Corona Virus Update

SPCA Florida’s Medical Center goes curb-side. Read more here!

Update April 6, 2020

Good morning!

This will be an interesting week for all departments. I am very proud of everyone’s cross training, and positive “lending hand” spirit! This weekend, we experienced many “no-shows” and cancellations. As a result of the government telling everyone that we are heading into the most challenging week of the pandemic, we may see even more cancellations as people decide to stay home.

Medical Center

As of today, our Medical Center is open with curbside services Monday – Thursday. Closed Friday and Saturday.

We have 5 Veterinarians scheduled per day.

Adoption Center

As a result of no-shows and cancellations, our Adoption Center is closed this week for appointments.

We will re-evaluate the situation at the end of the week.

Shelter Medical Center

Our medical team will process and care for all inhouse animals and incoming animals.

Foster Department

Remaining dogs and cats will be s/n and placed into foster care.

Foster photos will be available online, so potential adopters can browse pets online while they are homebound.

Admissions Department

“Trickle in – trickle out” will be the norm, with the goal to place all dogs and cats into appropriate foster care.

No large dogs will be accepted, unless injured or at serious risk. (Kennels are being updated with doggie doors/repairs)

Food and medical safety net procedures will be encouraged.

Volunteers for FAP and Ani-Meals

Volunteers who run FAP and Ani-Meals are welcome to help organize and distribute food.

Limited admittance into the building will be allowed for breaks, bathrooms, water, etc.

We are getting daily requests for food assistance.


More than ever, this is a time for everyone to show compassion and care. Many of our residents have not received a paycheck for weeks. Others do not have healthcare. Single moms are worried about what will happen to their kids if something should happen to them. Older people are worried about their pets, should they become ill. The list goes on.

Please know that SPCA Florida is doing everything we can so that you do not have to face those same anxieties.

In the next few weeks and months, more and more people will need our help. Let’s be there for them.

Both our nonprofit Medical Center and our Shelter are here to serve the people of Polk County. And, more than ever, they will be counting on our compassionate care. We want to be there for everyone who needs us.

Thank you, everyone.

Update April 4, 2020

Good Day to All Our Animal Loving Friends,

Trinka, an important member of our SPCA Florida Canine Team, pointed out to all of us today, the positive inroads that are being made during this challenging time.

For me it was uplifting, so I thought you might enjoy it too.

Note: The Canine Team’s large dogs have been battling with Pneumovirus for months. Through the help of Dr. Cynda Crawford, DVM University of Florida, and Cornell University Veterinary Specialists, we were able to come up with a formula that cured the dogs in 14 -21 days versus months. We are grateful for their support!

As a result of the pneumovirus, we needed to move all dogs out of the Kennel and thoroughly clean. And, without dogs, a whole lot more cleaning is being done by volunteers and staff. All while the Canine Team is cross training and helping with Admissions, Adoptions, Animal Care and Foster Care.

Today, we salute Trinka and our amazing Canine Team of Erika, Shawn, Tori, Connor, Maxine, and of course, Trinka.

Here is her email:

There’s a lot happening. A lot happening fast.

But I’d like to point out, that it’s happening. Everyone has stepped up, pulled together and is doing amazing work!!

Thanks to Miss Sue and Gavin for clearing the vines, weeds, overgrown shrubs away from the fences.


Tori and Conner; Extra cleaning of kennels

Everyone helping heal and clear the shelter. Finding emergency fosters.
Making go-home kits for them.

Victoria helped label each one.

And So many more behind the scenes!!

Good job everyone!!!!!

Update April 3, 2020

Good Morning Friends of SPCA Florida,

It’s Friday – and another week has passed safely for us – thank goodness!

We’ve made a few updates that you should know about.

Medical Center

Due to less clientele and everyone’s safety, we are reducing our work schedule from 6 days a week to 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday. We will be closed NEXT WEEK – Friday and Saturday. This week we are open.

We are eliminating small Technician appts for nail trims, anal gland expressions, ear cleanings, etc.

We are asking everyone who is working with the public to wear a facial mask and gloves for safety reasons.


