Media Release

Animal Services Receives Recognition

Thursday, August 30, 2012 4:15 PM
Humane Society Award ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - On August 23, 2012, Alachua County Animal Services staff was recognized by The Humane Society of the United States for their efforts on the Haven Acres hoarding/Cruelty case.

On June 07, 2011, Alachua County Animal Services in conjunction with The Humane Society of the United States, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the University Of Florida Shelter Medicine Program seized 708 cats from Haven Acres Sanctuary in High Springs.

Care for the 708 cats required additional support from local Veterinarians from All Cats Health Care located in Gainesville, as well as the RedRover Responders based in California.

"Documented as one of the biggest cat seizures in the United States, this case severely taxed Animal Services and its staff." said Animal Services Interim Director, Vernon Sawyer. He continued, "To properly care for 708 cats it required staff to work tremendous amounts of overtime and the physical work of cleaning and feeding 708 cats was back breaking. The good news is that with the help of The Humane Society of the United States, The Alachua County Humane Society and the University Of Florida Shelter Medicine Program most of these cats were treated and adopted to their forever homes."

For more information, contact Vernon Sawyer at 352-264-6890 or


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).