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Huffington Post: Dogs Recovering After Man Allegedly Beat Them With Sledgehammer
Friday, October 16, 2015
Two Labrador retrievers in Lakeland, Florida, are recovering after a man allegedly beat them in the heads with sledgehammers late last week. Tupac and Bella will likely remain at the SPCA of Florida’s veterinary hospital for a few more days before being transferred to foster care, SPCA marketing director Jessica Lawson told The Huffington Post Friday.

Fox 13 New: Beaten dogs recovering; may soon be up for adoption
10.15.15 Fox 13 report on beaten dogs Bella and Tupac recovering at SPCA FLThursday, October 15, 2015
The X-rays on two Labrador retrievers that were beaten with a sledgehammer are back.  And the results are surprising.

Tupac, the boy, had to get 14 sutures to close his gaping wound. Bella, the girl, had to get eight.  Despite the extensive wounds, internally they are better than hoped. Dr. Kim Domokos, medical director at the SPCA of Florida, says neither suffered any significant fractures.

Ani-Meals VISTE Gladys

Bay News 9: Agencies to help thousands of Polk’s elderly care for pets
Friday, September 11, 2015

In Polk County, feeding the pets of the elderly is nothing new to the SPCA of Florida, but a new partnership with a local organization could increase the number of pets they feed by the thousands. Gladys Henderson, 81, is one of those people. She has three small dogs named Freeway, Follow Me and Dusty. She says feeding them isn’t easy because their food can add up, but she can’t imagine life without them.

“I love them with all my heart,” she said. “They’re actually my life. I’ve always had animals, dogs. Always.” Henderson receives services through Volunteers in Service to the Elderly. VISTE is the SPCA’s new partner for their Ani-Meals program. Read more>>


Ledger: Program Helps to Feed Seniors’ Pets
September 10, 2015
Lacking the vigor of her youth, Crickette, a 16-year-old Jack Russell terrier, sleeps much of the day and gets cranky when disturbed. Hazel Eunice Baker knows how she feels. At 87, widowed and living on Social Security survivor’s benefits, the Lakeland woman can tell you all about the frustrations of old age. Baker, a native of Polk City who raised seven children with her late husband, Willie, a truck driver, learned out of necessity to be thrifty. Such skills aren’t adequate these days, she said, to keep up with the rising cost of living. A new partnership between Volunteers in Service to the Elderly and SPCA Florida is designed to assist Baker and many of Polk County’s pet-owning seniors struggling to make ends meet on limited, fixed incomes.

Ledger: People and Changes – Julie Davis Elected SPCA Florida Board President
Sunday, September 6, 2015
SPCA Florida held its 2015 annual meeting June 15 for all members and installed a new board. The new slate of officers for the 2015-2016 year, proposed by outgoing president Liz Piotrowski and unanimously approved, included: Board President: Julie A. Davis, CPA of Baylis & Company PA; Vice-President: Liz Piotrowski; Vice-President: Laura Lear, AAMS of Edward Jones, Office of Laura Lear; Treasurer: Dave Thompson, CPA; Secretary: Ralph H. Schofield, Jr., MPH of Clark, Campbell, Lancaster & Munson, PA.

Ledger: SPCA Florida Holds Adoption Festival
Saturday, September 5, 2015
At SPCA Florida’s first adoption festival Saturday 26 animals found their “forever homes.” Thanks to the festival, which included arts and crafts and a bounce house for children, a petting zoo and animal performances by Great Rescue Revue, 13 cats and 13 dogs were adopted. About 30 animals are adopted at the SPCA campus, 5850 Brannen Road S in Lakeland, each weekend from Friday to Sunday, but if the center is running specials, the number can jump up, said Jessica Lawson, SPCA Florida spokeswoman. Read more>>

Ledger: SPCA wants to connect pets, people
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Grab your leashes, and get ready: SPCA Florida is sponsoring two animal-friendly events over the Labor Day weekend on Friday and Saturday. This month’s First Friday theme is Dog Days Downtown, presented by SPCA Florida, Embrace Pet Insurance and Watson Clinic. Well-behaved, vaccinated pets are welcome to join their owners for festivities in Munn Park and the surrounding area from 6 to 9 p.m., said Jessica Lawson, SPCA Florida spokeswoman. There will be a canine costume contest, a Frisbee demonstration from the Central Florida Disc Dog Club and a cooking demonstration from Pup Pot. Glass House Point will be performing live music on the main stage, and there will be various giveaways and pet-related vendors with activities, Lawson said. Read more>>

ABC Action News - August 21 LFD Story

ABC Action News: Partnership between Lakeland Fire and SPCA Florida giving injured pets fighting chance
Friday, August 21, 2015
A new partnership between Lakeland Fire and SPCA Florida is giving family pets injured in house fires a fighting chance to survive. The two organizations teams up so when human’s are rushed to the hospital for treatment, the dog or cat can be rushed straight to SPCA Florida. The SPCA received its first patient through the partnership this week when Toto arrived with severe smoke inhalation.


