2019 In Review

Dear friend,

As the year comes to a close, we all tend to reflect on the trials we have faced and the advancements we have made in life.


In animal welfare, we do the same both personally and professionally. Are we making a difference? Are we getting anywhere? Sometimes we feel like we are spinning our wheels because the needy just keep coming in day after day. We struggle with the emotional and financial difficulties of being a no-kill non-profit shelter, saving pets who have often been discarded like garbage. Pets who have been abandoned, neglected and abused.


Do we have days that we cry and get discouraged? You bet we do.  But, the majority of our days consist of strong will and faith that we CAN and we WILL make a difference.

Are we making progress? The answer here at The Animal League is a clear and resounding, yes! Here are just a few of our accomplishments from 2019:


We assisted in one of the biggest puppy mill busts where over 700 dogs were confiscated. We rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed over 90 of those poor souls. Below is sweet Mushroom, along with a few of his friends, before we rescued them. Mushroom’s “after”picture is featured at the top of this post.

2019-03-04 puppy mill rescue by The Animal League (South Lake Animal League)

We continued our Neighborhood Pet Partner program, reaching out to targeted, underserved neighborhoods and providing free pet healthcare and spay/neuter. These efforts are important as they NOT ONLY HELP PETS AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM BUT ALSO will impact our county by decreasing the number of pets picked up as strays and sent to overcrowded county shelters.



Our Nourish the Needy program provided tons of food to local food pantries so people can feed and retain their pets.

The stress of a senior pet in a shelter is not something we like to see. Our new Senior Center provides some of our older pets a peaceful home-like environment while they wait for their new families to come for them.


We joined the University of Florida’s Million Cat Challenge and focused not only on taking in cats in dire need but also on programs aimed at stemming the breeding and increasing the health of colonies. One example is of Jessie and James, two tiny kittens, barely 3 weeks old, found with severe eye infections. The Animal League committed to their rehabilitation. Both are now thriving and in a new home!

The Animal League assisted a homeless couple down on their luck with two dogs, a corgi and a shepherd mix. One dog was suffering from hip dysplasia and arthritis and could barely walk. The owners carried him from place to place. Their dilemma was brought to our attention and we provided resources, including the fostering of their pets until they were on their feet again.


Puppy, Chunky Monkey, was run over by a car then abandoned by his owner. The Animal League rescued him and committed to his recovery. After multiple surgeries and physical therapy, he is loving life in a forever home.

The Animal League saves 1,000s of pets every year just like Chunky Monkey, Jessie, and James who require significant investment to rehabilitate and rehome. We have been able to save these sweet souls only due to the generosity of people like you.


We appreciate your part in animal rescue whether you volunteer, donate, or share our mission. We are excited to have you along for the progress we will make in 2020.


The Animal League will continue to provide facts, encouragement, and motivation to officials who can help increase the rights of animals.


We will be breaking ground on our nursery in 2020. We receive an untold number of requests from rural county shelters to take in pregnant and nursing pets and we do not always have the foster space to do so. The nursery will allow us to help more and be more efficient in getting the puppies and moms into homes when of age.


And of course, we will continue to save those most in need. One precious soul at a time.


We will be their voice until they all have homes. With your voice, together with ours, we cannot help but make a difference!


The Animal League receives no funding from the county, government, or taxpayers. Thank you for caring. Without you, we would not exist.


This holiday season I ask you to please consider a tax-deductible donation to help homeless cats and dogs waiting for their own heroes. Please be their hero today by making a donation. No amount is too small.


With gratitude of your support,

Doreen Barker