Pinellas County Animal Services Tips for Pet Owners

Pinellas County Animal Services Tips for Pet Owners
Pictures of cats and dogsPinellas County Animal Services
Pinellas County Animal Solutions say proprietors have registered extra than 200,000 pet dogs and cats in Pinellas County.
PInellas County Animal Expert services

Let us converse about animal shelters. Specifically, Pinellas County Animal Providers. The director of Pinellas County Animal Services gave a presentation at Gulfport Metropolis Council’s March 7 regular assembly. and in about 25 minutes furnished individuals in attendance with a quantity of appealing specifics and traits relating to our furry good friends.

What Does Pinellas County Animal Solutions Do?

Doug Brightwell claimed his section operates with 59 personnel members on a $6.1 million annual price range. They also acquire about $50,000 each yr in donations from citizens and pet merchants that tackle adoptions. License fees recoup about 50 percent the funds.

The county involves licensing for puppies and cats, despite the fact that not anyone participates. Brightwell mentioned the county certified about 204,000 lively animals, but he thinks the figures only stand for about 40{95221ed7c1b18b55d17ae0bef2e0eaa704ccc2431c5b12f9d786c88d1acb538d} of the complete range of dogs and cats in Pinellas.

“That’s truly a person of the maximum compliance premiums in the state. So our citizens are pretty cooperative with the licensing method,” he stated. “Dog proprietors are a great deal extra compliant with licensing and registration than cat homeowners.”

His office operates the only open up-admission municipal shelter in the county, getting in stray cats and pet dogs. Corporations these types of as the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), the Humane Culture, and Pet Pal Animal Shelter cope with other species.

County staff members carry out yearly inspections and permitting for the six pet retailers that provide puppies, together with interest breeders that get the job done out of their households and industrial kennels that board animals overnight.

Shelter Volunteers

The department’s volunteer plan presently has 300 neighborhood volunteers that number raises during the summer season, with courses exclusively for teenagers and more youthful little ones.

“The children below 15 can arrive in with their moms and dads and examine to the canine,” claimed Brightwell. “That truly works seriously very well with maintaining dogs relaxed in their kennels. It’s a extremely relaxing atmosphere for the puppies. Our volunteer several hours for young adults are authorised for the Vivid Futures application, so quite a few of our teenagers gain their Vibrant Futures hrs with us.”

Local community Outreach

The community outreach method focuses on citizen education, frequently working with pet owners who dedicate insignificant infractions but are inclined to be persistent offenders – not retaining their animals secured, not licensing properly, among the other items.

“We’ve fixed fences, we have equipped pet dog houses. We teach individuals how to establish the acceptable sheltering and fencing to continue to keep their pets at dwelling and safe,” said Brightwell. “Sometimes it is just educating them how to be excellent pet owners. We are truly resolving a lot of prolonged-term scenarios with this software, and it cuts down on officer time spent on all those phone calls that can be applied for higher-precedence calls.”

The county materials vouchers for lower-profits citizens and veterans who require simple vaccinations and spay-and-neuter companies for their animals. Donations alone fund the system, presently about $30,000-40,000 a year.

Pinellas County Animal Providers Enforcement

The enforcement division has 15 officers who take treatment of citizen schooling through area calls as well, issuing compliance citations and also operating with regulation enforcement to prosecute people concerned with cruelty and neglect. 

“We’ve experienced many circumstances all through the county just in the past several yrs the place persons were being using a significant number of pet dogs or cats for hoarding difficulties or other identical conditions,” mentioned Brightwell. “We perform with the state’s lawyer and law enforcement to get individuals prosecuted.”


An open up adoption course of action will allow citizens to occur in and pick the canine or cat they believe will match them without having any micromanaging by county officers, he extra. The foster-to-adopt program allows men and women foster probable animals for up to a 7 days prior to closing adoption. Some men and women have attempted this with a couple unique possible pets before acquiring the correct suit.

In addition to 5 companion shelters, the office is effective with 9 pet merchants in the county, supplying them with cats obtainable for adoption. Brightwell stated kitten period has started and quite a few hundred kittens will get fostered, because they simply cannot get adopted until finally they attain 8 weeks of age. In the meantime,  the shelter has canine playgroups to aid the canines learn to socialize, which aids if they get adopted into residences with other canine.

Canine Bites & Unsafe Pet dogs

About 2,000 bite studies a yr are reported, generally from puppies and cats but in some cases from wild animals like bats and raccoons. Any bite or scratch to a human that breaks the pores and skin ought to get reported to authorities and the animal could possibly get quarantined for up to 10 days for observation to see if it had rabies at the time of the chunk.

Pinellas County at present has 21 canines registered as “dangerous dogs.” This label applies to any pet who has killed or severely injured two animals in different circumstances, or a single human. Brightwell stated the registered canines have not killed any men and women, but a number of have induced significant damage.

Getting a hazardous pet calls for an extra registration cost, property inspections, and other suggestions. If these kinds of a dog will get free and have another incident, its entrepreneurs experience more intense fines. Ultimately, the county may well demand euthanasia, but only immediately after a prolonged legal course of action.

