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Pets of the Week
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    Ms. Black
    Ms. Black charms her humans with her stunning gold eyes and fluffy flowing tail. The 7-month-old beauty rubs against her person's legs and if you are fortunate enough, she will be on your lap. Ms. Black loves to sleep on her foster family's bed, too. She was completely vetted and microchipped in January at Save Our Strays. This charmer is ready for her forever home. Call 727-545-1116 to meet Ms. Black in her foster home south of Clearwater. To view additional felines, visit Saveourstraysinc.com.
Pet News
GULFPORT - The 13th annual Gulfport’s Get Rescued, the animal rescue festival and fundraiser, is preparing for its event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Organizers have many volunteer positions to fill, including barricade set-up and security, vendor set-up, donation monitor and other event duties.

Each year, thousands of attendees, many accompanied by their own furry companions, make their way to Gulfport to participate in what has become a beloved tradition. Volunteers are being sought to help out at one of the largest animal rescue events in the state. Shifts are four hours.
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If you have ever had to euthanize a pet, you know how hard it is to come to that final decision. It should be a decision about what is best for your beloved companion and not about being selfish.

This is not easy when you love your pet so dearly that you can’t imagine a life without him/her. One of the most horrible experiences one can have is to watch a human family member with a terminal disease suffer until they die on their own. Fortunately, we do not have to do that with our pets.

So how do you know when?
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LARGO - Pinellas County Animal Services is offering waived adoption fees for all adult dogs and dogs over 25 pounds until Jan. 31. Animal Services had 31 dogs available for adoption that began 2017 in the shelter.

All adoptable dogs and cats receive a medical checkup, spaying/neutering, vaccinations, internal and external parasite control, heartworm tests, feline leukemia testing and microchipping, valued at $200.

A list of adoptable dogs and cats is available online at www.p­inell­ascou­nty.o­rg/an­imals­ervic­es.
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SPCA Tampa Bay will offer a number of classes in the coming weeks at various locations across the Tampa Bay area.

Starting from Sit will be presented Thursdays, Jan. 12 through Feb. 16, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Metro Wellness Center, 3251 Third Ave. N., St. Petersburg.

Cost is $135. This four-week course is a hands-on experience where dogs will learn sit, down, leave it, coming when called, waiting at doorways, walking on a loose leash and to sit politely for petting instead of jumping. Instructors teach you to train your dog using positive reinforcement techniques.
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ST. PETERSBURG - For the fifth straight year, the Tampa Bay Rays and Pet Pal Animal Shelter have partnered to create the Players & Pooches calendar.

Calendars are now available to purchase online, at Pet Pal Animal Shelter, Pet Pal Veterinary Clinic, Pet Pal Thrift Store, and the Rays Pro Shop and Ticket Outlet in Tampa. The calendar costs $15 with all of the proceeds benefiting Pet Pal Animal Shelter.

“The Rays have been steadfast in their commitment to Pet Pal with the calendar being just one of the many things they do to sponsor us,” said Scott Daly in a press release. Daly is executive director of Pet Pal Animal Shelter. “We are very thankful for their ongoing support.”
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LARGO - Operation: SNIP recently received a donation of supplies needed from its wish list.

McKenzie Clark wanted to “make the world a better place” through her donations of supplies that will help the nonprofit organization in its mission to help spay and neuter pets and underprivileged animals. McKenzie visited the clinic with her mother, Jill Clark. She is a fifth-grader at Bauder Elementary.

The mission of Operation: SNIP is to reduce pet overpopulation and the resulting euthanasia of healthy dogs and cats through affordable high quality, high volume spaying and neutering and community education. According to a press release, the organization has spayed or neutered 3,000 animals since its opening on May 5, 2015.
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It’s 3 a.m., your pet starts shaking uncontrollably and you feel helpless. Seizures can be one of the most nerve-wracking diseases a pet owner can encounter. A trip to the veterinarian’s office will include a thorough physical exam and diagnostic testing such as blood work to try to find the cause of the seizure.

There are many causes that can contribute to seizure activity including trauma, encephalitis, liver disease and neoplasia, but many times the diagnosis is epilepsy. Part of the journey may also require a trip to the specialist where more robust diagnostics may be performed such as an MRI or CT scan. Your pet may be started on medications in an effort to control the seizure activity.

