Humane Society of Pinellas
3040 SR590, Clearwater

Pinellas County Animal Services
12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo 

Friends of Strays
3660 Gandy Blvd, Pinellas Park

Humane Society of Tampa Bay
3607 N Armenia Ave, Tampa

Hillsborough County Animal Services
440 Falkenburg Road, Tampa

Care Animal Shelter
1528 27th St SE, Ruskin
Tampa Bay Area Shelters

             Beware of the pet stores, puppymills and backyard breeders!
                              Are you getting your money's worth?
The Truth about the AKC...the AKC is just a registry and they Do NOT guarantee the Purebred status, Health or Temperment of the dogs they register.  There is no distiction between a reputable breeder and a backyard breeder or puppmill.

Petstores get their pets from puppymills.  Brokers (often mistaken for breeders) from all over the US, especially the midwest, sell puppymill puppies to petstores for as little as $50, then the petstores sell them to you for $1000.

Puppymills are factory farms for breeding puppies at the lowest possible cost.  This results in poor quality, sick puppies and a lot of vet bills for you.

The dogs they breed are caged their entire life in the most horrific conditions, until they can't deliver another litter then they are killed or sold at auction.

They are also inbred, never socialized, suffer poor nutrition and receive little or no veterinarian care, which results in aggression, behavioral problems, genetic problems, chronic skin allergies, blood disorders, and sometimes early death for the puppies.

Backyard breeders are usually breeding puppymill puppies without any quality breeding or proper care. They usually breed more than one dog and multiple breeds more than once a year. They sell their puppies in the local papers.
Do you know what breed is right for you and your lifestyle?
First you must know your true self.

Are you a couch potato or are you an active athlete?
Do you have time to walk a normal dog twice a day for 30 minutes, or run 6 miles a day with an athletic dog?

How busy is your day?
Do you have time to groom your pet daily, weekly? Can you afford to go to the groomers every month?

Do you work 8-12 hours a day or are you home all day?
Can you afford a pet walker or doggie day care?

Do you travel often and are away from home?
Can you afford boarding or a petsitter?

Do you like to have people over the house to entertain?
Do you have time to train your pets? Do your guests like pets, pet hair? 

Do you have time to train your pet?
Training takes time and patience.

Can you afford a pet?
Pet emergencies can cost thousands of dollars.

Are you ready for a 15-20 year commitment?
There are 80,000 cats & dogs turned into the Tampa Bay area shelters each year because the owners weren't ready for the responsibility and commitment. Only 1 out of 4 are adopted.
Adoption Saves Lives!
Pet Pal Rescue
405-22nd St South
St. Pete

SPCA of Tampa Bay
9099-130th Ave, Largo
SPOT 4403 62nd Ave Pinellas Park, FL  33781
What to look for in a Quality Breeder...

A good breeder will welcome you into their home so you can meet the mother dog and see how they are raised.  This is important so you can observe her physical appearance and temperament. If she is part of the family and social. If there are multiple dogs that are kept in cages, then this is a red flag of a backyard breeder.
They only breed a dog that is at least 2 years old and only once every two years, so the mother is healthy enough to have a good litter.  Over breeding  brings health issues to the puppies and expensive medical bills for you.
Ask what food and vitamin supplements the mother dog is on before, during and after the birth.  Good nutrition is important for healthy puppies.  The best food is raw food or homemade meals. 
Ask what veterinarian they are using, and follow up on them, what genetic tests has the mother had?  Does the mother dog have hip dysphasia, skin problems, blood disorders, ear infections, behavior problems. If they do, then they shouldn’t be bred and you don’t want them.
Good breeders will tell you the pros and cons of the breed.
They will interview you to see if you would be a good match for the breed and pick out a puppy that would best suit you.
They will have the pet spayed or neutered before selling the puppy.
They will have you sign a contract to take back the puppy, for any reason that you cannot keep them.

Don’t be fooled that because a dog has papers that it shows quality. 
Anyone can breed an animal and pay $20 to get their dog registered.  The AKC does not come out to your home and inspect your dog to see if it is healthy enough to breed or temperament test it to see if it should be breed.

In the US there is no standard in breeding.
You can line up any one breed and they will all be different sizes and shapes.  A good breeder may only find one good dog out of dozens that are good enough to be breed.  Today, Anyone can breed, so there is no control or standard of which dogs are being breed, that’s why there are so many different sizes and shapes of any one breed. 

There are thousands of Bad Breeders and very few good breeders.
Don’t find out the hard way, that Pet store puppies come from puppy mills and are full of genetic defects and behavior problems.  These puppies will cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills and training and have a lifetime of medical bills and sometimes even early death.  Back yard breeders are just as bad as puppy mills just on a smaller scale.

Bad breeding is inhumane for the mother dog and her puppies.
Please consider adopting from your local shelters or pure bred rescues.  It’s very rewarding because you will be saving a life.  There are over 250,000 pets up for adoption every day at   Millions of pets are being euthanized all over America because there are too many pets and not enough homes.

If they are Not a Quality Breeder, you are wasting your Time & Money.
Adopt and Save a Life!
Best Friends
When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh.

You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "how could you?" -- but then you'd relent, and roll me over for a belly-rub. My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together.

I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love. She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" -- still I welcomed her into our home, tried tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy.

Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch --because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would have defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog" and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that dose not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family. I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle - aged dog, even one with "papers."

You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "NO! Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "how could you?" They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you -- that you had changed your mind -- that this was all a bad dream... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone might save me.

When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days...

As is my nature, I was concerned about her.

The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "how could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dog-speak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, of have to fend for myself -- a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "how could you?" was not directed at her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.

May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

From one of the millions of pets that are euthanized every year.

Want to Adopt a Pet?
Foster first and help save a pet's life from the chance of being euthanized at a shelter.
It's the perfect opportunity for you to find out, in a temporary situation if you are really ready for a 15 year commitment. Fostering helps the rescue, and the pet! Plus you can learn all about the breed of your choice!  To find a pure breed rescue go to

There are over 250,000 pets that need homes on a daily basis.
Contact one of the rescues,
for a full list of rescues go to: