In December 2022, over 700 cats and dogs found their way to the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center. We are very lucky to live in an area with many animal rescues that try their best to reduce these numbers and help those in the community who find an animal that needs a home. Please remember that most, if not all, animal rescues are run by volunteers who have jobs, families and other commitments, meaning they are often unable to respond to you right away.
When contacting a rescue group, try to include as much detail about the situation as you can; this will enable them to be more detailed in their responses. All rescue organizations want to help you, but they are unfortunately limited in their abilities by many factors, the biggest ones often being finances and not having a place for the animal to go (a foster home).
Once an animal is taken in by a rescue group, it is then financially responsible for the care that the animal needs. Some require the basic monthly preventatives, spaying/neutering and food, which still adds up, and others have complex medical needs which animal rescues might not be aware of at the time of intake or are aware of but do not yet know the cost of treatment.
Fostering an animal is hugely rewarding, and fosters are often in great demand. Many rescues do not require you to have any special skills, and the rescue organization will supply you with everything that the animal needs. It is a great way to experience pet ownership without the costs associated or yearslong commitment. I can also add from my own experience that its great fun.
Another way to support a rescue is financially, either by making a cash donation or buying something from a request list on Amazon or Chewy; you’d be surprised by how much cat litter and dog food rescues go through. Below is a list of some of our great local pet rescue organizations and how to contact them.
St. Francis Society Animal Rescue
Established in 1997, St. Francis Society Animal Rescue helps find homes for over 2,000 animals each year. Nearly half of those are saved from euthanasia at local animal shelters, and the others are rescued from the community. It does not euthanize unless terminal illness necessitates such a decision. Additionally, it traps, neuters, vaccinates and returns hundreds of feral cats in the Tampa community.
Contact it via its website at https://stfrancisrescue.org/, where you can also see adoptable cats and ways to donate.
A Kitten Place
A Kitten Place was formed for the purpose of rescuing orphaned kittens and homeless cats in its nearby communities. It focuses its efforts on rescuing the most vulnerable group, the neonatal kittens, which are often euthanized simply due to the lack of resources to provide the round-the-clock care they require. Mother cats who have recently given birth are also rescued along with their kittens and other critical-needs younger cats, no matter the time or cost required to bring them to good health and find them loving homes.
Visit its website at https://akittenplace.org/ to find out how to help, view adoptable animals, make a donation and view its Amazon and Chewy wish lists.
Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue
Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue was established in 2002 and is an all-breed rescue. It is dedicated to the rescue and placement of unwanted companion dogs. It has helped thousands of companion dogs find loving forever homes; these are wonderful loving animals that often only need love, compassion and training to make them incredibly awesome family members.
Contact it at email@example.com.
FishHawk TNR Inc.
FishHawk TNR Inc. is based in Hillsborough County, primarily serving the FishHawk, Lithia, Riverview, Apollo Beach, Bloomingdale and Valrico areas, and it is celebrating its 10th year in the community. Its mission is to save lives; it rescues, vaccinates, spays/neuters, microchips and finds forever homes for stray and neglected animals. It also traps, neuters, vaccinates and returns community cats in order to reduce euthanasia rates in our shelters and believes in educating the community on all animal issues.
Visit www.fishhawktnr.petfinder.com for information and to contact it. For anyone wanting to help, it has wish lists on Amazon and Chewy.
Kittie Corral is dedicated to rescuing and saving the lives of sick, injured or stray cats that have been abused, left homeless or neglected. It spays/neuters, vaccinates and provides necessary medical treatment and finds loving homes for the cats. It does not euthanize unless a terminal illness necessitates the decision. It assists cats who, through extenuating services, are unable to remain in their homes with their owners to prevent a higher number of shelter intakes.