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Introducing: The Ponce Animal Foundation, Inc.

Special to Seniors Today

Their story began with the horrific killing of a 9-month-old black Labrador Retriever puppy named Ponce, who was brutally killed in 2017, in Ponce Inlet, Florida. From this horrendous killing is what came to be known as Ponce’s Law.

Ponce’s Law is the felony aggravated animal cruelty statute for the state of Florida (F.S. 828.12) and it enables the courts to sentence abusers to stricter sentences and allows at the court’s discretion, to ban convicted abusers from owning or having contact with animals.

To further help with the welfare of animals that are in need of medical care and emergency treatment, The Ponce Animal Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was created. Debbie Darino is the President and Founder of The Ponce Animal Foundation.

Nancy Lohman was also very instrumental by sharing her knowledge and guidance with Debbie in setting up the organization. Nancy was also the first to donate! Through Debbie’s tireless work as the creator of Ponce’s Law, many other efforts to help with the protection of animals were also created. As a result of her work on behalf of all animals, she was awarded the following:

  • The Ponce Animal Foundation President and Founder Debbie Darino
  • Top Ten Animal Defenders in America 2019 from the ALDF
  • Humanitarian Of The Year from the Halifax Humane Society
  • Canine Warrior Award from the Veteran’s Group Ormond Strong
  • Best Practices Award from FAC
  • Proclamation naming “Debbie Darino Day” from Volusia County, FL
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the Town of Ponce Inlet


The Ponce Animal Foundation, Inc., will cover expenses on a three-fold basis as follows:

  • Animals that are victims of
    Domestic Violence.
  • Animals that are victims of
    Animal Cruelty.
  • Animals who are homeless, indigent, strays, victims of natural disasters, and for owners or rescues that are unable to cover the cost of services for medical treatment through veterinary and emergency medical care.

Foundation Goals

What are the goals of the foundation? The organization is dedicated to helping those in need of funds to care for their animal(s) that require veterinary care, emergency medical treatment, and/or other services.

Support is based on fund’s availability from donations, therefore, after payment has been made by The Ponce Animal Foundation Inc., any outstanding balances will be the responsibility of the owner.

In addition to the work above, the Foundation is working on building kennel runs at the shelter that will be in-stalled to the rooms of victims and animals of domestic violence so that the owner can bring the pet with them This way NO pet is left behind to endure abuse and together they can heal.

Here is a disturbing statistic… seventy-one percent of women in domestic violence shelters report their abuser threatened, injured, or killed a pet. Many women choose to stay in an abusive situation because they fear leaving their pet. Thus, you can see how important adding the kennels would be in the shelter.

How You Can Help
Thousands of animals each day lack the funds required to care for their health and well-being. Through your generous donations, donors help the foundation pay for the immediate medical care and expenses that are needed in order to protect, save, and meet the needs of animals requiring medical treatment. The foundation will be totally funded by donations. Please consider making your tax-deductible donation today on the foundations website: ThePonceAnimal to help make a difference in the lives of all animals.

If you are able, please make a donation and help The Foundation reach it’s goal of providing their services and build the kennels at the abuse shelter. Please visit the website at: