Good to Know – Animal Services


>>Irena Milasinovic: WELCOME TO
“GOOD TO KNOW,” PINELLAS COUNTY’S PRESENTATION ON THE
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES PROVIDED BY YOUR COUNTY.
I’M YOUR HOST IRENA MILASINOVIC OF PINELLAS COUNTY
COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT. PINELLAS COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES
HAS A PROFESSIONAL STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS WHO WORK HARD TO HELP
YOU KEEP YOUR PET SAFE AND HEALTHY THROUGHOUT ITS LIFETIME.
ANIMAL SERVICES HAS BEEN NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FOR
PROGRAMS THAT PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY, ADDRESS
ANIMAL WELFARE AND OVERPOPULATION ISSUES, AND
ENCOURAGE RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP.
THE CARING STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS AT PINELLAS COUNTY ANIMAL
SERVICES WORK HARD TO MAINTAIN THESE PROGRAMS AND CONSIDER
ADOPTIONS THE MOST VALUABLE WORK THEY DO.
FOR THE NEXT 15 MINUTES, WE’LL LEARN MORE ABOUT PET ADOPTIONS
AND RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP. JOINING US TODAY IS TYSON YOUTS,
ADOPTION COORDINATOR WITH THE PINELLAS COUNTY’S ANIMAL
SERVICES. WELCOME, TYSON.
>>Tyson Youts: WELL, HELLO, WELCOME.
>>Irena Milasinovic: WHO DO YOU HAVE HERE?
>>Tyson Youts: THIS IS SADIE. SADIE IS NOT A CARPET.
SHE LIKES TO LAY THERE. SHE IS A VERY CALM DOG.
SHE IS FOUR YEARS OLD. SHE IS PROBABLY PIT BULL,
TERRIER, EITHER POINTER OR SOME KIND OF A HOUND MIX.
SHE KNOWS A LOT OF COMMANDS. SHE’LL DO ANYTHING FOR A TREAT,
BUT SHE HAS BEEN AT THE SHELTER ALL THE WAY BACK.
SHE ARRIVED JUST BEFORE THANKSGIVING OF 2012.
SO IT’S TIME FOR HER TO FIND A HOME.
>>Irena Milasinovic: TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ADOPTION
PROCESS.>>Tyson Youts: WE DO A LOT OF
ADOPTIONS. EACH YEAR, WE DO THOUSANDS AND
THOUSANDS. 5,000 PLUS.
ONE YEAR WE ALMOST GOT TO 6,000. WE’RE TRYING TO GET TO THAT
POINT AGAIN. BUT PINELLAS COUNTY ANIMAL
SERVICES IS AN OPEN ADMISSION SHELTER.
WE DON’T TURN ANYBODY AWAY AND WE CAN’T PICK AND CHOOSE WHAT
ANIMALS COME IN. WE TAKE ALL THE STRAYS FOUND ON
THE STREETS AND BROUGHT INTO THE SHELTER.
WE DON’T HAVE THE BENEFIT THAT A LOT OF OTHER SHELTERS OR RESCUES
MIGHT HAVE OF BACKGROUND INFORMATION.
OWNERS DON’T BRING AS MANY ANIMALS TO US AS THEY DO SOME OF
THE OTHER SHELTERS BECAUSE WE PRIMARILY TAKE IN STRAYS.
WITH OUR ADOPTIONS, WE HAVE ANIMALS THAT WE STUDY, WE TEST,
WE TRY AND FIND OUT WHAT DO THEY LIKE, HOW WELL ARE THEY TRAINED
AND THEN WE DO THE TRAINING. A LOT OF ANIMALS THAT COME IN,
WE DON’T KNOW IF THEY ARE HOUSE TRAINED OR NOT.
SADIE HERE PROBABLY IS HOUSE TRAINED
SHE’S BEEN WITH US LONG ENOUGH THAT WHEN SHE GOES OUTSIDE,
SHE’S REALLY GOOD ABOUT GOING TO THE BATHROOM.
AND THAT’S THE BIGGEST QUESTION THAT PEOPLE ASK US WHEN THEY
ADOPT, IS THIS ANIMAL HOUSE TRAINED?
IT’S A GOOD WAY TO START, BUT THERE’S A LOT OF QUESTIONS YOU
WANT TO ASK WITH ADOPTIONS, LIKE DOES YOUR LANDLORD ALLOW PETS?
THAT IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE THAT WE FACE AT ANIMAL SERVICES IS
TRYING TO REACH A LANDLORD. IF YOU WALK INTO THE SHELTER AND
YOU WANT TO ADOPT A PET, WE ASK, DOES YOUR LANDLORD ALLOW IT?
