a smiling grey pit bull navigates an obstacle course

Bringing a pit bull into your home through adoption is a rewarding experience that can change both your life and the life of your new companion. These loyal and affectionate dogs make wonderful family pets when properly trained and socialized. Like any other animal, they need attention, care, and training when entering their new forever home.

When considering adoption, you may be wondering how to train a pit bull to best fit in your household. Here are five essential tips from the pit bull lovers at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to help you ensure a smooth transition. 

1. Start Early and Be Consistent

Early training and consistent reinforcement are key to helping your pit bull be a well-behaved and confident companion. Begin training as soon as you bring your new pit bull home, whether they are a playful puppy or an adult!

Consistency in your training will help your dog understand what is expected of their behavior. Positive reinforcement methods such as treats and praise work wonders to encourage good behavior.

2. Socialize Extensively

Pit bull socialization is crucial, as it helps them become comfortable and well-adjusted around people and other animals. 

We recommend exposing your pit bull to a variety of experiences, environments, and people from the time of adoption. This will help prevent fear in your dog and ensure they grow to be well-rounded and confident. Enroll your pit bull in obedience classes, work with a professional trainer, or consider arranging playdates with other friendly dogs to promote healthy social interaction.

These activities not only help with obedience but also provide opportunities for pit bull socialization with other dogs and people in a controlled environment. To broaden their horizons further, take your pit bull on trips to pet-friendly stores, parks, and even dog-friendly events like Bark in the Park 2024. These outings allow them to experience different sights, sounds, and smells, helping to contribute to their social development. Plus, you will make amazing memories with your pet that will last you both a lifetime!

3. Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in training your pit bull. Reward good behavior with treats, toys, or affection. A good head scratch and a snack go a long way!

If your pit bull makes a mistake avoid harsh punishments, as they can lead to fear and anxiety in your dog. Instead, redirect unwanted behaviors and reinforce positive ones. This approach creates a loving and trustful bond between you and your pit bull.

Pit bulls are known for their affectionate nature and strong desire to please their owners. You’ll notice the excited, adorable look in their eyes when you pet them or give them a new toy. Take advantage of this by using praise and affection as rewards, motivating them to keep it up!

4. Provide Mental and Physical Stimulation

Pit bulls are intelligent and energetic dogs that require both mental and physical stimulation to thrive. Engage your pit bull in activities such as puzzle toys, obedience training, and interactive play. Regular exercise such as daily walks and playtime in the yard is essential to burn off their energy. You and your family will have the best time running around and spending time outdoors with your pit bull. 

In addition, consider introducing agility training or nose work to challenge their problem-solving abilities. These activities not only keep their minds sharp but can also provide a great outlet for their energy.

5. Consistently Establish Routines and Boundaries

Creating a consistent routine and setting clear boundaries is crucial for your pit bull’s overall well-being and behavior. Pit bulls thrive when they know what to expect from their daily lives. Establish a regular feeding schedule, set designated times for walks and play, and maintain a consistent bedtime. This routine not only helps your dog feel secure, but also makes training more effective as they begin to understand when to anticipate certain activities.

Boundaries are equally important. Define areas where your pit bull is allowed and any areas that are off-limits. Use baby gates or closed doors to restrict access to certain parts of your home if needed. 

Now That You Know How to Train a Pit Bull…

Adopting a pit bull can be an incredibly fulfilling experience, and like with any dog, it comes with responsibility. Pit bulls deserve a family and home that sets them up for success with training, love, and care. With patience, dedication, and lots of fun along the way, your adopted pit bull will become a beloved and cherished companion for years to come. We can’t wait for you to experience this for yourself!

Now that you are equipped with pit bull training tips, consider the Humane Society of Tampa Bay for pit bull adoption. For more information, please contact us at (813) 876-7138, view our adoptable dogs, or come visit our shelter today!

a grey pit bull looks up at the camera and smiles

At the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, we adore our pit bulls. However, it isn’t just us who have fallen for this sweet breed. There are many remarkable (and familiar) advocates who have not only shown their passion for pit bulls, but have also actively worked to challenge stereotypes associated with them. 

