Something to howl about: campaign passes halfway mark

The Caldwells have chaired major fundraising efforts for Jacksonville Humane Society. Shown here: Dave, David, Joelle Caldwell with Nala, Coco and Monkey

For the love of animals, the Jacksonville Humane Society’s Campaign for a Compassionate Community has raised more than half of its $15 million goal to build a new Humane Care and Education Center. Now pet lovers all over Northeast Florida are being asked to share their passion for homeless dogs and cats with a donation.

The quiet phase of the campaign began about three years ago, kicking off the official public launch in February 2016 with $5 million, including million-dollar pledges from public relations executive Michael Munz, chairman of the JHS board of directors, and philanthropists Wayne and Delores Weaver and Linda and David Stein. The Weavers’ gift, through the Weaver Family Foundation Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, includes a $100,000 challenge grant to encourage other donors. Campaign Chair Linda Stein has also generously offered to match up to one million in gifts or pledges.

Other donors pledging to support the campaign include the Chartrand and Lazzara families, the DuBow Family Foundation, Tom Petway III and wife Betty, Lee Thomas and wife Dorothy, the Michael and Kim Ward Foundation and the Zimmerman Family Foundation. The nonprofit has also been selected by the Petco Foundation to receive $1 million toward their needs. 

The campaign will run until all funds are raised with construction anticipated to begin in the late 2017, according to Denise Deisler, JHS executive director.

The new facility, including the new education area on the second floor, will be built at the shelter’s current location of 8464 Beach Blvd. The education area will enable JHS to provide various teaching/fun-based activities such as obedience classes, hosting children’s camp and birthday parties, and indoor walking and exercise of the animals during inclement weather.

“The new facility is about so much more than bricks and mortar,” said Deisler. “It reflects the place animals have in our lives and our love for them. It is a facility that will bring people together around that shared love and will provide the resources necessary to reach our community’s full capacity for compassion. Jacksonville is a national leader in animal welfare, our model will assist other communities in achieving the same lifesaving results.”

To donate to the campaign, go to and choose Capital Campaign or contact Amy Pierce at (904) 493-4606 or [email protected]