Fox 13 News: SPCA offers care to pets rescued by firefighters

Fox 13 LFD August 21 StoryFriday, August 21, 2015
“Toto” is alive and well and living in Lakeland.  Not the Toto from the movie “The Wizard of Oz”; the Toto who could have died in a house fire on Central Avenue on Wednesday. The real-life Toto possibly survived because Lakeland firefighters rescued the little Yorkie and quickly transported her to the SPCA of Florida.  She was the first animal to use the new emergency animal rescue system — a deal between the SPCA of Florida and Lakeland Fire Rescue.

Ledger: Lakeland Fire Department, SPCA take care of pet suffering from smoke inhalation
Friday, August 21, 2015
Two- and four-legged residents received medical care after inhaling large amounts of smoke in a house fire Thursday morning. Because of the Lakeland Fire Department’s partnership with SPCA Florida, a small Terrier mix was the first dog to receive emergency medical care through the partnership, said Janel Vasallo, the department’s spokeswoman.

WFLA Channel 8 LFD Story August 21WFLA News Channel 8: SPCA and Lakeland firefighters together help animals injured by fire
Friday, August 21, 2015
A new partnership between the Lakeland Fire Department and SPCA Florida is already paying off.  Thursday, firefighters rescued a dog from a house fire on Central Avenue in Lakeland.  The small terrier-mix was lethargic and had trouble standing up, due to the smoke inhalation.  But a trip to SPCA Florida for care has the dog nearly ready for release.

ABC Action News - August 20 LFD StoryABC Action News: 4 people, dog suffer smoke inhalation in Lakeland fire
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Three children, an adult and the family dog all suffered smoke inhalation after fire broke out in their home Thursday morning. Firefighters responded to the residence on Central Avenue around 9:30 a.m. The occupants were able to get out safely, but not before inhaling a lot of smoke…The family dog, a Terrier mix, was treated at the scene and then taken to the SPCA’s full-service facility on Brannen Road where it was placed in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber.

WFLA News Channel 8: Lakeland house fire sends family and dog to hospital
Thursday, August 20, 2015

…The dog, a family pet, suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to SPCA Florida’s Medical Facility. The dog, a small mixed breed dog, is the first to be treated with emergency medical care as part of the LFD and SPCA Florida’s partnership. The dog received emergency care on scene by the department’s skilled paramedics and firefighters prior to being transported. Once at SPCA Florida, the dog received care including oxygen treatments as well as hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat the smoke inhalation.

Fox 13 News: SPCA Helps Polk County Pets Stay Safe
Sunday, August 9, 2015
The SPCA is helping pet owners in Polk County better protect their animals by providing free rabies vaccines. On Sunday, the SPCA hosted a rabies vaccine clinic at the Florida Adoption Center in Lakeland. Veterinarians checked animals for other illnesses, like the parvo virus, upon request.

08.06.15 Fox 13 on campusFox 13 News: Keeping People and Pets Safe (online link not available)
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Ken Suarez broadcast live beginning at 5:30 a.m. about the importance of safety around nursing mothers as well as overall pet safety. SPCA Florida Trainers Sondra Riley and Brittany Klinger reviewed signs to look for in nervous or potentially reactive dogs. The SPCA Florida team demonstrated how the organization corrects reactive behavior whether with other dogs or barriers. Finally, the team demonstrated the Dog Playgroups SPCA Florida uses to help socialize and exercise its temporary canine residents.

Jetson post-opFox 13 News: SPCA Florida Helps Cat Surrendered with Bullet (online link not available)
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
When Jetson’s owner first saw him limping, he thought Jetson had broken his leg.  Jetson, a 16-month-old brown Tabby, was always an outside cat, who had been neutered and ear tipped – the universal sign for cat sterilization.  During his outside roaming, a break or fracture could happen.  However, when Jetson’s guardian brought him into SPCA Florida Medical Center, the x-rays told a different story.  A bullet was lodged in his front right leg.
Read Jetson’s Story here:


LFD and SPCA Florida Partnership Launch (3)Ledger: Lakeland Fire Department and SPCA Florida Join Forces to Help 2- and 4-legged Residents
Monday, July 27, 2015
The Lakeland Fire Department and SPCA Florida have announced a partnership that includes a Wellness Wagon Stop on Aug. 8. The two organizations are joining forces to further each organization’s mission of serving the community’s two- and four-legged residents, Vasallo said in a news release.

