Shelter pets need extra TLC

Clear the Shelters

WFLA News Channel 8 is teaming up with shelters across the Tampa Bay area to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive on Saturday, August 18 to help find loving homes for animals in need.

Since the Clear the Shelters effort began in 2015, more than 150,000 pets have found their forever homes. 

The choice to adopt a shelter pet is an admirable one, but it isn’t a decision to take lightly. Dara Eckart, Director of Friends of Strays in St. Petersburg, one of the participating shelters, offers this insight and advice.

  • It takes pets time to become comfortable in their surroundings. Cats, especially, may take up to a year to completely warm up. Eckart says sometimes adoptive families return cats to the shelter, assuming their new feline isn’t going to work out. But, she says, you need to give the cat time to adjust to his new surroundings.
  • Shelters and rescues do their best to get to know the personalities of the animals they take in. And many organizations encourage meet-and-greets for families with dogs, who plan to add another to their brood. But a positive meet-and-greet doesn’t ensure household harmony. Signs of trouble can include aggressive or territorial behavior. Eckart says, in the rare cases when a dog is returned to the shelter, the failed adoption is an opportunity to learn about the animal, and place it in a more appropriate home.
  • Strays often come to shelters with worms, respiratory infections, or other ailments. They will receive treatment prior to being cleared for adoption. However, it’s recommended, or even required, that you follow up with your own veterinarian within a couple of weeks. And, you have to expect that you’ll incur some medical expenses post-adoption.
  • Senior pets are harder to place, but make wonderful adoptees. Families need to prepare for the added costs of caring for an older animal.
  • Adoption should never be a spur-of-the-moment decision. In addition to the financial considerations, it’s imperative to look ahead to the future, five, 10 or 15 years down the line. Will a change in lifestyle greatly impact your pet? If you are prepared to make adjustments that are positive for your new best friend, then adoption is a great option.

Here are the 22 shelters that will offer reduced-fee or free adoptions during our in our Clear The Shelters adoption event on Aug. 18.

Read more about Clear the Shelters and other pet stories here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Clear The Shelters

Shelters near you

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Thousands of pets are looking for their forever homes and News Channel 8 is On Your Side helping to make that happen in the Tampa Bay area.

We are teaming up with hundreds of shelters across the country to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive from Aug. 1 through Aug. 31, featuring virtual pet adoptions to make it easy for people to donate online to participating shelters and rescues.

More than 150,000 pets found their forever homes since 2015 and we want to add to the number.

Find a shelter near you:

  • Pasco County Animal Services, 19640 Dogpatch Lane, Land O'Lakes
  • Paw Warriors, Inc., 355 Spring Time Street, Spring Hill
  • Pinellas County Animal Services, 12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo
  • Cat Haven Rescue, Inc, 1231 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Wesley Chapel
  • Cat Haven Rescue, Inc - Pasco, 8529 Little Road, New Port Richey
  • SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave N, Largo
  • Bishop Animal Shelter SPCA of Manatee County, 5718 21st Ave West, Bradenton
  • Hernando County Animal Services, 19450 Oliver Street, Brooksville
  • SPCA Florida, 5850 Brannen Rd S, Lakeland
  • Barking Out Loud Rescues, Inc, 300 N Lake Drive, Lorida
  • Precious Paws Rescue, Inc., Citrus County Florida, 5164 S. Florida Avenue, Inverness
  • Humane Society of Pinellas, 3040 State Road 590, Clearwater
  • Hernando County SPCA, 9075 Grant St, Brooksville
  • St Francis Society, PO Box 261614, Tampa
  • Humane Society of Tampa Bay, 3607 N Armenia Avenue, Tampa
  • Rebels Rescue, Petco 136 S. West shore Blvd, Tampa
  • SPCA Suncoast, 7734 Congress Street, New Port Richey
  • Friends of Strays Animal Shelter, 2911 47th Avenue North, St. Petersburg
  • Florida English Bulldog Rescue, P.O. Box 754, Odessa
  • The Humane Society of Polk County, Inc, 3195 Dundee Rd, Winter Haven
  • The Humane Society of Sarasota County, 2331 15th Street, Sarasota
  • Hands Helping Paws Rescue Inc., 53 W Bay Blvd S, Lake Wales
  • Humane Society of Manatee County, 2515 14th Avenue W, Bradenton
  • Highlands County Sheriffs Animal Services, 7300 Haywood Taylor Blvd, Sebring
  • Manatee County Animal Services, 305 25th St W, Palmetto
  • SPCA Suncoast, 7734 Congress Street, New Port Richey
  • Citrus County Animal Services, 4030 S. Airport Rd, Inverness
  • St Francis Society, PO Box 261614, Tampa
  • SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave N, Largo
  • Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control, 7115 De Castro Rd, Winter Haven
  • The Greener Side Haven, Inc., 3892 N Lecanto Hwy, Beverly Hills
  • Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, 26920 Gopher Hill Road, Myakka City

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