Rick Chaboudy, co-founder of Suncoast Animal League

by | Nov 13, 2019

Rick Chaboudy—the co-founder and executive director of Suncoast Animal League, the Palm Harbor-based animal welfare organization/shelter that is distinct by virtue of caring for both domestic animals and wildlife—traces the history of his long career working in animal welfare in the Tampa Bay area, going back even before he spent 20-plus years as executive director of the Humane Society of Pinellas (previously called Clearwater SPCA). In response to my question, Chaboudy offers his views on the ways the rescue and shelter landscape in this area has changed, given his approximately 35 years of experience. He describes what sort of vision and objectives he had when helping launch Suncoast Animal League in 2006, based on his more than two decades running the Humane Society of Pinellas. Chaboudy addresses some of Suncoast’s distinctive traits, including that it operates in a much smaller facility than comparable organizations, which places a greater premium on fostering—and, related to that, Suncoast has a powerful, nimble, and fast social media operation, which at practically a moment’s notice, can find foster homes for dozens of animals (thereby clearing space at its facility), allowing it to step in, and step up, when there’s, say, a seizure of animals several years ago in Georgia, or in August of this year, when Hurricane Dorian destroyed animal shelters in the Bahamas. Chaboudy outlines the elements of, and some services provided at, Suncoast’s then-upcoming 12th Annual Dogtoberfest, a giant adoption event featuring upwards of 30 rescues with adoptable animals, a slew of vendors, and more, taking place Nov. 16. (http://suncoastanimalleague.org/, https://www.facebook.com/SuncoastAnimalLeague/, https://www.facebook.com/events/440112163508203/)

The interview with Rick Chaboudy streamed on Facebook Live:




ALSO: I spoke briefly with Annette Ngo, of KittyCon 2019, a fan convention that focuses on people’s love of cats (and cat rescue). As Ngo outlined, KittyCon—held Nov. 30 & Dec. at the Doubletree by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore–also features an array of cat experts (including Dr. Julie Levy of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Science & Maddie’s Fund), cat celebrities and entertainers, a screening of the award-winning documentary “The Cat Rescuers” (and a Q&A with the filmmakers), a costume contest, vendors, and more. Full disclosure: I’ll be serving as emcee of KittyCon, interviewing some guests onstage—including those filmmakers of “The Cat Rescuers”—moderating at least one panel, etc. (https://www.kittycontampabay.org/, https://www.facebook.com/KittyConTampaBay/)

COMEDY CORNER: Chris Porter’s “Vegan Date” (portion) (https://chrisporterisfunny.com) [Yes, I accidentally played this two shows in a row.]

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: The Beatles’ “Dig A Pony”



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