Dentist Collects Candy
Hess Orthodontics, located at 11970 Boyette Rd. in Riverview, will buy back residents’ Halloween candy for $1 a lb. on Thursday, November 5, from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday, November 6, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. All candy will be donated to our troops.
For more information, call 645-4377.

Ranch Hosts Halloween Party
R&R Ranch, located at 9805 Bryant Rd. in Lithia, is hosting its annual Horsey Halloween Party on Saturday, October 24, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be hay rides, pony rides, pumpkin decorating, cart rides, games, prizes and more. Adults are free and children pay $7.50 each.
For more information, visit

Bridal & Fashion Show Unveils
Gulf Coast Weddings & Events presents the Fall Bridal & Fashion Show on Sunday, October 4, from 12:30-4 p.m. at the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium, located at 1005 Barcarrota Blvd. in downtown Bradenton.
For more information, call 941-746-8787 or visit

Music Series Kicks Off at Westfield
Westfield, located at 459 Brandon Town Center in Brandon, will host its Fall Music Series within its Restaurant Courtyard on Saturdays, October 10 and 24, from 6–8 p.m. There will be live music, family events and activities. The first 500 shoppers to register in the Restaurant Courtyard each weekend will receive a $5 restaurant gift card to one of the following restaurants: California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory, GrillSmith (opening fall 2009), Panera Bread, Ruby Tuesday or Siniqual Contemporary Mexican Cuisine.
For more information, call 661-MALL or visit

Bridal Show Announced
Getting Married?  Looking for a unique venue to host your wedding and reception?  Then check out the Bridal Show taking place at Cross Creek Ranch, located at 12950 E. Wheeler Rd. in Dover, on Sunday, October 4, from 6-8 p.m. The show will feature Cross Creek Ranch’s experienced team of designers, caterers, florists, DJs, photographers, hair stylists and make-up artists.
The event is free, but reservations are required. For more details and to RSVP, please call Nancy at 651-0934.

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Hosts Broadcast
Edward Jones Financial Advisor Elijah Heath, of Lithia, will host a free broadcast titled, “Cutting through the Noise: A Market Update,” at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 13, at 16132 Churchview Dr., Ste. 201, in Lithia. During this interactive program, Alan Skrainka, Edward Jones’ chief market strategist, will discuss the current state of the economy and financial markets and provide strategies to help investors keep perspective.
To reserve a seat or for more information, call Heath at 657-2078.

Golf Tournament Helps Deter Crime
Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay will host its Ninth Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Thursday, October 29, with registration at 11 a.m. and a shotgun start at 1 p.m. at the River Hills Golf & Country Club, located at 3943 New River Hills Pkwy. in Valrico. The cost is $90 per player or $95 after Thursday, October 15.
For more information, visit

Golf Tournament Benefits Canines
Old Town HOG Chapter in Brandon is hosting its Second Annual Paws for Patriots Golf Tournament with Southeastern Guide Dogs on Monday, October 12, at 8:30 a.m. at the River Hills Golf and Country Club, located at 3942 New River Hills Pkwy. in Valrico.
For more information, visit

Walkers Welcome for Pink Event
The Second Annual Plaza Bella Goes Pink is taking place on Saturday, October 10, with registration at 8 a.m. and the walk to begin at 9 a.m. The registration fee is $30 per person or $25 per person in teams of five. Residents are welcome to participate in the walk against breast cancer.
For more information, call 685-9494 or 681-8686.

Chocolate Lovers Welcome
Brandon Chai Group of Hadassah invites residents to a decadent chocolate celebration of its six year anniversary, as the group honors past presidents and lifetime members. The celebration will take place on Sunday, October 25, from 1-3 p.m. at the clubhouse at Savannah Landings, located at 3604 Grand Magnolia Pl. in Valrico, with guest speaker, Susan Lafer, executive vice president of the Tampa chapter. Bring your favorite chocolate dish to share.
RSVP by Monday, October 19, to Meral Ginsberg at or 412-7032 or to Anita Hoffman at 943-6260.

