Over 300 dogs in Hillsborough shelter, desperate need for adoptions

Over 300 dogs in Hillsborough shelter, desperate need for adoptions

The Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center is now the temporary home for more than two dozen dogs.

Animal control rescued 28 Chihuahuas, a Pomeranian, four cats and a bird from a mobile home in Hillsborough County on Saturday.

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“This is out of control,” Roger Mills, with Hillsborough County Animal Control said. “29 dogs in a home is out of control.”

Mills said the home was in disarray and unsanitary for any people or animals.

Mills said the call to the mobile home Saturday was originally a medical call for the homeowner, but they discovered the animals in the home. The animals were taken to the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center to be taken in temporarily and medically treated.

28 Chihuahuas were rescued. 

Staff at the shelter say they now have more than 300 dogs, which puts a strain on resources.

“About 80% of our cases are stray animals that are just being found in the community,” Chelsea Waldeck, with the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center said. “And whether that’s animal control bringing them to us or just the general public, we are seeing a very large number and that number has not decreased in the past several months.”

Waldeck said this is a persistent problem.

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“Economic hard times right now,” she said. “The price of everything is going up. A lot of people are having to decide whether food for their family or food for their pet is the most important thing. So, you know, we are seeing some surrender cases come in or, you know, some people feel that they don’t have anywhere to turn. Maybe they just turn the dog loose or don’t notice that it’s gone.”

Mills said he gets more than 100 calls into animal control every day.

Waldeck shared that they’re relying heavily on the help of rescue partners to provide resources and care for these animals.

Over 300 dogs are in the shelter.

Over 300 dogs are in the shelter.

“We currently do not have 29 empty kennels at Pet Resource Center for this many dogs,” she said. “Thankfully, we have an offsite location that we can use in emergency situations like this. But, you know, right now, if we were to have to take all of these animals in, it would put a huge strain.”

A number of shelters around the Tampa Bay area are facing similar issues, with full capacity or a desperate need for foster homes and adoptions.

“Be responsible for your pets, microchip them, sterilize them, don’t be breeding,” Mills said. “And if you’re breeding, you need to be doing it in an organized manner where you’re getting health certificates and everything, because we’re going to come after you. If you’re selling animals without health certificates, it’s against the law.”

Waldeck said the animals rescued Saturday are being cleaned up and medically treated before they go to rescue partners in the area. From there, she said they will be cared for until they are healthy enough to hopefully be available for fostering or adoption.

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