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Need a furry friend? Fees waived for bunnies, pocket pets at SPCA Tampa Bay

There is no cost for adoptions through Nov. 28, but act fast: The center is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Rabbits up for adoption snuggle together in their cage Wednesday at the SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo.
Rabbits up for adoption snuggle together in their cage Wednesday at the SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Nov. 18
Updated Nov. 19

LARGO — Prince the rabbit has called the SPCA Tampa Bay home since July.

The 16-month-old bunny is the longest tenant at the center, and with at least 30 other rabbits, they’re pushing the location to capacity.

That’s why the SPCA, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is waiving adoption fees through Nov. 28 for all bunnies and other “pocket pets” like birds and guinea pigs, said chief operating officer Tara Yurkshat.

“Space is tight, and we need to find some of these bunnies a new home,” Yurkshat said.

The typical fee to adopt a rabbit from the SPCA is $30. If you’re interested in bringing one home, just head to the center at 9099 130th Ave N in Largo from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The center is closed Thanksgiving Day.

Kassie Vosburg of Tampa visits with Barney, a guinea pig, while cleaning animal cages Wednesday at the SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo.
Kassie Vosburg of Tampa visits with Barney, a guinea pig, while cleaning animal cages Wednesday at the SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

SPCA Tampa Bay is the only agency that runs an open-admission, for-all animal shelter in Pinellas County, Yurkshat said. That means every animal, no matter how bad its injuries or troubled its background, is accepted and cared for.

“It’s the reason I love working here,” Yurkshat said. “Every animal is accepted here. We welcome each and every one with open arms.”

The result is often a ballooning population that averages 7,500 annually. This includes animals surrendered by their owners as well as those injured in the wild.

The center is currently housing 303 animals at its Largo location, as well as another 51 in foster homes. This includes cats, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, snakes, turtles and even a turkey named Frida.

A pair of newborn rabbits rest between meals at the SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo.
A pair of newborn rabbits rest between meals at the SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

SPCA Tampa Bay has 62 employees at its Largo shelter and about 275 active volunteers.

The center typically relies on adoption fees and donations, Yurkshat said, so she doesn’t expect the fee waiver will last beyond Nov. 28.

For those interested in bringing home a dog or cat instead, the center offers plenty of options.

Fees for dogs range from $125 to $500, and for cats, $35 to $45. Some of the animals can be viewed online at spcatampabay.org/dogs.