Center Aids Military Families
The MacDill Family Resource Center, located at 710 Oakfield Dr., Ste. 153, in
Brandon, provides services to military members (active duty or retired) and their ID cardholding family members. As a satellite office of the Airman and Family Readiness Center, services are offered in many areas including employment (civilian and federal), financial, counseling, parenting and more. Additionally, legal assistance, free computer technology classes, playgroup and Mom/Spouse social group is offered as well. Military ID card is required for service. Military families living in FishHawk Ranch are invited for coffee and doughnuts on Friday, October 9, at the Osprey Club from 9:30-11 a.m. to learn about available services.
For more information, please log onto or call 655-9281.

Musicians Invited to Join Band in Lithia
Musicians of all ages and levels of experience are invited to join a new community concert band practicing in Lithia at Grace Community United Methodist Church, located at 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Lithia, on Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m. Anyone who can read music is invited to join. Musicians should provide their own instruments and music stands, however.
To join, contact Sandy Townsend at 864-0287 or or Kim McCullers at

Rotary Hosts Casino Night
Brandon Rotary is inviting the community to join in and raise money for local charities like Rotary’s Camp Florida, where children with disabilities can enjoy a typical camp experience, as it hosts its annual Casino Night on Saturday, October 3, from 7-10 p.m. at the Best Western Brandon Hotel and Conference Center, located at 9331 Adamo Dr. Texas Hold ‘em will be available to 40 players playing tables of eight with a $200 donation. Cash payout to the final four will be determined by the professional running the tournament, with the club keeping 10 percent less the expenses of the tournament.
Brandon Rotary is celebrating its 47th year of service. The group meets Tuesdays at 12 Noon at Center Place, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon.
Visit for additional information or contact Rotary President-Elect Mike Fencel at 571-5100 or

Foundation Unveils An Evening of Hope
The Greater Brandon Community Foundation presents An Evening of Hope on Saturday, November 7, from 6-9 p.m. at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. Tickets are $50 per person. Corporate tables and sponsorship opportunities are available.
Call 689-6889 for information.

Salon Seeks to Network
Secrets Hair Salon of Brandon, located at 350 E. Robertson St., is hosting a Night of Networking on Monday, October 19, where clients with their own businesses are going to set up tables and do giveaways and raffles to promote their business. Space is available for more vendors to set up.
For more information, email or call 681-6658.

Changes Come to the Library’s Reference Offerings
The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative is pleased to announce new changes to two of its very popular reference offerings, Homework Help (powered by and NetLibrary. Homework Help now offers:
New videos, sample work sheets, study guides and tutorials.
Proof Point allows a live tutor to review and edit a student’s documents.
New access to graph paper aids student interaction with a math tutor.
The Career Center assists with career paths for young adults or changing careers for older adults by providing help with resumes and cover letters.
Avatars in the upper left-hand corner that represent the tutor and the student.
Students can now email a transcript of their session with their tutor to themselves to reference at a later date.
NetLibrary offers:
Media Center is a new application that makes listening to eAudiobooks easy and simple. Connect, click, listen – the Media Center will transfer your eAudiobooks to your PC or to your portable player with just one-click.
iPod and iPhone compatible audiobooks are now available from NetLibrary. Find compatible titles through “Quick Search” function of the library’s catalog and use the words iPod audiobook or iPhone audiobook, and view a listing of more than 800 titles.
For more information, call 273-3652 or visit

Save the Date for Corks & Forks
The South America at 2009 Corks & Forks: Viva Carnivale! will be held poolside on Saturday, November 21, at the Campo Family YMCA’s Family Fun Pool, located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. Tickets are $50 for YMCA members and $75 for non-members.
For more information, call Mags Oldman at 684-1371, ext. 208. Tickets are also available at

Casino Benefit Supports Foundation
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will host “Keep the Fire Burning,” an evening of complimentary cocktails and appetizers with fine cigars and Carlos Fuente, Jr., president of the Dominican Republic-based Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia., the world-famous manufacturer of the renowned Arturo Fuente handmade cigars, on Friday, October 9, from 7–10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Seminole Hard Rock Retail Store for $150 per person. Proceeds benefit the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation and the Brandon Foundation. Attendees must be 21 or older.
For more information, call 627-ROCK (7625), 1-800-937-0010 or visit