GiveWell_Nameplate_2c_Tag-01Ledger: Good News: Safety Net Programs
Sunday, June 21, 2015
SPCA Florida recently received a $7,000 grant from The George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation for Safety Net Programs.

Ledger: Kitten Foster Families Needed
June 11, 2015
Kitten season has begun and the Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is looking for volunteers to be foster parents.

Executive Director Adam Stanfield on Lakeland Vision Radio
Sunday, June 7, 2015

SPCA Florida cares for dogs rescued
SPCA Florida in Lakeland has agreed to taken in seven dogs from a recent dog-fighting ring bust in Polk County.

New SPCA Executive Director Explains His Vision for Lakeland Facility
As Adam Stanfield walked along the kennels lovingly shushing dogs named Nala and Bo and fist bumping volunteers, he spoke to a group of about 30 people there to meet him.

PGTV Dog Days Downtown
Dog Days of Downtown First Friday- Jennifer Fugitt and Jessica Lawson share information on the upcoming SPCA Florida event sponsored by My Pet’s Animal Hospital.

Free Pet Microchips Saturday at SPCA Florida
On Saturday, July 26 from noon to 4 p.m. or while supplies last, the SPCA will give away microchips to help lost pets find their way back home to the first 200 who show up at the free clinic.

Sunday, June 29, 2014
About 60 people arrived with arms full of supplies for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Florida’s first Little Paws Kitten Shower on June 21. 

New SPCA Florida Director Has Background in Health Care
Friday,  May 30, 2014
SPCA Florida has tapped into the human side of health care, naming a former free clinic director to head its animal medical center and pet shelter in South Lakeland.

Heart of Polk: Lois Chessor, SPCA Volunteer
Sunday, May 4, 2014
For Lois Chessor, the hours she spends volunteering at the Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Florida in Lakeland reaps instant rewards.

The Ledger: Students at Southeastern University Get a Treat in Form of Stress-Relieving Canine
Monday, April 28, 2014
Finals week can be a tense time for college students, but many at Southeastern University shook off the stress Monday when they got some love from a 100-pound visitor who did not care about their grades.

Rescued Dogs, Cats Available at SPCA in Lakeland

SPCA Florida saves 40 cats from ‘filthy’ Ft. Myers home

SPCA Florida rescued more than 100 animals in last five weeks

SPCA Florida Eases Hardships for Pet Owners

SPCA Florida Fundraising to Upgrade Lakeland Surgical Suite

Temporary tent helps house stray dogs

Woman credits newly adopted dog for saving her life, alerting her to house fire

Hillsborough dogs to be sheltered in Lakeland 11/11/13

SPCA Florida opens emergency animal shelter 11/11/13

SPCA Florida and Talk Fusion Partner to Establish Emergency Shelter 11/9/13

Unwanted Puppy Found in Cardboard Box at SPCA Florida 9/6/13

Clever Adoption Ideas: “Certified Pre-Owned” 6/11/13

The Ledger: Tail-Wagging Joy on Christmas: Dogs and Cats at SPCA Found New Homes Monday
December 25, 2012
Santa Claus has been pretty busy finalizing adoptions for dogs and cats this week, as indicated by a long line that formed around the building at SPCA Florida in Lakeland on Christmas Eve.

The Ledger: Firefighters Honored by SPCA for Saving Kitten from a Drainpipe
December 25, 2012
A certain tiny kitten may have started out in life stuck in the bottom of a drainpipe, but the month-old, long-haired feline soon will be a real-life Prince.

Bay News 9: SPCA of Florida sees record number of pet adoptions this season
December 25, 2012
Pet adoptions are on the rise this holiday season. Officials from the SPCA of Florida in Lakeland said they saw record numbers of people looking to adopt a pet.

ABC Action News: Four week old kitten recovering from being trapped for three nights in bottom of pipe
December 17, 2012
Thanks to the compassion of strangers, an adorable Lakeland kitten will soon find a loving home.  The young cat is still recovering from a few lonely, scary nights last week at the bottom of a pipe.

Ledger: SPCA Offers Holiday Adoptions
December 15, 2012
The SPCA Florida is reducing its adoption rates for the remainder of the year. Cat adoption fees have been reduced to $10, large dog fees are reduced to $50 and small dog fees are now $100, according to the organization’s website. The SPCA Florida will also waive a second fee if a family adopts two cats.

