SPCA Tampa Bay’s Annual Pet Walk takes place on April 2nd. Consider joining a team or supporting the I Love the Burg team here.
Every year, more than 7,000 animals come through SPCA Tampa Bay. And as Pinellas County’s only for-all shelter, they take in, care for, and give medical treatment to all animals regardless of age, breed, medical issues or any other factor. No matter the animal, no matter how hard it may seem, they are determined to find a loving home for every single creature in their care.
Many of the animals who come through are young and healthy and will soon find a good home. Many more, unfortunately, enter SPCA with significant medical problems, old age, or as is the case with the dozen iguanas on the property, an inability to be adopted at all. True to its mission, even in the case of the iguanas, SPCA Tampa Bay found a way, and built a shelter where the iguanas are cared for and now live permanently.
However, while situations like those are among the shelter’s most difficult challenges, they often lead to their greatest triumphs. SPCA Tampa Bay’s history is littered with success stories where animals in distress were able to find the perfect owners, and their forever homes.
Blinded grey tabby finds her perfect home
Take, for example, the story of a two-year-old grey tabby cat named Blind Mouse. She arrived at the shelter with a chronic eye condition, and both eyes had to be surgically removed by SPCA Tampa Bay’s medical team. Despite her condition, volunteers still reported her to be incredibly sweet and “a charismatic cat who begged for attention and nuzzled her head into your neck. She loves to play with toys!”
Blind Mouse needed a home where concessions could be made for her safety until her new
home became familiar. Blind Mouse’s story went out on social media and her new
family arrived at SPCA fully prepared to take her home. Blind Mouse’s new mom said that, to prepare, “I got down on my hands and knees and just moved around the house like that, hiding electrical cords and adjusting furniture, trying to see what she can’t.”
With a loving family to nuzzle and play with, Blind Mouse quickly settled into her new home.
Penny the Pitbull goes viral
Last spring, a lovable rescue at SPCA Tampa Bay went viral when Penny the Pitbull became adored for the stuffed rhino she carried with her everywhere. Penny had transferred in from an overcrowded shelter, and in addition to her sweet personality, she became popular with the staff when she took the stuffed rhino with her everywhere – on walks, to the bathroom, even at medical check ups.
The rhino was so much a part of Penny’s life that a sign was placed on her kennel saying “Please don’t take my rhino. It goes where I go.” Unfortunately, Penny had to wait a while before she could go anywhere. She had a lump in her throat that had to be surgically removed. However, even with her cone on after the surgery, Penny still carried the rhino everywhere.
Before too long, though, the fragile stuffed rhino succumbed to wear and tear. Staff attempted “surgeries” on the rhino to sew it back together, but Penny had lost her favorite toy for good. Then, unexpectedly, a video of Penny the shelter had posted online went viral. And when people found out she had lost her rhino, to donations poured in and Penny was able to select a new favorite support toy: a pink elephant.
On Easter, Penny was adopted, and she and the pink elephant went on to their forever home.
Join I Love the Burg at the annual Pet Walk in downtown St. Pete
Hundreds of animals every year come through SPCA Tampa Bay with stories similar to Penny the Pitbull and Blind Mouse the cat, and it is through the generous support of donors that the organization is able to give all animals, regardless of their situation, love, care and a real home.
To fulfill this mission, SPCA Tampa Bay relies on the support of the community, and this April’s Pet Walk in downtown St. Pete is its biggest annual fundraiser, as well as our chance to help give life. Taking place April 2nd, the Pet Walk is an opportunity to walk the waterfront with pets from all over, and either join a team or support an existing one in SPCA Tampa Bay’s most important fundraiser.
Consider a donation to the I Love the Burg team, or start your own team, and you will not only help save animals in need of rescue, but you’ll help give homes throughout Tampa Bay their newest and furriest family member. It costs 25 dollars per day to care for one animal at SPCA Tampa Bay, so if you donate $25 or more, you’ll get a free t-shirt to commemorate the care you’re providing.
Learn more about the organization at spcatampabay.org.