Doomed dogs? Readers blame pet owners, criticize Tampa Bay SPCA
For decades, SPCA Tampa Bay has nurtured its image as a sanctuary for sick, homeless and unwanted animals.
Fueled with more than $3 million in annual contributions, the nonprofit shelter says it takes all castoffs, whether cats or cockatiels, and does its best to find them new homes. Owners are assured: "Every effort will be made to place your animal into a new home."
The St. Petersburg Times' Kris Hundley writes that many take their pets to the facility in Largo believing it's a "no-kill" shelter.
The brutal reality is otherwise. Animals taken in by SPCA Tampa Bay stand about a 50-50 chance of leaving alive.
Tampabay.com readers today have reacted to the story by criticizing the shelter and pet owners alike. Here's a look at what readers have been saying:
Angela Tishler commented on tampabay.com's Facebook fan page: "This story sickened me..I was told they were a no kill and when I dropped animals off there was told the same. They ask for a donation to take care of the animals ... then kill them."
"I just sent my donation to Friends of Strays in St. Petersburg," wrote RLH of St. Petersburg. "I will not support SPCA any longer. Let's help out the little shelters that have a no-kill policy."
Donna from St. Pete, an SPCA volunteer, wrote in defense of the organization: "Try not to judge until you have seen all the sick animals they have helped and adopted out!"
"Blaming the shelter is like blaming a garbage can for so much trash," wrote Michael from Seminole. "Blame the irresponsible breeders and pet stores - they are the reason why there are so many homeless animals. The SPCA does the best job it can."
MG of Pinellas posed a question for anyone critical of the SPCA: "Wow! How many people who are knocking the efforts of this organization, have ever offered to support an animal shelter?"
Photo: The clipboard for a 6-year-old Pekingese with an eye problem at SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo says it’s a “fail for adoptions.” Melissa Lyttle | Times