VOCAL; Voices of Change Animal League

OHP Gets VOCAL About Animal Adoption

Ocala Horse Properties is on a mission, and it’s one that rings true with so many animal lovers in Marion County. Our rural region is home to many animals, some of which are in need of adoption and care. Matt Varney, and the Desino Brothers share more than a passion for Ocala real estate. They also are animal advocates who have all adopted animals in need.

Every year Ocala Horse Properties looks into Marion County charitable organizations to support, and this year the team at Ocala Horse Properties has chosen VOCAL (Voices of Change Animal League). “VOCAL” has been around for a short amount of time but their impact is already being felt county-wide,” Matt Varney says. “OHP is thrilled to get behind VOCAL and help create more awareness for such a wonderful organization.”

VOCAL is a recently formed 501c3 which addresses animal rescue & welfare with a slightly different approach, by making prevention their primary focus. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, VOCAL believes that if animal welfare groups and individuals work together, Marion County can become a no-kill county.

How The Founders Became VOCAL

Linda was on the board of the humane society for 10 years, and this is where she and Kate became acquainted and realized that they shared the same vision. They sat down on Jan 1st, 2015 and identified the need to focus on animal over-population by establishing low-cost neutering and spaying.

In speaking with Linda Norman, she explained how on that fated day it all began. “We decided to address the issue of overpopulation in a different way, as the revolving door was never-ending. Many backyard dogs are not fixed and feral cats are an even bigger problem. I was on the board of the Humane Society for 10 years, and that initial involvement wasn’t meant to be a life-changing event. But, the deeper we all dug into the issues, we couldn’t look away. It became life changing for all of us.”

Founded in 2015 by Linda Norman, Kate Rengel, and Lauren Carpenter, these ladies identified a need to be on the offensive with the stray animal population in Ocala. While most rescue organizations work tirelessly towards placing homeless animals in foster homes, VOCAL seeks to reduce the homeless pet population through multiple channels; prevention, adoption, and education.

L-R: Kate Rengel, Lauren Carpenter, Linda Norman. Photo credit Tammy Griffin-Vincent

On A Mission To Remain VOCAL

In April of 2015 VOCAL received their 501c3 status. This no-kill organization is now based on the following mission points:

  • Provide low-cost spaying and neutering services, with a focus on opening their low-cost spay/neuter clinic.
  • Work with our local county and city government representatives to enable them to see that solving pet overpopulation enhances the Marion County community.
  • Collaborate with all animal welfare organizations and community leaders to focus on how to accomplish the overall mission of becoming a no-kill community.
  • Educate adults and children on proper care for animals.
  • Help proliferate information on adoption to help to increase the survival and placement outcomes for shelter animals to 90% or better.
  • End breed discrimination against landlords and insurance companies.  Dogs are individuals and mixed breed dogs are just that – mixed.
  • Think outside of the box where cats are concerned.  Return to field programs are working in many communities and can save many lives while reducing the number of new births simultaneously.
  • Become a No-Kill community through prevention, not destruction.

Join Us in Becoming VOCAL!

Adopt Alice! Photo courtesy VOCAL

The team at OHP wants to challenge members of the Ocala community and beyond to become VOCAL. Our goal is to bring awareness to this group through social media and by supporting them at events. Please spread the news about this wonderful organization with your friends and family, and consider making a donation to help in their mission throughout our county. It’s nearly the holidays and they have over 115 animals in their care, what better time to adopt a wonderful pet!

In addition, please join us at their largest annual fundraising event, The FurBall, which is being held Saturday, February 10th, 2018 at the Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club. That evening promises to be one fun VOCAL event.

For more information on VOCAL, their mission, fundraising opportunities and pets to adopt, please visit their website at https://www.vocalforpets.org/