We attended TUX & TAILS last Spring and during the "meet and great" after a fabulous dinner we met BUGSEY a tiny bit of fluff. He was one of 5 born to Tilly a rescue from Falkenberg Road. He was the little bitty boy of the litter ( I do not like the word runt, I have bred Bichons for 30 years and some of my smallest have been my best) after-all only a few in this world are 5-star champs. During the "show and tell" his handler came to our table, his eyes met mine and I turned to our table captain and said ,"tell whomever is in charge, I want to adopt this dog"! She made it happen! We fostered BUGSEY until he was big or old enough to adopt. He was 1 lb 12 ozs when we met him and he was still with his momma Tilly and with his foster litter MOM. The HSTB allowed us to visit him as often as we wanted, with the co-operation of the foster mom. When he was weaned and allowed to come home with us we became his forever family through the HSTB foster program. At just under 5 Lbs he became ours Labor Day weekend. His name is BUGSEY named after the best left winger in the NHL Ryan (Bugsy) Malone! If you could see him you'd know how he came to get his name and we are not too sure he isn't faster !!!!! LOVE the HSTB we even transferred our 9 year old Bichon to the Health Center. This institution is the BEST and Sherry and her volunteers and staff make this a home for the furry friend looking for forever homes. Maybe someday my family life will slow so I can volunteer, but right m=now I have a "winger" to train.
I have been a volunteer at HSTB for almost five years. Shortly after I started, and told my wife all about it, she also became a volunteer there. We both love the place. We see first-hand, all the time, how much the staff really cares and works hard for the welfare of the animals. No place is a utopia when dealing with the immense, ongoing problem of homeless and/or abused animals. There are occasional failures and disappointments, but there are so many successes and happy endings that volunteering has been a truly rewarding experience and I would recommend it to anyone who cares enough to come in and help. "Volunteers" who are doing it just for school credit or to embellish their college applications or scholarship chances are not really volunteering - they are looking to get something: that's what I suspect is the situation with the anonymous commentator. You are never going to like EVERYBODY in a large group of people, but this group is strongly united in a common desire to make a difference in the lives of the animals and any one who is wanting to help can accomplish that at HSTB.
It's good to give to a local charity that helps cats and dogs find good homes. I get so much mail from the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States but after reading about those organizations, I discover that they don't help local shelters and so many other distasteful practices. It's rewarding to know I'm doing something to help those poor unwanted pets here in Tampa - I'd love to adopt them all!
Review from CharityNavigator
I mainly volunteer there as an animal campanion since I love dogs and cats and just want to bring them a few moments of happiness given their circumstances. They love me back, too. The cats usually come straight to my lap when I sit in the cat rooms and the dogs follow me while I walk them and respond when I play fetch or frisbee with me. I've never had difficulties with an animal there. However, there are some volunteers there who act like they run the place and have gone as far as to confront me and stalk me while I am walking a dog. Why? I don't know actually. They claim I'm doing something wrong but I can't imagine what because it's not that hard to walk a dog. Also they've never tried to show me the correct way, whatever that might be. There's this one older lady (and she never wears her name badge of course) who's ALWAYS at HSTB. She's the main culprit. I've even cut back on my volunteer work there because of her. She stalks me and questions everything I do, when I just do things the same way all the other volunteers do. She bullies me to the point that I don't want to return to HSTB ever again, not as a volunteer at least. I was even thinking about becoming a donor there but have changed my mind because of the way I've been treated. The staff don't care either. At least, the new volunteer manager doesn't. Additionally, they have so many volunteers that sometimes the place is so crowded that you can hardly walk on your own much less with a dog. I heard from a staff member that they currently have 400+ volunteers registered in their system. And HSTB obviously can't keep track of all their volunteers because they don't provide training. All they had me do was attend the orientation (a brief overview of things) and "shadow" another volunteer who by the way, didn't seem like she knew much about animals at all. She even lost a dog while she was supposedly teaching me. I say whatever to this place. I don't care to volunteer there anymore. They obviously don't need me and I've never been felt more unwelcome. Plus I don't need to put up with some of the other volunteers' nasty attitude ... that's why I have a full-time job and a boss who actually pays me thank you very much. I'd still adopt an animal from there but I certainly won't help by volunteering my time and donating my money.
