Welcome to Sarasota in Defense of Animals.

Unwavering loyalty and dedication, Since 1989 SDA has helped the animal victims of cruelty, neglect, sickness and abandonment.

SDA is proud of its accomplishments and the establishment of not only a credible reputation for protection of animals in Florida, but nationally as well.

Thank You Sarasota County!


Sarasota County Commission Approves Banning the Commercial Retail Sale of Puppy Mill Dogs and Cats in Sarasota County.

A special THANK YOU to Karen Ankerstar! She has worked for over four years and countless hours on the drafting and approval of this ordinance.

Your Support helps SDA Accomplish Goals such as this Monumental Achievement!

Meet one of SDA's special volunteers

SDA would like to say, "thank you and meow" to EILEEN ENGBER!!

Having a wonderful sanctuary does not just happen! It takes a lot of hard work, love, compassion, money, and dedication by so many people who truly love SDA and the animals that live here. Our workers and volunteers go above and beyond for these precious animals... and we would like to acknowledge one of our long-time volunteers!

If we at SDA were asked to define loyalty, we would say, "Eileen Engber!!!"

For the past 12 (yes, 12) years, Eileen has come to our SDA sanctuary every Monday and works all day long in our catteries caring for 150 previously homeless resident cats. Eileen cleans litter pans, mops floors, feeds cats, gives medications and puts fresh laundry on places where our lazy cats lounge, sleep and hang out.

Eileen not only does all of these chores for the cats, but makes generous monetary donations as well. We often call upon her to transport cats to a veterinary clinic and she has even paid for the medical treatment for many of her favorite cats. Eileen has donated all of these services without fanfare for 12 long years and we are eternally grateful to her. Eileen Engber sets a pure example of loyalty and how to translate a love for animals into action. Thank you Eileen! SDA and the animals love you!

Have you had a bad experience purchasing a pet from Petland, Puppytown, or another retail pet store in Sarasota?

Please read the following and speak out about your experience!

We may be able to tell you exactly where your puppy came from. Remember, no matter what they tell you, ALL pet stores buy from puppy mills.

Retail pet stores often knowingly sell animals with preexisting health problems stemming from inhumane conditions. The buyers are then stuck paying for unexpected medical bills and many animals suffer needlessly from this practice. This is an acknowledged problem, and 9 other cities in alone Florida have already banned retail pet sales, with 35 cities banning the practice nation-wide.

For these reasons, the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners is currently reviewing an ordinance that would ban retail pet sales in Sarasota County while still allowing adoptions. This issue has become HOTLY contested, and the Board plans to revisit the issue in early 2014, pending further investigation.

To convince the Board that this dishonest and inhumane practice needs to be banned, we are currently collecting stories of people's negative experiences purchasing pets through retail sellers in Sarasota.

We ask that you share your story by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please include as much detail as you are comfortable with, such as rough dates, costs, photographs, and personal outcomes.

Please forward this email to anyone you think may have an opinion on this or a story to share.

Help us stop this dishonest and inhumane business practice by convincing the Board to ban it in Sarasota!

For more information on retail pets sales and puppy mills, please visit:  http://www.prisonersofgreed.org/


Tatum Ridge Elementary - Save The Animals!

A special thank-you goes to Mrs. Ozkan's Tatum Ridge Kindergarten Class, that held a plant sale and raised an amazing $622 for SDA.

Mrs. Ozkan is a remarkable teacher who has been leading her classes for many years in a humane project called, "The UNLESS project" whereby her class makes and sells items to raise funds for donation to SDA. Every year they surprise us with a really nice size check from the proceeds of their project. "The UNLESS Project" is designed to encourage her little kindergarteners to make the world a better place and gets its motto from the Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax, quote: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Click here to read the letter

"G.G." 's Story -- A Precious Handicapped Goat Rescued by Sarasota in Defense of Animals (SDA)

Two weeks ago I received a telephone call from Cirese Terry who had visited a goat dairy farm near Sarasota, Florida and had seen a pitiful little goat out in the rain (goats hate rain) and knealing on her front legs.

Cirese was disturbed at the sight of this little female creatures and coordinated with me to take the goat to a veterinarian to get a diagnosis and possible treatment for her. Arrangements were made for a vet clinic appointment via SDA & our vet immediately said "This goat has a birth defect and there is nothing I can do for her. Her condition is untreatable and she will remain walking on her front elbows the rest of her life." He did not speculate as to what her life expectancy would be.

Read more: "G.G." 's Story -- A Precious Handicapped Goat Rescued by Sarasota in Defense of Animals (SDA)

The Bond

Wayne Pacelle, CEO of Humane Society of US, was in Sarasota for a book signing.

Wayne Pacelle's new book, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them, examines our contradictory attitudes towards animals and points to a better way forward. CEO and president of the nation's largest animal protection organization, Pacelle has helped to bring animal protection from the margins to the mainstream during his quarter century of work in the field, which includes 17 years at HSUS.

"The Bond" has appeared on many best-seller lists, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times.