SPCA Florida Kittens Head to New Hampshire


SPCA Florida Partners with Monadnock Humane Society to Save Lives

SPCA Florida volunteers will depart Saturday, June 29th to drive 25 homeless kittens to their new home in New Hampshire. Monadnock Humane Society staff and volunteers will welcome the eight-week-old kittens on Sunday, June 30. SPCA Florida spayed and neutered half of the 25 kittens and Monadnock Humane Society will spay and neuter the other half according to an agreement between the two no-kill organizations.

“This collaborative effort is underway to help Polk County Animal Control save more lives this year,” said Shelley Thayer, Executive Director at SPCA Florida. Transports to approved shelters in northern states who need kittens is one-way SPCA Florida is saving lives. Grant funds from Maddie’s Foundation are helping to make this life saving trip possible. Emily Kerylow, Director of Operations for Monadnock Humane Society said, “MHS is looking forward to a continued relationship with SPCA Florida and to assisting in the placement of Polk County’s homeless cats and kittens. New England is seeing a gradual decline in our stray feline populations, so we are happy to help animals in other parts of the country.”

Additional collaborative efforts are underway that include partnerships in Maine, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Virginia. On a local level, SPCA Florida is partnering with local Veterinary Clinics, Polk County Animal Control, and the Humane Society of Polk County.

“With approximately 450 kittens coming in from volunteer foster care, we need loving homes in both Polk County and in no kill shelters in northern states who have a need for kittens,” said Randa Richter, Media and Partnership Relations. “It’s been a dedicated effort and commitment by many to help save more feline lives.”

SPCA Florida is asking for foster, volunteer, and financial support. To help, go online at www.spcaflorida.org and apply.

About SPCA Florida

Founded in 1979, SPCA Florida is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization headquartered in Lakeland. Dedicated to improving the lives of pets and people in the community, SPCA Florida provides caring, compassion and hope to more than 6,000 homeless animals entering our doors each year. Open to the public, our McClurg Animal Medical Center is a state-of-the-art veterinary facility that heals and helps 50,000 patients annually. Thousands more pets and people are served through our community outreach and education programs.


SPCA Florida Receives Bissell Pet Foundation Grant

Lakeland FL - SPCA Florida, a nonprofit 501c3 rescue organization received grant funds for $10,010 from the Bissell Pet Foundation. The grant will support the spay and neuter of canines scheduled to transport to no-kill organizations who are willing to take “Bully” breeds. The Bissell Pet Foundation believes that every adoptable shelter dog and cat deserves a forever home. The Bissell Pet Foundation Grant will save the lives of adoptable, loving dogs who would otherwise not have a chance at life. In conjunction with the No Kill Polk County Movement, SPCA Florida, in partnership with Polk County Animal Control, are striving to save more canine lives this year.


Collaborative efforts are underway that include partnerships with approved no kill shelters. Bissell Pet Foundation will supply spay and neuter funds to be used for dogs who are scheduled to transfer to other humane rescue organizations. Pit bulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Chows and other canines who fall under the “Bully Breed” description will be delivered. Many of these dogs will head to areas in northern states and Canada where breed restrictions are less stringent. SPCA Florida is grateful for the opportunity to give our community’s Bully Breed canines a long life of unconditional love to the families who adopt them.


Each year in North America, millions of pets enter shelters and almost half of them are euthanized. Shelters such as SPCA Florida work tirelessly every day to address the pet overpopulation problem and they need help. Along with your support, BISSELL Pet Foundation provides much-needed financial assistance to change the outlook for thousands of dogs and cats, until every pet has a home.


BISSELL Pet Foundation exists to assist animal welfare organizations. This includes helping to reduce the number of animals in shelters and rescues through pet adoption, spay and neuter programs, microchipping and foster care.  SPCA Florida is grateful for their lifesaving support of Polk County’s homeless animals.


About SPCA Florida

Founded in 1979, SPCA Florida is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization headquartered in Lakeland, serving all of Polk County and the surrounding communities. Dedicated to improving the lives of pets and people, SPCA Florida provides caring, compassion and hope to more than 4,300 homeless animals entering our doors each year.


Open to the public, our Reva McClurg Animal Medical Center is a state-of-the-art veterinary facility that heals and helps 50,000 patients annually. Thousands more pets and people are served through our community outreach and education programs.


Simplistically, every $100 donated to SPCA Florida, or essentially the cost of an average adoption, equates to $3,000 worth of positive economic impact throughout Polk County, Central Florida, and the state.  Additionally, we are proud of the fact that 92% of every dollar goes to program resources and helping homeless animals.



Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida Joins Costa’s Kick Plastic Ambassador Program

Eye Care professionals continue the movement to Kick Plastic in the Optical Industry

June 13, 2019, Winter Haven – Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida has partnered with Costa® Sunglasses in the Kick Plastic® Ambassador Program.  Costa launched the Kick Plastic campaign in 2015 to take action against single-use plastic that is polluting our watery world and we are one of the select Eye Care professionals to be invited to become Ambassadors and support the campaign.  In an effort to address the 420 million plastic lenses disposed by the optical industry every two years*, Costa launched an ambitious new plan, paving the way for Eye Care professionals and the optical industry to tackle the problem.  The Kick Plastic Lens Recycling Program is an innovative program that encourages Eye Care professionals to collect, recycle and repurpose any type or brand of plastic lenses.