I visited the tampa bay animal expo that was heled at the tampa fair grounds. The humane society of tampa bay had a big part in the event. My family and i adopted a puppy Sat. afternoon 11/5/2011. On sunday 11/6/2011 we returned to the humane society because he was sick. After their clinic seen him they told us he had parvo. He will be put to sleep really humane place huh............................................................................................
Review from CharityNavigator
To be a part of this wonderful organization called the Humane Society of Tampa Bay gives me such a feeling of satisfaction that is beyond words. I know from experience that a successful organization begins at the top. The leadership, initiative, communication, hard work, and most importantly the vision, is what the director has created at the site. She and her staff of dedicated employees work tirelessly to maintain the culture that is the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. It is truly something that can be felt when you visit the site. The cleanliness, incredible care of the animals, and attention to their clients is what makes the organization so wonderful. I know from first-hand experience how the public feels about our organization, I assist each month with the surveys that have been filled out by our clients. I can honestly say that over the hundreds of surveys I have reviewed over the past year, less than a handful have had anything negative to say about the organization. I found this to be amazing!
Animals, especially dogs, have an uncanny way of letting you know how they are being treated. When you see a dog that you know has suffered some type of abuse or neglect before arriving at our shelter, completely turn around in just a few days and trust the people around them, you know the love and care they have received has been genuine. It is clearly evident on the dog’s face.
Training is such a large part of the overall program. Bringing in new volunteers each month takes an enormous amount of planning and preparation, but the staff makes it look easy. I remember when we went through the training and how welcome and appreciated we were made to feel. The best part of the volunteer program is that there are so many areas in which you can devote your time, based on your area of interest. Being able to work as a dog companion, helping in the front office, working with either the dogs or cats, assisting in the clinic, working with the laundry, and countless other jobs that must be done each day, is what makes volunteering there so exciting. You never get bored and there is always something to do.
Which brings me to my next area; planning and staging of our community outreach programs. This is a tremendous responsibility. Making sure there are enough volunteers at the event, selecting just the right animals to bring, loading the huge van with everything needed for the day, and driving the van to the site, is no small task. To see the faces of adults and especially children when they visit with our animals, make all the work worthwhile. It’s almost bittersweet when one of our animals that we may have bonded with, finds a loving home. Turning over the leash to the new owners brings out the pure joy and at the same time, sadness that one of our close friends is leaving us.
Because we are a non-profit organization, we depend entirely on donations and grants to continue providing the level of service the public has come to expect. I know this is a thankless job. Reaching out into the community looking for donations, especially in tough economic times, is a very difficult task. Fortunately we not only have great staff to do this, but also wonderful people in the community who feel as we do about animals. Once I became a full-time volunteer, I began learning more of the history and background of the Humane Society. When the staff shared with me that it takes close to $2,000,000 a year to keep us operating and that we typically adopt over 5,000 animals a year, I was astonished. These two statistics helped put into context the amount of work it takes each and every day by the staff as well as volunteers to keep the operation running smoothly.
In conclusion, the best words of support I could give to this wonderful organization, is to come visit and spend some quality time with our staff and most importantly, our animals. You will definitely be “hooked” and hopefully come join our great group of volunteers.
I have been very fortunate for the past four years to volunteer at HSTB. This is a wonderful organization that has made such a difference in the lives of the animals in its community. I have seen this organization grow each year and take in more animals from shelters in various states and through out Florida that would not have a second chance in their local shelters. HSTB also treats animals that may have physical problems such as heartworm disease or mange. I have seen so many animals come into this shelter, that have clearly never seen human kindness, and blossom from the attention of the volunteers and staff and then go into a wonderful forever home.
The shelter also has programs designed to help keep animals in their current homes as well such as shot clinics, animeals, and the wellness clinic. This is truly an exceptional organization that makes a positive impact in the lives of many and I hope that it continues to grow and be an example to other shelters and communities.