WESH 2: Dog bitten by snake prepares to reunite with family
November 28, 2012
A dog bitten by a cottonmouth snake is getting ready to be reunited with his family overseas. Gudrun Mastriano credits the dog with saving her life. She was watching 3-year-old Dante for her daughter, who is in Spain with her husband in the Navy.

Orlando Sentinel: Heroic snake-bitten dog heads for overseas family reunion
November 28, 2012
When U.S. Navy Cmdr. Carl Eierle and his wife, Charlotte, moved to a Madrid naval base in September, they were disappointed that they had to leave their black lab, Dante, behind for a few weeks. But Dante’s extended stay in Kissimmee may be the reason Charlotte Eierle’s mother is still alive.

WKMG Local 6 and Hero dog to reunite with military owner
November 28, 2012
A Central Florida dog got a hero’s sendoff Wednesday and will soon be reunited with his owner, who’s currently stationed overseas. Dante, a 3-year-old black Labrador, has been recovering from a venomous snakebite he received while protecting his owner’s mother-in-law.

Fox 13 News: Hero Dog Home for the Holidays
November 27, 2012
See Ken Suarez’s story on one extraordinary hero’s journey home for the holidays.

Ledger: Pet Adoption Fees Reduced at SPCA
November 24, 2012
The SPCA Florida is reducing its adoption rates for the remainder of the year.
Cat adoption fees have been reduced to $10, large dog fees are reduced to $50 and small dog fees are now $100, according to the organization’s website. The SPCA Florida will waive a second fee if a family adopts two cats.

BayNews 9: In wake of rabies cases, SPCA Florida offering free vaccinations
November 13, 2012
A spike in rabies cases in Polk County has prompted a reminder for pet owners to have their animals vaccinated. With seven confirmed rabies cases so far this year, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Florida is offering free rabies vaccinations. The service is through its Wellness Wagon mobile clinic, and they are offering the shots to dogs and cats.

Yahoo! News: SPCA Florida Addresses Polk County’s Rabies Crisis; 1,000 Free Vaccinations for Area Dogs and Cats
November 9, 2012
With seven confirmed cases of rabiesin wildlife across Polk County this year, an increase over two previous years, SPCA Florida is responding by providing 1,000 free rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats now through the end of the year through its Wellness Wagon mobile veterinary clinic.

Ledger: New SPCA CEO Brings List of Accomplishments
November 3, 2012
It has taken five years for the Lakeland-based SPCA of Florida to find a permanent leader, but its new chief executive officer comes with a celebrity-studded resume. Sean Hawkins, who began work last month, has worked with famed animal-welfare advocate Cleveland Amory and created the Hero Dog Awards, a program that brings national attention to his former employer, the American Humane Association.

Ledger: Pick of the Litter
November 3, 2012
Video featuring adoptable pets.

Miami Herald Online: SPCA Florida Announces New Leadership and Vision
November 1, 2012
SPCA Florida, leading the state in advancing animal health care and well-being, announced today Sean Hawkins, former Director of Strategic Partnerships for American Humane Association, has accepted the new Chief Executive Officer position for the 33 year-old institution.

RobinsRx Blog: Hyperbaric for Animals: Lakeland Did It Before UF
October 31, 2012
If you read The Ledger, you may recall my good-news article on Dante, the dog who saved one of his humans from a snake but got bit himself in the process. Our article about his good results from hyperbaric oxygen treatment at the SPCA Florida in Lakeland ran earlier this month. Dante, a black lab, started geting his treatment the first week in October after the snake attack in Kissimmee. Interesting today to get a news release from the University of Florida about treating its first pet with hyperbaric therapy. Jackie, a Siberian husky and standard poodle mix from Clermont, came to the Small Animal Hospital at the University of Florida after being bitten by a rattlesnake.

Ledger: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Speeds Recovery for Snake-Bit Dog
October 18, 2012
Dante, a black lab, is a hero to his family and a minor celebrity at SPCA Florida in South Lakeland. He’s the first patient treated by the SPCA clinic’s new hyperbaric oxygen equipment, which uses oxygen to speed wound healing.

NewsChief: New Treatment Speeds Recovery Time
October 14, 2012
Gudrun Mastriano of Kissimmee was just inches away from a near death experience when Dante, her daughter’s 3-year old black Labrador, intervened and saved Mastriano’s life. Dante flung a venomous snake away from his pet guardian’s path. The snake struck Dante leaving severe bites on the dog’s left foot and snout. “It could have been me,” Mastriano said. “Dante came in front of me and pulled the snake away.”