These advocates have used their influence to change perceptions and contribute to the fight to end the stigma surrounding pit bulls. Meet four celebrities that are lovers of pit bulls just like us, and see how this breed has positively impacted their lives in more ways than one!

Dave Bautista

Dave Bautista smiles next to his 4 pit bulls

Photo via Instagram, @davebautista

​​Dave Bautista, the former WWE superstar turned Hollywood action hero, is widely recognized for his roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Drax the Destroyer. His physique and impressive acting skills have made him a household name. He also lives right here in Tampa Bay, and has even previously adopted pit bulls from our shelter! 

Not only is he a ‘Guardian of the Galaxy,’ but he is a guardian of his pit bull family. Dave has four rescue pit bulls: Ollie, Maggie, Penny, and Talulah. Bautista uses his platform to advocate for pit bull adoption, emphasizing their gentle and loving nature. He is actively involved with the “Adopt Don’t Shop” movement and collaborates with various animal rescue organizations to raise awareness about the unfair stigma pit bulls face. Through his advocacy, Bautista has helped countless pit bulls find loving homes and challenged negative stereotypes about pit bull characteristics.

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum sits on a dirt bike and smiles down at his pit bull with the sunset in the background

Photo via Instagram, @channingtatum

Channing Tatum is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, starring in films like She’s the Man, Step Up, and Magic Mike. While he may be known for being the celebrity crush of many, he is also passionate about pit bulls. And, he grew up here in Tampa Bay. 

Channing Tatum’s connection with pit bulls began with his own pit bull-catahoula mix, Lulu. He frequently shared adorable photos and videos of Lulu on his social media accounts, showcasing the breed’s gentle and affectionate nature. Even after Lulu passed away from cancer in 2018, Tatum has continued to share his support of blockhead breeds. He even recently starred in Dog, a heartwarming movie about the special relationship between man and man’s best friend that was inspired by his late Lulu.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston scratches her black and white pit bull on the head

Photo via Instagram, @jenanistonfanbase

As America’s sweetheart known for her role as Rachel Green on the hit sitcom Friends, Jennifer Aniston is an avid advocate for pit bulls.

Jennifer Aniston’s love for pit bulls became evident when she adopted her own rescue pit bull, Sophie. Aniston is a vocal advocate for animal welfare and frequently speaks out against breed-specific legislation. She has supported various pit bull rescue organizations, including the Villalobos Rescue Center, featured in the TV show Pit Bulls & Parolees. Aniston’s advocacy has not only contributed to pit bull adoptions but has also led to important conversations about responsible ownership and breed-neutral perspectives.

Justin Theroux

Justin Theroux hugs his grey pit bull with a river in the back

Photo via Instagram, @justintheroux

Justin Theorux has had his hand in many pots in Hollywood, from playing in American Psycho, Mulholland Drive, and Zoolander to helping write Tropic Thunder and Iron Man 2. Ever the busy Hollywood star, he still finds time to advocate for pit bulls.

Justin Theroux’s involvement in pit bull advocacy is deeply personal. He is a proud pit bull parent to his rescue dog, Kuma, who he often features on his social media. Theroux actively supports animal rescue organizations and uses his voice to raise awareness about pit bulls. He advocates for responsible ownership and encourages people to judge dogs based on their individual behavior, not their breed. Through his efforts, Theroux has inspired others to open their hearts to pit bulls and challenge negative stereotypes about pit bull characteristics.

Open Your Heart Today

Pit bulls have undoubtedly touched many lives, and they can add immeasurable love to your family. By choosing to adopt a pit bull today, you can join these stars in being an advocate for this sweet, loving, yet misunderstood breed. Please consider opening your heart and making a difference in the life of a pit bull at our shelter.

