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Helping the shelter animals during the holidays | News

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Helping the shelter animals during the holidays
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Tampa, FL -- Do you or someone you know love animals and want to help them for the holidays? Visit Hillsborough County Animal Services and the annual Animal Angel Giving Tree!

For the fifth straight year, this holiday symbol will adorn the adoption lobby along with the County animal shelter's wish-list of items to aid lost and homeless pets. Following tradition, the Animal Angel Giving Tree is decorated with photo-ornaments of past and current shelter residents as well as hand-made creations from local school children. Donors are invited to take a photo from the Animal Angel Giving Tree in remembrance of their gift to benefit shelter pets.

Last year, about 26,000 animals came through the doors at Hillsborough County Animal Services. Mostly dogs and cats, many of these pets arrive in desperate need of veterinary care, shelter and food. Along with simple comfort items, monetary donations for medical treatment are vital to the success of happy adoption outcomes.

Hillsborough County Animal Services is the largest open-admission shelter in Central Florida. The agency's investigative unit remains among the most aggressive against cruelty in the State. While the doors are open to all animals (even strays), budget cuts have strained resources. The shelter relies largely on the community support for things like soft bedding and treats to help frightened and abused pets to regain trust of.

Another important reason to donate under the Animal Angel Giving Tree: it feels great! Some even report love at first sight and adopt a shelter pet.

The Animal Angel Giving Tree wish-list includes everything from canned food to clean towels to sturdy, waterproof pet toys. From time to time, food gifts may be redistributed to needy pet owners to help deter beloved animals from being turned in to the shelter during hard times. In the spirit of the holidays, the goal is to keep animals where they belong - in loving homes (not in the shelter).

For more information on animal welfare, the Animal Angel Tree, or a list of suggested donations, call Hillsborough County Animal Services at (813) 744-5660 or log onto www.hillsboroughcounty.org/animalservices .

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