Animal shelter hits 100 percent dog release rate

Morgan Woodward, Citrus County Animal Services Director. (Courtesy photo on May 24, 2018)

The April 2018 Statistics are in for the Citrus County Animal Shelter, and they show a landmark 100 percent live release rate for dogs.

This is the first time (on record) in the history of the shelter that this has been achieved.

On average, the shelter maintains a high live release rate for dogs (more than 90 percen), but April was a special month since no dogs were euthanized.

Animal Services Director, Morgan Woodward attributes the success of the shelter to the addition of a new program called “Dogs Playing For Life” and by providing enrichment and stimulation to the dogs while they are in their kennel. “Dogs Playing For Life” is a life-saving program aimed at allowing dogs to be dogs. They are able to socialize with other dogs which have a similar “playstyle”.

Also, dogs exert more energy while playing, instead of just going for a walk. It also provides them more time outside of their kennel. While dogs are in their kennel, staff members and volunteers are introducing different enrichments and stimulation to minimize their stress levels.

“Due to the hard work and dedication of the Animal Services Staff, Volunteers, Friends Groups and Rescue Partners and the incorporation of new life-saving programs, April 2018 will remain a milestone which can only be matched, but never beaten. This is a huge win for the dogs of Citrus County,” said Woodward.

The hard work will continue as the shelter beings to focus on adding new programs aimed at keeping animals out of the shelter and developing live-saving programs for cats. Congratulations to Animal Services Director Morgan Woodward, shelter staff and volunteers for achieving this milestone and for your commitment to the animals of Citrus County.

For more information about Citrus County Animal Services or how you can adopt a pet, visit:


Carnahan attends Gulf Coast Consortium board meeting

The consortium’s plan will direct $292 million in Component 3 RESTORE Act funds to 69 diverse environmental and economic projects and programs in 23 Florida Gulf of Mexico counties.

Commissioner Scott Carnahan (STANDING, FOURTH FROM LEFT) and fellow Gulf Coast Consortium board members at their May 17 meeting in Panama Beach, Fla. (Courtesy Photo)

At the May 17, 2018 Board of Directors meeting in Panama City Beach, the Gulf Consortium formally approved the Florida State Expenditure Plan, which will direct $292 million in Component 3 RESTORE Act funds to 69 diverse environmental and economic projects and programs in 23 Florida Gulf of Mexico counties.

The State Expenditure Plan will now be sent to governor’s office for approval, with the final step being approval by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.

The Gulf Consortium is a public entity created in October 2012 by Inter-local Agreement among Florida’s 23 Gulf Coast counties, from Escambia County in the western panhandle of Florida to Monroe County on the southern tip of Florida and the United States.

The Consortium Board of Directors consists of one representative from each county government and six non-voting Governor appointees. ​Commissioner Scott Carnahan is a voting member, and represents Citrus County on the Consortium.

​​To avoid duplication and to effectively utilize available resources, Florida’s local governments are working in partnership with the State of Florida to fully recover the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

To foster the development of the State Expenditure Plan, enhance coordination, and to also ensure consistency with the goals and objectives of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council’s Draft Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy, the Consortium has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Florida Governor Rick Scott. For more information on the Gulf Coast Consortium visit:


Sheriff: Citrus County schools safe

The Citrus County Sheriff’s office says it wants to ensure students, parents and teachers that Citrus County schools are safe.

Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast

In the aftermath of Friday’s horrific shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, and the shooting at a graduation ceremony last night in Clayton County, Georgia, we want to ensure students, parents and teachers that Citrus County schools are safe.

While there are no current threats against Citrus County schools, we want to make sure in these last days of the school year, students and staff are protected and most importantly – feel safe.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office was one of the first in the state to react and place additional uniformed deputies on public school campuses immediately following the school shooting in Parkland. The Sheriff’s Office has also placed trained and highly experienced deputies to serve as School Resource Officers while funding challenges continue to be worked out for the next school year.

“The duty to protect and serve the citizens of Citrus County continues to be the most critical and vital responsibility in all of government,” states Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “We understand that it’s a scary time in our world, but for the remainder of the school year, students, staff and parents can take comfort in knowing the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is ready and on alert at all times for any threats on our school campuses.”

As always, if you see anything suspicious on one of our school campuses, please contact school officials or call 9-1-1 immediately.

UPDATE on June 12, 2018: County supplements budget for upcoming  school year:


Inverness Sertoma Club Donates to Boy Scouts

The Inverness Sertoma Club presents the Citrus County Boy Scout Troop 302 for work during the recent Floral City Strawberry Festival

SERvice TO Mankind, SERTOMA. It’s more than just how we got our name, it’s been our foundation for more than 100 years. Sertomans across the country are unified with a single purpose: serve our communities and improve the lives of those who need help.

The Inverness Sertoma Club thanks the scouts, leaders and parents of Citrus County Boy Scout Troop 302 with a check for their volunteer hours donated at this year’s Strawberry Festival, March 3 and 4 in Floral City.

Pictured are Susan Healy, Treasurer, Inverness Sertoma President Bill Catto and Scoutmaster Steve Epple at the Inverness Sertoma Club Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet held on May 3 at the Seven Rivers Golf and Country Club.

For more information about this program or how to become a member of Inverness Sertoma Club contact Cynthia Oswald at .



Citrus Springs VFW gifted with AED, training

Citrus Springs VFW receives a gift of a new AED unit, thanks to the combined efforts of Citrus County Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith and county resident Mrs. Fe Cacdac (Click for larger image)

Citrus Springs VFW has received a gift of a new AED unit thanks to the combined efforts of Citrus County Commissioner Jimmie T Smith and Citrus County citizen Mrs. Fe Cacdac.

The AED unit, contributed by Mrs. Fe Cacdac and facilitated by Commissioner Smith, was presented to the VFW at a meeting on May 9, 2018. Nature Coast EMS staff was on hand at the meeting to provide training to members on the use the new unit.

Mrs. Cacdac and Commissioner Smith are continuing to work together with a goal of getting these life saving devices into all local veterans groups.

Search warrant yields illegal prescription drugs

Debra Wells of Crystal River was charged with possession of illegal prescription drugs. The drugs were discovered during the execution of a search warrant of her home.

Early Thursday morning, detectives with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 1104 SE 1st Street in Crystal River.

Inside detectives found a stockpile of illegal prescription narcotics, as well as methamphetamine and LSD.

Members from our Tactical Impact and Forensics Units searched the home carefully for hazardous materials, after it was learned that a small trace of Fentanyl was found inside the home.

The homeowner, , 48 from Crystal River, was arrested and taken to the Citrus County detention facility with a total bond of $65,000.

Arrest charges:

* Possession of controlled substance with intent to sell methamphetamine
* Possession of controlled substance with intent to sell alprazolam
* Possession of controlled substance with intent to sell suboxone
* Possession of controlled substance with intent to sell methadone
* Possession of controlled substance with intent to sell oxycodone
* Possession controlled substance LSD/ACID
* Operate a drug dwelling
* Possession of a firearm in commission of felony
* Possession of paraphernalia