By Tamas Mondovics
Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center (PRC), the county’s only open-admission shelter in Hillsborough County, and its staff and volunteers have every reason to be proud of their hard work, which was recently recognized by the Board of County Commission (BOCC).
During a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, July 19 on the 2nd floor of the County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., the BOCC issued a commendation to the Center and its adoptions and rescue partners for the life-saving programs that have led to the rescue and adoption of over 50,000 pets in the past four years.
According to County officials, prior to the BOCC embarking on the ‘Be the Way Home’ plan in May 2013, approximately 40 percent of the animals brought into the PRC were adopted out.
However, during the following three years, and thanks to some aggressive changes in leadership, organization and improvements to the center and its functions, the number of pets adopted more than doubled to 85.5 percent, including 90 percent for dogs, which officials said is an amazing figure for a shelter that accepts any pet regardless of size, age, breed, or medical condition.
The increase in the number of pets finding new homes is said to be the result of close cooperation with animal rescue groups and new policies that aggressively promote adoption, foster, and spay-and-neuter programs.
According to Pet Resource Center Director Scott Trebatoski, the monthly adoption events have become a much-welcomed addition and have helped with center capacity.
“We are now seeing a following as residents come out to adopt as well as enjoy a day of fun and celebration with us,” Trebatoski said.
Officials emphasized that the shelter also depends on a talented veterinary staff and dedicated community volunteers that now number more 640 and who have logged in 26,000 hours of service in 2016.
“Many of those hours dedicated to finding loving homes for shelter pets,” Trebatoski said.
As part of the continued effort to accomplish its purpose, the Center is creating a wall at the shelter to showcase the pets with their adopted families.
Adopters are encouraged to take a family photo with their PRC dog or cat and drop it off at the center, 440 N. Falkenburg Road, or email it to PRCvolunteer@hillsboroughcounty.org.
For info about Pet Resource Center, visit www.HillsboroughCounty.org/Pets.