ABC Action News: Dog Saves Owner From Snake Attack
October 8, 2012
He may not realize it, but Dante is a hero.  And he has the battle scars to prove it.  The black lab mix is credited with saving his guardian’s life after combating a cottonmouth snake that nearly sunk its fangs into her foot.

Fox 13 News: Dog Survives Water Moccasin Attack
October 8, 2012
A Kissimmee woman has her daughter’s faithful dog to thank for saving her from a venomous snake. Gudrun Mastriano has been taking 3-year-old Dante to the park every day to play ball. Last Monday, as they were leaving, she suddenly came upon a snake. Mastriano assumed it was harmless, but the black lab knew otherwise. She says Dante suddenly grabbed the snake by the tail and dragged it away.

Ledger: Pick of the Litter
October 5, 2012
Video segment highlighting two dogs and two cats available for adoption at SPCA Florida.

Bay News 9: SPCA Florida flies in 15 pets as part of Pilots N Paws event
September 29, 2012
Saturday, SPCA Florida rescued 15 dogs through its partnership with Pilots N Paws. The pets were flown into Lakeland Airport from Charlotte as part of the group’s annual fly-in event. The dogs then traveled to Campus of Kindness in Lakeland where they are being examined before being put up for adoption. PNP is a non-profit organization that saves dogs and cats by moving them away from areas facing severe pet overpopulation.

Ledger: SPCA Florida Family Day
September 23, 2012
Volunteer Martha Lee looks after several dogs while their owners participate in the first annual SPCA Florida Family Day and Open House, Saturday, September 22, 2012 in Lakeland, Florida. Visitors had the chance to win a BBQ grill, listen to live music, tour the new medical facility, watch an operation and enjoy food from local restaurants. Pet lovers also learned about dental hygiene, heart worm prevention and several other pet related subjects during a self-guided tour of the new McClurg Animal Medical Center.

TimeOut: SPCA Shows Off Expanded Clinic at Today’s Open House
September 22, 2012
A family day and open house begins at 10 this morning at SPCA Florida, Campus of Kindness, 5850 Brannen Road S., Lakeland. It is a celebration of the opening of the expanded and renovated McClurg Animal Medical Center.

NewsChief: SPCA will host a free family and dog-friendly event Saturday
September 20, 2012
To celebrate the opening of the expanded and renovated medical center of Lakeland’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the organization is hosting an open house. A free event, the inaugural Family Day and Open House will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lakeland SPCA’s “Campus of Kindness,” located at 5850 Brannen Road S.

Ledger: Heart of Polk – Stephanie Baldwin
September 16, 2012
Stephanie Baldwin grew up in a household where cats ruled. Dogs didn’t enter the picture until the Lakeland native was well into her teens. Her passion for all animals has since blossomed. So much so that Baldwin has won national recognition from GEICO, her employer for the past 11 years. Baldwin, 30, is the recipient of the insurer’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year award for work on behalf of SPCA Florida.

Lakeland Chamber Forum: Four-legged Stress Relief, Coming to an Office Near You (Benefits of Pets in the Workplace)

September 2012

TimeOut: Event Calendar: Family Day and Open House
August 31, 2012

Ledger: Golden Garland Mary Stephens, Founding Board Member
August 27, 2012
Mary Stephens and two other women, Levelyn and Jennifer, realized 37 years ago that the city of Lakeland and the surrounding area had few resources dedicated to the humane treatment of domesticated animals.

Bay News 9: SPCA Florida Lakeside Village Boutique Closes
August 19, 2012
They work to help give stray pets new homes – but now a branch of the SPCA in Lakeland is in need of a new home themselves. The retail store in Lakeside Village shopping center, responsible for hundreds of adoptions, is losing its donated space.

Ledger: SPCA Florida Lakeside Village Boutique Closes
August 17, 2012
SPCA Florida is putting a positive spin on what amounts to a bit of bad news. The Lakeland animal shelter and pet clinic is holding a moving sale at its satellite boutique and adoption center at Lakeside Village.

Ledger: Ani-meals Program
July 28, 2012
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Florida provides supplemental pet food and supplies through its Ani-meals program. The program began in 2009 when Meals on Wheels, Polk County Elderly Services and ElderPoint Ministries realized clients were sharing food they received with their pets in order to keep them. Ani-meals provides packages of pet supplies to each agency for delivery with its human food.