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Thanks to all that came and let their presence be their voice. We were heard.

Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan Announces at the Save 90 Conference that Hillsborough County Animal Services Will Become No-Kill

TAMPA, Florida (April 16, 2012) – Hillsborough County Board of County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan announced Saturday at the Save 90 conference held at Hillsborough Community College that Hillsborough County will become a no-kill county. Over 250 people were in attendance to learn how other communities have accomplished this goal of saving animals’ lives.

The Alliance to Save 90 organized the conference held Saturday afternoon in Tampa. It began with an introduction to the concept of no-kill by Frank Hamilton, president of Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT), based on the 11 steps to no kill by founder of the No Kill Advocacy Center, Nathan Winograd. Following , Kris Weiskopf, Director of Manatee County Animal Services spoke and explained how Manatee became the first county in Florida to announce that it would become a no-kill shelter and how they have to date increased their live release rate to over 80% in less than 6 months.

Commissioner Ken Hagan spoke before a receptive audience. He stated that the no-kill movement will save lives and change the paradigm and way of doing business in Hillsborough County and that he was proud to be playing a small part in this movement. He stated to Linda Hamilton and Frank Hamilton, the founders of the Alliance to Save 90, “I am inspired by your great work.” Hagan explained that Hillsborough County is in the process of hiring a new Animal Services Director and that “our new director simply must have and believe in a no kill philosophy.” He further stated that he is “100% supportive of Hillsborough County becoming a no-kill county” and that “the killing must stop.” He pledged to work to accomplish this goal. He closed by thanking the audience for being involved, passionate and committed and stated that “the best is yet to come here in Hillsborough County for Animal Services.”
A panel discussion followed, which included Kris Weiskopf, Carol Whitmore, Commissioner of Manatee County, Jean Peelan, Chair of the Manatee County Animal Advisory Board and City Commissioner of Holmes Beach, Sue Kolze, vice president of the Manatee County Animal Advisory Board and Frank Hamilton of the Alliance to Save 90. They answered questions provided by audience members in advance.
The conference ended with a call to action by John Marinello, emphasizing the importance of large numbers of volunteers to accomplish this goal.
Linda Hamilton, interviewed after the event, stated, “Over 2,000 people signed our petition from the Alliance to Save 90. I think this speaks to our work and the community’s desire to make this happen.”