If you want to adopt a pit bull from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, please contact us at (813) 876-7138, view our adoptable dogs, or come visit our shelter for more information.

a black and white kitty smiles while being held by its owner

Pets have long been recognized for their potential to enhance human well-being. More than just cuddles and play time, pets can truly have a positive impact on our mental health! At the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, we’ve witnessed first-hand just how healing and powerful pets can be for their families.

If you’re considering expanding your family with pet adoption in Tampa, here’s what you need to know about the transformative impact that they can have on your well-being.

Pets Can Decrease Stress Levels

​​Studies show that interacting with animals can decrease cortisol levels, also known as the stress hormone, and lower blood pressure. Whether it’s when playing fetch, going on a long walk, or simply being in each other’s presence, your pet can drastically reduce your stress levels. 

A survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association found that 69% of respondents answered that their pets help reduce not only their stress, but also their anxiety. Not only will pet adoption in Hillsborough County with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay bring a new family member into your home, but it also may just make you happier on a daily basis.

Pets Can Decrease Feelings of Loneliness

Pets have an innate ability to connect with humans. If you have a pet of your own, you know how powerful and profound their connection can be. Pets of all kinds have been shown to decrease feelings of loneliness while providing their families with never-ending, unconditional support. 

Pets Can Encourage Movement

Having a pet, especially one who loves to play and go on walks, also naturally helps to encourage regular movement. Playing with your pet or taking them on a walk helps increase regular activity levels.

Owning a dog has even been associated with decreased cardiovascular risk. We know regular exercise helps ward off cardiovascular conditions, which can be met by walking your dog regularly. Really, having a dog is like having a walking, tail-wagging gym membership!

Before your pet adoption in Tampa with HSTB, we recommend visiting our adoptable animals and playing with them. It’s the perfect way to bond with your new pet and find your perfect match.

Experience the Healing Power of Adopting a Pet

It’s no secret that animals are amazing creatures. They offer so many benefits that many people don’t realize until they have a pet of their own. From encouraging movement and physical well-being to helping support a positive mental state, having a pet will improve your life in countless ways. 

To learn more about pet adoptions in Hillsborough County at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, contact us at (813) 876-7138,view our adoptable animals, or come visit us for more information.

a small white and curly dog is held by a doctor and smiles at the camera

If you are a dog lover, you know how important it is to stay up to date with their health. Have you considered the impact of dental health on your dog’s overall well-being? The state of your dog’s mouth has a significant impact on their health and happiness! With dental diseases being prevalent in many dogs, as well as often overlooked, it is extremely important to take your pet for regular cleanings and checkups.

As your local Tampa veterinary hospital, the Animal Hospital at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay offers accessible, high-quality dental healthcare for your dog.

The Prevalence of Dental Disease in Dogs

​​As your dog reaches the age of 3, dental problems can unfortunately become a regular part of their life. Studies reveal that a staggering 80% of dogs ages 3 and above are dealing with active dental diseases. These are not minor concerns, either. The most common dental problems in dogs include periodontal (gum) disease, tooth infections, and fractured teeth.

It is important to understand that these problems do not discriminate. No matter how healthy you think your dog is, dental issues can creep up quickly and quietly. It is highly recommended to ensure that your dog is receiving regular dental checkups to help prevent and proactively treat dental diseases before they progress.

The Impact of Dental Disease On Dogs

Beyond the surface, dental problems can wreak havoc on your dog’s overall well-being. Have you ever noticed a decrease in your dog’s appetite or an unusual uptick in irritability? These common symptoms could very well be connected to discomfort due to oral diseases. 

Since dogs can’t tell us how they’re feeling, and often have a remarkable ability to hide their pain. This poses a challenge for pet owners who care for their companions and want them to lead pain-free, healthy lives. The veterinarians at HSTB’s Animal Hospital can help protect your dog from a painful reality. 

Protecting Your Dog’s Health Through Regular Dental Checkups

When it comes to proactive care and prevention, our Animal Hospital in Tampa is here for you and your pup. A healthy mouth signifies a healthy dog, so having your dog’s teeth looked at during regular visits will ensure that you are proactively preventing and treating any dental diseases.

