October 2, 2017 The 2017 Tuxes & Tails RIO CARNAVAL is sold out. Last’s years Arabian Nights sold out one week prior to the festivities, to have reached capacity at two weeks out is unprecedented for the event. Last year’s success as well as the buzz created by the event’s popularity have led to an increase in both sponsorship and ticket sales. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will welcome more than 1100 guests at the October 14th festivities where they will aim to raise more than $360,000 and find loving homes for more than 60 homeless pets.

September 19, 2017 On Saturday, October 14, 2017, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay will host the 2017 Tuxes & Tails Fundraising Gala from 5:30pm to 11:00pm at the Tampa Convention Center. ‘Rio Carnaval’ will offer an enchanted evening in the tropics, hosted by co-chairs Beau Williams and Andrea Gonzmart Williams, 5th Generation Columbia Restaurant Group, and more than 1,000 guests are expected to attend. Reservations are limited and can be made at

The evening will begin with a cocktail party and silent auction complete with adoptable pets, entertainment, and complimentary beer and wine (a VIP Lounge with open bar and special entertainment is available for $5,000+ event sponsors). The pre-function festivities will be followed by dinner, a high-energy show featuring Dorene Collier’s Event Show Productions, a Live Auction, and a runway show emceed by FOX 13 News’ Cynthia Smoot and Russell Rhodes, where adoptable pets take center stage. When the lights go down on the catwalk, animal lovers will continue the revelry at The Landing as they enjoy libations, dancing, Brazilian coffee, and complimentary cigars at the event’s signature after-party.

“Last year’s ‘Arabian Nights’ sold-out and raised $360,000 for our homeless animals,” said Humane Society of Tampa Bay Special CEO Sherry Silk. “This community is so generous and supportive of our programs. They love animals and they love a good party; we offer an evening with both and are confident that ‘Rio Carnaval’ will break last year’s all-time record,” she said.

The 2017 Tuxes & Tails fundraising Best in Show Sponsors include The Brink Foundation, and An Anonymous Friend of the Animals. Recognition of all event sponsors is available at


It’s been a long week, but we are still here. We can’t thank you enough for the support you showed us during the storm. While it was raging around your own property and family, you still checked in with us. You make this community great and we are honored to be a part of it. Below is a rundown of how we fared during Irma and how you can help us get back to normal.


All of our animals came through the storm with flyer colors and even enjoyed their “sleep over” with staff at our animal hospital or their time with their foster families.

Our property sustained only minimal damage.

Our amazing volunteers rallied to our shelter on Tuesday to help us clean up debris and prepare to reopen.

We began taking in strays on Tuesday and opened for adoptions and veterinary services on Wednesday.

We pulled nearly 20 animals from Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center to help them with capacity.

We will be taking shelter pets from Manatee county to help them make room for animals displaced in the storm.

The 55 animals we evacuated to St. Huberts Animal Welfare Center arrived safely and many are already available for adoption this week.

The outpouring of support we have received has been touching. From volunteer help to donations to kind words, we couldn’t be more proud to call Tampa Bay “home”.


Being closed for four days resulted in the loss of nearly $50,000 in operational revenue.

Water intrusion caused the loss of a large quantity of dry cat/dog food and supplies.

Around 100 of our animals lost out on the chance of being adopted, have added nearly a week to their stay with us, and are now returning to the shelter from their foster families in hopes of finally going home.


Disaster situations bring out the very best and the very worst in people. While we mostly saw the good, we did fall victim to looting. A shed on the back of our property was burglarized and nearly $2,000 worth of essential equipment was stolen. We now need to replace the following items:
  • commercial grade weed eater
  • backpack blower
  • hedge trimmer
  • chain saw
  • pole saw
  • edger
  • generator


  • DONATE to our general operational fund to help us recover the incurred cost of revenue loss, damage, and theft
  • DONATE dry cat and/or dog food as well as toys, beds, and treats for our homeless pets
  • Donate gift cards from Lowes or Home Depot
  • Donate of any of the stolen tools mentioned above (Stihl brand preferred, used is fine)
  • ADOPT one of our amazing animals looking for love

Accepting strays until 2pm Tuesday, 9/12

We are very grateful that all of our animals made it through the storm safely and that our facilities only sustained minor damage. Most of our cleanup is debris and we will be reopen for adoptions and veterinary services tomorrow, Wednesday, September 13th.

