The kennels at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay can fill quickly, but the situation really gets chaotic when nursing dog moms are brought in to the Tampa shelter.
“We kind of had to figure out how to make this better,” explains Pam Backer of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to ABC Action News, after the shelter recently received three nursing dog moms to their shelter on Armenia Avenue.
“We had to kind of scramble because obviously when you’re dealing with pups this age, they’re not ready for adoption for a while,” adds Backer about the newborn puppies.
That’s why the HSTB has just created a new Puppy Nursery. It’s a place where the new families can have more space in a more calm and quiet environment.
To create the space, the HSTB had to move a whole run of kennels to a different part of their campus, and move around some of their storage supplies.
Backer says it’s a temporary fix until the HSTB can one day build a new shelter with more space.
“It’s very stressful on the animals to be here. Just for a split second imagine yourself as a nursing mom with all these other dogs and all this commotion and the noise and the stress,” says Backer.
The nursery will be specially staffed with trained volunteers in addition to the usual employee team, and will be open for kids who take part in the Paws for Literacy program, in which kids can ready to the puppies.
The Puppy Nursery is currently being used by three families, and has space for four in total. And while the nursery should help, the HSTB says they will still need foster families to take mothers and litters of both dogs and cats.
The nursery is also getting donations from the Moffit Cancer Center, which is providing free surgical drapes to use for lining the kennels, helping to keep the spaces more dry and easier to clean.