Prioritize your dog’s dental health and wellbeing by making an appointment today at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s Tampa veterinary hospital.

Help Promote Your Dog’s Health With a Regular Dental Checkup

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is proud to offer high-quality, accessible veterinary services to families through our Tampa Animal Hospital. At the end of the day, your dog’s comfort and happiness are the most important thing, and our team is dedicated to keeping them healthy.

To learn more about our Animal Hospital services or make an appointment, contact us at (813) 876-7138, or visit us for more information.

An older black dog with grey facial hair smiles at the camera

Statistics from the American Animal Hospital Association reveal that at least 28% of the nation’s dogs and 25% of the nation’s cats are considered seniors. Cats and dogs are considered to be seniors when they reach eight years of age. It is a sad reality that older pets are often overlooked in animal shelters and are less likely to be adopted than younger pets. 

At the Humane Society of Tampa Bay and in shelters across the country, many older animals wait for long periods of time before being adopted into a loving family. The truth is, there are many reasons why a senior animal could be the perfect pet to bring into your home! Learn more today about the importance of Hillsborough County pet adoption and why senior pets make incredible companions.

Older Pets Typically Require Less Training

a grey and white older cat looks into the camera

​​One of the many perks of adopting an older pet is that they often have prior training, meaning they can be extremely adaptive in new households. With many senior pets having once been part of another family, they are already accustomed to living in a household around people and other animals.

Unlike younger pets, many older companions often require minimal training, allowing you to focus more on building a strong bond and creating lasting memories. If you are interested in pet adoption in Tampa, consider adopting an older pet. They need just as much love as puppies do, and they may not need extensive training sessions, making the transition smoother for all.  

Older Pets Often Have a Calmer Temperament

A small grey and white kitten lays on a brown golden retreiver

In addition to their unique, lovable demeanor, senior pets often possess a wonderful gift; a naturally calmer temperament. In many cases, their maturity and life experience can contribute to a more stable disposition, which is perfect for households with young children or babies. Senior pets are also often more likely to exhibit patience; just another reason why they can be excellent companions for your little ones. 

Introducing older animals to a new space with pets tends to be easier due to their past experiences being around other pets. A senior pet is less likely to have a changing personality than a younger pet would, having grown out of younger habits. It is important to note that while senior cats and dogs are likely to be more calm, every animal is different, and past experiences play a significant role in their personality at all ages.

Older Pets Are Less Likely To Be Adopted

A black older dog with grey hair smiles

Sadly, older pets face a significantly lower adoption rate compared to younger pets. While younger animals are adopted at a 60% adoption rate in the United States, only 25% of senior pets are adopted into their forever homes. This results in overcrowding of shelters, as older animals often wait months to meet a loving family.

If you are interested in adding an older pet to your family, please consider Hillsborough County pet adoption with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Giving the gift of love and care to a senior pet is often one of the most rewarding experiences for families of all kinds. Adopting an older pet from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay not only provides endless benefits to your own life, but also brings hope and joy to a senior animal who deserves love.

Give Senior Pets a Chance To Find Their Forever Families Today

A yellow lab closes his eyes while he gets his head rubbed

Open your heart and home to an older pet today, and together, we can all make a lasting difference in their lives. By choosing to adopt a senior pet, you also actively contribute to reducing overcrowding of senior animals in shelters.

To learn more about pet adoption in Tampa, please contact us at (813) 876-7138, look through our adoptable animals, or come visit our shelter for more information.

A small brown kitten smiles as their owner pets them

Did you know that there are an estimated 46.5 million households in the United States with pet cats? If you too are a cat lover, it’s crucial to be informed about the most common illnesses that affect cats. Being able to recognize the warning signs is the most important step in protecting them. 

If you suspect that your cat is ill and requires medical attention, consider the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s animal hospital in Tampa for affordable, high-quality veterinary services. Read on to learn more about common cat illnesses and their symptoms. 

4 Common Cat Illnesses 

If you have a cat in your household, it is important to always monitor them for any signs of illness. Cat illnesses can develop quickly and quietly. 

