A community’s evolution to no kill is almost always long and challenging and usually
only successful if a coalition of local organizations supported by the community are
working toward the same goal. Jacksonville was no different, and like other communities,
the movement is often started by a single individual who promotes and pursues that goal
until others come to share the same vision and that is the point it becomes a community
effort and success is almost inevitable.
In 2000 Rick had the vision for a No Kill Jacksonville and took that vision to the city
by participating in the Mayor’s Task Force
on Animal Care & Control of 2001, which launched
the city on a course toward no kill. There were many collaborators and vital partners along
the way, that without their full participation, success would have been doubtful. But the
one constant from that vision of a no-kill community laid out in the Mayor’s Task Force Report
for Jacksonville becoming a no kill community was Rick DuCharme.
We can assist in developing a plan for your organization, community or region and work with
you every step of the way as you implement that plan.
Rick has extensive experience building and operating spay/neuter clinics.
Rick oversaw every aspect of the current location which opened in 2009, including
having the vision for such a large clinic, finding funding, design, contracting,
equipping and staffing. This clinic has 10,000 square feet of medical space, garage and
office space and has produced more than 32,000 surgeries in one year, averages around
22,000 surgeries annually and helps over 20,000 medical patients each year. Before this
location, Rick had opened two smaller spay/neuter clinics for FCNMHP and has also helped
many others in various aspects of opening and operating clinics.
This is a low-income targeted program in Jacksonville. This program and others have been instrumental
in reaching low-income pet owners and providing results in decreasing shelter admissions, particularly
seen in dramatic shelter intake reductions of puppies. This program utilizes a dedicated funding
source through the counties pet license tag sales and has been replicated around the country.
Rick has developed formulas that can help determine required surgery volumes to have impact on
shelter admissions. It is not enough to have a program, you must also ensure program utilization
Designing and implementing the Feral Freedom
program in 2008 lead to a revolution in the way that shelters nationwide
handle outdoor cats that come to them. Under Rick’s leadership, FCNMHP partnered with Jacksonville
Animal Care & Protective Services to take all of the Community Cats that entered the city shelter and
sterilize, vaccinate and return them to their home territory. This type of program soon became the
national best practice for shelters and is known as Shelter-Neuter-Return in most of the hundreds of
communities nationwide now practicing it. This program provided a path to no kill for Jacksonville
and for shelters nationwide.
Many organizations and communities hold adoption events, but Rick had the vision to take community adoption
events to an entirely new level with Jacksonville’s Mega Adoption Events. At their height, these three day,
extremely effective adoption events would find homes for over 1,100 pets, emptying area shelters. The formula
for making adoption events MEGA developed in Jacksonville is now practiced by groups from all around the country.
We can help you make your programs MEGA as well!
The Jacksonville prison dog program was widely popular locally and was effective at helping both inmates and big
shelter dogs. This program operated in several prisons and helped dogs from several shelters. FCNMHP started the
local program and then successfully transitioned it to local partners for ongoing management.
Vet Tech Training Program
In Jacksonville, recruiting experienced vet techs was very competitive and it is expensive to train inexperienced
people to be vet techs. Rick developed a plan to fill the community’s needs for vet techs and get help paying for
training by partnering with human welfare groups that were seeking job training for their clients. This innovative
plan is an example of how we can help you overcome whatever obstacles you face.
In 2016 FCNMHP opened their Cassat Avenue Regional Animal Hospital, the largest nonprofit animal hospital in the
southeast with a capacity to see 100,000+ patients and produce $5 million in revenue annually. Rick had total responsibility
for the hospital, from the initial vision to site selection, funding, design, contractor selection, equipment and staffing.