Adopt a pet and you have a loyal friend forever

Article and Photos by Helene Cavallo, South Lake Tablet

The Animal League, a no-kill shelter founded in 1988, has provided a safe haven for abandoned, abused and neglected animals while awaiting their forever homes.  The four-step approach to adoption is Rescue, Assess, Rehabilitate and Rehome.

Until 2010, the animals were home-cared for by animal lovers.  These foster parents attended adoption events to familiarize pets with potential new families.

 “A Haven Before a Home” had its Grand Opening Hoedown on November 13, 2010, at 4648 Baptist Island Road, Groveland, Florida.  With the help of numerous volunteers, they were able to accommodate approximately 300 dogs and cats and host periodic adoption events.  However, as a result of the current shortage of volunteers, the shelter presently only accepts a maximum of 30 animals at a time.

Keith Mullins

Keith Mullins, a long-time board member and president since 2024, oversees all functions of the Board. Wendy Avrett is the current administrative director.

Doreen Barker

Doreen Barker, Executive Director, began her journey with the League in 2008 and has put her heart and soul into the organization.  She started as a volunteer and soon took over a leadership role becoming President in 2012. Doreen oversaw many operations of the League while acting as President until 2023 when she resigned as President.

Tiny homes for quarantine pets, kitties, mamas and babies

Presently an expansion for quarantine of mammas and babies is being added, courtesy of long-time volunteer, Susan Sherman.

(On line photo) The Animal League Thrift Shop 

The Animal League operates solely from donations, proceeds from the Animal League Thrift Shop (770 West Montrose Street, Clermont) and the hard work of its staff and volunteers.  Various goods and treasures can be found at the thrift shop. 

Volunteer opportunities abound and it can be very rewarding.  Applications to volunteer, donate, or adopt can be submitted at  

A Haven Before A Home

Donations or mileage for volunteering can be claimed as a tax deduction for charitable contributions since this is a 50l(c)3 Non-Profit organization. 

Visit the pets looking for a forever home at 4648 Baptist Island Road, Groveland or call  352-429-6334 to make an appointment to visit an adoptable pet. For more information, go online to the website THE ANIMAL LEAGUE.

NOTE from South Lake Tablet: The average cost of care for a pet with minimal medical needs entering the Animal League is $550. This does not include all of the major medical cases every month such as broken bones, skin disease, and worse, which can cost $1,000s for severely injured pet. The Animal League receives no funding from the county, government, or taxpayers.

Many items are needed to care for the pets who are in the care of the Animal League while at its Adoption Center.

Make A Donation from the Amazon Wish List and have It delivered directly to the Adoption Center!  Go to Amazon Wish List


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