Feline Leukemia Virus

As the second leading cause of death in cats, Feline Leukemia Virus impacts around 2-3% of all cats in the US. This virus can progress very quickly over a two to three-year period. In cats who are already immunocompromised, potential infection rates increase to 30%. Feline Leukemia Virus can be transmitted from an infected cat through saliva or nasal secretions. If left untreated, the infected cat’s immune system will weaken, and the virus could move into bone marrow, potentially leading to more lethal diseases. 

Feline Panleukopenia

Feline Panleukopenia is a common viral disease in cats. Also referred to as Feline Distemper, it is considered one of the deadliest cat diseases in the unvaccinated cat population. When infected with feline panleukemia, there is a drastic decrease in the number of white blood cells in the cat’s body, which makes the cat extremely vulnerable to other infections. Feline Panleukopenia can be transmitted through any excretions of the infected cat, such as feces, saliva, and mucus, contaminated water, food bowls, or on shoes and clothing.

Upper Respiratory Infection

Upper respiratory infections are quite common in high-density animal populations, such as shelters and feral cat colonies. These infections are caused by the spread of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa and can drastically weaken your cat’s immune system. While vaccines can reduce your cat’s risk of contracting an upper respiratory infection, you should remain vigilant in looking out for symptoms of an infection and seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible if needed.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) affects an estimated 2.5-5% of cats, with higher infection rates observed in male cats and cats who roam outdoors. The primary form of  transmission is through deep bite wounds that occur during aggressive fights, particularly among unneutered cats. FIV is present in the saliva and other bodily fluids of infected cats and can be easily passed on to healthy cats.

Common Symptoms of Illness

There are many symptoms that your cat may show that could be attributed to a wide number of illnesses. If your cat is displaying any of the symptoms mentioned, ensure that you seek necessary medical care from the Tampa veterinary hospital at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay as soon as possible. 

Symptoms of Feline Leukemia Virus

Feline Leukemia Virus affects various cells in your cat’s immune system, leading to genetic mutations, and potentially leading to cancerous cell development over time. Some of the most common symptoms include: 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever Inflammation of the gums and mouth
  • Skin and bladder infections
  • Poor coat condition

Symptoms of Feline Panleukopenia

Feline Panleukopenia can manifest in various symptoms among infected cats, but some common symptoms to keep in mind are:

  • Depression or listlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea, sometimes with blood
  • Dull and rough coat
  • Skin that has lost its elasticity
  • Green and yellow discharge around the eyes and nose
  • Other infections may develop

Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Infection

There are multiple types of upper respiratory infections that your cat could contract, with each resulting in different symptoms. Some of the symptoms to look out for are: 

  • Discharge from the eyes and nose
  • Swelling of membranes around the eyes
  • Ulcers found in the mouth
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulties breathing in some cases

Symptoms of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

FIV is a virus that can only be found in cats. It attacks and weakens your cat’s immune system and there is currently no cure. There are different strains of FIV and they can vary in severity. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your cat, be sure to take them for a check up immediately:

  • Poor coat condition
  • Consistent and recurring fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inflammation of the mouth and gums
  • Constant diarrhea
  • Chronic or recurring infections in the eyes, skin, upper respiratory tract, or bladder
  • Seizures
  • Persistent eye problems

HSTB’s Low-Cost Veterinary Services

While cats are an important part of many families, it is no secret that veterinary care can be expensive and difficult to get for families in need. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is proud to offer affordable vet services for cats, including vaccinations, regular physical exams, testing, and screening at our Tampa animal hospital to ensure that your cat is receiving the medical care they deserve.

In 2022, HSTB saved 13,298 animals and treated 39,298 pets between the shelter and the animal hospital. If your cat is displaying any unusual symptoms, be sure to visit HSTB’s trusted, accessible Tampa veterinary hospital. 

