Frequently Asked Questions for SPCA Tampa Bay

What is a “for-all” shelter?

Being “for-all” shelter means that SPCA Tampa Bay will not limit admission or refuse to take in a pet. Our decisions are guided by the belief that every animal matters, and we are driven by the well-being and safety of all animals and people in our community.

Are you a no-kill animal shelter?

SPCA Tampa Bay is a for-all shelter. We take responsibility for every animal that comes through our doors, and we care for them by supporting socially responsible animal welfare.

Would you consider becoming a no-kill shelter?

No-kill shelters serve a useful role in the community. They typically accept animals on a conditional basis, like the animal’s health, temperament or availability of space at the shelter. For example, if someone found a stray dog and brought them to a no-kill shelter, the shelter may turn the person and animal away if it doesn’t feel the dog will be adopted. That person may return the dog to the street because they won’t have access to the resources needed to care for the dog.

What types of animals can I bring to SPCA Tampa Bay?

SPCA Tampa Bay provides services and compassion for all pets – and the people who love them. As a for-all shelter, SPCA Tampa Bay accepts all owned animals (such as cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, birds, snakes, lizards and more) along with sick or injured wildlife.

How long can animals stay at SPCA Tampa Bay?

Animals are able to stay as long as they need care at SPCA Tampa Bay. We’ve cared for some of our longer-term residents for six months or more before they find a loving home.

How do you decide if an animal is adoptable?

SPCA Tampa Bay assesses critical implications such as the animal’s quality of life and the greater good of the community when determining an animal’s possibilities for adoption.

When do you decide to euthanize an animal?

Every animal matters, and humane euthanasia is not a decision that we take lightly. SPCA Tampa Bay assess critical implications such as the animal’s quality of life and the greater good of the community when considering humane euthanasia.

As a for-all shelter, SPCA Tampa Bay accepts all animals regardless of their health, condition or breed. As part of the decision to be a for-all shelter, we sometimes need to humanely euthanize when it is in the best interest of the animal and/or the community.

How can you justify euthanasia?

SPCA Tampa Bay has a responsibility to the adoptive owners, and our community at large, to ensure that safe, healthy animals are placed into homes. For example, if an animal is showing strong signs that it is too dangerous for adoption, we will make the tough choice to humanely euthanize it to protect the community and any adopters from any potential harm the animal may inflict. Similarly, if an animal has major medical issues that cannot be compassionately treated in a shelter or a new home, we will consider euthanasia to prevent that animal’s suffering. We make every decision by considering the best interests of both the animal and our community. This decision is made based on the individual animal and its situation.

What is the euthanasia rate?

SPCA Tampa Bay believes in transparency, and makes its animal statistics available, including its live release rate, available on the Animal Statistics page. The live release rate calculation follows the ASPCA model.

What happens when pets remain at SPCA Tampa Bay for a long time?

SPCA Tampa Bay has many programs available to help pets who take a bit longer to find the right home. Some dogs and cats have significant medical needs may stay with foster families while they heal. And pets who have been overlooked in the shelter may be featured on SPCA Tampa Bay’s Facebook or Instagram accounts to get a boost in finding the right home.

In addition, you may see that some of our senior dogs are part of the “Diamond Dog” program through Love My Dog Resorts. It provides advanced medical screening to senior pets, plus perks at Love My Dog Resorts, to encourage people to consider adopting a pet that’s 7 years old or older.