AND IF YOU HAVE A LEASE OR PAPERWORK SHOWING THAT THEY CAN
HAVE A PET, GREAT. IF NOT, WE HAVE TO CALL THEM.
SOMETIMES IT’S HARD TO REACH A LANDLORD ON THE PHONE, UNLESS IT
IS THE FIRST OF THE MONTH. BUT OTHERWISE, THEY ARE EASY TO
ADOPT. NOW, WE DO HAVE ONE OTHER
REQUIREMENT, AND THAT IS IF YOUR ANIMAL IS — IF YOU HAVE ANY
OTHER ANIMALS, THEY NEED TO BE CURRENT WITH THEIR RABIES SHOT
AND LICENSE. ALL OF OUR ADOPTION ANIMALS ARE
SPAYED OR NEUTERED, HEARTWORM TESTED, DEWORMED, GIVEN A FLEA
PREVENTIVE THAT’S GOOD FOR A MONTH.
RABIES SHOT, LICENSE, TREATS, ALL KINDS OF OTHER THINGS THAT
ARE DONATED BY LOCAL BUSINESSES AND WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS AND
CITIZENS TO HELP FIND THEM HOMES MUCH MORE QUICKLY.
SO WE DO A LOT OF THINGS FOR THEM, BUT WE HAVE TO STRUGGLE
BECAUSE WE GET ALMOST 18,000 ANIMALS A YEAR INTO OUR SHELTER.
FORTUNATELY, THE CITIZENS OF PINELLAS COUNTY ARE GREAT ABOUT
COMING TO RECLAIM THEIR LOST PETS, BUT THERE ARE STILL A LOT
THAT COME IN THAT ARE LOOKING FOR NEW HOMES.
>>Irena Milasinovic: HOW CAN PEOPLE ADOPT?
WHERE CAN THEY GO?>>Tyson Youts: THERE ARE A
NUMBER OF RESOURCES. WHEN I GO ONLINE, I LIKE TO LOOK
AT A BUSINESS THAT YOU CAN SEE WHAT’S IN THEIR INVENTORY RIGHT
THEN BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE TO GO ONLINE IN THE EVENING
AND SEE WHAT’S AVAILABLE AT DIFFERENT OUTLETS OR RETAILERS.
SO USING THAT LOGIC, I DECIDED TO CREATE A VIDEO, AND EVERY
EVENING, WE DO A VIDEO OF THE ANIMALS IN THE SHELTER AT
CLOSING TIME. SO IF YOU WATCH THAT VIDEO, THEN
YOU CAN SEE WHAT’S THERE. IF YOU COME INTO THE SHELTER
WHEN WE OPEN THE NEXT MORNING, YOU KNOW THE ANIMAL WILL BE
THERE. YOU WANT TO COME QUICK BECAUSE
CERTAIN BREEDS GET ADOPTED MUCH FASTER.
IT IS A STATISTICAL TREND THAT SMALL DOGS, IN OUR SHELTER AT
LEAST, GET ADOPTED WITHIN THE FIRST HALF HOUR THAT THEY COME
UP FOR ADOPTION. PUREBRED DOGS ARE USUALLY
ADOPTED THE SAME DAY OR MAYBE A DOG LATER.
IF IT IS A MIXED BREED THAT DOESN’T HAVE ONE OF THE NEGATIVE
STEREOTYPES TO THEM, LIKE A PIT BULL TERRIER, WHICH SADIE IS
HERE, I DON’T KNOW WHY SHE HAS A NEGATIVE STEREOTYPE, BUT IF IT’S
A DOG THAT IS A MIXED BREED, LIKE HOUND MIX OR SHEPHERD MIX,
THEY ARE USUALLY ADOPTED THE SAME WEEK.
PIT BULL TERRIER MIXES, BECAUSE OF THE STEREOTYPE ASSOCIATED
WITH THEM, THEY TAKE A LITTLE LONGER TO ADOPT.
BUT YOU CAN ALSO GO ON TO MANY OTHER WEB SITES.
PETFINDER.COM WE HAVE OUR ANIMALS’ PHOTOGRAPHS AND
INFORMATION ABOUT THEM LISTED THERE.
ON THE COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES WEB PAGE THERE ARE LINKS THERE
WHERE YOU CAN SEE VIDEOS. THERE’S ALSO — OUR VOLUNTEERS
HAVE A Facebook PAGE THAT THEY MAINTAIN.
THEY HAVE LOTS OF INFORMATION ABOUT ADOPTIONS THERE.
