Splash- the hero kitty!
Splash- the hero kitty!

The morning of July 29 began the same as always for Splash; a long stretch in his condo cage, a little breakfast, and some TLC from Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) staff. Little did he know that he would soon become the hero in a story with a very happy ending.

July 29th dawned less sunny for Pailey, an 11-year-old pet cat who was suffering from severe anemia. She had become increasingly weak and was no longer able to eat or stand. The only thing that could save her life was a blood transfusion. On a referral from Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service, she contacted the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s Animal Health Center.

The veterinarians at the Animal Health Center were more than willing to help, the only thing they needed was a donor. Enter Splash.

“I received a call from one of our veterinarians asking if we had a shelter cat who could serve as a blood donor for a client who was dying,” said HSTB Director of Shelter Operations Pam Backer. “Although we’ve done many transfusions between dogs, we’ve never tried it with cats. But, there was a pet in need so I immediately began looking for a suitable donor.”

Pailey, weak and lethargic, ready to receive the transfusion.
Pailey, weak and lethargic, ready to receive the transfusion.

Splash met the criteria. Not only was he the right age, but he was large and strong and had no health issues. The handsome black and white cat with speckles on his feet and a splash of white on his nose had been turned in to HSTB when his owner developed allergies. When Backer approached his cage, he hopped right up to greet her.

“I told him we were going to have a little adventure together,” said Backer. “I also promised him a big can of wet food and extra cuddles when it was all over. He settled right into my arms, he was game!”

The transfusion went smoothly and within hours of the treatment, Pailey was alert, vocalizing and ready to go home. Her owner was visibly moved when she saw the difference in her pet who had been near death just hours before. When shown a picture of Splash, the homeless cat who had saved Pailey, her eyes filled with tears. “Thank you so much,” she said. “I don’t know what we would have done without you.”

As Pailey traveled home to recover, Splash napped comfortably in his cage with a belly full of wet food, a hero’s reward.

Photos: Humane Society of Tampa Bay

Pailey, already showing signs of feeling better,  checks out Splash during the transfusion.
Pailey, already showing signs of feeling better, checks out Splash during the transfusion.

Splash getting much deserved ear scratches after the transfusion.
Splash getting much deserved ear scratches after the transfusion.

Pailey, alert and bright-eyed after the transfusion. Ready to go home!
Pailey, alert and bright-eyed after the transfusion. Ready to go home!

Splash naps comfortably after eating his reward- a whole can of wet cat food!
Splash naps comfortably after eating his reward- a whole can of wet cat food!

In a recent blog post titled, “Spotlight on Charity: The Fight Against Animal Cruelty”, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) is named as one of only 23 local charities in 20 states to receive Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating, it’s highest level. In light of recent scrutiny of charitable organizations that has left many donors feeling wary, HSTB’s inclusion as one of America’s Best Animal Charities demonstrates to the public that the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is worthy of their trust.
In the Wallet Hub post, author John Kiernan makes the case for supporting animal charities, despite the current economic climate that may cause some individuals to hang on to their hard-earned dollars. For all that animals give to us, he points out, we have a responsibility to give back to them, especially since they “can’t speak for themselves” and are “at the mercy of man”. He promotes being smarter about what organizations we give to, to ensure that our donations are being handled with integrity.
2012 marked the fourth consecutive year that HSTB received a 4-Star Rating. According to Charity Navigator, receiving four stars signifies an organization’s adherence to good governance, fiscal responsibility and minimizing the chance for unethical activity. For the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to receive the highest score year after year is a notable achievement.
“Only 6% of the charities we rate have received at least four consecutive 4-star evaluations,” said Ken Berger, Charity Navigator’s President and CEO. “[This indicates] that Humane Society of Tampa Bay outperforms most other charities in America.”
“We are proud to have been recognized for the integrity with which we treat our generous donations,” said HSTB Executive Director Sherry Silk. “We are committed not only to helping animals, but to protecting the resources we are given by following the highest ethical standards and best practices.”
Click Here to view our latest Annual Report.

primpyourpitweb
Humane Society of Tampa Bay Urges Pit Bull Parents to Prevent Unwanted Litters during their August “Primp Your Pit” Campaign
Primp Your Pit Campaign, funded by PetSmart Charities®, will provide $20 spay/neuter surgeries (and free nail trim) for more than 6,200 pit bull terrier dogs, nationwide
Today, 35 percent of dogs and cats in U.S. households are not spayed or neutered, yet the procedure is one of the most effective ways to reduce the homeless pet population. Unfortunately, pit bulls end up in shelters in large numbers due to myths and negative publicity, which impact public perceptions of the breed.
With 8 million homeless pets entering U.S. shelters every year, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is helping to solve this problem by participating in PetSmart Charities®’ “Primp Your Pit ” August spay/neuter campaign. This year, PetSmart Charities is providing more than $394,000 in funding so that 49 animal welfare organizations, in 24 states, can perform 6,248 surgeries on pit bull terriers during the month of August.
Locally, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay plans to spay/neuter 75 pit bull terriers and pit bull terrier mixes for the special $20 rate, which includes a free nail trim and colorful bandana. This special rate during the “Primp Your Pit” event applies to all residents of Hillsborough County.
“Spaying/neutering a pet is the most effective thing a pet parent can do to prevent unwanted litters from being born that will ultimately end up in local shelters,” says Sherry Silk, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.
For pet parents who may be hesitant to get their young puppies sterilized, it’s important to note that the American Veterinary Medical Association endorses spaying and neutering puppies as young as eight to 10 weeks old. Research shows that the procedure may improve the behavior and health of the pet, including reducing the risk of certain reproductive cancers and infections.
Pit bull parents who wish to take advantage of this special offer must mention the “Primp Your Pit” promotion when they schedule their appointments. The promotion is based on availability. Please call the Animal Health Center at 813.870.3304 for more information or to schedule an appointment.