Networking Event to Benefit ECHO
An October Fest Networking Event will be held on Thursday, October 15, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to benefit the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO) in Brandon by Executive Park of Valrico, located at 1102 E. Bloomingdale Ave. Join residents for some fun and networking, while helping the needy in our area. Admission cost is a $5 donation to ECHO. Every $5 donation will be matched by Executive Park of Valrico (up to $500). There will be grilled bratwurst, beer, chocolate cake, raffles, prizes and much more. Nonperishable items will be collected for ECHO.
RSVP by email at

ABWA’s Dinner Honors Pioneering Woman
The Brandon Sunburst Chapter of the American Business Woman’s Association will be hosting a dinner on Tuesday, October 6, between 5:30-8 p.m. at the Brandon Elk’s Lodge, located at 800 Centennial Lodge Dr. in Brandon, to honor this year’s Pioneering Woman. The keynote speaker will be Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and will be emceed by Sandra Murman.
For tickets, sponsorships and business fair tables, contact Grita Perry at 393-7188 or

Library Celebrates Hispanic Heritage
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage, students in grades kindergarten-fifth may enter the “Our Hispanic Heritage” Bookmark Contest; adults age 18 and older may compete in the Hispanic Heritage Poetry Contest. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Town ‘N Country Regional Library, located at 900 Paula Dr. in Tampa on Sunday, November 15, at 2 p.m.
Participants may pick up an entry form at any public library or download one from the library’s Website at Entries must be submitted no later than Sept. 30 at any public library. For more information, call 273-3652 or visit

Football Player Teaches Success
The “Success On and Off the Field” seminar by Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneer Shelton Quarles is Saturday, October 3, at 11 a.m. at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center, located at 9331 Adamo Dr. Hosted by the Brandon Foundation Junior Angel Program, this brief seminar will be presented by Super Bowl Champion of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Shelton Quarles to teach the youth about successful qualities and the importance of giving back to the community. The entry fee is $5 per person.
For further information, contact the Brandon Foundation at 689-6889.

Outreach for Homeless Announced
Cynthia Pinckney Ministries is sponsoring a feeding and clothing outreach for the homeless and needy on Saturday, October 17, from 12:15–3:30 p.m. at Able Body Labor, located at 12006 MLK Blvd. in Seffner. In addition, Cynthia Pinckney Ministries, Inc. is offering a four-hour training class for new volunteers desiring to take part in the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner, held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, located at 402 E. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays, September 26 and October 24.
For more information, email or call 571–1556.

Commissioner Beckner Visits Community
Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, District 6, Countywide, is hosting office hours in the community on Friday, October 30, from 4–6 p.m. at the Brandon Regional Service Center, located at 311 Pauls Dr. in Brandon.
To learn more, go to


Flea Market Unveils
The Disciples Women of Brandon Christian Church will hold their Annual Flea Market on Saturday, October 3, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the church, located at 910 Bryan Rd. in Brandon.
For additional information, please call 689-4021.

Meetings Provide Connection
Christian Business Men’s Connection (CBMC) announces its weekly men’s business Bible study breakfast meeting, taking place each Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at the Village Inn, located at 1995 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon.
For more information, visit

St. Stephens’ Announcements
St. Stephen Catholic Church, located at 5049 Bell Shoals Rd. in Valrico, is accepting donations of underwear, socks and T-shirts for area schools with students in need from Saturday-Sunday, October 3-4.
Also, the church is hosting its Multi-Cultural Picnic on Friday, October 9, at 5 p.m.
To register to bring food to share, contact Cindy Wood at 728-2056.
Each Monday from 7-9 p.m., the church’s staff holds career help sessions ranging from writing resumes to interviewing or simply improving computer skills. All sessions are held at St. Stephen Catholic School, located at 10424 St. Stephens Cir.
If you have any questions about this ministry please contact us at
For more information, call 689-4900.

