Holiday Heroes Interviews: Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League 🐱 🐢

Happy holidays to all! I’m happy to share a project that has come full circle. And just in time for the holidays! You may recall my Quilting For Rescue Pets blog about my small kennel quilts to fit pet carriers for cats and small dogs.

This year, I sent quilts to several animal rescue groups that save the lives of pets in disaster areas. To celebrate the holidays, I decided to conduct interviews with some of the rescue groups.

I’m sharing another Holiday Heroes Interview about these wonderful animal rescue groups. Staff and volunteers give so much to help homeless animals.

This week’s interview was with Mona Climstein from Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League. Mona is the organization’s Donor Relations Coordinator.

The Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League (the League) is also known as the Humane Society of the Palm Beaches.

Their missions is “to shelter to lost, homeless and unwanted animals, to provide spay and neuter and other medical services for companion animals, and to care for, protect, and find quality homes for homeless and neglected companion animals, to advocate animal welfare, community involvement and education to further the bond between people and animals.”

The Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League serves the needs of homeless and neglected animals in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Tell us about your animal rescue group.

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, also known as the Humane Society of the Palm Beaches, is an independent nonprofit animal rescue organization operating continuously since 1925.

Our humble beginnings started on the property of what is now the Palm Beach International Airport. When the airport needed to expand, the County traded us a parcel at 24th & North Tamarind in West Palm Beach.

In the 1980s, Peggy Adams was received a bequest that enabled us to purchase our current property on Military Trail.

Today, we have two large buildings on our property and have broken ground on a state-of-the-art new Pet Adoption and Humane Education Center which is expected to be complete in the fall of 2020.

In 2018, the League provided services to over 35,000 cats and dogs in our community.

Are you a nonprofit organization? How do you get funding?

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving Palm Beach County, and does not receive funding from city, state, or the federal government.

We rely solely on the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations to provide quality programs and services to the community. Donations directly support programs and services to help animals in need here in Palm Beach County.

For six consecutive years, the League has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity navigator, one of only 89% of charities nationwide to receive this distinction.


What services does Peggy Adams provide to the public?

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League provides a variety of services to Palm Beach County residents at affordable and/or discounted rates. Peggy Adams offers:

  • Pet adoptions
  • A wellness clinic
  • Spay/neuter surgery
  • TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Release) services for free-roaming cats
  • A neo-natal kitten nursery
  • Peggy’s Pantry pet food bank
  • Dog behavior and training classes
  • Pet lost and found program
  • Humane euthanasia of old or ill pets
  • Foster and volunteer programs
  • Community education and outreach via special events

How many volunteers work with you? How big is your staff?

Volunteers play an important role at the League. Each task performed makes a significant contribution to the health and welfare of our animals.

By offering time and talent, our volunteers improve the quality of life for our animals while they wait for their new forever homes.

The League has approximately 140 staff members. Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League has a positive and productive workplace culture. Every staff member is a “Peggy” and each person plays a vital role in making Peggy Adams the successful organization it is.

Oscar the feral rescue (photo by @SocialClaude)

The staff at Peggy Adams love being a part of something bigger in the community. A list of volunteer and career opportunities are located at the Peggy Adams website.

Do you work with other rescue or shelters?

The League works closely with other rescues and shelters, especially our local Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control (AC&C).

Our collective goal through our Countdown 2 Zero initiative is to end euthanasia of adoptable animals in Palm Beach County by the year 2024.

This year alone, we have transferred over 1,500 animals into our program from AC&C which is the most in one year and more than any other shelter.

How many animals do you take in each year and where do most of your animals come from?

In 2018, Peggy Adams provided shelter to 6,391 lost, injured, abandoned or homeless cats and dogs. We expect that number to be approximately 7,500 in 2019.

Through our pet lost and found department, over 300 lost pets have been reunited with their grateful families.

It is very important to make sure pets are microchipped and that their address information is kept up to date with the microchip company in case animals get lost.

How many cats and dogs do you adopt out every year?

The League is on target to adopt close to 6,000 cats and dogs in 2019. When our new Pet Adoption and Humane Education Center opens, we will be able to double our capacity for care and adoptions.

Can you briefly explain your adoption process?

All our adoptable animals are listed on our website and that list is updated every two hours between 11am to 7pm. Prior to going to their forever homes, our animals are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, fully vetted and microchipped.

Potential adopters are encouraged to come to the shelter, browse through our adoptable animals and meet with an adoption coordinator.

In order to adopt, an adopter has to be at least 18 years old, have a U.S. government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or state ID, verify that you are allowed to have a pet of the breed and size where you currently live.

An adopter must also be able to spend the time and resources necessary to provide the training, medical treatment and proper care and love for the pet.

How much support do you give to foster pet parents?

A foster parent provides a temporary home for an animal(s) until they are ready for adoption. A foster parent could also give an animal a needed break from the shelter.

Foster parents provide a safe space for animals like these to thrive and grow. Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League provides all supplies needed to care for foster animals. These supplies include medications, follow-up veterinary visits, food, litter, bedding, bowls, crates, collars and leashes.

Foster parents are responsible for transportation to and from the shelter for check-ups and medical care.

Do you mainly help homeless animals left behind in natural disasters?

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League is an emergency placement partner for the American Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Humane Society International (HSI), and Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control for animals affected from natural disasters, as well as hoarding situations.

What do you wish more people knew about animal shelters?

Many of the animals brought to shelters are found in the community, surrendered or transferred from other shelters. For this reason, many times shelters don’t have medical history on an animal; know their ages or their background. Therefore, shelters must guess.

Also, shelters need volunteers to help in many aspects of the shelter and many of them are not working with the animals.

Therefore, if someone is worried about volunteering because they will want to “bring all the animals home with them”, there are other opportunities such as social media, administrative duties and more.

How did you hear about the Small Kennel Quilt project?

What a fantastic the Small Kennel Quilt project is! One day we received a package in the mail and then they just continued to come.

We love all the fun patterns and most importantly – our cats, kittens and foster parents love them too!

What was your biggest challenge last year and what did you learn from it?

The League is constantly striving to improve and grow. Last year we decided to pursue veterinary accreditation which consisted of reviewing all our standard operating procedures and best practices.

As a result of this hard work, Peggy Adams is the first animal shelter in South Florida and only the second in the entire state to become American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited.

Peggy Adams earned the AAHA accreditation after a rigorous review of the non-profit animal hospital’s practice protocols, medical equipment, facility and client services.

It’s the holiday season and a time for celebrations, sharing and giving. How can people help Peggy Adams?

The community can help Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League by adopting, volunteering or fostering. The League offers community service hours, as well as company project groups.

A foster volunteer provides a loving, temporary home while the League offers all the food and supplies. Another great way to get involved is to donate.

Thank you for all your good work to help homeless dogs, Mona! Happy holidays!
Dr. Pet Mom

Every gift, whether through volunteering or a monetary donation, helps to build a more humane community for all. To learn more information about Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, please visit the Peggy Adams website.

“Animals are like little angels sent to earth to teach us how to love. They don’t get angry or play silly games. They are always there for us.
–Whitney Mandel

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