Tampa Bay animal shelters flooded with rabbits and cats – CBS Tampa

TAMPA, Florida (CW44 News At 10) – Animal shelters in the Tampa Bay area are seeing an influx of puppies, kittens and even some furry friends.

Now, they need your help as they handle maximum capacity.

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At the SPCA in Tampa Bay, officials say they have a lot of rabbits right now, and they need to find other areas of the building to house them. Officials say they have more than 30 rabbits available for adoption, including one spotted named Oreo.

“This time around, the population is booming,” says Tara Yorkshad, COO of SPCA Tampa Bay.

“It hurts,” says Christine McClarty of the Tampa Bay Humane Society. “We’re breaking the seams with cats, dogs, and rabbits.”

It’s a feeling staffed at animal shelters throughout the Tampa Bay area feel: overwhelmed.

“We have over 30 rabbits available for adoption on the adoption floor, which is a really big number,” Yorkshad said.

You wouldn’t think an abundance of rabbits would be the problem, but for the SPCA in Tampa Bay, it is.

“We’ve come out of our pocket pet room and are showing the bunnies behind the scenes in other areas in the back,” Yorkshad said.

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One of the longest staying rabbits there is named Prince.

“He’s a little stray,” Yorkshad said, “we don’t know his history, but his notes say he likes to make kisses.”

For the Tampa Bay Humane Society, the issue is cats.

“We have so many now that our administrative offices have what we call cat apartments, where you have multiple cats in one apartment. We have them scattered all over the offices in the building,” McClarty said.

While Yorkshad says she’s not sure why the rabbit population is on the rise, McClarty says she has an idea why the cat population is so high.

“Part of the problem is the pandemic, a lot of animal hospitals have had to close their shelters or dramatically reduce their hours, which means they haven’t been able to sterilize the animals, and now we’re seeing an influx,” McClarty said.

For now, the humane community still takes in feral cats, McClarty says, but has to turn away the surrendered cats just to make room. She encourages everyone to adopt.

“They save you as much as you save them. At the end of the day, they add so much to your life,” McClarty said.

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The SPCA says you can adopt these rabbits at no cost until November 28. The Tampa Bay Humane Society also operates a buy-and-get-one deal for dogs.


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