“These are only canine there are no hazardous cats registered at this time,” claimed Brightwell.

Reuniting & Rehoming Pet dogs & Cats

The county will take more actions to mitigate intake of animals, and it appears to get the job done. Following taking in some 10,000 animals a calendar year ahead of the get started of the COVID-19 pandemic, the range dropped to slightly far more than 6,000 in 2022.

“We are doing almost everything we can to maintain the animals in their residences and with their house owners instead of being with us,” explained Brightwell.

To that end, about 40{95221ed7c1b18b55d17ae0bef2e0eaa704ccc2431c5b12f9d786c88d1acb538d} of puppies ordinarily get returned to their homeowners alongside with about 5{95221ed7c1b18b55d17ae0bef2e0eaa704ccc2431c5b12f9d786c88d1acb538d} of cats. Cat proprietors are not as diligent about hunting for their shed cats as pet proprietors, in accordance to Brightwell, but the county however remains previously mentioned the countrywide average with these quantities.

“I imagine the explanation cats are not as substantially in compliance is simply because individuals don’t very own cats,” stated Vice Mayor Christine Brown. “Cats personal them.”

Brightwell pointed out that pet cats, by ordinance, ought to stay indoors. The county exception for local community feral cats with a clipped ear. This tipped ear indicates the cat has been given the rabies vaccine and gotten sterilized.

“We want all pet cats retained inside, specifically with coyotes and other predators,” he reported. “Your domestic cats are not heading to fare well against them.”

What Animals Want Adopting Most?

Pinellas County Animal Expert services has a constant need for cats to get adopted. Puppies, purebreds or modest canine offered on any specified day commonly get adopted in an hour soon after the shelter opens. Larger sized and blended-breed canine and what Brightwell termed “Florida dogs” just take for a longer time. 1 pet has been at the shelter a lot more than 250 days.

“But we really don’t have a time restrict, she is doing wonderful, and she will reside with us right up until she finds a dwelling,” he said. “She is adoptable she just hasn’t found the correct household yet.”

Last 12 months about 87{95221ed7c1b18b55d17ae0bef2e0eaa704ccc2431c5b12f9d786c88d1acb538d} of the canine that came by means of the shelter got released alive. These pet dogs both reunited with their house owners, went to a nearby rescue, or bought adopted. Cats averaged 82{95221ed7c1b18b55d17ae0bef2e0eaa704ccc2431c5b12f9d786c88d1acb538d} reuniting/rehoming charge.

Does Pinellas County Euthanize Canine & Cats?

The county euthanizes animals only if they display aggression to other animals or to human beings, or if they have healthcare troubles that the county are not able to address. The latter transpires seldom, for the reason that two veterinarians on staff alongside with seven veterinary specialists do virtually anything possible when it will come to dealing with their 4-legged patients, from heartworm reduction to amputation to eye surgical procedures.

“If their temperament is adoptable, we want to do all the things to make them medically accessible as we can,” stated Brightwell. “Those outcomes are far better than they applied to be for us.”

Low-Cost & No cost Microchipping

Owners of accredited pets with microchips have that information positioned on file in the county’s database, producing it easier to make contact with an owner for a reunion with a missing pet.

“As my workers will inform you, I will microchip just about anything that does not run absent from me,” Brightwell claimed with a smile. “That is why we have the greatest return-to-proprietor level in the state for pet dogs and cats.” He added that when an animal comes by way of the shelter, Pinellas County Animal Providers demands it to get microchipped prior to it leaves. “We do cost-free or small-price microchip clinics many moments a year during the county,” he claimed. “If you go to a veterinarian, it can be fairly expensive. We will do it totally free or small-value and then do the registration for absolutely free.”

Each animal that arrives through the county facility gets spayed or neutered ahead of finding put for adoption. If an animal will come in on a 2nd event in two yrs, Pinellas County Animal Expert services will sterilize it before returning it to its operator.

As with other code enforcement businesses, by point out law animal handle officials can not acknowledge anonymous problems from citizens.

Your Animals and Hurricanes in Pinellas County

At Council’s request, Brightwell coated hurricane evacuation. His guidance ended up succinct and to the issue.

“Have a prepare for storm year. Have your food stuff, have a carrier, have a place to evacuate,” he mentioned, incorporating, “have a place to property your animals. Take your pets with you, no matter if it is to a shelter or outdoors the county. Do not go away your pets at household or outside the house. They never have any way to get care of them selves. Crisis staff do not have the time to go back again and catch the puppies left at property.”

The latest practical experience with Irma and Ian emphasised the simple fact that sheltering is not pleasant for animals or people today, he extra.

“If you do it the moment, you need to try out really tricky in no way to do it again,” he said. “It is very stressful.”

Renovations are established to start out on the county shelter in a few months, and by this time upcoming yr officials expect the building to be organized for a Group 4 hurricane.

In the course of his presentation, Brightwell emphasized the principal aim of his department: maintaining people’s animals where by they belong.

“We want them to go home,” he stated. “We really don’t want to keep your dog or cat we want it to remain with you as considerably as doable.”