Pinellas Animal Foundation

A Non-Profit Veterinary & Community Partnership

Providing Educational & Service Programs


Phone: (727) 397-7387(PETS)


10825 Seminole Blvd. Building A, Unit 3 Seminole, FL 33778

BOWser and CATsino Ball


The 24th BOWser and CATsino Ball will be held October 26, 2024 at the Belleair Country Club from 5:30 – 10:00 PM. An evening of fun and games was had by all. 

Pet Loss Support

A Partnership Between Veterinarians and the Community

Educating Children About Pet Responsibility

Welcome to the Pinellas Animal Foundation Website


 The Pinellas Animal Foundation is a a non-profit veterinary and community partnership established in 1983, is dedicated to improved animal care, owner responsibility and increased awareness of the value of the human/animal bond.

Our goal, at the Pinellas Animal Foundation, is to enrich the lives of companion animals and people of all ages through education, responsible pet ownership and service programs.

Two main programs within the PAF are the Pet Loss Support Group and The Pet Professor educational outreach to teach elementary children in the Pinellas County School system about responsible pet care, safety and ownership.


24th BOWser and CATsino Ball will be held on October 26, 2024.

We invite everyone to come and join us for an evening of fun.

For more information about the 24th Bowser and Catsino Ball just click here or on the image below


Bowser and Catsino Ball - Oct 2023



23rd Bowser and Catsino Ball


Thanks to so many great people that made the 23rd Bowser and Catsino Ball another huge success.  We had over 250 guests from hospitals, veterinarians, staff, families and industry partners attending.

We presented the SPC School of Veterinary Technology Scholarship Fund another $5,000.00 check bringing our ten-year total to over $50,000.00. 

Many thanks to all who attended and participated and the beautiful Belleair Country Club for a wonderful evening of dining, dancing, casino games, music and silent auctions.


History of the Pinellas Animal Foundation

The Pinellas Animal Foundation (PAF) was created in 1983 as a joint effort, with the Pinellas County Veterinary Medical Association, to enhance the awareness of the pet-human bond and to provide pet education for the Pinellas County pet owners. The PAF is a non-profit…

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Pet Professor

Teaching elementary school children about responsible pet care, safety and ownership. The Pet ProfessorSM Program Educates Over 2,000 Children in Pinellas County Classrooms Annually The Pet ProfessorSM Program is the cornerstone of our commitment to educating future…

Pet Loss Support

The Pinellas Animal Foundation is proud to sponsor a Pet Loss Support Group created to offer those pet owners who need and want to ease the stress and anxiety related to the loss of their pets. Listening to others and sharing one’s feelings after the loss…

Recent PAF News


BOWser & CATsino Ball 2022 Scholarship Recipients

Each of these exceptional students were awarded a $1,250.00 Scholarship.

Thanks to each of you for your dedication to the veterinary profession.


Andrea Parsons

Thank you for considering me as a potential recipient of this award. I am

available to help at the Bowser Ball on Oct. 21st.

A little about myself…

I am a certified veterinary technician and supervisor at an emergency and specialty hospital in Clearwater.

I have been working as a tech since 2009. I moved to Florida in 2021 and decided to pursue my bachelors degree in veterinary technology. My husband Brian and I enjoy most outdoor activities, especially disc golf, bike riding, and swimming.



Dear Pinellas Animal Foundation and Bowser Ball,

I am happy to introduce myself. My name is Beatriz Cento Magalhaes and I am an international Student from Brazil. I am currently coursing my fourth semester of the Veterinary Technology program at SPC and planning on graduating by the end of the fall 2023 semester. I used to be a student at Los Angeles Pierce College before transferring to SPC, where I completed most of my GED. Because of the pandemic, I had to return to my country, where I was living with my family. I was born and raised in São Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil. In 2016 I moved to Canada for an exchange program and lived there for about 8 months. That was the moment I decided I wanted to study abroad. When I started looking for colleges in the U.S., St Petersburg College was the one I liked the most, for its amazing veterinary technology program. SPC has an amazing staff that cares a lot about students and offers a high-standard program in Veterinary Technology. I love how we have a lot of hands-on experience in this program, and how professors are always encouraging and stimulating students to keep improving and developing our best performance as students and professionals. I have been working with animals and in the veterinary medical field, on and off, for about 7 years now, and I had the opportunity to work both with companion and exotic animals. During those 7 years, I’ve volunteered, worked, and participated in internships in many veterinary clinics, hospitals, (both for companion and exotic animals), and rescue centers. Six years ago, while still in High School, I got a certificate in Veterinary Assistance in Brazil, and that was when I realized I wanted to become a Veterinary Technician. Although, I always knew I wanted to work in the veterinary medical field. I am and have always been extremely passionate about animals and providing them with the best standard of care. Since I was a child, I used to say that when I grew up, I would take care of animals. And indeed, that is what I’ve always dreamed of doing, and what I do right now. Being part of the veterinary technology program is a dream for me, and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. All my instructors, professors, and veterinary professionals I have worked with have always been huge role models and positive influences that encouraged me to give my best, follow my dreams and become the best at what I love, being a veterinary technician. This program has given me more than I could have ever asked for. It allowed me to meet so many amazing people and extraordinary professionals in the area, as well as gain so much knowledge and hands-on experience, not just at college, but at clinical and on-field externships, such as the externship to White Oak, which I am grateful for having the opportunity to have participated. I am also lucky to say that for two semesters I have had the opportunity to get clinical and ER experience at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital, where I learned and practiced uncountable skills and had the opportunity to observe and participate in multiple cases and procedures, which all increased my knowledge and passion for this profession. All these opportunities and experiences have opened my mind to a world of possibilities, which just encourage me to never stop studying and improving, to one day become a big reference in the veterinary medical field, and more than that, be able to provide animals with the highest standard of care that they deserve! Thank you for being part of my history, and for helping so many students, just like me, to achieve their dreams and contribute to the veterinary medical community.

