Say Yes to “Defund Amendment”

Help Save The Lives of Horses

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From the ASPCA

Each year the United States House of Representatives takes up the Agriculture Appropriations Bill – the annual spending bill for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA is the branch of the Federal Government that handles animal related issues. We are building support for an amendment to that appropriations bill to renew a prohibition on funding for USDA inspections of horse slaughter plants. This “Defund Amendment,” in effect, keeps horse slaughter plants from opening in this country until we can pass the SAFE Act. DOWNLOAD HORSE SLAUGHTER DEFUND FACT SHEET

How You Can Help
Send a letter to Congressman Jolly using this link: http://jolly.house.gov/contact/email-me/. One of the most important factors in decision-making for legislators is knowing that stake holders in their districts feel a certain way about an issue. Additionally, placing a call to his Washington, DC office at (202) 225-5961 just letting the staff know that you urge Congressman Jolly to vote YES on the Defund Amendment when it is offered in the Appropriations Committee. If you have a Facebook page, please also urge your friends to make a call, too!

Information on Horse Slaughter
There are many myths widely believed about horse slaughter: that it would stimulate the economy, if slaughterhouses were reopened in the U.S. better conditions could be regulated, and that slaughterhouses are necessary to the management of equine overpopulation. These facilities pollute local water, decrease property values, and damage the environment. It is revealing that states such as Texas and Illinois, where slaughterhouses once existed, now have implemented laws specifically banning selling, giving and possessing horse meat intended for human consumption. Furthermore, there is no way to create better slaughtering conditions for these animals. Due to their unique build and strong “flight” reflex, horses are much more difficult to render unconscious than, for example, a cow. That means the majority of horses proceeding to dismemberment are still conscious and forced to experience a slow and excruciating death. In addition, these horses are forced to experience hours of cramped transportation for days at a time without water or proper care before reaching the slaughterhouse. Contrary to the myth that slaughterhouses are necessary to manage equine overpopulation, responsible breeding and ownership practices can provide a complete solution for the U.S. horses going to slaughter each year. DOWNLOAD MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT HORSE SLAUGHTER

Timing
We’re expecting this vote to come up very soon- potentially by next Wednesday (June 24, 2015). Getting a letter into his office could be very influential on how he votes. We are not sure if he will vote to sustain the prohibition on USDA funding of horse slaughter plant inspections again this year, and we are looking for all of the help that we can churn up before he makes his decision.

Response To Criticism About Our Transfer Program

The following is a response to the article titled “While in-state dogs and cats die, groups rescue from out of state” posted at Examiner.com on June 9, 2015 by Pamela Kramer as well as to those individuals criticizing our Transfer Program through social media.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) is currently being criticized by groups and individuals who question our practice of transferring out-of-state puppies and small dogs into our facility while local animals (Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, HCPRC) are slated to be euthanized at the county shelter due to lack of space.
Much of the information being shared by these critics is untrue and the result of individuals jumping to conclusions without knowing the full story.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay should not be blamed and criticized for pet euthanasia in this county. The blame for this tragic reality should be placed on irresponsible pet owners who do not spay/neuter their pets or abandon their pets at shelters when they are no longer convenient to care for. *Please note: there are legitimate reasons why some owners have to surrender their pets to shelters. We understand and respect those reasons and are here to help when those unfortunate circumstances arise.

We offer the following points in rebuttal to the accusations we have received thus far:

1. “Why does HSTB take animals from out-of-state when local animals are dying in shelters?”

a. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay takes SMALL DOGS AND PUPPIES from Out-of-State facilities when room allows. Most of the dogs dying in local shelters are large breed dogs, particularly pit bulls. We are notified every day by the county of animals on their euthanasia list and help when we are able. HSTB has limited kennel space for large dogs. We can house 25 large dogs at a time while we can house 125 small dogs and puppies. Our large kennels are normally at 100% capacity as we receive large dogs from the following LOCAL sources: owner surrender, strays and local county facilities such as Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Polk County, Highlands County and Manatee County. IN OTHER WORDS, THE DOGS WE ARE TAKING FROM OUT-OF-STATE ARE NOT TAKING AWAY KENNEL SPACE FROM THE ANIMALS ON LOCAL EUTHANASIA LISTS (large dogs needing large runs). Why should our small cages, that we can’t fill locally, sit empty while puppies and small dogs are dying in other states?

b. WE DO NOT TAKE CATS FROM OUT-OF-STATE, only from owner surrenders, strays and local county facilities. We, like all other rescues and shelters, are inundated with cats. Currently, in addition to the cats in our shelter, we have approximately 125 out in foster homes. If we are unable to take a cat from HCPRC it is simply because we don’t have room to house or foster them.

c. We take local animals, 7 days a week, from owners who surrender their pets to us. More than half of our animals come directly from the public in the form of owner surrenders.

d. We take local animals, 7 days a week, through the acceptance of strays. In November 2014, The Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center entered into an arrangement to begin taking in strays and holding them at our facility rather than sending them to HCPRC. The aim was to reduce the intake at HCPRC so their animals would have more days to be adopted and they would be able to euthanize fewer pets. Here are the facts:

    i. SINCE JANUARY 2015, THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF TAMPA BAY HAS TAKEN IN 880 STRAY ANIMALS. Of those 880 animals, only 118 have been transferred back to HCPRC due to either our lack of large kennel space or bite cases requiring quarantine with the county.

    ii. According to HCPRC, we have reduced their intake by at least 500 animals since January.

