Camden Pet Palooza!

    20131019_113111_resized Cats and dogs – love them!  This is one of my most favorite times of year.  The month of May is dedicated to our pet residents and supporting pet rescue groups in our community. A special thank you to the pets who posed for pet potraits to use in this blog!

Over the years, The Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Tampa Police Department, Lost Angels and other pet adoption agency’s have benefited by our efforts.  Those efforts have included donating our time, money and bringing pet issues awareness to everyone we come in contact with. Let me share a couple of fun stories about the good community service benefiting pets Camden has done in recent years!

     The Humane Society of Tampa Bay, such a wonderful organization, has been one of our favorites. During Camden Pet Palooza we have been involved with them in a number of ways.  One example is that we put out big collection boxes at every one of our Camden communities in Tampa Bay to collect pet food, blankets, and toys.  Residents, employees, vendors and contractors alike, all participate by bringing something to donate for our furry friends in need. The boxes are never big enough, they are always overflowing with goodies.  We have delivered hundreds of pounds of dog and cat food alone. Our employees want to be hands on too, so we give a full day of labor to The Humane Society of Tampa Bay.  We are fortunate to have a lot of energetic people who work for Camden, including very talented maintenance men that can do everything.  It was a blast to see everyone working so hard for a full day to clean up and repair things at the shelter.  At one Pet Telethon on WFLA, Channel 8 for The Humane Society, I personally fell in love with our strange dog, Boudreaux.  My friend Katrina and I were handing over a giant check – on live on TV.  Somehow, Katrina encouraged me to hold this cute little puppy with one blue eye while on camera. bOh no…. he was so snugly and of course, I was hooked!  At the end of the presentation, I looked into the camera and said “This one is going home with me”!  Mr. Perfect was quietly sitting at home, with two sweet dogs enjoying the Pet Telethon on TV when his greatest fear was broadcast for all to see.  In a panic, he would not answer the phone when it rang. Then he realized there was no other way, so he answered and just said “no”.  As if.  So in just a few hours, Mr. Perfect had met our new boy – he fell in love too. We discovered this little blue eyed pup was a Catahoula Leopard Dog/Beagle mix from Louisiana.  Uh oh. We posted a FB plea for help naming him and pretty quick, Janice (New Orleans born) landed on the right name, Boudreaux.  About 6 years later we have learned about the huge and unique responsibility of being the parent of an “active” dog.  Mr. Perfect can often be seen running with Boudreaux; biking down Bayshore Blvd with him; or letting him be pulled on a skateboard all over the neighborhood by Boudreaux.  Cesar Milan says something like this; “A tired dog is a good dog”!

cplturnerWe are also proud of our friendship with the Tampa Police Department.  A few years ago, we reached out to them to buy a new police dog for their K9 Unit. This is a very exciting partnership.  Over the months while TPD; Corporal Wade Turner (as the handler) was searching for the right dog, we learned so much.  Some of us were also able to see one of the current K9 dogs work in training. It is nothing short of amazing to see the handler and dog working together!  Finally the perfect partner for Corporal Turner was found, a Belgian Malnois/German Shepherd. Finding the right dog is just one step, there was much work ahead.

     Quoted from the TPD Website: “Camden has now been trained to be a Dual Purpose Dog. Dual Purpose Dogs are trained in criminal apprehension to state and national standards. They are commonly used to track down suspects who are fleeing from the police. The K9’s are also certified in narcotic or explosive detection.  The dog’s keen sense of smell leads them to the drugs or bombs.”

FYI check out Tampa Police Department on FB and Twitter too!  Somebody there is doing a great job using both to connect to the citizens of Tampa, solve crimes, do community service and be a bit witty occasionally. Thanks, TPD for being pretty awesome.

There are many wonderful pet rescue/adoption agencies in our area and across the country. These unsung heroes could use your help.  During Camden Pet Palooza we have often featured pets available for adoption at our individual communities.  Having a volunteer bring a few dogs, for our residents and other visitors to meet is a heartwarming experience. One that I have experience with is Lost Angels.  Thanks to a neighbor who was a foster home for Lost Angels, we found our white boxer, Morton.  He was a giant lovely boy!

This year, all the Camden communities in the Tampa Bay area (both Pinellas and Hillsborough County) will have activities during the month of May designed around pets. Some of those awesome events are a visit from a Hot Dog Food Truck, Pet Portraits, visits from a Veterinary clinic, May 5th featured Cinco de Bow Wow, there was a pet fashion show, a Bow Wow Luau and more! We also waive pet fees if a resident adopts a pet during the month of May.
Love your pet family and adopt a pet if you are able!

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