We also received word that the 55 dogs and cats we sent to St. Huberts Animal Welfare Center in Morristown NJ arrived safely. That mission was done not only to keep them safe from the storm but also to free up kennel space here at the shelter so that we could handle the influx of animals displaced in the storm. We are accepting strays until 2pm today, Tuesday 9/12, and again when we reopen for normal business tomorrow. We will also be taking animals from the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center and are working with national organizations to see how we can help other shelters in the state.

If you fostered one of our animals during the storm, please bring them back to us tomorrow, Wednesday September 13, or contact our Foster Care Coordinator to make other arrangements: 813.774.4336 or

Stay tuned for more updates.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay to close shelter and move animals for Hurricane Irma

UPDATED 9/10/17 @ 9:30pm
Media inquiries: 813.785.6922 or 813.625.3449

We received the great news today (9/8) that the Humane Society of the United States will be flying 50 of our animals out of Tampa on Saturday, September 9 to the safety of northern shelters with available space. This will not only leave us with fewer animals to care for during the storm but will allow us to take in animals from decimated Florida shelters after the storm subsides.

The animals remaining in our care will be moved to our animal hospital at 8am Sunday morning. A crew of key staff including our shelter veterinarian, director of shelter operations, and CEO will remain on site with the animals throughout the storm.

Our animal hospital will be open Saturday, September 9th from 8:30am to 12:0pm to accept walk-ins for vaccinations and microchips. We will also see pets for other medical needs as time allows.

Humane Society of Tampa Bay Animal Hospital
3809 N Armenia Avenue, Tampa, FL 33607


VOLUNTEER to help us move supplies and prepare the animal hospital to become a temporary holding center for our pets during the storm.
When: Saturday, September 9th, beginning at 12pm until the job is finished
Where: 3607 & 3809 N Armenia Avenue
Contact: 813.774.4344 or

FOSTER a homeless animal during the storm
How: Come to our shelter and check in with the front desk staff, they will guide you on paperwork and how to pick out your animal to foster
When: Friday, September 8th until 7:00pm or Saturday, September 9th from 10am to 2pm
Contact: 813.876.7138 or

DONATE to help cover the extra costs that will be incurred from storm-related supplies, medical and operational costs, repairs, and damages.

Due to our current capacity and proximity to water we are not accepting any owner surrenders of pets and strongly encourage all stray animals to be taken to Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center which is farther inland. Please call them first to see if they have capacity: 813.744.5660

  • The shelter will remain open for adoptions Friday (9/8) from 12:00pm to 7:00pm and on Saturday (9/9) from 10:00am until 2:00pm.
  • The Animal Health Center will remain open to the public Friday (9/8) from 8:30am to 3:00pm and Saturday (9/9) from 8:30am to 12:00pm.
  • The shelter and Animal Health Center will be closed Sunday (9/10) and Monday (9/11) and will plan to reopen for normal business hours on Tuesday (9/12)
  • Depending on the path and severity of IRMA additional closings may be necessary
  • There will be no Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return services for feral cats Monday and until further notice
  • Feral cats are very adept at protecting themselves in disaster situations. For their safety, please leave feral cat colonies alone so that they can seek shelter and higher ground according to their instincts
  • All Humane Society of Tampa Bay events and affiliated events for the weekend of September 8 through 10 are canceled

If you have questions about how to keep your own animals safe, please visit our Disaster Resources Page

If you have questions about our shelter animals and how you can help us during this time, please email us at

Pet-Friendly Shelters in Tampa Bay Area


  • Lecanto Primary School


  • D.S. Parrott Middle School


  • Burnett Middle School, Seffner
  • Sgt. Smith Middle School, Tampa
  • Bartels Middle School, Tampa
  • Shields Middle School Way, Ruskin


  • Braden River High
  • Manatee High School
  • Mills Elementary School


  • Mike Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter


  • Oak Grove Middle School, Clearwater
  • John Hopkins Middle School, St. Petersburg
  • Dunedin Middle School


  • Philip O’Brien Elementary School, Lakeland
  • Alta Vista Elementary School, Haines City
  • Lake Region High School, Eagle Lake


  • Brookside Middle School
  • Riverview High School
  • North Port High School
  • Pine View School
  • Heron Creek Middle School
  • Woodland Middle School