The current administration has changed their mission from rescue, rehab and rehome to reducing the homeless animal population. Which means that they are now killing undesirable animals and keeping only desirable animals and puppies to shelter on a short term basis and adopt out. They ship puppies in from out of state while aborting females here during their last term, often creating another loss of life. They have no regard for the welfare of animals in need, but rather are trying to operate as a for profits while getting the benefits of being a NFP
The SPCA has fallen into the hands of people who no longer care for the sheltering and rehoming of animals, but rather the bottom line and efforts to pay the salaries of too many administrators. I have personally attempted to reach out to board members who refuse to speak to the public as well as the executive director. I have personal knowledge of many animals that lost their lives under the lack of expertise of the veterinarian and the behavior manager. And the filth and neglect the animals have to live in because they spend the money going to conferences instead of caring for the animals.
The SPCA was a wonderful place UNTIL Martha Boden and Dr. Lopez became management. They said there was an open policy and all was to be transparent, but that was truly not the case. As a Family Dog Trainer with the SPCA for 6 yrs, when they came on board, I and other volunteers were ecstatic. They presented themselves as true animal lovers that would continue to do good for all the animals that came through the doors of the SPCA. As an FDT we helped animals and the community in every way possible - training, behavior, support - then one day, the organization became a dictatorship. "Do as I say, or leave" is the mentality. How do you explain the terminations of both employees and volunteers? Answer is they asked questions, question on why the processes changed, why atrocities starting happening, why all the EUTHANASIA unnecesarily? With so many volunteers helping to rehab and change behavior in surrendered stressed dogs, why turn around and euthanize them? Why stop caring about their health and welfare and allow them to live in disgusting kennels filled with feces, and hemorrhage from spaying procedures. Why euthanize male puppies because they require additional time during surgery when being neutered? What happened to a caring animal shelter that would give these animals a second and sometimes third chance?
I volunteered for the animals. When I realized they no longer had the animals as the first thought when they made decisions regarding their lives and care, I felt the best thing for me was to leave. I needed to put my time where they had the animals best interest as their first priority.
It saddens me to say that I agree with other reviews. I volunteered for this organization for many years for the love of animals. This organization has become extremely materialistic and more focused on personal agenda's. Those of us who did volunteer were a team, and worked very hard with one another to try an rehabilitate and care for each and every animal. Over the months there has been segregation as to what you can do and what you cannot, making it impossible to care for these animal in a way that is productive to successful adoptions.
I sincerely hope that these reviews will enlighten those responsible for the decline and make donors aware as to where there donations are going.
My hope for this organization is that it will eventually get back to the type of shelter that it once was, and that donors will hold this organization responsible for using there funds wisely.
I adopted two of my dogs from this facility and was so impressed by the volunteers, staff, and grounds that I began volunteering to walk dogs. I was part of the Family Dog Training program that taught us how to train the dogs to have good manners so they would have a better transition into their new homes and not be returned for bad behaviors. I was at that time very proud to have my name associated with this organization. That is not the case now. When the new management came in 2012 we began to see the same changes that had taken place at her previous employer. The flavor of the shelter turned from finding animals good homes and keeping them there to doing no rehabilitation, no kennel enrichment, and when questions were asked about the changes, volunteers were asked to leave. Divide and Conquer became the norm. No longer were we allowed to walk AND adopt, or train AND walk - all so we would not know any more that we "needed" to know. Just know that your hard earned donation is not going to where you think it is. The grounds are no longer clean and well kept, the dogs are no longer getting quality out of kennel time, and the volunteers have almost all gone to other shelters. Please do more research before giving your money to this organization.
As a professional in the field of animal behavior and training, I worked closely with SPCATampaBay for 9 years....until the Board and director changed. In 2012, things took a drastic turn for the worse. Very few animals went up for adoption, dogs and cats languished in filthy cages until they were "evaluated" by undertrained staff, and then most were euthanized due to the time that they were allowed to deteriorate without any human interaction. Volunteers were summarily dismissed, many being highly rated professionals in the medical fields and behavioral modification. If anyone was questioned as to why the animals were no longer being rehabilitated, they were told that they obviously had "compassion fatigue" and were no longer needed as volunteers. At this point, there are very few volunteers left,; the animals get left in cages, no one is in charge, and the clowns are running the circus. There is the potential at this shelter for wonderful things.....so sad that the Board quit caring.
