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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

SPCA Tampa Bay

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Training, Animals, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Protection Against Abuse

Mission: Through passionate collaboration with our community, we transform the lives of animals.

Results: Adoptions are up and euthanasia is down in Pinellas County shelters! SPCA Tampa Bay CEO Martha Boden were joined by Pinellas County Animal Services director Doug Brightwell, Humane Society of Pinellas executive director Stacey Efaw and Friends of Strays board president Mo Eppley for a news conference to announce the Pinellas County Pet Partnership’s 2018 Animal Welfare Report. This report, started in 2012, is a singular set of data from our combined facilities which presents a clear picture of animal welfare in our community. Changes we’ve seen over time 2012 – 2017: * 16% increase in adoptions, * 50% decrease in shelter euthanasia, * 24% decrease in stray intake, *34% decrease in pets surrendered to shelters

Geographic areas served: Tampa Bay

Programs: SPCA Tampa Bay is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that transforms the lives of animals through passionate collaboration with its community. It operates Tampa Bay’s only non-profit animal shelter that assists all animals in need, regardless of species or circumstance, at its 10-acre campus in Largo. It also operates a full-service veterinary hospital in St. Petersburg that is open to all pet owners and provides pets with a lifetime of high-quality care including dental and surgical procedures, diagnostic testing, annual exams, vaccines and spay/neuter. Founded in 1940, SPCA Tampa Bay has cared for millions of homeless, surrendered, and injured animals.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just adopted a guinea pig from SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo. I have always wanted one and found that they have pocket pets via PetFinder. Very friendly staff and the volunteer who helped me was very kind and helpful as well. I’ll be back in the future! It wasn’t busy at the time that I was there so the adoption process was relatively quick. We love our new fur-family-member Harvey!

2 Carrie Johnson O.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm a member of the Board of Directors of SPCA Tampa Bay, and I could not be more proud to be affiliated with the organization. I love visiting the shelter, which is filled with kind, passionate staff and volunteers who are devoted to making sure the animals in their care get the very best treatment. In addition, they offer really terrific training programs through their affiliation with New Dawn Animal Behavior Center. I enrolled my 14-year-old Lab, Molly, in their K-9 nosework classes and she had an absolute blast. It was a wonderful enrichment activity for a senior pet and we both had a ton of fun. It's an amazing organization!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my pig, Maple back in 2016 from the Tampa SPCA. Their staff members made the adoption experience very enjoyable. They were all very professional and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the animals that they adopt out.

Troy

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my beloved cat of 17 years passed away, my home seemed empty and quiet and I knew I need to get another "fur baby". I also knew I wanted a rescue so I went to the SPCA Tampa Bay. Most of the cats were housed in beautiful cat rooms, but there was one by himself in a cage. He was "returned" because his previous owner said he didn't get along with their other dog and cat. But once I looked at him and he looked at me, I knew he was the cat for me. At the SPCA, he received good food, medical care and shelter before going to the Cat Room for his future adoption. Immediately, I knew "Charlie" was the cat for me. Thanks to the SPCA for the care and compassion they show all the animals and especially my Charlie. Now he has his "furever" home.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I want to give the Vet Center in St. Petersburg a shout out! When my cat needed his shots the SPCA showed on their website about their new animal hospital on 5th Avenue off US19.
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL FACILITY!!! So happy with murals on the walls & very nice staff & doctors.
My visit was awesome & very well priced. I will keep bringing my cat there for ALL his care. THEY ROCK!!!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a proud, voluntary Board member & am active in the SPCA's women's working group (1KB!!!), I see first hand how much good is done EVERY day at our shelter & how WONDERFUL our employees & volunteers are! They are selfless individuals that really love animals & offer compassion at our open admission shelter. How sad it is to KEEP seeing the old posts from past volunteers that tried to wage their own coup d' e tat when our wonderful new CEO was brought on board. NO ONE is more passionate about ALL the animals at the SPCA than Martha Boden & her wonderful staff. I see this day after day...the way everyone works together to create a safe, loving environment for all animals in their care....don't be fooled by any negative comments...get in the car & come on over & check it out yourself & perhaps you'll find the love of your life & give a pet a FURR-EVER home!!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer here for 13 years. It's the only open admission shelter in the area meaning we take those who have no place else to go for help or a second chance. We give them that chance. Priceless! We have great medical, behavior training, fostering staff and many dedicated staffers and volunteers working to give the best care for the animals and finding them new homes. Also, our community outreach & children's programs are so important for nurturing future animal lovers. We have so many animal loving people giving all they can to ensure a safe & loving future for the 8,000 plus animals we handle every year.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

