On Saturday, May 21st, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is proud to be a sponsor of the 4th Annual Champions for Change Challenge in Tampa Bay. 

The event is hosted by 21 & Change, Inc., a Florida-based non-profit organization that champions inclusion, education, and human rights for people with developmental disabilities.

If you are an amateur, professional, or athlete with developmental disability, register today for FREE and join your family and friends along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders and mascot, Captain Fear, on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tampa Movement Lab, 1335 W. Gray StreetTampa, FL 33606 for the Champions for Change Challenge.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will have one adoptable dog at the event with a focus on the power of pups with children that have developmental disabilities.

Pets provide companionship for kids who struggle socially.

Pets offer a bond for kids who struggle to make connections with their peers, which can leave them feeling lonely and isolated. Dogs and even cats can be a very good support system; they are non-judgmental, good listeners, stress-relievers, and they cuddle.

Pets reduce stress and anxiety.

Kids with special needs often feel anxiety on another level. The calm demeanor and loving presence of dogs can cause a perceived reduction in stress and cortisol levels in children.

Dogs help kids with special needs stay physically active.

Getting active can be a stress reliever, as well as a mood booster. Pets encourage children to engage in physical activity and spend time outdoors, which is beneficial for healthy lifestyle habits.

Pets can help kids with autism build social skills.

Research has shown that animals increase social behaviors in children on the spectrum. In studies, children with autism were more likely to talk, smile, laugh, and make physical contact with others when they had real pets, rather than toys.

Taking care of an animal helps kids learn responsibility.

Taking care of their pets will help a child with special needs create their own schedule, including when to feed or bathe the pet, and even when it’s time for some fun. This daily routine helps create better habits, such as the ability to make plans, focus and stick to them.

Pets can help kids with physical disabilities with everyday tasks.

Animals can be trained to grab objects, open doors, and guide children with limited mobility or physical impairments.

Support dogs can help with a child with special needs’ well-being.

fully trained support dog can be taught behaviors such as applying pressure to help with a panic attack or sounding the alarm if
self-harming behaviors are happening.

*Source: NYmetroparents.com, “7 Ways Having a Pet Benefits a Child with Special Needs”, April 9, 2021
These two kittens, along with their mother were saved from an abandoned house by our rescue team. Our team was shocked by their horrific living conditions. They found living and deceased kittens in a wall infested with fleas and roaches. We immediately examined the cats to determine the best course of action. We found that the mother cat has upper respiratory issues, dental disease, and ringworm. Unfortunately, her kittens also have upper respiratory issues, ringworm and were covered in fleas. They could barely open up their eyes…  We cleaned up and treated the whole family. All three cats are currently in a foster home receiving the love, care and medical attention that they deserve. 
We are still open and helping the animals that need us…
If you can, please support us by clicking the donate button below.

dog welcome home on brown matYou may not believe it, but we’d love to be out of a job. It is our greatest hope that pet overpopulation in Tampa Bay will end and that all pets will be able to stay in their homes with the people who love them. But, we’re still years away from realizing that dream. In the meantime, we offer several programs aimed at giving people alternatives to surrendering their pets to our shelter. These “Safety Net” programs are a growing trend across the country and many communities, including ours, have found success in lowering their animal intake numbers.

Help us spread the word that whether someone is facing financial difficulties, relocation, veterinary crises, pet behavior problems or one of the many other issues that cause people to consider surrendering their pet, there is help.

Safety Net Programs at HSTB

FOOD ASSISTANCE

We offer free dog and cat food at our shelter, seven days a week. Tampa Bay citizens who find themselves struggling to feed their pets can use this service to supplement their pet food supply. MORE

ANIMEALS DELIVERY & VETERINARY TRANSPORT

This “Meals on Wheels” program for pets provides monthly supplies of pet food to homebound and elderly citizens across Tampa Bay. We also offer transportation to and from our Animal Health Center for Animeals recipients’ pets who need annual vaccinations, medications, surgery or check-ups. MORE

AFFORDABLE VETERINARY CARE

Our Animal Health Center Veterinary Hospital offers affordable, high-quality veterinary care to the public, seven days a week. This AAHA accredited full-service facility offers everything from vaccinations and nail trims to dentals and specialty surgery. We don’t ever want someone to have to surrender their pet, simply because they can’t afford veterinary care. We offer low prices, payment plans and special funding through our Save-A-Pet Medical Fund. MORE

LOW-COST SPAY AND NEUTER

We recognize that the only way to reduce pet overpopulation in our community is through spay and neuter. It is also a way to protect pets from devastating and costly forms of reproductive cancer and disease. Our AAHA accredited animal hospital offers surgical sterilization, at a low cost, for dogs, cats, rabbits, pot-bellied pigs and some pocket pets. For male dogs, we also offer Zeutering, a less-invasive process that removes enough testosterone from the system to effectively sterilize, but leaves the male “intact.” MORE

DOG BEHAVIOR TRAINING

We know that behavior issues can be a challenge for some dogs but we also know that most of the time there is an attainable solution through simple, consistent and positive training. At our shelter, we offer affordable beginning, intermediate, and advanced training classes taught by our CPDT Certified Trainer and Behavior Specialist. For families who are unable to attend the 6-week classes or for more challenging cases that require one-on-one attention, our trainer is also available for private sessions in the home.

