TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The puppy lottery has some folks feeling like a million bucks after their names were picked Thursday afternoon, officially becoming new doggy moms and dads for little ones recently rescued in Hillsborough County.
Talk about a lottery of love.
More than 300 dogs are getting a new “leash” on life, so to speak, as they’re heading home soon to new homes with loving families. Adoption day is this Sunday.
Those who helped nurse these sweet little nuggets back to health since mid-September are certainly excited to see so many pups find their “fur-ever” homes.
The dogs were seized from a Tampa breeder several months ago, living in heartbreaking conditions filled with abuse and neglect.
Since then, though, they’ve gotten lots of TLC and are truly coming back to life.
Last Sunday, more than 1,300 people submitted applications for an adoption lottery, hoping their names would be picked.
Today, many fingers were crossed as a lottery of love took place with the help of some special folks who call Hillsborough County home.
Names were drawn at random by firefighters from Hillsborough County Rescue and Tampa Bay Buccaneers punter Bradley Pinion who says he felt like the lucky one. He loved helping with the lottery.
“That’s how I feel every day when I come home. I could have a terrible day at practice or a terrible game and my dogs still loves me, my wife still loves me,” Pinion told 8 on your Side. “It’s awesome to help the Pet Resource Center with this.”
Pinion recently created the #puntsforpups program with the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center.
Applicants will be notified by email on Friday of their status. Those chosen to adopt will select and pick up their dogs on Nov. 17.
“It’s a cool feeling to help Pet Resource Center draw these names,” Pinion added. “You’ll never have a bad day looking at these little guys. They’re all about unconditional love,, they’re like kids, like family. And, that’s really at the end of the day what matters, that your family loves you.”
Applicants who were selected in the lottery will be notified via email on Friday.
Then, the official adoption day will be this Sunday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dogs will be selected, paid for, and picked up at All People’s Life Center in Tampa.
Trebatoski says they wouldn’t be able to hold this event without the help of countless volunteers and members of the community, including Bradley Pinion. “This makes me so happy. My wife and I wanted to help. We’re so glad these dogs are getting adopted,” said Pinion.
The Pet Resource Center in Hillsborough County says there are plans in place to keep an eye on the dogs, including a one-year reunion in December 2020. “We’re going to miss these guys,” said Scott Trebatoski, Department Director at the Pet Resource Center. “We’ve never had something like this happen. We’re excited they’re going to their new homes soon, but we’ll miss them.”
He added, “We’re going to keep up with them to make sure they’re okay. We’ll have three annual check-ups on the dogs to make sure they are still in the adoptive home.”
If that new pet owner does not accept the invitation, or cannot go, the Pet Resource Center will either make a phone call or visit the home where the dog is living.
Anyone who breaks the adoption contract could face a $500 fine or have the dog taken away.
The adoption fee rates are $450 for dogs under six months of age and $300 for dogs over six months. A $50 discount is being offered to residents of Hillsborough County. Adoption fees typically are typically about $120.
If adopting one of these dogs, you will be required to sign an adoption contract.
The contract will prohibit the sale of any of the dogs for three years after adoption, require the return of any unwanted dog to Pet Resources for re-homing purposes, authorize home inspections by Pet Resources to ensure compliance, and pay a $500 penalty for violation of any these terms.
All dogs will be micro-chipped, vaccinated, registered, and spayed or neutered.
Applicants will be given information detailing possible social or medical issues sometimes associated with rescue dogs.