Church Supports Divorced
DivorceCare is a special weekly DVD seminar and support group for people who are dealing with the pain of separation or divorce. FishHawk Fellowship, located at 15326 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia, will be hosting a new 13-week session on Wednesdays from 7–8:30 p.m. A workbook is required as well as a $12 fee (scholarships are available). Childcare is provided.
To learn more, visit To register or for more information, contact Barbara Davidson at 655-7431 or

Sun City Chorus Comes to Area
South Shore Sound, a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, is a dynamic women’s chorus committed to sharing the joy of singing harmony in the barbershop style with women of all ages and backgrounds. The group will be starting its practices at the Bell Shoals Church of Christ, located at 2908 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon, from 7-9 p.m. with days to be announced. The group will also be starting a free, four-week vocal lesson program.
For further information, call Terry at 786-9818 or visit

Ladies Ministry Sells Pecans
The women of Brandon’s First United Methodist Church, located at 121 N. Knights Ave., are selling fresh-from-the-grower pecans again this year. Five lb. boxes of shelled halves (easily frozen for up to a year) will sell for $32. Specialty items – chocolate amaretto pecans, pralines and cashews – will also be available. Place your order by Sunday, November 1, for pick-up at the church gym on Saturday, November 14, or Monday, November 16.
Call 757-0734, 685-5081 or email

Group Changes Venue
The Brandon Christian Concierge will now be meeting at Sabor A Mexico Restaurant, located at 706 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, on Thursdays starting at 11:30 a.m. Each individual is responsible for purchasing their own lunch.
For more information, call 654-4900.

St. Andrew’s Readies for Holidays
Preparing for the upcoming holidays, St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, located at 3315 Bryan Rd. in Brandon, launched a weight loss support group that meets every Monday at 7 p.m. in the church conference room.
For more information, call 369-2262 or you can reach St. Andrew’s Parish Health Coordinator Lynn Nankervis at 689-6849, ext. 207.
Also, the annual pumpkin patch sale begins on Saturday, October 11, and runs through Friday, October 30. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 12 Noon-8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30-7 p.m. Saturday, October 17, has special family-related activities. Pumpkins range in price from $4 to $20. Proceeds from the sale benefit the youth program at St. Andrew’s UMC.
For more information please visit, or call 813-689-6849.


Dance School Holds Open House
A free Hispanic Heritage Festival/Open House will be held at Simone Salsa Dance School within Oak Park Plaza at 763 W. Lumsden Blvd. in Brandon on Saturday, October 10, starting at 12 Noon. There will be music, dancing, performances, free classes, ethnic foods, activities for children and much, much more.
For more information, call 391-1056 or go to

Shop to Help Schools
Westfield Brandon welcomes elementary, middle and high schools to compete for cash prizes with the “Cash4Class” back-to-school shopping rewards program through Sunday, November 1. Now in its fifth year, Westfield Cash4Class will award prizes totaling more than $50,000 to area schools. Shoppers at Westfield Brandon will earn points for every dollar spent during the program period by presenting receipts to the Westfield Concierge and designating points to the school of their choice. During the two-month promotion, shoppers may earn double points in two ways: purchases made on Westfield Wednesdays or Westfield gift cards purchased any day of the week. Bonus points are also available. Shop at Aeropostale, Books-A-Million, Chick-fil-A, GameStop, Kay Jewlers, LensCrafters, Panera Bread, Sports Fan Attic or Team Choice and receive double points.
At the end of the two-month promotional period, points are tallied and the top three schools from each center will be announced.  Three prizes will be awarded by each shopping center: first place – $10,000, second place – $5,000 or third place – $1,500.
For additional details, visit

Mommy & Me Art at Center Place
Center Place, located 619 Vonderburg Dr., Ste. B, in Brandon, is offering Mommy & Me, with instructor Donna Hall, on Tuesdays, October 13 and 27 and November 3 and 17, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. for ages 2-5. The cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Supplies are included.
For more information, call 685-8888.