Many of the medications used to control seizure activity can carry side effects such as lethargy and when used long-term may even cause organ damage. More over, they may not completely control the seizure activity. Integrative practices such as acupuncture and herbal therapy can be used as an adjunct treatment to help control the seizures. In some cases they can be used as a stand-alone therapy.
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The decision to add a pet to the family is a big one. When considering a pet, many people consider the size and temperament, but it's just as important to consider the animal's age.

People often look for adoptable puppies or kittens. But they may not consider if they have the time, energy or lifestyle that's best suited to raise a young pet. Young animals, much like babies and toddlers, need considerable time and attention to learn and grow. A puppy or kitten is perfect for someone who can be home much of the day, but it can be less-than-ideal for someone with a busy schedule that keeps them away from the new pet for long periods of time.

On the other hand, older animals are often litter box or housetrained and are used to life with a family. They can be a great fit for many homes, but they're often overlooked for younger animals.
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Old age in itself is not a disease. However, those animals that reach their senior years can have disease processes present that some may mistake as just old age without knowing that something can be done to help their beloved pet.

As pets age, one may notice changes in their behavior. These changes need to be brought to the attention of a veterinarian so they can help to diagnose a pet properly. Changes in vocalization (especially in cats), housetraining habits, anxiety, social interaction, activity levels, sleep-wake cycles and mental status can all be indications that a pet may be suffering from Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or another medical condition that needs to be addressed.

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) in dogs and cats has some similarities to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in humans. The prevalence of CDS in dogs and cats is fairly high. Screening patients that are 10 years of age and older should be done as part of a regular examination in order to slow the progression. Screening includes thorough history taking of changes in the above-mentioned behaviors as well as ruling out medical diseases that can effect those changes.
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Pinellas County Animal Services is taking part in improving animal welfare and facilitating responsible pet ownership by providing vaccinations and sterilization for low-income pet owners.

Animal Services awarded reimbursement grants for fiscal year 2017 to nonprofit agencies that offer preventive care, sterilization or Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return programs for animals in Pinellas County. The program is funded through the Animal Welfare Trust Fund.

Animal Services provided reimbursements to Humane Society of Pinellas County, Operation Snip, SPCA Tampa Bay, Pet Pal Animal Shelter and Rescue Pink for the preventive veterinary care and sterilization services to pets of low-income residents in the county. Animal Services also provided reimbursement to MEOW Now, Humane Society of Pinellas County, Operation Snip, SPCA Tampa Bay and Pet Pal Animal Shelter for their operation of a Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return program in accordance with county ordinances.
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As many of us approach our golden years in the sunshine state, our pets are aging alongside us.

Granted: We may not notice it, some may be more graceful than others, but it is inevitable.
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Having a baby is a life changing experience for everyone involved, including pets. Just as you’re preparing for baby’s arrival, your dog needs advance preparation for this big change, especially if your dog has not spent time around children.

Start preparing your pet now for baby’s arrival to create a safe and happy environment for everyone, and to establish the start of a lifelong bond between your new baby and your canine companion.

SPCA Tampa Bay’s Dogs & Storks program is the first program in the nation that provides positive, practical and fun solutions to help families with dogs prepare for baby before baby arrives. Here are some tips for expectant parents:
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As part of the continuing effort to ensure more pets are licensed in Pinellas County, Animal Services will be mailing pet license renewal notices to pet owners prior to and after rabies vaccination expiration. Pet license expiration corresponds to the rabies vaccination expiration date.

In Pinellas County, pet owners are required by law to obtain a license for their cats and dogs. To obtain a pet license, each dog and cat over the age of 4 months must be vaccinated for rabies. Rabies vaccinations are due every year or every three years, depending on the vaccine administered.

Pet owners can contact their local veterinarian to have their pet vaccinated and get their pet license renewed. Failure to renew a pet license will result in a citation fee of $123 for each pet.
 ... Read More 
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Adopt-a-Pet, Lost Pet Info
Local animal shelters, such as those listed below, can be good places to go to adopt a pet or seek a lost pet.
Pinellas County Animal Services
12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo; 582-2600
Humane Society of Pinellas
3040 State Road 590, Clearwater; 797-7722
Pet Pal Animal Shelter
405 22nd. St. S, St. Petersburg Fl. 337112; 328-7738
SPCA Tampa Bay
9099 130th Ave. N., Largo; 586-3591; spcatampabay.org
Suncoast Animal League
1030 Pennsylvania Ave., Palm Harbor; 786-1330
Save Our Strays Inc.
Friends of Strays Inc.
Second Chance for Strays, Inc.
All ’bout Cats
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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