As a Kick Plastic Ambassador, Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida has committed to taking steps to reduce our single-use plastic footprint. To name a few initiates, we will begin recycling all plastic lenses through Costa’s program, which offers a second-life for these lenses, cut back on single-use plastic in our offices, and organize a community cleanup.

By 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight.  “By joining forces with Costa Sunglasses and their Kick Plastic campaign, we are committed to reducing the amount of plastic we use in our office and sharing that message with our patients.” says Sarah Bryant – Marketing Manager for Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida

“We are excited and pleased to announce that Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida has joined the Kick Plastic Ambassador Program in movement to reduce their single-use plastic use,” said Holly Rush, CEO of Costa. “It will take all of us, working together, to Kick Plastic and ultimately protect our watery worlds.”

By joining the alliance to Kick Plastic, businesses become part of a collective action to reduce single-use plastic, an issue that is at the forefront of public awareness. Others can join by contacting Costa at lensrecycle@costadelmar.com


Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida, P.A. is a multispecialty eye clinic that has provided outstanding eye care for over 50 years. Our five ophthalmologists and 12 optometrists provide services at eight locations ranging from ophthalmology, optometry, glaucoma, Lasik, laser surgery, treatment of cataracts, eyelid lifts, a full range of eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, sunglasses, frame repair, and optical accessories. Eye Specialists’ mission is to provide the highest quality and most technologically advanced eye care with compassion and integrity. Visit us online at eyesFL.com.

As the first patented color-enhancing, polarized lens in the industry, Costa® offers superior sunglass lens technology and unparalleled frame fit and durability. Since 1983, Costa has created the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor water enthusiasts. Costa’s product portfolio now includes optical frames for men and women, reinforcing the company’s commitment to the optical channel. Costa’s pillars of “Explore, Perform and Protect,” are at the core of its growing cult-brand status, with roots starting among its tribe of dedicated fans who are passionate about spending time outdoors in, on, or around the water.

Honored by the industry as the leader in the 2017 Social Purpose: Company and 2018 & 2017 Eye Vote Social Purpose: Brand categories, Costa works hard to protect the oceans it calls home. Its commitment to sustainability is integral to the company’s vision, and this promise is inherent in every pair of Costas sold. By utilizing the Bio-Resin Raw Material Process, Costa has reduced its carbon footprint and helped to protect our planet’s waters. Additionally, from programs like its Kick Plastic® campaign, where Costa seeks to raise awareness about the growing plastic pollution problem threatening oceans worldwide to serving as a long-term partner to shark research organization OCEARCH®, Costa encourages the protection of the Earth’s aquatic resources in any way it can.


* The Vision Council Market Analysis Report December 2018. Vision Watch.


Polk State College Celebrates Successful 2019 Legislative Session

Winter Haven, June 21, 2019 — Polk State College is celebrating the preservation of funding for the Polk State JD Alexander Center, the College’s Lake Wales Campus, and the College’s success in securing recurring operational support during the 2019 Legislative Session.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed the 2019-2020 state budget Friday, which includes the $2.5 million-line item titled Polk State College Access to Academic and Workforce Programs used to staff and operate the Lake Wales Campus. The College was also victorious in securing $1.25 million in recurring operational funds to reduce the advisor-to-student ratio, support the Pathways Initiative, and enhance campus safety and security.

“We are incredibly grateful to Governor DeSantis, the Polk County Legislative Delegation, and members of the Polk County community for supporting our students,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “Thanks to the advocacy of local businesses, chambers of commerce, economic development councils, community partners, and more, a Polk State education will remain in reach for all residents of Polk County.”

The preservation of $2.5 million to operate Polk State’s Lake Wales Campus allows the College to continue to serve approximately 1,100 students each year at the location. In a county where 38 percent of residents are transportation disadvantaged and at a campus where 44 percent of students receive federal need-based Pell Grants, preserving Polk State’s presence in rural southeast Polk County provides access to quality higher education and workforce education in a largely underserved region.

Polk State and the Polk County community will also benefit greatly from the $1.25 million budgeted for recurring operational support, which will expand initiatives proven to boost student retention and completion, including further reducing the advisor-to-student ratio and fostering faculty mentoring, internship, and experiential learning opportunities. In the fall, the College will implement the Pathways Initiative – a comprehensive strategy designed to help students navigate the most direct path from their first classes to graduation. Additionally, part of the recurring operational support will be used to increase the presence of armed deputies at all Polk State locations.

While the 2019 Legislative Session was largely successful for Polk State, the College did not receive Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) funds to address much-needed renovations to Building 4 on the Winter Haven Campus. Additionally, none of the state colleges received PECO funds for maintenance of facilities, leaving Polk State $716,000 short on funding to address minor repairs and maintenance for more than 2 million square feet of facility space.

“The College is looking carefully at all aspects of the budget in light of the issues related to PECO funding,” Falconetti said. “Our goal is to ensure that Polk State remains a safe, quality institution of learning for our community.”

She pointed to Polk State’s 96.9 percent job-placement and continuing-education rate, as well as the 70 percent of Polk State students who remain in Polk County after graduation.

“The College’s success is the success of Polk County and the state of Florida,” Falconetti said. “It is important that we continue to advocate in the best interest of our students which will, in turn, foster the economic development and positive growth of our community.”

“We are honored that our Governor, our legislators, and our community understand the critical role Polk State plays in building a bright future for the state of Florida,” she added. “Together, we will continue to transform lives one student at a time as we move ahead into another prosperous year for Polk State College.”

About Polk State College

Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 16,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. The College also operates three charter high schools.


Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.