FishHawk Ranch Schools Make the Grade
Several public schools located inside and around FishHawk Ranch have recently been named in multiple “top school” rankings statewide.  The rankings, based on test scores and state standards, reinforce the benefits of everything FishHawk Ranch offers children and families. FishHawk Creek Elementary School, Bevis Elementary School, Randall Middle School and Newsome High School all received “A” grades in the recently released state grading evaluation. Additionally, all four public schools designated for FishHawk Ranch students also received a 10/10 rating on, enhancing even further the community’s scholastic stature.
For more information regarding the area of FishHawk, visit

Teen Musicians Needed To Compete
SchoolJam USA is a one-of-a-kind battle of the bands competition, where local bands can compete for great prizes for their band and their school music program. From now until Thursday, October 15, any high school student who is in a band, between the ages of 13 and 18, and who has never been signed to a music label can enter. Bands can enter online any style of music, as long as it’s original. Fifty semi-finalists will be posted online and then visitors can vote once a day for their favorite band. The top 10 finalists will then battle it out live at the SchoolJam USA finals in Anaheim, CA this January. Each of the 10 finalists will receive prize money to purchase new gear and so will their school music programs. In addition, the winning band will travel to Europe next March to perform at the 2010 SchoolJam Germany finals in Frankfurt.
For more information, visit and click on “schooljamusa” or call 685-5998.

Scouts Replace Fire Station’s Flag
To display a U.S. flag honorably a flag must be replaced when it becomes worn. In August, Cub Scout Pack 826, in Lithia, participated in a symbolic ceremony raising a new flag at the Lithia Fire Station. The Scouts worked hard at a car wash to raise the money to purchase and donate the new flag.

Semifinalists Announced for Merit Scholarship
Semifinalists in the 2010 National Merit Scholarship Program include Newsome High School’s Brett J. Bell, Sydney L. Coates, Ellen M. Paddock and Bloomingdale High School’s Zachary M. Wayson.
To learn more about the scholarship, please go to

Boy Scouts Provide Holiday Decorations
Once again, the Boy Scouts of Troop 628 are getting an early jump with the opportunity on satisfying your holiday decoration needs. The troop will provide a variety of holiday wreaths and assorted decorations as part of its fundraising effort. Scouts will be taking your orders through Wednesday, October 28. The delivery will be the first week in December.
You can order your wreaths at the FishHawk Garage Sale, FANG meetings or contact the troop’s Committee Chairwoman, Martha Keller, at 643-3420 for more information.

Schools Unveil Convenient Meal Payment Plan
Hillsborough County Public Schools continue to be a leader in the latest school technology with the use of MealpayPlus, an online prepayment system that allows parents to pre-pay for their student’s meals online. Created by Horizon Software International, LLC, a global leader in technology and services for food service operations, MealpayPlus is an easy, convenient way for parents to pay for – and keep track of – what their kids are spending money on at school.
Parents can log onto their student’s account any time at and view what their student has purchased on a specific day.


Intern Sought for Ballet Company
Brandon Ballet, located at 161 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon, is seeking an intern for the 2009/2010 season. The internship will consist of participating in the aspects of a non-profit ballet company such as marketing, ticket sales, costuming, setting up theaters, handling artist contracts and other duties. This is an exciting opportunity for those who enjoy business/non-profit administration, for those who are in a career transition or for those who simply love ballet. The internship can count for college credit.
Interested individuals should submit a resume to Amber Wisniewski, administrative director, at For more information, call 684-4282.

BSAC Announcements
The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon, will host a self defense class, taught by martial arts Black Belt Itamar Eylon, on Wednesdays from 7:15-8 p.m. The cost is $10 per person.
For more information, please call 689-0908 or 728-4275.
Also, the Battle of the Backyard Champions will take place on Saturday, October 24, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with an awards dinner immediately following. Master of Ceremonies Ernest Hooper, of the St. Petersburg Times, will be in attendance. Competitive levels include: Youth 8-14, Teens 15-18, Adults 18-40 and Wise Warriors 40-plus.
For more information, contact Lori Bukaweski at 361-7450 or

Baseball League Announces Golf Tourney
The FishHawk Youth Baseball league is having its Second Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser on Friday, November 20, at the River Hills Country Club, located at 3943 New River Hills Pkwy. in Valrico, starting at 1 p.m. Food – sponsored by Beef ‘O’ Brady’s – and a drink will be provided, and there will be lots of great prizes. Residents can sign up for $80 per person or as a foursome for $300. Funds raised go towards the baseball teams and fields of the FishHawk Sports Complex in Lithia.
For more information, go to
Newsome Holds Cheer Clinic
Newsome’s First Annual Cheer Clinic will take place Saturday, October 24, at Newsome’s gym from 4-7 p.m. The $30 cost includes a T-shirt and admission for one parent to the football game on Friday, October 30. Deadline is Saturday, October 17. Call Wendy Bartlett at 924-3309 or email for more information.

