Target Zero Right on Target Thursday, Jan. 9 at the Escambia County Commission Meeting of the Whole, following an educational presentation by Assistant Director of Target Zero Institute, Nicole Brose, approval was granted for the county’s Animal Services Division to continue working with the Jacksonville-based Target Zero, as a part of a three-year fellowship that will move Escambia County toward being a “no kill” community.
The name “Target Zero” refers to zero euthanasia practiced, or essentially a 90 percent live release rate of community shelter pets. By 2024, with the support of partnerships, it’s believed this rate is able to be achieved not only in the state of Florida, but nationwide.
Target Zero originated from the No More Homeless Pets program in Jacksonville, Fla. Although still in its infancy, Target Zero has made a drastic shift in Jacksonville, an area whose kill rates were once ranked as the worst in the country. The mission of Target Zero is to implement similar solutions in other counties, by way of fellowships. Escambia County battles issues that align closely with those Jacksonville continues to overcome, specifically a gross overpopulation of animals coming into the county shelter and low numbers of those being adopted out.
In Escambia County, the lowest live release rates are among the community cats population. Although these rates shift regularly, Brose noted the current rate for community cats at a dramatically low 10 percent.
During her presentation to the commissioners, Brose stressed the importance of community collaboration and support in order for the fellowship to prove successful.
“We do everything possible to help you succeed—that’s our goal,” said Brose.
She also added, “You can’t just point blame at one group or at one organization—it’s a community-wide effort.”
After Escambia County works through its fellowship, it will then serve in a mentorship capacity to another select fellow community, in a pay it forward model.
Target Zero focuses on getting to the root cause of each issue, to offer recommendations for solutions. Solutions often include long term sustained targeted spaying and neutering programs to help lower intake; increasing adoptions through partnerships with other community organizations such as the Pensacola Humane Society; and pet retentions programs and promoting owner responsibility.
Escambia County is in the process of scheduling an educational town hall meeting with Target Zero for Feb. 10 to further engage the local community. On the animal adoption front, in addition to regular adoption events hosted by Pensacola Humane Society, another Just One Day adoption event is planned for Feb. 11 at the Escambia County Animal Shelter, organized by the county’s Animal Services Advisory Committee.
Local Homeless Advocate to Run Cross Country Sean’s Outpost founder Jason King recently announced that he will be running from Miami to San Francisco to raise awareness of homelessness, food insecurity, and Bitcoin. The run, titled “Bitcoin Across America” is a joint partnership between Sean’s Outpost and kryptokit.com. King will run 3,214 miles in 4 months, an average of 26 miles—basically, one marathon—each day. King’s run will begin at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami on Jan. 26, with the goal of reaching Austin, Tex. by March 6 to attend the Texas Bitcoin Conference, and to San Francisco from there.
Sean’s Outpost is a local homeless outreach organization that began by delivering sack lunches to homeless camps throughout Escambia County in February of 2013. Through bitcoin, a form of digital currency, King and the Sean’s Outpost staff were able to fund over 30,000 meals by the end of the year and purchase a piece of land in Pensacola on which they have established The Bitcoin Homeless Outreach Center (BITHOC). BITHOC is located on the property, named Satoshi’s Forest in honor of the founder of Bitcoin, which was introduced in 2009.
King founded Sean’s Outpost in memory of his friend Sean Dugas, a Pensacola News Journal reporter who was murdered in 2012. Having grown to include a staff of five and multiple volunteers, Sean’s Outpost will continue to operate while King is on the road. To donate to the cause and track King’s progress during the run, visit bitcoinacrossamerica.com.
Spill, Clean, Report Thursday, Jan. 9 the term “oil spill” was in the air once again in Escambia County, but it turned out to be on a smaller scale than past episodes, thankfully. In the early hours of Jan. 9, personnel at the Quantum Resources Management facility near Jay discovered that three barrels, or approximately 126 gallons, of crude oil spilled from a holding pond into a nearby creek that flows into the Escambia River.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection responded and though the Quantum facility itself is located in Santa Rosa County, due to the presence of oil in the Escambia River, coordination began with the Escambia County Emergency Management and Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Escambia County. Unlike the recent chemical spill in West Virginia, at no point was the oil spill from the Quantum plant regarded as a public health emergency, according to the DOH.
As of the morning of Monday, Jan. 13 neither the DOH nor the county had received updates regarding the cleanup, but a spokesperson at FDEP’s Pensacola office told the IN that the cleanup had been completed on Friday afternoon. Additional monitoring had been conducted over the weekend. The next step in the process involves the facility completing an incident report detailing what specifically failed and resulted in the spill, and what corrective actions will be taken to prevent similar failures in the future. While FDEP does not have a “hard and fast” deadline for the incident report, the spokesperson said they expected the document within a matter of days or weeks.