SO THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO ON TOP OF JUST
CALLING THE SHELTER. WE ALSO HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS
THAT COME IN ABOUT ADOPTION ANIMALS.
>>Irena Milasinovic: THE PHONE NUMBER FOR THE SHELTER?
>>Tyson Youts: THE MAIN SHELTER NUMBER IS 582-2600.
AND THAT CAN GET YOU A LOT OF DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS.
YOU WOULD HAVE TO ASK FOR THE ADOPTIONS DEPARTMENT TO FIND OUT
INFORMATION THERE. BUT WE ALSO HAVE AN ENFORCEMENT
DIVISION, WHICH ENFORCES COUNTY CODE.
WE HAVE WHAT WE CALL THE BITE DEPARTMENT, WHICH IS OUR RABIES
QUARANTINE DEPARTMENT. SADIE IS STARTING TO WAKE UP
HERE AND PLAY. SHE WANTS HER BELLY RUBBED.
SHE IS A FUN DOG. WE HAVE OUR LICENSING DEPARTMENT
WHERE WE DO RABIES SHOTS AND LICENSES IN THE SHELTER.
THAT’S ALWAYS AVAILABLE. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS
CALLING THE ONE PHONE NUMBER THAT CAN GET YOU CONNECTED.
>>Irena Milasinovic: YOU MENTIONED THAT ALL THE PETS THAT
ARE AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION ARE SPAYED OR NEUTERED.
TELL US WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.
>>Tyson Youts: WELL, FOR ONE, IT’S STATE LAW.
THE STATE REQUIRES THAT AN ANIMAL COMING OUT OF A PUBLIC
SHELTER THAT’S ADOPTED HAS TO BE SPAYED OR NEUTERED.
WE’RE ASKED FREQUENTLY, WHY? WHAT IF I DON’T WANT THAT TO
HAPPEN? SADLY, THERE ARE ANIMALS ACROSS
THE COUNTRY, THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS PUT TO SLEEP EVERY DAY
BECAUSE THERE ARE NO HOMES FOR THEM OR THEY ARE SICK OR INJURED
FROM WANDERING THE STREETS. WE WANT AT ANIMAL SERVICES TO
HAVE PEOPLE WITH HAPPY ANIMALS AND HAPPY ADOPTERS.
WE WANT THE ANIMALS TO BE HEALTHY AND NOT REPRODUCE SO
THAT WE DON’T HAVE A LOT MORE ANIMALS COMING TO THE SHELTER AT
A LATER TIME. 18,000 ANIMALS IS ACTUALLY A DIP
IN NUMBER. AT ONE POINT, WE HAD 26,000
ANIMALS COMING TO THE SHELTER. THAT’S A LOT OF ANIMALS FOR SUCH
A SMALL STAFF TO DEAL WITH BECAUSE WE’RE NOT ONLY DOING
THEIR SURGERIES, BUT WE HAVE A STAFF THAT SCRUBS AND CLEANS THE
KENNELS, EVERY SINGLE DAY. THEY HAVE TO FEED, MAINTAIN THE
ANIMALS. THE MEDICAL STAFF DOESN’T JUST
SPAY OR NEUTER THEM, BUT THEY HAVE TO CHECK ON THEM EVERY DAY
TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE EATING WELL, THAT THEY ARE
FEELING OKAY. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS VERY
COMMON IN A SHELTER, AND THIS IS ONE OF OUR SPEECHES THAT WE GIVE
TO EVERY ADOPTER IS, JUST LIKE A KID IN KINDERGARTEN, IF ONE
CHILD CATCHES A COLD, ALL THE CHILDREN IN THE CLASS ARE GOING
TO CATCH IT. KENNEL COUGH IS AN ILLNESS, AND
THERE’S UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTION FOR CATS OR KENNEL
COUGH FOR DOGS, IT GOES BY DIFFERENT COMMON NAMES, THAT
THEY CATCH, AND THEY PASS IT AROUND IN THE KENNEL.
BECAUSE IF ONE SNEEZES, THE REST CAN CATCH IT.
SO I TELL EVERYONE, IF YOU’RE ADOPTING A PET, ASSUME THAT AT
SOME POINT IT WILL CATCH A COLD. IF IT DOES CATCH A COLD, MAKE
SURE IT’S EATING AND DRINKING OKAY.
AS LONG AS IT’S EATING AND DRINKING OKAY, IT SHOULD BE
FINE. FOLLOW UP WITH YOUR VET.
THEY MAY WANT TO START ON MEDS OR ANTIBIOTICS.
GENERALLY, IF THEY ARE EATING, THEY’LL DO FINE.
