of days currently spent in the shelter by each pet on the list. Some totals include time spent at ACPS and JHS combined.

In honor of National Pet Poision Awareness Week, the Jacksonville Humane Society has assembled a list of five ways to keep your pets safe from potential harm.

1.National Pet Poison Prevention Week is sponsored by the ASPCA. Here’s their list of things to look out for when it comes to your furry family members:


Read More:

2. Keep your eyes on the kitchen! Dogs and cats love treats, but there are foods you should avoid. Make sure to not give pets anything with artificial sweeteners, such as Xylitol, and read the label carefully. Here are some things to remember when you’re cooking up dinner:

Poisonous to cats Poisonous to dogs

Read More:

3. Bring the outdoors in, with caution. The top 12 plants to avoid include castor bean, lilies, caladium, dumb cane, rosary pea, laxspur, fox glove, autumn crocus, sago palms, black locust, yew and oleander. The ASPCA has an excellent resource if you’d like to check your garden!


Read More:

4. Keep holidays fun with FAKE flowers! Easter lilies and Christmas poinsettias are poisonous to pets. Opt for silk flowers instead.


Read More:

5. Human medications are one of the most common causes of poisoning in pets. Do not give your dogs over-the-counter medicine unless told so by your vet. Don’t forget, we have a low-cost veterinary office for your pets at JHS.


Read More:

If you believe your pet has been poisoned, please seek immediate veterinary care. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is a great resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card. Click here for more information.

The ASCPA also has a mobile app that you can download for free, so no matter where you are, you can help your pets.

Be sure to share this information with the pet lovers in your family, to keep pets safe from harm

When a brown, scruffy mutt named Kato first arrived at the Jacksonville Humane Society, the staff all thought the same thing: “He’ll be out of here in no time.” With his perky ears, impeccable manners and charming smile, they knew potential adopters would have a hard time saying no.



But that wasn’t the case.

Despite being ridiculously adorable and well-behaved, Kato could not find the right fit. He went on five (yes, five) sleepovers. (Sleepovers are a trial adoption we offer to families who aren’t 100% ready to commit.) Each time he came back the families would say, “He’s a great dog, BUT…”

Kato was dealing with separation anxiety. When left alone, he would try to chew through the bars in his crate. He would bark and cry himself into exhaustion. Suddenly, this highly adoptable dog was turning into a difficult placement.

That’s when I decided to help. Fostering a dog is not an ideal situation for me – I have a house full of cats and a very grumpy beagle – but I had a bond with this little guy. Kato had gone with me on two different television appearances as part of my job as the JHS Development Manager. Somehow in those two trips, he became attached to me. (Okay, maybe it was because I would come and sneak him cookies every day, too.) I was the only constant thing in his life at the moment, and he needed that consistency.

After his last return, I decided to take him home as a Promote-A-Pet, a new program we are offering, thanks to a grant from the ASPCA. The Promote-A-Pet program recruits foster parents to serve as special agents to a particular pet. The special agent takes home the pet and then promotes him or her for adoption. So, home with me he went!

On our first night at home, we did a photo shoot. The little guy was a natural, don’t you agree?

One special service JHS offers to special agents is the ability to list Promote-A-Pet fosters on their main website. I wrote Kato a description that described all his favorite things – treats, people, treats, car rides, walks in the park, and treats. I also posted many pictures on social media. Two weeks went by with some interest, but nothing quite right.

Then, one day, I got a text from a friend of mine who volunteers at the shelter. Her daughter, Cecely, recently moved into her own apartment and was ready for a dog. She was looking for an older dog who was already housetrained and wouldn’t mind being an only pet. Did I think my foster was a good fit? My heart skipped a beat. I had a hunch it would be perfect.

I invited Cecely over to meet Kato. Usually, when he met families at the shelter, he would only pay attention to the staff and lock his eyes on the door. This time, he ran right up to his new potential mom and parked himself in her lap.

“Oh, I just love him!” she squealed. And that’s when I knew it was meant to be.

She took him home for a sleepover just to see how he would do. It turns out, his separation anxiety would only occur in a crate. Since she didn’t have other pets (like me) she didn’t need to crate him when she left. And since she has a roommate – someone is almost always home to snuggle with him.

Cecely renamed him Bear and he is her very first pet after moving away from home. (Can we just take a second to applaud this young lady for selecting and 8 year old shelter dog as her first pet?) The two couldn’t be happier! Special thanks to the ASPCA for helping the Jacksonville Humane Society with this life-saving Promote-A-Pet foster program.


Are you interested in becoming a special agent in our Promote-A-Pet foster program? We are hosting an informational workshop this Saturday, February 27th at 10:30 a.m. at the Jacksonville Humane Society location on Beach Blvd. You can apply and take home a Promote-A-Pet foster the same day!

Can’t make it? Just call 492-4567 or email for more details. Visit our website for more foster parent information.