We are encouraging everyone to keep their pets and are offering food and medical assistance to those who need and qualify.

We can only assist a limited number of animals daily.


Adoptions is currently open normal hours, 7 days a week, by appointment only.

We are keeping a limited number of adorable cats, kittens, puppies and dogs in the adoption center.

We have 3 large dogs currently available – but that could change quickly.


Trapping stopped Wednesday until further notice to conserve supplies.


In an effort to keep everyone safe, we are asking volunteers to stay safe and stay home during this crucial time. The only exceptions will be those who assist with the Ani-meals Program, Food Assistance Program and Front Desk. If you have any questions, please contact Jordan at [email protected].

How You Can Help

We are running low or out of supplies that we typically order and can use your help. If you are out shopping, please consider making a purchase to help us.

We will have bins and carts outside our building for safe drop off. And, if you call our administration 863-577-4600 (M-F) or adoption number 863-577-4615, we will come outside to help unload – and provide a donation receipt.


  • Cat Food – both dry and wet

  • Cat Litter – both clumping and non-clumping

  • Kitten Food – wet

  • Puppy Food – wet

  • Dog Food – wet

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Distilled water

  • Latex gloves

  • Dawn detergent

  • Face Masks

  • Paper Towels

Thank you, for helping us keep our doors open during this difficult time. Our homeless population is counting on us for care.

Your support has been and remains – life saving.

Shelley Thayer,
Executive Director

Update April 2, 2020

Yesterday was April Fool’s Day, but there was “no foolin” when the Governor made his COVID-19 announcements. This was a serious declaration, and our SPCA Florida Team went into serious Organized Emergency Response.

Adoption Center

The Adoption Center worked with Dr. Vonteru, a dedicated Relief Veterinarian, who plowed through a list of endless cats and dogs who needed rabies vaccines, health checks and pneumonia clearance to move quickly into foster homes. The Vet Techs focused on the animals who could move out and those who needed crucial medical care. The team effort was impressive and results oriented. In other words – they rocked!

Cross Training

Our Administration Team assisted Animal Care, Foster, Admissions and Maintenance. Did you see Randa in the wash room? WOW – talk about no job being too great or too small. Jo was mopping floors! Our Medical Center assisted with critical care – among their already busy load.

Everyone worked together with one mission – to move our homeless cats and dogs into homes – adoptive homes and mostly foster homes. Or, give them back to their grateful owners.

Fosters and Admissions

Without a moments hesitation, these teams (kennel staff assisting)moved into emergency response mode. They ramped up phone calls, intakes, and foster care through drive up pickup and delivery service. They were focused and right on target! We could not be prouder.

SPCA Florida Medical Center

Our dedicated team has been serving a grateful public with professional care. To reduce risks, our Medical Center will complete their scheduled week and next week they will move to a four day work week, being open Monday through Thursday for medical care. They are receiving well deserved accolades!


Our goal is to keep you safe – both physically and financially. SPCA Florida is applying for a loan through CARE to cover your pay checks, should something happen and we need to close. Our insurance carrier has also stepped up. (see email from Jo) This is all good news!

Please self-distance, and use your face masks and gloves when interacting with the public. We are counting on all of us to make it through this pandemic . . . together.

Your efforts have been heroic and the animals and those who love them are grateful for everything you are doing. I for one, am very proud to be a part of this dynamic team.

We are currently reviewing options to divide into two teams. One team working, one team off, and then switching. More information about that possibility will be coming soon.

Thank you, everyone. Let’s have a great day!

SPCA Florida’s Medical Center Remains Open


SPCA Florida's Medical Center is openSPCA Florida’s Medical Center is open to the public, offering curb side service. You and your fur family members are important to us. As we continue to monitor the ever-changing situations surrounding COVID-19 and the impact it is having on our community, our top priority continues to be the safety and well-being of you, your pets, and our team members.

We have eliminated client access to the interior of the Medical Center building to follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing. Our goal is to remain open, so we can continue to serve you and your pets. On appointment day, a member of our Medical Team will meet you at your car to bring your pet in for their exam, or to bring your prescription order to you.