Make an appointment for a check-up with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay by calling 813.870.3304or booking an appointment online today.

a little girl plays with a small brown and white dog outside

If you ever spent time around dogs as a child, you likely have fond memories of playing games, running outside, and enjoying their company. Growing up with dogs has numerous benefits for children, from learning responsibility, unconditional love, and empathy to enhanced self-esteem. Additionally, having a canine companion in the family encourages increased physical activity and provides a constant source of joy!

From fostering positive relationships between children and dogs to supporting motor skill acquisition and necessary social skills, the importance of enriching activities is immense. If you are considering pet adoption in Hillsborough County, you would be making one of the best decisions for the betterment of your family. At the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, our team of dedicated animal lovers is committed to helping both your dog and your family grow together. Read on to learn some of the top enrichment activities for your children and dog that you can participate in today. 

Set Up Obstacle Courses

As one of the best enrichment activities for children and dogs, obstacle courses offer an excellent opportunity for outdoor fun. Engaging in obstacle courses increases exercise for dogs, helping to keep them healthy and happy. And, this activity also supports hand-eye coordination, motor planning, and problem-solving skills in children.

With a little creativity, you or your child can easily create fun DIY obstacle courses right in your own backyard! Each course made is unique and can include cones, weave poles, jump bars, ramps, and more. Once set up, encourage your child to navigate the obstacle course with your dog and reward your dog with treats upon successful completion, creating a bonding experience for everyone involved. Both your dog and your children will thank you!

Create DIY Puzzles For Your Dog

One of the best ways to foster enrichment for your child is to have them create DIY puzzles, like snuffle mats, for your dog. These mats have hidden treats or kibble that dogs must sniff out, providing a satisfying and engaging challenge. 

Ensure that you are involving your child in the creation process, hiding treats within the snuffle mat and allowing your dog to search for them. This activity encourages focus and problem-solving skills in dogs while fostering teamwork between children and their pet.

Visit the Dog Park

For most dogs, the most crucial window of learning occurs between three and 20 weeks of age. While puppies should wait until they have received all necessary vaccinations, visiting a dog park is a fantastic opportunity for older dogs to socialize and engage in playful interactions with one another. 

When your child accompanies you to the dog park, they learn responsibility by observing how to care for and respect the needs of their canine companion. The experience also helps dogs develop friendliness and good manners, while the whole family benefits from a happier and more well-socialized pet.

Go for a Swim

Living in Florida means being surrounded by water, making it essential for both your child’s and your dog’s safety to become familiar with swimming. Swimming is a joint-friendly exercise suitable for dogs of all ages, and helps them stay in shape while having fun in the sun. 

Organize swimming sessions where your child can engage in pool games like swimming races or playing catch with water-friendly toys. It’s important to note that not all dogs are natural swimmers. If your child or dog needs assistance, consider enrolling them in swimming lessons to build confidence and ensure their safety in the water.

Visit HSTB for Humane Education

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s Humane Education programs are thoughtfully designed to captivate the imaginations and interests of animal-loving children, offering an array of engaging and entertaining experiences. Your child will delight in participating in programs such as Paws for Literacy, where they can enhance their reading skills while cuddling up to a friendly dog in need of love. Birthday Parties at our shelter also provide an opportunity for children to celebrate their special day surrounded by animals, promoting a sense of compassion and responsibility. 

Pets & Tots is also a program specifically designed for toddlers and preschoolers, introducing them to animals through age-appropriate activities, stories, and gentle interactions with friendly dogs. This early exposure helps foster empathy, respect, and a love for animals from a young age. For an activity that the whole family can enjoy, Family Volunteer Days allow families to come together and actively contribute to the well-being of animals, fostering a sense of unity and shared values. 

Finally, Critter Camp offers an exciting summer adventure where children can learn about different species, their habitats, and the importance of conservation. Through interactive activities and hands-on experiences, children develop a deep appreciation for the diversity of animals and their unique needs. 

By participating in HSTB’s Humane Education programs, children not only gain knowledge about responsible pet ownership and animal welfare but also have the opportunity to forge positive connections with dogs. These interactions help build trust, improve socialization skills, and nurture a lifelong bond based on love and kindness. 

