Facing a tidal wave of dogs and cats, the Pet Resource Center encourages residents to foster or adopt pets over the holidays

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Dec. 12, 2023) - When it comes to gifts for pets, there are always lots of options. But what if you had the chance to give shelter pets the very best gift at the very best time: A home for the holidays?

The Hillsborough County is holding two events this year to help get pets out of the shelter and into a home for the holidays. The shelter's dog population is at more than 150 percent of capacity, nearly double the typical numbers for this time of year, with more dogs and cats coming in each day.

The Home for the Howl-idays adoption event will be Saturday, Dec. 16, at the shelter, 440 N. Falkenburg Rd., Tampa, FL 33619. The Pet Resource Center will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to introduce residents to the shelter, all adoption fees will be waived, and there will be special activities like making personalized ID tags for your pet.

Additionally, the Silent Night foster program puts pets into foster homes for a short period of time over the holidays. Residents willing to foster a dog or cat will pick up the pet and pet food from the shelter sometime between Dec. 20 and Dec. 23. They will provide a home and love, then return the dog or cat between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30, meaning the foster parent will only have the pet for four to 10 days.

This is the second year for the Silent Night program, and shelter officials hope it will continue to provide many benefits. Kennels are meant to be a short-term home, not a long-term one, and some of the dogs and cats desperately need a break from the overcrowded shelter and the stress it brings. Additionally, pets that are in foster programs open up space at the shelter for other dogs and cats. And sometimes the foster parents or their friends or family end up adopting the pets.

Information and photos of the dogs and cats at the shelter can be seen online. Any pets listed as "Ready to Go" are eligible for this program. To foster, please visit the PRC Foster Page to sign up and select Silent Night in the general interests section.

The Pet Resource Center is the only open-admissions shelter in Hillsborough County, meaning the shelter accepts all dogs and cats regardless of breed, size, or medical condition. The shelter is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.