Same day appointments are available to continue to care for Polk County’s dogs and cats.

The SPCA Florida Medical Center is open Monday through Thursday, for as long as we can safely.

Please check with us to schedule an appointment or to place a medication refill by calling 863-646-4647. A representative will provide you with special instructions for checking in for your appointment or picking up your pet’s medications.

And please remember to use our online pharmacy whenever possible:

We are Here for You.

Update April 1, 2020

It’s a Good News Morning!

Pneumovirus Has Left the Building

Thanks to the intervention of Cyndy Crawford, DVM, UF and Cornell University, we put together a health formula that worked for treating our pneumonia dogs. As of yesterday, the final dogs were cleared to go home. These dogs have undergone months of medication and isolation. During that time, they were given lots of  love and care by our Canine Team and Medical Team. Aa a result, they are now available for adoption and foster care.

We can’t thank Dr. Crawford enough for her guidance, and for picking up the expense of testing all our dogs.

A huge round of applause to our dedicated Canine Team, Vet Tech Team and Dr. Cooper for doing everything possible to help these dogs through their very long ordeal.

Emphasis on Foster Care

As of today, all of our healthy cats and dogs will move into foster care.

New staff members will be added to the current team of Laine and Jordan.

500 Emergency Foster Applications

Our task is to get back to every foster who applied, as we will need their help throughout April.

Staff Cross Training

The Canine Team will change roles and help Admissions, Foster and Adoption Teams.

Drive-Up Service

Vaccines and Sick Appts

  • Two parking spaces in front of Admissions will be dedicated to Foster appointments.

    • Staff, wearing PPE, will meet fosters at their vehicles, take cats, dogs, kittens, puppies and return them after being seen

    • Fosters will be given a FREE 24/7 “Tele Doc” number to call FIRST, before calling SPCAF

  • Two parking spaces in front of Education will be dedicated to Intake appointments.

    • Staff, wearing PPE, will conduct transactions outside the building – maintaining distance

    • Staff will wash off all incoming animals

  • Two parking spaces in front of Adoptions will be dedicated to intake sick appointments.

    • Adopters will be given a FREE 24/7 “Tele Doc” number to call FIRST, before calling SPCAF

    • Staff, wearing PPE, will meet fosters, at their vehicles, take cats, dogs, kittens, puppies

 Fosters to Adopt

  • Adoptions will be conducted via phone

    • Supplies to be dropped off and inventoried

Trap Recall

  • All traps will be recalled, as SPCAF will not support s/n at this time, per the Surgeon General request.

  • Traps will be inspected, repaired, inventoried and remarked with SPCAF information


SPCAF Medical Center

Our hospital remains open to help the public and is receiving daily notes of thanks for their professional medical service.

Thank you Medical Team for your precautions, additional efforts (you are definitely getting your daily steps) and consistent quality care.


More news daily . . .

Stay healthy everyone!

Update March 31, 2020

Hi SPCA Florida Family,

It’s Tuesday, and we are closing our Adoption Center and moving all our efforts to foster care. Here’s the latest.

  • Medical Center

Open and taking precautions, only staff are allowed in the building, and they are providing great curb service!

Check out these kind words from a client:

We were extremely impressed with everyone we came into contact with at our recent visit with Toolie. Even under the circumstances all of our questions we’re addressed and we did not feel rushed. Thanks to everyone who worked together patiently with the restrictions placed due to the coronovirus. We will recommend you to everyone with confidence they will be as happy as we are. 

A special thanks to Christian who made the extra effort to ensure we understood everything and for his kindness to Toolie.


Ed and Penny McQueen and Toolie

  • Adoption Center

The adoption center will close to the public today.

Pre Adopts will be picked up today and tomorrow.

  • Admissions and Fosters

Our focus will move from Adoptions to Admissions and Fosters, saving the lives of those who are in greatest peril. Pet Safety Net practices will be promoted, to keep animals in homes. Food assistance will be offered. We have dry dog food, but unfortunately no cat food as of today.