Supporting the Development of Your Child and Your Dog

Engaging in enrichment activities that combine the playful nature of children and dogs offers significant benefits for all involved. From physical exercise to mental stimulation, one of the best decisions that you can make as a parent is to support your child’s development with a life long pet companion.

For more information about enrichment activities, give the Humane Society of Tampa Bay a call at (813) 876-7138.If you are interested in pet adoption in Hillsborough County to add one of our dogs to your family, view our adoptable dogs, or come visit us at the shelter.

a grey and white pit bull mix smiles into the camera

If you have ever loved a pit bull, you know how special they are, with their unique personality, protective nature, and lovable demeanor. In 2023, pit bulls are the number one breed in the United States, and it is estimated that there are about 18 million pit bulls across the country. Despite the prevalence of this breed, these incredible dogs face an unfair stigma and are often left in shelters or on the streets for extended periods of time. 

At the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, our team of animal lovers is passionate about providing pit bulls with the homes that they deserve, because we know how deserving they are. If you are interested in adopting a dog in Tampa, learn more today about how this breed may be the perfect addition to your family.

Pit Bulls: America’s #1 Breed

a grey pit bulls sits outside with an American flag tied around his back

In shelters across the country, pit bulls are consistently overlooked due to false assumptions. Many people, even those that are animal lovers, often wonder, “Are pit bulls dangerous?” What many people may not know is that pit bulls are one of the best-tempered dogs in the U.S., and their reputation for being aggressive or dangerous by nature is extremely harmful for this lovable breed.

According to the World Animal Foundation, pit bulls scored an 85% on temperament tests, placing them in the top 23% of best-tempered dogs, despite being the most abused dog breed in the world. PETA reports that the extent of abuse that pit bulls suffer is often a main contributor to the incorrect assumption that they are overly-aggressive. The truth is, whether a lapdog, golden retriever, or pit bull, any dog can be provoked if they are treated poorly or not trained properly. Don’t discriminate, pit bulls deserve loving homes too! 

The Top Qualities of Pit Bulls

By even spending one day at the HSTB shelter, you’ll see for yourself that pit bulls are often some of the sweetest, most playful, loving dog breeds of all. Their loyalty knows no bounds, and they are known for forming strong bonds with their families. Their protective instincts make them excellent guardians and companions as well, and they are sure to make you feel loved. 

Pit bulls are often highly intelligent and adaptable, making them versatile companions for individuals and families alike. They thrive on human interaction, are incredibly people-oriented, and have no shortage of energy, so you can be sure that there will be plenty of playtime opportunities when adopting a pit bull. Whether it’s playing a game of fetch in the park or spending a cozy evening snuggled up on the couch, pit bulls are always ready to make cherished memories with their families.

The Benefits of Adopting a Pit Bull

a brown and white pit bull smiles as his owner plays with him

It is a sad truth that pit bulls tend to stay the longest in shelters, patiently awaiting the day that they join their forever family. These dogs are often overlooked due to unfair biases that pit bulls are dangerous, even though they are just as deserving of love as any other breed. Pit bulls are known for their resilience and ability to overcome adversity, making them even more deserving of a chance to be a part of your family. 

When you adopt a pit bull, you provide them with a safe, nurturing environment, giving them a chance to live a fulfilling life filled with joy. In return, they will give you protection, loyalty, laughs, and immeasurable love.

Give Pit Bulls a Fair Chance At a Happy Life: Adopt Today From HSTB

As the dog breed with the longest average time spent in shelters before getting adopted, many pit bulls begin to feel lonely and forgotten, when all they want is to play and be a part of a loving family. 

At the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, we are fighting to give these deserving dogs hope and advocate on their behalf. Take the first step towards changing the lives of these deserving dogs and experience the unconditional love and joy that a pit bull can bring to your life.

To learn more about adopting a dog in Tampa, contact us at (813) 876-7138,view our adoptable dogs, or come visit us for more information.


