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Emergency shelter to open in Lakeland for Hillsborough dogs

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Published:   |   Updated: November 11, 2013 at 11:37 PM

TAMPA — The Florida chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has joined with the video communications and marketing company, Talk Fusion, to open an emergency shelter for unwanted dogs from Hillsborough County.

The shelter, in Lakeland, will take dogs that would ordinarily go to Hillsborough’s animal shelter on Falkenburg Road. The shelter stopped accepting dogs last week to allow a respiratory virus outbreak that infected several dogs there to run its course.

“This is a great opportunity for our organization to demonstrate its mission of building humane communities throughout the state, and working together to elevate the standards of animal welfare,” said Adam Lamb, director of animal care and medical services for SPCA Florida, in a written statement.

Lamb also paid tribute to Talk Fusion and its chief executive officer, Bob Reina, for providing money for the tent, supplies and staff time at the Lakeland temporary shelter.

The animals will be housed within SPCA Florida’s exercise yard at 5850 Brannen Road S. in Lakeland. The shelter will have separate areas for isolation, intake and kitchen-food preparation, as well as the main stray holding area. Hillsborough County’s Animal Services is providing kennels.

The number of dogs housed at the temporary shelter will be limited to 100. They will undergo medical evaluation at the Hillsborough shelter before being transferred to Lakeland.

Hillsborough Animal Services should get the dogs back by next week.

When Animal Services announced the viral outbreak a week ago Monday, a shelter veterinarian estimated it would take about two weeks for the respiratory viruses to run their course. The two viruses, which cause flu-like symptoms in dogs, are new to the area, and veterinarians wanted to quarantine shelter animals so the diseases would not spread into the community.

msalinero@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-8303

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