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The HSUS Joins Forces with SPCA Wildlife Care Center

Broward's Lt. Sherry Schlueter to Lead Wildlife Rescue and Rehab Center

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States and the Broward County SPCA Wildlife Care Center announce that a corporate combination of the two organizations took effect on Saturday, June 27. The groups announced in November that they had plans to join forces, and that process is now complete.

Sherry Schlueter, who is retiring from the Broward Sheriff's Office after a remarkably distinguished career, will become director of the center's staff and activities. Schlueter led the sheriff's office's Special Victims and Family Crimes section. She is an expert on the connection between animal cruelty and human violence, and has been associated with the SPCA Wildlife Care Center since its earliest days.

"I am delighted to be joining The Humane Society of the United States and grateful for the opportunity to lead the effort to protect and care for wild animals in South Florida," said Schlueter. "The SPCA Wildlife Care Center is a special place with a dedicated and talented staff. I am privileged to have the opportunity to work with them and with the leadership of The Humane Society of the United States."

Schlueter has served as vice president of the board of directors of the center for many years. Her involvement with the center dates back to 40 years ago when she and her sister helped care for injured and orphaned wild animals at the home of Bea Humphries.

Humphries rescued and cared for animals out of her Florida home before founding the center on Oct. 9, 1969. The organization moved to a 4.1-acre property in Fort Lauderdale in 1970 and now has a staff of 60, including veterinarians and veterinary technicians. The staff is supported by 600 active volunteers who care for 400 to 900 animals at any one time. The property contains habitats and rehabilitation centers where animals are treated and prepared for release.  

The SPCA Wildlife Care Center serves the South Florida Tri-County region with rescue, rehabilitation and release services for wildlife and selected domestic animals, including certain farm animals (not dogs and cats). The Center admits approximately 14,000 injured, orphaned, abandoned or abused native wild animals or exotic domestic animals per year. The SPCA Wildlife Care Center will retain its management, distinctive programs and local identity while joining The HSUS' family of animal care and protection programs.

"I have been an admirer of Sherry Schlueter for years for her law enforcement work and her work on the relationship between animal cruelty and other criminal behavior," said Wayne Pacelle, The HSUS' president and CEO. "Now, we are thrilled to have her on full time, and running the SPCA Wildlife Care Center and representing HSUS on a broader set of issues in south Florida."

Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti said, "Sherry Schlueter pioneered the field of animal abuse investigation right here in Broward County. She got the Broward Sheriff's Office started in terms of special victims' investigations when she started her career. This is a great opportunity for her. She has had a stellar career and our loss is definitely HSUS' gain."     

The SPCA Wildlife Care Center becomes the fifth animal care center under the auspices of The Humane Society of the United States and makes us one of the largest and most diverse providers of direct care for animals in the United States. The HSUS directly cared for more than 70,000 animals in 2008 through its sanctuaries, rehabilitation centers, spay and neuter services, mobile veterinary clinics, disaster response, and other programs.

The other animal care centers, operated with the Fund for Animals, include the Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas (which has more than 1,000 large mammals, including more than 700 horses and other equines), the Wildlife Center in Ramona, Calif., and the Duchess Sanctuary in Oregon (a horse sanctuary).

The corporate combination is the latest in a series of strategies to increase The HSUS' portfolio of programs and affiliates. In 2005 The HSUS joined with The Fund for Animals. In 2006 The HSUS joined with the Doris Day Animal League. In 2007 The HSUS joined with the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights to create the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.