IF A DOG OR CAT HAS A STUFFY NOSE, THEY CAN’T SMELL THEIR
FOOD. THEY CAN’T SMELL IT, THEY WON’T
EAT IT. THEN THEY WON’T HAVE THE ENERGY
TO FIGHT OFF A COLD. SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO MIX IN
CANNED FOOD BECAUSE IT STINKS REALLY BAD AND THEY CAN SMELL IT
THROUGH A STUFFY NOSE. THEN THEY EAT IT AND GET ALL
BETTER AND YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL PET.
>>Irena Milasinovic: YOU MENTIONED THE VACCINATIONS.
TELL US WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT THAT PETS GET VACCINATED AND
VACCINATED ON TIME. WHERE CAN RESIDENTS GO TO GET
THEIR PETS VACCINATED?>>Tyson Youts: PINELLAS COUNTY
ANIMAL SERVICES, ONE OF OUR TASKS AND CHORES IS TO PROTECT
PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY. RABIES IS AN ILLNESS THAT YOU
DON’T GET OVER. ONCE YOU’RE INFECTED WITH
RABIES, IF YOU DON’T GET VACCINES AND BECOMES FULL-BLOWN
RABIES, YOU DIE. THAT’S SOMETHING WE WANT TO
PREVENT. DOGS GET EXPOSED TO WILDLIFE.
RACCOONS MAYBE GO AND EAT FROM THE DOG BOWL AND THE DOG GOES
OUTSIDE AND IS BITTEN BY THE RACCOON.
RACCOONS ARE A PRIMARY CARRIER OF RABIES.
IT’S CODE AND LAW IN PINELLAS COUNTY ALSO THAT YOUR ANIMALS
HAVE TO BE VACCINATED FOR RABIES AND GIVEN THEIR LICENSE.
THE LICENSE HELPS US GET AN ANIMAL BACK TO AN OWNER, BUT IT
ALSO HELPS US KNOW IF AN ANIMAL IS VACCINATED.
WITH THE RABIES VACCINE, WE KNOW THAT IF A DOG OR A CAT IS
VACCINATED, THEY ARE GOING TO BE PRETTY MUCH PROTECTED.
THEY MIGHT GET A BOOSTER SHOT IF THEY ARE EXPOSED TO A BAT OR A
RACCOON OR SOMETHING WITH RABIES.
BUT BECAUSE OF THAT PROGRAM, WE HAVE VERY FEW ANIMALS TEST
POSITIVE FOR RABIES IN PINELLAS COUNTY.
EXTREMELY FEW. WE ALSO HAVE A BAIT PROGRAM
WHERE WE DROP BAITS AROUND THE COUNTY, SO THAT IF RACCOONS
MIGRATE IN, THEY EAT THESE LITTLE STINKY FISH BAITS AND IT
VACCINATES THEM SO THAT WE’VE GOT THIS BUFFER AROUND US.
FORTUNATELY, WE HAVE WATER, WE HAVE BEACHES ON THREE SIDES OF
THE COUNTY, AND THE RACCOONS DON’T SWIM ACROSS THE BAY, SO
WE’RE PRETTY WELL PROTECTED. BUT THE RABIES VACCINE IS
PRIMARY AND VERY IMPORTANT. YOU CAN GET YOUR RABIES VACCINE
AT THE SHELTER. YOU CAN GET YOUR LICENSE AT THE
SHELTER. VETS GIVE RABIES VACCINES ALSO.
AND MOST VETS WILL ALSO PROVIDE THE LICENSE.
STARTING TO GET A LITTLE FRISKY HERE.
COME HERE, SWEETIE. SHE IS A SWEET GIRL.
AND SHE HAS HAD HER RABIES SHOT ALSO.
AND WE OFFER BOTH A ONE-YEAR AND A THREE-YEAR RABIES VACCINE.
WITH MOST VACCINES, THE FIRST RABIES VACCINE OF RECORD IS GOOD
FOR A YEAR. ALL OF THEM AFTER THAT ARE GOOD
FOR THREE YEARS.>>Irena Milasinovic: AND TELL US
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT — THERE’S A LOT OF STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS AND
THEY HELP A LOT WITH ADOPTION. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PROGRAMS
THAT THEY ARE DOING RIGHT NOW?>>Tyson Youts: BECAUSE OF MY
VOLUNTEERS, WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO KEEP THE ADOPTION NUMBERS HIGH.
THE VOLUNTEERS NOW PROVIDE ADOPTIONS ON THE WEEKENDS, ON
THE FIRST THREE SATURDAYS OF EVERY MONTH IN THE SHELTER.
