TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — While Florida State Women’s Basketball junior forward Ivey Slaughter is typically known for taking charges, on Friday morning she took charge in a different way by visiting the Leon County Humane Society in Northeast Tallahassee.
The aggressive 6-foot-1 student-athlete showed off her compassionate side at the pet rescue and adoption center. In an effort to promote Florida State’s pet adoption event on Sunday, Jan. 31, vs. Virginia Tech at 2 p.m., Slaughter got the opportunity to play with four warm-hearted dogs and hear about their background stories.
“Going to the Pet Adoption Center was very uplifting,” Slaughter said following the visit. “There are many joys a new dog or cat can bring to a family. I am really excited for our fans to have an opportunity to visit with and consider pet adoption. It’s a wonderful way to welcome in your newest best friend.”
Visiting with Slaughter on Friday was Leon County Humane Society Executive Director Lisa Glunt, a 2002 graduate at Florida State University who was a Criminology major before channeling her career focus on her love for animals. Her organization has been a pet center staple in Tallahassee since 1960, but they always benefit when given the chance to make their furry friends available for adoption at different events throughout the Big Bend area.
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“FSU reached out to us and immediately we thought it was a great opportunity, and we would love to be able to do it again in the future,” Glunt said. “Any opportunity that we have – we have such a good network at FSU when it comes to foster parents, adopters and even a lot of fraternities and sororities come out and do service projects for us. To be able to partner in a different way and add a new aspect, it’s a huge opportunity for us.”
The Florida State Women’s Basketball program, currently ranked 16th in the latest AP Poll, sees the event as a great opportunity as well. Several dogs available for adoption will be located behind section 106 of the Donald L. Tucker Center, where interested attendees can get all sorts of first-hand information about each pet. Fans who donate any pet-related item, including but not limited to collars, leashes, dog food and more, will get into the game for free.
“I believe we’re going to have probably 10 to 12, maybe even 15 animals, primarily dogs,” Glunt added. “If we have any kittens that are ready to go, we may have kittens there because they tend to tolerate the barking and the noise a lot better than an adult cat would. If somebody comes out and wants to talk to a staff member and they see we don’t have what they’re looking for that day, our staff is really good about getting an idea of what somebody wants that’s a potential adopter, and making that match with them.”
Seminole Women’s Hoops is coming off an NCAA Elite Eight season last year and is off to a 3-1 start in the always-difficult Atlantic Coast Conference. Besides having a slew of multi-talented student-athletes, the Seminoles are a team filled with animal lovers. That affinity for dogs extends even farther to the general student body, which is evident by the presence of dogs and their owners throughout the gorgeous Tallahassee campus.
Glunt, who along with her staff has worked tirelessly to find good homes for her foster animals, has said that some of her best foster owners have been college students.
“When you’re a student you don’t always have the ability where you can adopt an animal and commit to that lifetime of the animal,” she added. “So the reason that fostering is great for students are because it’s a short time commitment, we can work with the animal that goes into their home based on what their schedule is and what their needs are. We really can work around what people’s needs are, but they’re basically giving the animals a safe place and providing food, water and socialization until that animal finds a home.”
The gameday event on Jan. 31 is a win-win for both FSU Women’s Basketball and the Leon County Humane Society. Both parties are eager to make the process a success, hopeful to find new homes for loving animals while spreading awareness of the benefits of pet adoption.
“We are Tallahassee’s oldest no-kill rescue. For us to be able to get out there in an outlet and have the ability to tell people who we are, what we do and get our name out there and have our animals seen, that’s key. To be able to get the community involved in our donation drive and have the opportunity for some adoptions, that’s a huge impact. All of our dogs are foster-home based.”
Florida State Athletics Marketing has worked hard to bring unique promotions to every home event this season, and the upcoming pet adoption event is just another worthy cause to bring people together for the right reasons. Besides a Seminole win over the Hokies, the other desired result is a lot of rewarding feelings from fans who take interest in what the Leon County Humane Society does on a day-to-day basis.
It’s the same feeling that Slaughter felt after spending over an hour getting to know some of the different dogs in need of a permanent home.
“There is something to the fact that a rescue animal knows it’s a rescue animal,” Glunt added. “These animals tend to be very grateful and a lot of them have come from really harsh situations. When they get into that home, a lot of them are matches made in heaven automatically because they’re grateful to have a place and people.
“The other benefit of adopting, especially when it’s a foster-based rescue, is the animals have already been in homes with people. The foster parents can tell you whether the animal is house-trained, crate-trained, if it chews on things, how it is with other animals and children. You’re getting a variety of information.”