web analytics

Animal Services - Pinellas County FloridaPinellas County Animal Services News

Pet Surrender Prevention Strategies

With shelters and rescues at or exceeding capacity nationwide, it’s more important now than ever to shift resources toward the prevention of owner surrenders. 

Here are a few strategies we have implemented at the shelter:

  1. Increased access to free pet food

Free pet food is available in our lobby and operates on donations from our pet store partners, community members, and businesses.  Last year, we gave out nearly 15,000 lbs. of food!

When we have excess, we also supply pet food to three food banks: Dunedin Cares, United Methodist Church in Pinellas Park, and Daystar in St. Petersburg. Friends of Strays donates food to the public through the St. Petersburg Free Clinic and SPCA Tampa Bay opens their food bank to the public on Tuesdays from 2-4 p.m.

  1. Vouchers to assist financially challenged Pinellas County residents with free Spay/Neuter and/or preventative care.

If a family is receiving government assistance, they can visit the shelter to pick up a voucher.  We partnered with 6 veterinary clinics to provide these services.  Funding is limited and provided through our donation-based Animal Welfare Trust Fund.

At this time, our voucher funding has been depleted, with funding generally being replenished at the beginning of the fiscal year, October 1st.

  1. Rehoming Assistance: Home to Home Network

Currently, our non-profit rescue partners, Friends of Strays & Humane Society of Pinellas offer those wishing to rehome their pets the option to post them on their website with a photo and bio.  Home to Home helps keep pets out of shelters through direct home placement. 

We also have an extensive list of breed-specific rescues for pet owners to contact for additional assistance.

While these strategies are helping, we are still confronted daily with families struggling to find affordable, pet-friendly housing, free of breed discrimination in Pinellas County. We continue to work alongside groups, like St. Pete PAWS and My Pit Bull is Family to address these challenges and map out solutions. Both groups have searchable pet inclusive rental databases on their websites, too!

Jennifer Renner, B.Sc., CPM (she/her)
Interim Director – Community Outreach & Volunteer Program Manager
Animal Services – Pinellas County Government
12450 Ulmerton Rd – Largo, FL 33774 

jrenner@pinellas.gov   office  727-582-2636