Senator Dana Young, along with the ASPCA, will be hosting a special reception to help provide free pet food to families in the Tampa Bay community who are struggling to feed their pets, on Wednesday, November 1st at 1:00pm at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB). Donations of pet food will be gratefully accepted at the event and will be used to supply HSTB’s Food Assistance and Animals Programs. The event will help kick of a “Month of Giving Thanks” for the Society and recognize the start of the giving season.

The ASPCA will also be in attendance to present an award to State Senator Dana Young in appreciation for her leadership and commitment to animal welfare in 2017. Both the media and general public are invited to attend the reception and to meet Senator Young.

Media contact: 813.785.6922

Senator Young walks the runway with adoptable pet, Maggie, at the 2017 Tuxes & Tails gala

The Tampa Bay Lightning, in partnership with the Bolts Better Halves, announced today their pet calendar, ‘Barks and Bolts’, is now available for purchase at both Tampa Bay Sports locations, AMALIE Arena and International Plaza, as well as online at www.TampaBaySports.com.

The 14-month pet calendar, which starts in November of 2017 and runs through December 2018, is on sale for $20 with all proceeds benefitting the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. ‘Barks and Bolts’ features 14 different players paired with either their own dogs or pets that have been adopted from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Lightning players included in the calendar are Steven Stamkos with his dog, Trigger; Victor Hedman with his dog, Harry; Nikita Kucherov with Kayla, a Humane Society of Tampa Bay dog; and Anton Stralman with his rabbits, Charlie, Lisa and Lotta.

The Bolts Better Halves, the significant others of the Lightning players, coaches and hockey operations staff, spearheaded the calendar initiative. Over the past two seasons, the Bolts Better Halves have also championed Fashion with a Cause, benefitting The Spring of Tampa Bay, and have cooked and served meals at Ronald McDonald House to comfort families who are displaced to be with their children in the hospital. Annually, the group also hosts a holiday party and generously provides gifts for families receiving services through the Children’s Cancer Center. They have also volunteered at numerous food drives in the Tampa Bay area and collected items on Ford Thunder Alley prior to Lightning home games.

Prior to the game on October 26 when the Bolts take on the Detroit Red Wings, the Bolts Better Halves and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay will be on Ford Thunder Alley for a pet supply drive and adoption clinic. Fans will be able to adopt dogs and cats and donate items that will be used to improve the care of pets in need of help. Accepted donation items include; pet food, toys & treats, grooming tools and cleaning products.

On Saturday, October 14, more than 1,000 animal lovers gathered at the Tampa Convention Center for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s annual Tuxes & Tails fundraising gala.  The Rio de Carnaval themed event found homes for more than 31 pets and netted more than $400,000 for the shelter. More than 1,000 guests drank, dined, and danced into the night, making it one of Tampa Bay’s largest events of the year.

“We are so proud to throw one of the best parties in town,” said Humane Society of Tampa Bay Chief Executive Officer Sherry Silk. “Our staff, volunteers, sponsors, and committee members work exceptionally hard to make this event successful and it is all for one thing, the animals. The money raised will go to them. They’re the ones that matter.”

Guests enjoyed cocktails, silent auction, and more than 60 adoptable pets in a Brazilian atmosphere accompanied by the sultry sounds of samba. A high-energy conga line led guests from the pre-function festivities into the ballroom for dinner, live auction and a runway show featuring some of the adoptable pets. The Convention Center’s ballroom was transformed into a tropical paradise rich with vibrant color, palms, and fantastic carnaval characters from Dorene Collier’s Event Show Productions. An after-party at The Landing with dancing, complimentary cigars, Brazilian coffee, flambé station, and libations, closed the evening in style.

A successful event committee was led by Honorary Co-Chairs Beau Williams and Andrea Gonzmart Williams, 5th Generation Columbia Restaurant. FOX 13 News’ Cynthia Smoot and Russell Rhodes served as the evening’s Mistress and Master of Ceremonies. Ties & Tiara’s sponsor and HSTB Advisory Council member, Bobby Harris, gave the inspiring speech that motivated guests to raise their hands during the donation “ask”.

Best In Show Sponsors for the event were: The Brink Foundation, and An Anonymous Friend of the Animals. Tuxes & Tails 2018 will take place on October 13, 2018 from 5:30pm to 11:00pm at the Tampa Convention Center. More information: TuxesTailsTampa.com

You Matter To Me

Written and directed by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Produced by Nabors Media Group, Inc. Voiceover provided by Kinship Productions. Footage of South Korean Meat Farm 6 provided by Humane Society International.

You Matter to Me written and performed by Sara Bareilles with featured artist Jason Mraz.

Photos courtesy of the Tampa Convention Center

On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 9:15am, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay hit a highly anticipated milestone- 100,000 Likes on their Facebook page. The Society’s social media page has seen tremendous growth since becoming more active in 2011, at which time it had about 4,000 followers. In the past six years, page administrators have focused on simple strategy; sharing positive (though often initially heartbreaking) stories of it’s animals- both those up for adoption and alumni enjoying life with a family- in order to give their audience a view of their operations from the perspective of the pets. An emphasis on striking imagery (donated by a handful of incredible volunteer photographers) and heartfelt narrative have helped create an atmosphere where followers feel connected to the animals and a part of their stories.

“We are incredibly proud of the life-saving work we do,” said Humane Society of Tampa Bay Media Coordinator, Nash McCutchen. “But the truth is, we couldn’t do any of it without our supporters. The beauty of social media is that it allows people to connect on an immediate, tangible level. They can actively observe day-to-day happenings at the shelter and have a real-time, birds-eye-view of what goes on behind the scenes. They get to be part of the animals’ lives.”

Several viral stories including Bart the Zombie/Miracle Cat and the transfer of 16 dogs from a South Korean Meat Farm, helped boost the page’s following and put the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on the global radar. This popularity prompted Chief Executive Officer Sherry Silk to set a goal of reaching 100,000 LIKES by the end of 2017, the year that marks her 10th anniversary with the organization.

“At the beginning of the summer, we were at 90,000 Likes,” said Silk. “I knew getting 10,000 more followers in six months might be a tall order, but I also knew we could do it. We do amazing things every day for animals, and people want to know about it. It was just a matter of getting the good news out there.”

On July 1, 2017, the Society kicked of a campaign, #LikeToSaveLives, aimed at hitting their goal of 100,000 Likes by December 31. Bay Stage Live, a longtime partner and supporter of the Society’s events, sponsored the campaign by matching every new Like with a $1 donation, up to $5,000. With their help, just over three months into the six-month campaign, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay has met and surpassed their goal.

While the number of Likes on a Facebook page may seem relatively unimportant to the functioning of an animals shelter, Silk emphasizes that the two are intricately linked. “The more our message is out there in the eyes and minds of the public, the more support we garner. The more support we garner, the more lives we can save,” she said. “This is all about the animals. All of our efforts, our photographs, our writings, our posts- it’s all for them.”

You can connect with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on the following social channels:

Facebook: @HumaneSocietyTampa

Instagram: @HumaneSocietyTampaBay

Twitter: @HumaneTampaBay