First Coast No More Homeless Pets Hosts Annual Dogtoberfest Event

By Isabella Beatriz Ortega |

The tenth annual Dogtoberfest in Jacksonville, Fla.  takes more dogs out of shelters and into the hands of new owners.

This outdoor event will be open to the public on October 13, 2012, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at 1410 Gator Blvd., Metropolitan Park. The event has been hosted for the past nine years by the nonprofit organization, First Coast No More Homeless Pets, based out of Jacksonville. The afternoon-long event will include a fundraising walk with all canine friends, costume contests and food for both four-legged friends and owners.

FCNMHP’s mission: to dismiss the termination of dogs and cats throughout the community by facilitating free and low-cost spay and neuter programs targeted towards low-income families.

The nonprofit was founded in 2001, which led to the development of the SpayJax and other low-cost programs in response to the City of Jacksonville’s need for a city funded spay and neuter program.

According to the FCNMHP’s 2010-2011 annual report, at the start of the nonprofit’s programs, there were over 23,000 animals being eliminated in local shelters. Since 2002, that number has since decreased to 7,912. However, the city of Jacksonville is still on the long road to becoming a “no kill” community.

The success and strength of this nonprofit lies in the hands of the community and local volunteers.

“Volunteers are crucial,” said FCNMHP’s Public Relations and Volunteer Coordinator, Meredith Tekin. “Our organization runs on donations and grants. We rely on everyone working together.”

FCNMHP believes in educating the community on the importance of spaying and neutering animals in order to reduce the killing percentage of dogs and cats throughout the area. This past July, in an effort to help keep homeless pets off the street, FCNMHP hosted, along with a dozen of other sponsors, the Mega Adoption event. Mega Adoption proved to be one of FCNMHP’s most successful events. At the close of the weekend-long event, over 900 animals found shelter in the homes of loving families.

“This year’s Mega Adoption event was the biggest adoption event in the U.S.,” said Tekin. “950 dogs and cats were taken in”.

According to FCNMHP’s Development Director, Dianne Wiles, last year’s Dogtoberfest raised $30,000.

“This year our goal is $50,000,” said Wiles. “We really need the community to step up.”

For more information on how to participate, please visit

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