OK, enough of the negative comments by a small group of banded individuals who are determined to undermine the SPCA because of their own personal vendettas with past or present management. I have read the lies and half truths some have posted on this site, and as a 12 year volunteer of SPCA Tampa Bay, I would like to say the remarks posted here, by this particular group of x-volunteers , are merely self serving. They are the nasty and negative remarks made by a few dog-walkers who were not permitted to micro-manage a facility the size of SPCA. For example, the remarks about the organization only taking in "designer dogs" made me laugh out loud. It's ridiculous and untrue as are many of these allegations. I'm also seeing some very overt jealousy regarding the salaries of various staff members. This is merely an organized attack, a vicious "pack mentality" perpetuated by a few disgruntled but admittedly determined people, and it needs to be seen in that light. This small group of individuals obviously has no concern, whatsoever, for the welfare of the animals they champion on this site, as evidenced by their exiting the shelter, en masse, led by the most verbal and loudest of the complainers. I was there and I watched it happen. I want to ask them all now, 'How does whining and complaining online, from the comfort of your arm chair, help the animals'? How does spreading lies and making attempts to undermining a non-profit organization help the animals? Walking out and abandoning them because you couldn't have your way CLEARLY shows the depth of your concern. How do any of these people truly know what is going on at the SPCA when they don't make any effort whatsoever to take their turns working there, caring for the animals? They have absolutely no first hand knowledge of the work that is being done at SPCA by the dedicated vets, medical team and support staff. Instead, they are simply maligning the oldest and one of the best run shelters in the country because they didn't "like" certain persons in charge. I'll say it again, I was there and I saw it all come down. Management exists because it is a necessity. Workers need organization, supervision and leadership, and if you have ever been in a managerial position, you know you cannot please everybody all the time, especially some volunteers who come in to work and then stalk out when they aren't allowed to run things their own way. Dealing with living beings, in this case unwanted animals, is never easy. Hard decisions must be made at times, and they aren't made lightly or by people who are the MONSTERS this group would have you believe they are. The depth of caring and the relentless efforts made to rescue these animals and restore them to a state of health is ongoing, inspirational and truly amazing. I invite any and all to the SPCA to see for yourselves. Good work is being done to save these animals from peril and perish. Telling people to make donations "elsewhere", as one pack-member advised them to do, is NOT helping any animals. How does taking food and medication from the mouths of needy animals help any animals? It doesn't, the advice to donate elsewhere was given solely to spite the management. I don't understand it. It isn't human. Advice like that is unwarranted and again, self serving. SPCA runs solely on donations and a large staff of volunteers. Paid employee's salaries are modest and every penny is accounted for. Nevertheless, I suppose these attacks won't stop, this group has been "at it" all these years to achieve their end, which is discrediting the SPCA. But I for one am a financial supporter and a time giver and I will continue to be so. I know precisely where my donated dollars go, I see first hand the beneficial transformation in the animals that come through the doors, and I gladly do my volunteer work with the goal of finding all animals a loving home. SPCA has successfully re-homed thousands of animals each year. The animals are well cared for and comfortable. So please, judge for yourselves, don't be swayed by the verbal tantrums of a disgruntled few.

3 Hannah S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My partner and I had been looking for a small to medium dog for about a year. We had looked at a few but there was no "connection." I was visiting SPCA Tampa Bay and saw this adorable white dog in one of the kennels. One of the volunteers was so sweet! She took Blanca out of her kennel and brought her over to me, telling me as much about Blanca as she could. It was love at first sight! Blanca is now a much-loved member of our home and we are so grateful to the staff and volunteers at SPCA Tampa Bay.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have had the great joy of sharing my life with two cats who came from the SPCA Tampa Bay. I will never forget the two days - in different years - that I met them and brought them home. Since then, I have had the pleasure of getting to know the management, staff and volunteers of the SPCA Tampa Bay. They are dedicated and untiring in a world which I am sure can be sad and frustrating as well as joyous and rewarding. This organization works 365 days a year, 24/7. Many people do not realize that it is the SPCA Tampa Bay which picks up injured animals on the highways of the area; that they actively and aggressively follow up on cases of animal abuse; that they provide medical service to injured animals and that they rehab and rehome many, many more animals than they have to euthanize. In the many years that I have visited over the years, I have seen nothing but love, caring and kindness for their resident animals. From the CEO to the occasional volunteer, this is an organization that i endorse without hesitation.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 1

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

Previous Stories
3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 1

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 1

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.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

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.

5 Cynthia67

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

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.

4 Jennifer302

Volunteer

Rating: 1

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.

4 Maureen31

Volunteer

Rating: 1

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.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 1

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.

6 Cindy119

Volunteer

Rating: 1

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.

4 Lady G

Donor

Rating: 3

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