HSTB receives over 100 adoption applications for Persian cats with inheritance

TAMPA, Fla. — The Humane Society of Tampa Bay said it has received more than 100 applications for seven Persian cats at the shelter.

Sherry Silk, CEO of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, said 84-year-old Nancy Sauer died about six months ago and left about $300,000 to care for her animals…

Photo by: WFTS

Florida woman leaves $300K estate to her seven Persian cats as adoption requests pour in

A Florida woman reportedly has left a pricey estate to her seven beloved Persian cats, who were her loyal companions until the day she died — and there now appears to be no shortage of people wanting to adopt the felines, as they come with an inheritance of sorts…

South Tampa cats left inheritance to go up for adoption after care concerns following owner’s death

TAMPA, Fla. – Seven ‘wealthy’ South Tampa cats are looking for forever homes after their owner’s dying wish for them to be cared for after her passing wasn’t being met…

7 South Tampa Persian cats with six-figure inheritance to be adopted soon

Seven Persian cats are now up for adoption at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay after their owner left behind an inheritance to care for them long after she passed away…

7 South Tampa Persian cats with six-figure inheritance to be adopted soon

Seven Persian cats are now up for adoption at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay after their owner left behind an inheritance to care for them long after she passed away…

Photo by: WFLA

7 Persian Cats Left ‘Six-Figure’ Inheritance Find New Homes with Help from Florida Rescue

Seven wealthy Persian cats are starting a new chapter in Florida.

“I’ve been doing animal welfare for a long time. This has been an overwhelming experience. I never would’ve thought it would’ve gotten such traction,” Sherry Silk, CEO of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB), tells PEOPLE of the cat pack…

A dog lays on the floor of a home and looks at the camera

If you’re considering pet adoption in Tampa, there’s no better time than now! Adopting a pet for the first time is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also come with apprehension and uncertainty. As a leading resource for Hillsborough County pet adoption, The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is here to provide the support you need once you find your forever companion.

As a first-time pet adopter, it’s important to create a welcoming and safe environment for your new pet. Here are some helpful steps to take before bringing your pet home to ensure a smooth transition.

Choosing the Right Supplies

A dog eats their food out of a bowlBefore bringing your pet home, make a list of essential supplies they’ll need. Gather items like food and water bowls, comfortable bedding, leashes, and collars in advance to make the transition smoother, all found at the HSTB retail store.

Specific pets may require additional items like litter boxes for cats or cages for pocket pets. Investing in a high-powered vacuum like a pet hair-specific BISSELL may also be helpful, as this vacuum is designed for pet hair to keep your furniture and floors clean.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay has a convenient on-site store with basic supplies for your new pet, as well as unique merchandise to celebrate adoption!

Pet-Proofing Your Home

A grey bunny sits underneath a coffee tablePets are naturally curious, so it’s important to ensure your home is safe for them to explore. Remove any plants that are toxic to pets and secure unsafe items like loose cables, cleaning supplies, and chemicals. Some common plants that are unsafe for animals include azaleas, sago palms, cyclamens, lilies, and tulips.

You may also consider using gates or barriers initially to restrict access to certain areas until your pet becomes acclimated.

Creating a Dedicated Space For Your New Pet

A small kitty looks out from inside a basket

After adopting a pet, they may feel overwhelmed or nervous during the adjustment period, especially if they have a history of trauma or are unfamiliar with people and other pets. 

Designate a space in your home specifically for them to promote a sense of belonging, safety, and familiarity. Include bedding, blankets, and toys in this area, and minimize strong smells and bright lights at night. Adding a dim night light can help them feel more comfortable in their new environment.

Prepare for Adoption With HSTB

As a leading shelter for pet adoption in Tampa, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is dedicated to providing support throughout the adoption process and beyond. Our team of animal lovers has the expertise and tools to help you and your new pet adjust to a beautiful life together.

For more tips on adopting a pet, check out our helpful training resources.

If you have any questions or want more information about Hillsborough County pet adoption, call us at (813) 876-7138,view our adoptable pets, or come visit us in person.