THAT’S FROM 9 TO NOON. WE HAVE ADOPTIONS ON THE
WEEKDAYS FROM 9 TO 4:30. WE DON’T HAVE ADOPTIONS ON
SUNDAY. BUT USUALLY BY THE TIME SUNDAY
ROLLS AROUND, WE HAVE ADOPTED OUT SO MANY ANIMALS THAT PENS
ARE ALMOST EMPTY AND WE’RE EXCITED UNTIL MONDAY MORNING
WHEN WE EXAMINE MORE ANIMALS AND PUT THEM OUT.
OUR VOLUNTEERS HAVE A SENIOR-TO-SENIOR PROGRAM WHERE
WE TAKE SENIOR ANIMALS AND PARTNER THEM UP WITH SENIOR
CITIZENS. AND THAT’S A GOOD THING BECAUSE
A LOT OF THE SENIOR ANIMALS ARE GREAT.
THEY ARE ALREADY TRAINED. THEY DON’T CHEW ON THINGS.
THEY ARE ALREADY HOUSE TRAINED AND KNOW A LOT OF COMMANDS AND
THAT IS A PRETTY NICE THING, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE NICE
AND CALM. THANKS TO MY VOLUNTEERS, THEY
GIVE US THE INFORMATION ON THE CAGES SO THAT WHEN WE DO OUR
NIGHTLY VIDEOS, I’LL BE ABLE TO TELL PEOPLE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
THE DOG, WHAT THEY LIKE, WHAT THEY DON’T LIKE, WHAT THEIR
ENERGY LEVEL IS SO WE CAN MATCH PEOPLE UP WITH THE RIGHT PET.
>>Irena Milasinovic: AND THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT.
>>Tyson Youts: EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, BECAUSE WE WANT TO
PREVENT ANIMALS FROM GETTING ADOPTED AND COMING BACK TO THE
SHELTER. WHEN YOU ADOPT A PET, YOU WANT
TO ADOPT WITH YOUR BRAIN AND NOT YOUR EYES.
A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL ADOPT A DOG JUST BECAUSE IT’S CUTE.
YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE HOW MANY HUSKIES END UP IN THE SHELTER
NOT GETTING RECLAIMED BY THEIR OWNERS BECAUSE, WELL, THEY ARE A
PRETTY DOG, PRETTY BLUE EYES, BUT FREQUENTLY THEY GET LOOSE
AND PEOPLE DON’T HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE BREED TO
KEEP THEM CONFINED.>>Irena Milasinovic: WHAT IS THE
MESSAGE THAT YOU WANT TO SEND TO OUR RESIDENTS AND PET OWNERS
ABOUT RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP?>>Tyson Youts: WE HAVE A
COLORING BOOK THAT WE USE AND HAVE USED FOR MANY YEARS.
THE TITLE OF THE COLORING BOOK IS “LOVE, LICENSE, LEASH.”
WITH THE THREE Ls YOU PRETTY MUCH COVER EVERYTHING.
IF YOU LOVE YOUR PET, YOU’LL TAKE CARE OF IT.
YOU’LL GET IT ITS RABIES SHOTS, FEED IT, AND HAVE A GREAT DOG.
YOU LICENSE A PET BECAUSE THAT WAY YOUR PET WILL HAVE A WAY
BACK HOME. WE HAVE MICROCHIPS ALSO.
MICROCHIPS ARE ANOTHER GREAT WAY TO GET A PET RETURNED TO YOU.
AND KEEP THEM ON A LEASH. YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE HOW MANY
ANIMALS GET IN TROUBLE BECAUSE ANOTHER ANIMAL CHARGES UP TO
THEM AND IT’S OFF THE LEASH. YOU DO THOSE THREE THINGS,
YOU’LL HAVE ANOTHER L, AND THAT IS A LONG LIFE AND GREAT
RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PET.>>Irena Milasinovic: THANK YOU,
TYSON AND THANK YOU, SADIE. “LOVE, LICENSE AND LEASH.”
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE A REPEAT OF THIS PRESENTATION,
VISIT pinellascounty.org/eseries.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ON PET ADOPTION AND
RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP, VISIT THE PINELLAS COUNTY ANIMAL
SERVICES HOME PAGE AT www.pinellascounty.org/
animalservices. AND IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS
ABOUT TODAY’S TOPIC, BE SURE TO E-MAIL THEM TO
[email protected] pinellascounty.org AND WE WILL
GET BACK WITH YOU. JOIN US AGAIN FOR THE NEXT “GOOD
TO KNOW” RIGHT HERE ON PCC-TV.

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