From what was once a very viable solution for animals released into this facility, this has now become a place where animals have very little chance of getting through the poor new system, to even be alive to find good forever homes. The hiring of people who have very little idea of good practices has greatly negatively impacted this facility. The fantastic enthusiasm of the many previous volunteers to the disbandment of the highly regarded Family Dog Trainer program, run by an extremely competent and well loved behavioralist has been systematically torn down. Almost all of long term volunteers have left this organization to use their many considerable talents at other animal refuges. I would not suggest you put your charity dollars here. There are too many chiefs and way too few Indians.
If I could give no stars I would. This organization has gone to hell in a hand basket over the last 2-3 yrs with the CEO and "Behavior Manager" driving the pitchfork! Has anyone noticed the change in mission statement over the last year?? The last phrase to reduce pet overpopulation is the only truth but they don't mention it's by euthanasia. They are not transparent and have gotten rid of any of the training programs important to keeping the animals on the grounds happy and more eligible for adoption. I not only left as a volunteer but also stopped my guardianship to them. The money is not being used for what it should be.....paying big salaries in the admin building for people doing nothing.
The SPCA Tampa Bay has gone downhill fast in the past 2½ years. The organization no longer rehabilitates animals and has in fact discouraged animal intake. The Board contains NO veterinarians and consists of glorified party planners that provide limited oversight. Management runs the organization for the benefit of its employees, showing little regard for the animals. Euthanasia has increased.
In addition, the SPCA Tampa Bay has changed from an organization that would take in all animals in need to one that focuses largely on "designer dogs" and easy to adopt breeds. Long-time volunteers have left - some at the request of management. Animals are now evaluated beyond closed doors, and often killed with little explanation. The CEO either (i) has her husband/boyfriend on the payroll or (ii) has him doing a job that was once performed by a dedicated staff member. The condition of the kennels and the grounds has deteriorated considerably, and many dogs now lie in their own filth and do not get out for walks every day.
One of the supervisors was happy to consort with a man since convicted of murder - a man who was a frequent visitor to the grounds.
The SPCA no longer has the best interests of the animals at heart. So many volunteers have left this organization that they have to pay staff to take care of the animals now. This is where the donor dollars are going, to line the pockets of the officers, directors and staff. How do you explain the lack of animals at this shelter when other shelters in the same community are bursting at the seams? There have been eyewitness accounts of abuse of the animals and deplorable living conditions of others. Since taking the helm, the CEO has drove this once wonderful shelter into the ground. Don't you want to know where your donation dollars are going? It certainly isn't to help the animals. There aren't any.
It's sad to hear the negative reviews and information about this organization. I adopted my first cat from the SPCA in Largo... they were very thorough in interviewing me to make sure I was a suitable "parent" - they microchipped her and gave her a flea bath before I picked her up. I spent 13 long and wonderful years with my cat before she passed away. I will continue to donate but I hope they clean up their act - especially with regard to killing unwanted animals. I know there is not enough room to keep them all, but something must be done. At least they are well cared for and not tortured prior to being put down. Still, very sad.
Review from CharityNavigator
SPCA Tampa Bay provides a wonderful service and is one of the few remaining shelters that will receive any animal.
This organization kills approximately 100 animals per day, according to their own records. How is it possible to take in AND SPEND nearly 4 MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR, and make any kind of plausible claim that you are helping animals with that money, when you are KILLING that many animals per day? Why aren't the financials available online? Is the "shelter" "director" ashamed of what she gets paid to kill animals? She ought to be ashamed, and is, which is why she hides the truth behind evasive emails. This organization is not a cruelty prevention organization. It is an organization that gets paid ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY EACH YEAR to kill animals. If SPCA Tampa Bay wanted to help animals, it can afford to do so. Instead $$$$$$$$$ is all that matters, not the lives taken against their will and unnecessarily.
This is a fine charity. As a former board member, I can attest to the fact that this SPCA's humane education programs and aggressive policies on pursuing animal cruelty are well worth one's contributions. Adoption and related ancillary programs are top-notch and I encourage anyone to remember this SPCA in their estate plans and make contributions when able, as this organization relies solely on the generosity of animal-lovers.
Review from Guidestar