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Name your own price for freedom pets this Fourth of July at Hillsborough animal shelter

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

When you think about the Fourth of July, dogs often come to mind. But those are usually of the “hot” variety and go nicely on buns with some mustard and relish.

Well, in Hillsborough, nothing spells freedom like a new pooch.

That’s right, in honor of our nation’s independence, the Pet Resource Center in Hillsborough County is offering a one-day chance to name your own price to adopt a dog.

Prospective Fido owners can scurry on down to the county’s animal shelter on Saturday, July 4, to pick out a pet and the pay whatever seems appropriate. The shelter on 440 North Falkenburg Road in Tampa will be open for the ambiguously priced event from 10-2.

The event will include red, white and blue pet kennels. The adoptions – even if you only want to pay the equivalent of a Starbucks coffee, includes spaying or neutering, vaccinations, county licensing and tag and a microchip and registration for the new Freedom Pooch.

The organization will also serve up some good ole American barbeque while they play music and feature other fun activities.

Joking aside, the shelter is the first place strays and surrendered or lost animals go on their quest for a new home or reunification with their lost family. They are open from 10-7 daily on non-holidays.

Veterans can adopt a pet for free on both July 4 and 5. Military ID is necessary.

The ordinary cost of adoption is not listed on the group’s website and phone operators don’t answer, but an automated system reports the center has the “lowest adoption prices in town.”

The same automation claims there are hundreds of dogs and cats with new intakes arriving daily.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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