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Help animals find their fur-ever homes with PetWalk

Help animals find their fur-ever homes with PetWalk

By Carolyn Wisniewski

Local shelters care for thousands of animals every year, and many of them are just waiting for the right family to adopt them. Dogs, cats, rabbits, iguanas, birds and countless other animals that are admitted to local shelters like SPCA Tampa Bay need a loving home.

For example, SPCA Tampa Bay is caring for Martin, a 3-year-old dog with a lot of energy who loves to go for runs. And Kit Kat, a 6-year-old cat who came to SPCA Tampa Bay when her family moved away and could not take her along.

Our staff members and volunteers are dedicated to helping find the right forever home for these pets and so many more. We call it “spreading the humanimality” – the indescribable joy that pets bring to our lives.

You can help spread the humanimality by registering to participate in our annual PetWalk on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg. When you get involved in PetWalk and spend a fun-filled day there with your family, you’re joining hundreds of your fellow community members who believe in the importance of helping animals.

Last year you helped raise more than $170,000 at PetWalk. Those dollars stayed here in the Tampa Bay area and helped thousands of animals get medical care, behavior support and find forever homes.

Here are a few of the ways you make an impact with your support:

  • Adoptions program: SPCA Tampa Bay cares for more than 8,000 animals admitted to the shelter each year, and works to find them forever homes. Adoption counselors focus on matchmaking, which helps families experience a successful pet adoption and pets gain a home where they will thrive.
  • Ongoing care: Along with the basics like food, water and shelter, we provide the animals in our care with medical care like spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and treatment for things like heartworm as needed. The dogs in our care are taken on daily walks and get outside to play in our on-site play areas, and we provide the dogs and cats in our care with enrichment toys.
  • Sniff University training classes and a free behavior help line: SPCA Tampa Bay continues to support pets and their families after an animal is adopted through our Sniff University training classes and a free behavior help line. These programs ensure that new four-legged family members adjust well to their new homes, and helps keep pets with their loving families.
  • Pebbles Food Bank: SPCA Tampa Bay’s Pebbles Food Bank provides free dog and cat food to families facing unexpected financial hardships, which can help keep families together. SPCA Tampa Bay understands that financial issues often lead a family to have to make the difficult decision to surrender a pet.

Form a PetWalk team with friends and family or join an existing team to help make a difference in the lives of Pinellas County’s homeless pets. PetWalk is SPCA Tampa Bay’s largest fundraiser, and it’s sponsored by Love My Dog Resort, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and a number of other companies.

PetWalk details: Saturday, Oct. 7 at Vinoy Park, 701 Bay Shore Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and activities run from 8:30 a.m. until noon. The walk starts at 10 a.m. The registration fee is $25 per walker. Start your team today at www.PetWalk.org.


– Carolyn Wisniewski is Senior Director of Development for SPCA Tampa Bay.