Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa rescue group lets once-doomed dogs live

By Jared Leone | Times Staff Writer

CARROLLWOOD — Amy Howland started out looking for a pet to adopt. Then she fell in love with Dakota. ¶ After adopting "Kotie," a golden retriever-chow from Lost Angels Animal Rescue a year ago, Howland wanted to do something to help the group. So she started taking in animals. ¶ "I know I can only help a couple at a time," Howland said. "But at least that is a couple." ¶ Hillsborough Animal Rescue impounded more than 15,000 dogs last year. More than half of them were euthanized. Lost Angels Animal Rescue is one of many animal rescue groups in the bay area working to reduce that number. They'll take any type of dog, with just about any problem. .  See RESCUE,

"Lost Angels, unlike some groups, they stand out in my mind," Marti Ryan, spokeswoman for Hillsborough County Animal Rescue, said. "They (adopt) mixed breeds, which is very helpful to us."

Kelly Wilson started Lost Angels Animal Rescue with five friends about five years ago. The group takes in animals from shelters in Hillsborough, Pinellas and parts of Georgia.

"We wanted to do more than the average rescue group was doing," Wilson said. "What we take are literally death row dogs that are going to die, and we give them a second chance."

The group pairs puppies with foster parents. At the foster home, the dog is taken to the vet, trained and cared for. The animal stays with the foster parent until it can be adopted. The foster parents and their puppies line up from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays in front of the Petco at Fletcher and N Dale Mabry.

Amy Howland thought she would take one. Maybe she would foster a couple more dogs if Lost Angels needed. She never thought she would have helped more than 25 dogs in the past year.

Now, she takes care of six dogs, three of them foster dogs for Lost Angels, in her 1,000-square-foot Seminole Heights bungalow. It has not been easy, but it is a labor of love.

"Our feeling is that they stay in our home until that better home comes along," Howland said.

She and her husband, Chris, take care of five dogs in addition to Dakota: Frankie, a blackmouth cur (like Old Yeller); Toby, a pitbull mix; Elliott, a scruffy terrier; Molly, a beagle mix; and Carolina, a cattle dog mix.

Howland has to feed, walk and discipline the dogs. And like little children, the puppies get hungry and somtimes misbehave. She says she picks up 20-pound bags of food, four at a time, once a week. Dakota tries to keep the other dogs in line.

The animals typically stay with Howland for six weeks.

But there is no rush if a dog needs more training.

"It has just been an absolutely life-changing experience," Howland said.

"Not only do we have these dogs in our home, we get to see them go off to wonderful homes."

Lost Angels Animal Rescue meets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday in front of Petco, 13127 N Dale Mabry Highway.

Tampa rescue group lets once-doomed dogs live 02/28/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 8:58am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  2. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police


    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee:

  3. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot


    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of
  4. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  5. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]