Commend Lawmakers for Increasing Animal Services Budget


Target:  Mayor Teresa Jacobs of Orange County, Florida

Goal: Commend leaders for increasing animal services budget

County commissioners in Orange County, Florida recently voted to increase the animal services budget by $355,000. The budget increase comes in the wake of the death of a pit bull terrier named Hershey who was accidentally euthanized at a county shelter in 2013. The funding will help pay for additional staff and veterinarians so that similar mistakes may be avoided in the future. We should commend the county commissioners for taking action to help prevent dogs such as Hershey from accidentally being euthanized.

Hershey was accidentally killed in 2013 after his owners surrendered him to the county shelter. He was scheduled for euthanasia after two potential adoptions fell through. A third attempt was made to adopt Hershey on the day he was scheduled for euthanasia, but he was accidentally killed before the adoption could be processed. This was a tragic error that should have been avoided.

The recent budget changes represent a 6% total increase for county animal services. The shelter intends to use the increased funds to implement a better system of checks and balances to avoid similar tragedies. The planned improvements consist of new color-coded collars and the addition of a six-person medical intake team and one veterinarian to the staff. A mobile medical bus will also be staffed to spay and neuter animals in the community.

The accidental euthanasia of Hershey was a terrible accident that was partially due to an improperly staffed animal shelter. Fortunately, the county commissioners in Orange County were willing to recognize the problem and act accordingly. We should commend these commissioners for taking action to increase the animal services budget so that animals are less likely to be accidentally euthanized in the future.


Dear Mayor Jacobs,

I am pleased that Orange County has chosen to increase the budget for county animal services. The death of Hershey the pit bull terrier in 2013 highlighted the need for improved processes and increased staffing at the county shelter. The planned mobile veterinary bus will also be helpful in minimizing the number of unwanted strays in the community.

Hopefully the increased budget will help protect dogs like Hershey from accidental euthanasia in the future. A lot can be told from the way a community treats its animals. You and your county commissioners should be commended for recognizing this problem and taking steps to correct the situation.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Tattoowaittress via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Sheila Jefferson says:

    Thank you..RIP Hershey.
    So sad.

  2. I still have tears in my eyes over the death of Hershey. I remember reading about his death in the paper. Sometimes it is hard enough to find a good home for an animal and for a pitbull well, it is even harder. because of bias not because pitbulls aren’t loving and caring dogs. To think that Hersey had a third chance to find a loving home and was euthanized by mistake is just so very sad. I hope that changes are made so this kind of mistake will not happen again and because of Hershey it shouldn’t.

    RIP poor Hershey you shouldn’t have had to die to save others but it looks like you did and your death will save others.

    Thank you to Commissoner TJ helping get the funds available to a very tight budget for OCAS.

  3. Melody Eaton Melody Eaton says:

    Rip Hershey

  4. Michael Guest says:

    It’s time to change this. They need to take further action to protect and prevent any more mistakes from happening ever again.

  5. I see in the newspaper today in Durban S.Africa that pitbulls will not be rehomed from SPCA because of their unpredictable natures -Recently a small child was mauled by his pet pitbull – many breeds of dogs are unpredictable, What we have to stop are these unscrupulous breeders and puppy mills – free spay and neuter clinics would help the pet population. Caesar Milan’s pit bull was the most gentle dog ever

  6. deb spanhake says:

    Hersey and like so many others who had to die give their all let’s not let their deaths be in vain let’s get better policies, laws, procedures in place let’s avoid the possible from happening again animals don’t deserve to fall prey to man’s ignorance of ways

  7. HIRE CARING, LOVING, KNOWLEDGEABLE INDIVIDUALS! — this will solve the problem!

    What happened to sweet Hershey is so very heartbreaking and downright shameful!

    There is NO justification for such blatant disregard and neglect! HOW COULD THEY…!

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