PET SURRENDER COUNSELING

Our Animal Intake Staff are trained to counsel people considering pet surrender in alternative options and solutions to the challenges they face. They will take the time to listen to issues and concerns and to help people as they make this difficult decision and seek to do what is best for their pet.

LITTERMATES PROGRAM

When litters of puppies or kittens are surrendered to the shelter, we offer free spay and neuter for the mom and/or dad, who remain with their owners, so they won’t have more litters in the future. The babies are also sterilized before being adopted to loving homes, helping to end the heartbreaking cycle of unwanted animals in our community. Call 813-876-7138 for more information.

Sherry Silk, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, first saw the “for sale” sign at the property on 3809 N. Armenia in July of 2009. The building was an old funeral home that had been unoccupied for several years. HSTB made an offer on the property and purchased it in December.

HSTB took it’s time with due diligence. After much research, Urban Studios was chosen to be the Architect for the building and A.D. Morgan was hired as construction manager. It took several months to finalize the plans for our dream of the Animal Health Center. It was important to include the staff’s suggestions regarding design and efficiency of the building.

With final plans in hand, the old funeral home was demolished in the beginning of November, 2011. In December, the Board of Directors invited the public to the official Ground Breaking Ceremony. Construction began immediately and moved rapidly. At the end of March 2012, we celebrated a traditional “Topping Out” Celebration, a construction celebration marking the completion of the roof.

In June and July, the medical equipment for the surgical center, funded through a grant from PetSmart®, was installed and staff was trained. The Animal Health Center opened the doors for business on July 28, 2012. On September 6, 2012 a Grand Opening Ceremony was held. Donors, City & County Officials, Board of Directors, Staff, and the Advisory Council were on hand for the event.

In April of 2013, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay successfully completed paying off all loans on the Animal Health Center.

Any proceeds from the Animal Health Center will benefit the mission and programs at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay was established in 1912 as the Hillsborough County Humane Society with the mission “to enforce the law applicable to the prevention of cruelty to children and cruelty to all animals of any description, capable of suffering, and to do everything and anything which is legal to prevent cruelty and harsh treatment to children and animals.” It is one of the oldest corporations in the state of Florida.

In 1926, the organization was left a bequest by two sisters, Allison and Helen M. Holland, of the property and a two story house on 3607 N. Armenia. In 1929, the animal shelter began operations using the declaration, “We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

In the 1970’s, the organization outgrew the original house and the current facility was built, however it was not until the early 1980’s, that the Holland house was demolished and the facility was enlarged to include the kennels.

In 2000, The Humane Society of Tampa Bay, realizing the importance of spaying and neutering animals in the community due to the overpopulation problem, opened the Spay and Neuter Clinic. In 2004, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay began the “No Kill for Space” program which means that no adoptable animal is euthanized to make room for another coming through the door. We do euthanize animals that are too sick to be treated or too aggressive or behaviorally unsound to be suitable for adoption. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is a managed admission shelter. We only accept animals that we feel we can adopt. We do not take in stray animals. They need to be taken to the county facility where their owners can look for them.

We at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay do our best to find homes for as many animals as possible. We are committed to a community approach to help lower the euthanasia rate in our county. We have an aggressive transfer program which takes in animals from other shelters that are open admission and house animals that are at risk of being euthanized.

In January 2007 HSTB joined the ASPCA, No More Homeless Pets, Animal Coalition of Tampa, and Hillsborough County Animal Services in the ASPCA® Mission: Orange™, a mutual mission to create a humane community where every adoptable dog and cat is guaranteed a loving home and where all animals are treated with respect and kindness.

In 2008, HSTB opened a Wellness Clinic and began offering veterinary services at affordable rates to owned pets in the community.

In 2012, our Wellness and Spay/Neuter clinics were expanded to a full-service, high-quality, affordable veterinary hospital located in our 10,000+ square foot state-of-the-art Animal Health Center. The veterinary hospital is open to the public seven days a week performing more than 11,000 spay/neuter surgeries and seeing more than 25,000 pets each year. In 2014 the Animal Health Center became the first non-profit veterinary hospital in Florida to be accredited by American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

For more than 100 years, we have helped over a million animals who have crossed through our doorway thanks to generous people in our community who have funded our work through donations and bequests.