Aside from being a skilled realtor, Heather Smith is a philanthropist devoted to helping dog rescues and shelters across Palm Beach County. When she's not working, she volunteers her time to local sanctuaries, including Palm Beach County's only open-admission shelter—Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control. As the County’s only shelter, they are required to take in all animals, from Cats and Dogs to Pigs and Horses! Passionate about saving animals from euthanasia, Heather even donates a portion of every real estate commission to local rescues to help the shelter dogs.
Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control has achieved no-kill status, meaning more than 90% of the animals in the shelter find foster homes, are adopted, or rescued by great rescue organizations. Even if you can't take a pet home permanently, volunteering your time or making donations to reputable rescue organizations is equally valuable! Plus, short-term fostering can go a long way toward helping dogs and cats find forever homes!
Heather has worked with local shelters for years. The following list is dedicated to highlighting the ones she believes deserve the spotlight. Remember, a little hope can go a long way toward making a difference!
The Palm Beach Shelter Dog Project was started by Lorrie Browne and Tim Chance in 2015 as a way to network the dogs they were fostering from their local open-admission shelter, Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control. Since then their mission and effectiveness have grown significantly. They not only advocate for foster and adoption but have also created grant programs to support dogs who often have the longest shelter stays - large pitbull like dogs and seniors. Starting in 2018 they've awarded over $40,000 in grants to Florida rescue groups to help over 130 dogs on their way home. They have also provided the shelter and senior dogs adopters with over $10,000 worth of supplies in the form of leashes, collars, food, supplements and orthopaedic beds. The Palm Beach Shelter Dog Project is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
Mutty Paws Rescue is another foster-based nonprofit organization that stresses the importance of neutering and spaying pets to significantly reduce overpopulation at local shelters.
Run by two committed individuals, Mutty Paws has evolved into a top-notch rescue dedicated to providing medical attention to dogs in addition to rehabilitating them. They depend on fosters to help with their mission and have a helpful pet finder tool on their page to assist prospective pet owners in finding the perfect dog for their family. To date, they have rescued 191 dogs (and a few kitties) from Palm Beach County and surrounding areas.
The team at AHA Animal Rescue Inc. is a foster based animal rescue that was founded in 2019 with the sole focus of saving more lives from the county’s only open-admission shelter where we volunteer: Palm Beach Animal Care & Control.
Our rescue focuses on the cat & kitten population at PBACC and advocates for the most in-need whether it be senior cats, or cats & kittens with medical & behavioral problems that are slated for euthanasia if a rescue does not step up.
In our inaugural year (2019-2020), we rescued 113 cats & kittens from PBACC making us the 3rd biggest cat rescue supporter of our county shelter. As a small, foster based rescue with only a handful of fosters, we are very proud of this achievement in spite of our limited budget and capacity. As of the launch of this site (September 2020) they are up to 180 kitty lives saved!
Barky Pines Animal Rescue & Sanctuary is a nonprofit sanctuary with the mission to help the many homeless pets across the county. They make a concerted effort to assist animals in urgent need of homes, ensuring they find their forever families.
Barky Pines is also devoted to caring for senior and special needs dogs that have a smaller chance of being adopted. They take in dogs,, cats and farm animals from Palm Beach County Animal Control. These animals have been abandoned, thrown away, lost, sick, hungry, abused, mistreated and left for dead. This mission is not inexpensive and It’s all done daily using donations, grassroots fund-raising and their own money.
As a result , as of 10/2018, Barky Pines has rescued over 700 urgent dogs alone since obtaining 501(c)3 status 2/2015. 634 have found their forever homes. Sadly some very ill and old have passed on. 15 dogs, 5 cats , and countless farm animals remain in Sanctuary there.
The Darbster Foundation. Their mission to reduce the number of adoptable dogs and cats euthanized in South Florida, particularly in Palm Beach County. Since 2015, the Darbster Foundation has partnered with local animal rescue groups and shelters in South Florida to find homes for nearly 7,000 cats, kittens and dogs in South Florida. They send these rescued animals up to there own adoption facilities in New Hampshire, Darbster Kitty And Darbster Doggy and to partner rescue shelters in New England.
The Darbster Foundation works hard to reduce the many adoptable dogs and cats euthanized in Florida, especially in Palm Beach County. Funding spay and neuter surgeries to limit the number of free-roaming cats and kittens in the county is one of their main priorities.
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