Archive for June, 2011

Summer tips for pet safety in the heat

As we get ready for summer to start, we wanted to provide you with some important information to protect your pets from the Florida heat. Pets, just like people, can suffer heatstroke at any time of day – even in the shade. In Florida, they are particularly vulnerable due to the extreme heat and humidity – even short haired varieties.

Tips for summer pet safety:

  • Be aware that the outside temperature can be a lot warmer than what is on your thermometer – on humid days (and we have a lot of them here!) the relative temperature is much higher
  • Dogs really don’t know when to stop playing – try and keep your dog’s activity to a minimum particularly on hot and humid days
  • Exercise your dog early in the morning and/or later in the evening when the temperature is cooler
  • If possible keep your dog indoors during the heat of the day in a well ventilated or air conditioned room
  • If your dog is outside during the day, make sure there is plenty of shady areas for him to lie in and he has access to cold water. Put a small kid-sized pool of water for him in a shady area so he can lie in that to keep cool, and/or periodically spray him with cool water.
  • Make sure anyone watching your pet is also aware of these safety precautions
Signs of heat stroke:
  • Excessive panting
  • Dark or bright red tongue and gums
  • Sticky or dry tongue and gums
  • Staggering
  • Stupor
  • Seizures
  • Bloody diarrhea or vomiting
  • Coma
  • Death
If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, try the following first-aid procedures:
  • Cool him in cool (not icy) water, or by running a hose over his body. Cool the head and neck areas first.
  • Put him in an air conditioned space.
  • Do not attempt to force him to drink water.
  • Call your veterinarian or a nearby emergency vet office for more advice. It’s best to keep these numbers availably to all family members at all times. A magnet or note on the refrigerator is a good way to do this.

As with children, local and State statutes also forbid leaving animals inside vehicles — even with windows cracked or during evening hours. Violators risk both civil and criminal penalties. When the temperature outside is 85 degrees, the inside of a vehicle can reach 102 in just 10 minutes — 120 degrees in 30 minutes! Animals left in closed vehicles will develop heatstroke, and may suffer pain, injury or even death.

If you see a pet confined inside a vehicle should notify law enforcement or Hillsborough County Animal Services immediately. For more information, call (813) 744-5660 or log on


June 11, 2011 at 11:10 am Leave a comment

Kids for Paws contest a success!

We hosted our first Kids for Paws contest in May for kids ages 6 – 13 to raise money for the Spay/Neuter Clinic. Kids requested donations online asking people to “vote” for them for $1 per vote. 16 kids participated, raising over $6,000 for the animals. Madison Morrow was the contest winner, bringing in $2500. Second place was Zoe Antinori with $633, and third was Cooper Martin with $527.

12 year old Maggie Fitzsimmons contacted us with the idea for the contest. When asked why she wanted to do this, Maggie said: “Well, I’ve been thinking about helping somehow, giving back to the community.  And I love dogs.”

The contest culminated in an event at Seaplane Basin Park on Davis Islands on June 4. Families and their pets enjoyed a bounce house, face painting, kid-friendly vendors, food, entertainment and games.

Our next fundraising event is the Stride for Strays walkathon on October 23. Maggie hopes to participate and is forming a team for kids. “Last year, I went to the Stride, but I didn’t really make a difference because I’m just a kid,” said Maggie. “This year, we are going to be a team called Kids for Paws.”

Thanks to all of these wonderful children for raising this much-needed money for the animals!

June 6, 2011 at 11:33 am Leave a comment

ACT responds to the County Commissioners

One of our supporters contacted the County Commissioners using our auto-generated email program to let them know they care about the spay/neuter voucher program and want it to continue. Below is an excerpt from the response she received (and you may have received this too):

“Unfortunately there is some misinformation being communicated regarding the current status of the program.  While it is true we have ceased the approval of new applications [emphasis added], surgeries are continuing to be performed and as previously stated, vouchers previously issued to citizens are being honored.   We estimate that after the outstanding vouchers have been redeemed, we will be very close to the aforementioned 7,500 target number for this fiscal year.”

The reason we are contacting the commissioners (and asking you to do so as well) is because of the bolded text above. The have stopped accepting new applications for the voucher program. The commissioners’ argument in this case is that they determined a target number of surgeries to perform each year (7,500) and because they will soon reach that target, they can justify not accepting new applications. This is not okay with us because:

  1. There are still lots more people who need the voucher to get their pets fixed. If they have to wait until next year, (IF and when new applications are accepted again), more litters will be born and put down in the meantime.
  2. There is no guarantee they will ever accept new applications again. The email we received from Hillsborough County Animal Services stated: “there will be no new approvals until further notice.” It also said: “Due to significant budgetary issues faced by county government this [7,500 surgeries per year] may or may not be an attainable goal for the immediate future.”
We want to be sure you know that ACT has not been giving out misinformation. We have not denied that vouchers previously issued are being honored. We simply said no more new vouchers will be issued and the program is in danger of being discontinued.
Please continue to let the commissioners know this is not okay with you.
Thank you for your support.
-ACT Spay/Neuter Clinic (and all of the county’s citizens and their animals who have benefited from the voucher program)

June 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

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