Animals for Adoption at CARE
Liz is a black female Toy Poodle available for adoption at C.A.R.E. in Ruskin, open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. from Tuesday-Saturday. For directions, visit or call 645-2273.
Howie is one of a circle of shy kitty friends available for adoption at C.A.R.E. in Ruskin, open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. from Tuesday-Saturday. For directions, visit or call 645-2273.


Library Cooperative Receives Grant to Host The Big Read
Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host The Big Read, which gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss and celebrate one of 30 selections from U.S. and world literature. The Big Read in Hillsborough County will focus on The Joy Luck Club with activities taking place throughout May 2010, including appearances by author Amy Tan.
For more information about The Big Read, visit

Collection Drive of Cell Phones Held for Soldiers
Hillsborough County Security Services Department has kicked off its second annual Cell Phones for Soldiers drive to help the troops serving overseas stay in touch with their families back home. This year, drop-off boxes for collecting the phones have been set up in the following locations around the county: Brandon Regional Service Center, located at 311 Pauls Dr. in Brandon and SouthShore Regional Service Center, located at 410 S.E. 30th St. in Ruskin. You can drop off your unused or outdated cell phones and other portable communication devices through Friday, January 8, 2010, at any of the above locations.
For more information, contact Carol Michel, community relations coordinator, at 272-9515.

County Launches New Census 2010 Website
A preview of the questions on the 2010 census form is available right now on Hillsborough County’s new Census 2010 Website,, which was launched at Hillsborough County’s Census 2010 Kickoff at the University Area Community Center. The census forms can be found in English, Spanish and a number of other languages. Residents can find out about job opportunities with Census 2010, including volunteer needs. Census information helps determine locations for schools, roads, hospitals, childcare and senior citizen centers and much more. Census data also directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education and transportation. More than 200 people rallied at the Kickoff with Commissioner Rose Ferlita to launch the local census effort.
For more information on becoming involved with the 2010 census campaign, contact Joyce Russell, Hillsborough County African American liaison, at 276-2637 or Sandra Sroka, Hillsborough County Americans with Disabilities Act liaison, at 276-2742.
October Brings Changes at Animal Services
Hillsborough County’s Department of Animal Services has revised its hours of operation, and some fees and services, effective Thursday, October 1, as a result of budget cuts. The county animal shelter will close Mondays with modified hours for the following services:
Pet registration tag purchases, adoptions (closes 30 minutes prior to shelter closing), citations, lost pet search; Tuesday – Friday, from 10 a.m.–7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Pets turned in by owners at the shelter’s side gate on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 1–5 p.m. Strays accepted at the shelter’s side gate from Tuesday – Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Dispatch operators and field officers will remain on duty when the shelter is closed Sundays and Mondays. Annual pet registration tag fees will increase $10 for dogs and cats. Both dogs and cats require rabies vaccinations and registration tags, which may be purchased through veterinarians or at the shelter. Registration fees for pets owned by seniors (age 62 and up) will not increase and remain at $5 if their animal is spayed or neutered. In addition, Animal Services will no longer handle calls or activities involving nuisance animal issues, such as barking dog complaints or trapping of stray cats. To help offset proposed budget cuts, county commissioners received input from residents and approved the pet registration fee increase in order to maintain Animal Services’ highly successful pet adoption and cruelty investigation programs. Tags help reunite lost pets with owners to reduce humane euthanasia.
For more information, contact Hillsborough County Animal Services at 744-5660 or log onto

Representative Goes Against ACORN
U.S. Representative Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.), representing Florida’s 9th Congressional District, remarked on the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) after sending a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to end taxpayer funding of the organization. In addition, Bilirakis co-sponsored H.R. 3571, the Defund ACORN Act, which would prevent any federal funding or support for ACORN. Since 1994, ACORN has received more than $50 million in direct funding from the federal government.
To hear Bilirakis’ remarks, visit

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