Some of the more than 300 animals seized from an Oldsmar home Jan. 6 are now available for adoption in Largo. The animals were discovered when Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call about a missing child.
For about two weeks, the SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo has been caring for the exotic menagerie of around 340 animals, which has doubled its normal census. Now the hedgehogs, bearded dragons, geckos, hamsters, mice and rats are ready for adoption.
SPCA Tampa Bay CEO Martha Boden showed Hester the hedgehog to visitors Tuesday. She explained hedgehogs live alone but are quite social. They are nocturnal animals, so if you play with them during the day they may be a bit sluggish. They need a varied diet, which includes cat food and insects.
Sydney Wingate, 7, drove with her mom and grandma from Mulberry just to see the hedgehogs. Sydney has been researching having a hedgehog as a pet for about a year.
"I want one mostly because they're really super cute. When they are older they like to eat cat food," Sydney said.
Visitors can come during normal SPCA hours to the training room to see and learn more about the animals. Adoption counselors will share information about caring for the animals.
People interested in adopting the hedgehogs or bearded dragons will need to fill out a special adoption application, which the SPCA uses in some of its high profile adoption cases like the recent case of the formerly 'frozen' kittens. Adoption forms are available online.
The SPCA will update its website when more of the animals are available for adoption. Adoption counselors are taking names of people who may be interested in adopting some of the animals that are not yet available to be placed in homes, Boden said.
If you go to the SPCA Tampa Bay:
- Address: 9099 130th Ave. N, Largo
- Phone: 727-586-3591
- Hours: Tuesday through Friday 1-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 1-5 p.m.