2. “You want them [out-of-state puppies] for profit. You don’t care about the puppies in our shelters.”

a. WE ACTUALLY LOSE MONEY ON ADOPTIONS. We do not make a profit on ANY of our animals, large or small, baby or adult. And we DO NOT RECEIVE MONEY FOR TRANSFERS. We put an enormous amount of money into the medical care (including spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, blood work, X-Rays, microchips, medication, heartworm treatment, etc.) housing, feeding and enrichment of our animals- we do not make that money back when they are adopted. However, finding homes for animals is what we are all about and we gladly pay for their care while they are with us. Even though we don’t make any money on their adoptions, we celebrate each time an animal goes home.

b. CHARITY NAVIGATOR HAS RATED US A 4-STAR CHARITY (HIGHEST RATING) FOR THE PAST 6 YEARS. This shows that we are committed to fiscal responsibility and transparency. 89% of annual monies received goes to our Programs and Services- our animals- which we do not make profit from.

c. Our local county shelters, HCPRC in particular, have ramped up their adoption programs to the point that they very rarely have puppies available for us. The public wants puppies and we want them to go to shelters, rather than puppy mills, to get them. THE ANIMALS BEING EUTHANIZED FOR SPACE AT HCPRC ARE NOT PUPPIES, THEY ARE CATS AND LARGE ADULT DOGS. When HCPRC has puppies in need of transfer, we take them. We also take nursing mothers and their litters from Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, Highlands and Manatee Counties when needed.

d. We have already addressed in Point 1 that we take as many large adult dogs as we are able from owner surrender, strays and local county facilities. We can only house 25 at a time making our ability to help limited.

Finally, we’d like to reiterate a point: the animals we are transferring from out-of-state are coming from facilities that will euthanize them if other organizations cannot take them. These are healthy puppies and small dogs that deserve to live just as much as the large dogs and adult cats inundating our shelters in Tampa Bay. We save as many lives as we can. We are deeply saddened that we cannot help every animal in need. Our intake staff have very difficult and emotional jobs and are often heartbroken about the animals we have to turn away. Again, pet overpopulation and euthanasia is not our fault. It isn’t HCPRC’s fault and it isn’t the fault of rescue organizations or other county shelters. The fault lies with irresponsible pet owners. Until our community adopts a culture where pets are routinely sterilized and not seen as disposable, the tragedy of euthanasia for space will continue. We’ll be here to help as many as we can, for as long as we can. We hope you will support us in our efforts.

Free Felines For the Month of June

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Scotties Facial Tissues announced today that in honor of National Cat Adoption Month (June) they will be sponsoring cat and kitten adoptions. In partnership with the Humane Society of Tampa during the month of June all adoption fees for select felines at that location will be waived up to $5,000 in order to place them in loving homes.

“There is so much good that we hope to do in 2015 for cats and kittens in need of a good home,” said John Robertson, Scotties Marketing Director. “Whether it’s inviting a new kitten into a forever home or bringing home a box of tissues to a sick child – these are the moments of softness and compassion that should be praised and supported.”

This non-profit partnership is a key focus for Scotties in 2015 and in addition to their efforts in Florida they are also making $5,000 donations to animal protection organizations in Boston, MA and Raleigh, NC.

    What: Scotties Cat & Kitten Sponsored Adoption With The Humane Society of Tampa

    Where: Humane Society of Tampa, 3607 N. Armenia Avenue, Tampa, FL 33607
    Phone: (813) 876-7138

    When: The entire month of June

“When a cat or kitten is ‘boxed up’ to be taken home to a loving family, there is no better feeling in the world,” said Sherry Silk, CEO of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. “We know the compassion and love that these bundles of softness receive will be reciprocated 10 fold to their owners. We hope that more potential adoptive parents will open their home to a cat or kitten.”

The need still remains strong to help find cats and kittens alike loving homes. Each year, approximately 8-12 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide and on average 5-9 million are euthanized.

Scotties hopes to rally support for this cause and to put approximately 100 – 150 cats and kittens into their forever homes.

About Scotties Facial Tissues:
Considered one of the top facial tissue manufacturers in the United States, Scotties Facial Tissues is owned by Irving Tissue, Inc. a Canadian-based and family owned company committed to managing its operations in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible manner. For more information about Scotties Facial Tissues please visit www.scottiesfacial.com.

About The Humane Society of Tampa Bay:
For more than 100 years, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay has been dedicated to ending animal homelessness and providing care and comfort for companion animals in need. Named a Four-Star Charity by Charity Navigator for six years running, and accredited by AAHA, the standard in veterinary excellence, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is dedicated to the highest standards in animal sheltering and veterinary care. Our adoption programs, Animal Health Center services, community outreach efforts and volunteer opportunities are essential to the health and well being of animals across Tampa Bay. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is leading the way because every life counts.



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