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Another perspective on what's happening at Hillsborough County Animal Services

From: Joan Z
Sent on: Sunday, June 30, 2013 12:20 PM

See below – I’m posting a signed response from the rescue group that saves more cats from our county shelter than any other group next to the Humane Society.  I’m also reposting the charges that were forwarded to this list from an anonymous source.


Let’s have an open discussion.  If those who are making charges would come forward instead of posting anonymously, that would be great. 


I’m assuming that we all want to save more lives as soon as possible.  As you all know, our new shelter director spent the last year dealing with opposition to Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return, so his plan was just approved by the county commissioners last month.  Now he can finally do his job – hopefully with all the community support we can mobilize from animal lovers like you.


If you have a proven plan that’s more effective across the nation than the No-Kill Equation, please share your research and case studies with us.  But know this: We will never go backward.





From: Jeanine Cohen [mailto:[address removed]]
Sent: Sunday, June 30,[masked]:08 AM
To: Joan Zacharias
Subject: Fwd: Jeanine

The below statements are not true. No legitimate 501(c)(3) rescue is being turned away. Cat Crusaders picked up 2 adults on Thurs, and a mom and 7 babies on Sat.  One group did have their name on a bunch of cats, but that rescue removed their name from the cats, because they were sick and because that rescue never planned on being "responsible" for those cats, they were going to turn them over to this ad hoc group. Part of running a responsible rescue, is accountability.  I wish we could save them all, I really do, but the way this group has tried to do it repeatedly is shady at best.  They asked us a rescue to pull for them, and my answer was no. We are responsible for every cat we pull from HCAS, and we don't just give them away, even to well-meaning people.  


The scariest part of this is this group of people don't address if they have the resources to care for the sickness (the 2 adults above went to the ER Vet on Sat, and one is still there- antibiotics and nebulizing is not enough), where are they doing adoptions, since they're not a rescue they can't go to petsmart or petco or participate in big adoption events, if they have an adoption contract, who decides whether to adopt or not, and who their vet is- Remember the rescue that pulls the cat is tied to the cat by the microchip #.  Every cat we pull (and most legitimate rescues) can account for every cat. We know who fosters, who adopted. We don't just pull bunches and give them away.  If this group is serious about puling and saving lives, become a 501(c)(3), set up your adoption outlets, and fill out the forms to become a rescue partner at HCAS, just like everyone else did, its not hard to do.  I'll give you the forms if you need them. 


Jeanine Cohen, Co- Director 

Cat Crusaders, Inc. 



From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Andrea Barlow
Sent: Saturday, June 29,[masked]:48 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: [AnimalAdvocacyofTampaBay] Fwd: Please asking for help..... urgent....


Hi everyone,


I received this email below asking for advice and help.  Does anyone have any thoughts?  Contact me and I will get you in touch with the sender.


Thank you,


[address removed]


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM
Subject: Please asking for help..... urgent....


Asking any of you caring people for help. Please share.

Hillsborough County Animal Shelter is now full and is killing for space.

They are even killing animals who have rescue holds on them, who are awaiting vetting. They are now killing animals who have foster homes and adopter homes waiting on them.

They claim animals are sick, but they are not treating any simple URIs, they let the cats get sick and do nothing.

They started the killing at 5 am this morning. (Sorry I do use the word euth as that is not what it is, this is not mercy killing.)

They are refusing to allow rescues to pull animals, because they do not have vet services spay neuter for the animals who are already waiting to be vetted who have been pulled in the past few weeks. The longer the animals wait, the more they are likely to get sick.

Last night there were 16 kittens on the death list and 4 adults. All were 'saved' but now the holds are said to be in question because they do not want to have to provide more vet services.

They claim they want to increase adoptions but then when that happens, they cannot or choose not to handle the vet services, then they ask the groups to back off - they limit rescues from rescuing animals, they tell the social media sites not to list healthy adoptable animals, because they can't handle the vetting.

The help I ask is ANY HELP at all with the animals who are in dire need there.

I have only been there off and on for the past month, and I HAVE SEEN ALOT OF THINGS. Far more than I have even mentioned in this note.

I have spoken to both county commissions. I am at the end of my energy level and health level with little to no sleep and lost a crazy amount of weight trying to save animals each night. But there are people at HCAS be trying to sabotage EVERY effort to save lives and place animals in foster or adopter homes.

I watch people - good people - work themselves to the bone trying to find homes, care for sick animals, rescue more lives each night and place every one in a healthy foster or permanent home. They are burning out, people are in tears.

I was up all night trying to save the list of animals this morning - not only the ones I mentioned above with the kittens, but the ones that were already saved in recent days that they started killing this morning for space - animals who had people waiting on them to be vetted. This is insanity.

I no longer know what to do or where to go or who to turn to ask for help. Every day more die and the shelter does not help rescues - if anything they are against the animals being saved and placed. I cannot fathom these actions.

I do not work for a rescue and I do not work for any social media or anything like that.... I adopted a rescue and was helping others.

What I have seen the past month is mind boggling. I tried taking photos of cats to give to the web page to help them... but then they only post a few of the many friendly ones I see there - it is heart breaking! They are trying to post less, like they were told, so as not to lost their hold priveleges, the shelter blackmails them with fear tactics.

And then even those few now that are posted on the urgentcatsoftampabay website (where I found my rescue kitty) .... the shelter does not want to allow rescues to pull animals - the main rescues who help are getting banned from pulling anything, and the rest of the rescues sit on their butts and do nothing, claiming they are full, yet when a Siamese or such comes along they suddenly have space again.

I know these rescue people who are getting harassed - they are good people, they are not hoarding (I have been there, trust me it's not hoarding), they are helping place every animal with foster or adopter. Most of the fosters have 1-5 cats each - not a lot. A few have kitten groups. All are treating animals who are sick effectively.


All the ones from last night's list are slated to die even though holds were placed - they refuse to honor the holds with the main rescue who has been so diligently saving them and then placing them in good homes!! People have to go there in person and pull the cats out to save them.  


I am asking from the very bottom of my heart for help. Please help these cats and kittens. Any advice, any wisdom. Rescue groups, fosters, adopters, anything.


Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Andrea Barlow ([address removed]) from Animal Advocacy of Tampa Bay.
To learn more about Andrea Barlow, visit his/her member profile
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