  • Foster Vaccine and Sick Appointments

Two parking spots will be reserved in front of Admissions for vaccine and foster kitten appointments. Staff will pick up kittens from the vehicles. For everyone’s safety, fosters will stay in their vehicles.  Proper PPE will be worn.

  • Post Adopt Sick Appointments

Two parking spots will be reserved in front of the Adoption Center for post adopt appointments. Staff will pick up animals from the vehicles. For everyone’s safety, adopters will not enter the building. Proper PPE will be worn.

  • Newly Assigned Responsibilities

Cross training will begin this week and team members may be moved to new departments for training.

Thank you everyone, for your flexibility, professionalism, and positive spirit.

Please remember to practice social distancing both inside and outside our buildings.

Wash your hands, and clean surfaces, door handles, pens, clipboards, and more.

Have a safe day! 

Update March 23, 2020

Adoptions and Shelter

SPCA Florida is open for serious adopters only. We will allow up to 3 people per family to come into the shelter. We permit only 5 adopters in any adoption room at one time. Hours are 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM M-F, and 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Sat and Sun. This is subject to change without notice. Please check our website prior to arrival.

Foster Care

If you are interested in fostering, SPCA Florida has an emergency foster application and orientation online. If you are a new foster, please complete the online application and orientation. Completion of the foster application does not guarantee that SPCAF will place a dog or cat in your care at this time.


Effective March 24, 2020, SPCA Florida Medical Center will meet clients at their cars to take their pets inside. Please see full details, under SPCA Florida Medical Center


All offsite volunteer activities have been suspended until further notice.

Volunteers with the AniMeals and FAP will continue to prepare and deliver pet food as scheduled. If you are unable to volunteer, please notify Jordan.

Inhouse volunteers are limited to 5 per shift. If you have any questions, please email Jordan at [email protected]


SPCA Florida admissions is by appointment only. This process remains in effect, but can change immediately. Admissions is closed Sunday and Monday.

Please be patient as we are receiving an unusually high request rate.

Dear Friends,

SPCA Florida understands the growing concerns about COVID-19 and has taken measures to keep pets and people safe within our Shelter and Medical Center.

Knowing that animals will continue to need medical care, our Medical Center remains open to the public by appointment and for daily emergencies. We are asking clients who feel ill not enter to our doors but to make arrangements to “drop off” their pet with instructions for care. Our staff is also instructed to do the same.

Cleaning has always been a priority at SPCA Florida, and every surface, door handle, chair, bench, and countertop is being cleaned between clients.

Our Adoption Center is open with a limited number of staff to help those who are serious about helping a dog or cat find a forever home. Our goal is to move as many of these animals as possible into responsible loving homes in the upcoming weeks. We ask that those who are only looking, be thoughtful about staying away during this time.

Due to many of our large dogs being treated for pneumovirus (pneumonia) we have taken every precaution to keep our small to medium dogs safe and contagion free. It is our goal to move all the small and medium size dogs into homes as quickly as possible. If you are serious about finding a little buddy, please come check them out.

We love pets and are passionate about their care. We also care for hundreds of community pets by providing supplemental food every month. We will continue to run our monthly Food Assistance Program and our Animeals program that partners with Meals on Wheels, Viste, and Network of Hope. Should you or anyone you know need food assistance during this time, please contact us at 863-577-4615.

In an effort to support the health and safety of the animals we love, we will currently remain open 7 days a week. Please help us by staying home, unless you are serious about adopting or have a pet who needs medical care. Our hope is to remain a source of support for our community as long as safely possible.

We will continue to refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and other public health agencies to determine the safest course of action for everyone who enters our Medical Center or Adoption Center.

As always, we will provide hand sanitizer throughout all our exam and adoption rooms for customers and associates, and we will work closely with our teams to ensure that anyone who is not feeling well understands that we support them staying home.

To date, there is no evidence that companion animals or pets can spread COVID-19 (per CDC guidance). For the latest information about coronavirus and pets, we encourage you to visit the links below:

It’s our honor and privilege to serve our community, and we will do so as long as we can safely and responsibly.

Thank you and stay well,

Shelley Thayer
Executive Director
SPCA Florida