Lisa FerlitaHello, my name is Lisa Ferlita. I am born and raised in Tampa, Florida and graduated from Brandon High school in 1995.  I have been married and divorced and then I was engaged. I am now a single mother of two daughters that are 7 and 18 years old that I am doing it on my own. I have always had lots of animals growing up, so if it was my wish, I would take them all now.  I enjoy going camping, fishing, adventures with my girls, eating at different places and trying to enjoy the best of life.

I was getting to a point in my life that I needed a change. I already put in 20 years of working in the medical profession as a Surgical Tech in children’s hospitals in Orlando and St Petersburg.   My experience included me working in the operating room with specializing in Pediatric surgery and trauma. This career has been great and rewarding experience for me to accomplish by working with so many great doctors and medical staff.

In 2020, My life was turned upside down by a traumatic event of losing my fiancé to sudden death. I was at a complete loss of everything, not knowing what and how to pick up and do it on my own. I was then placed on a leave of absence by my employer, I then fell into a major depression. I couldn’t return to work because I felt I could not do my job or save a life if I was put into a situation. I have never been in this dark place of not being able to pick myself up and do my daily things that I once loved to do.

During my leave of absence, I was able to finish up my AA degree from SPC. I began some research on the Vet tech program. Now that I had all my classes completed, I signed up. I was so scared of this new change, but I knew I needed a new start. At this point, I felt I have nothing left.  I was losing my house; I was losing my vehicle and I lost my job. I then started volunteering my time with local rescues and I realized that I found what I love again. Being able to feel like I was in a medical like setting and helping animals that needed extra care. Being able to play and give my love to them was so rewarding.

Through the support of my family, I was now able to start the Vet tech program as a full-time student. Learning to be focused and getting my life back was a challenge and staying focused now is a very hard task for me since I am playing so many roles as a single person in my home.  I have really impressed myself of doing so well with keeping my great grades up, my home clean and helping my younger daughter with her things.  When it was time for the  3rd semester I was feeling the overwhelming of just being so exhausted and life got challenging again.  I started to have the “BURN “out of always on the “go- go -go” I needed a break. The instructors helped me to understand, and I was going to tutoing. It was like I could not retain no more information.  What a relief it was that I I passed, and I got to go on to the 4th semester.

Finally, the challenge is getting real again for me to start my 4th last semester. I have taken the summer off to enjoy time with my kids and we got do lots of fun things. My daughters and I love animals so we try to go to new places that have rescues so we can experience and learn about them. My goals for after I graduate is to find a job working with rescues and wildlife. My older daughter is going to school at LSU and starting her second semester as Pre-Med for Veterinarian so hopefully one day we can be a team together.

Shari Dirks

I am a 29 year seasoned Veteran science/math teacher looking for a career path change. I chose to go into the Vet Tech program because I have a love of all animals. Currently, I am a wildlife rescue volunteer of squirrels, possums, and rabbits.  In working over 800 hours a year with my rescues, it made me think what a difference I can make in working with all animals.

Currently, on top of working full time, volunteering for required hours for the Vet Tech program at Avian and Animal Hospital, and volunteering for a Wildlife rescue, my plate is full.  My husband of 34 years and my two grown children have witnessed my work and support me.  It certainly is a lot of work but the reward is the best thing to see in the end when my rescues are released or I help see the benefits that the Veterinary field will offer me.


22nd Bowser and Catsino Ball


The PAF/PCVMA had a beautiful evening at the Belleair Country Club enjoyed by over 240 veterinarians, staff, families and friends. Music, dancing, dinner, casinos, wine/liquor toss, silent auctions and much more. All enjoyed to enjoy dinner, dancing, silent auctions, casino games, pictures and the wine/liquor toss

A check for $5,000.00 was presented to the SPC College of Veterinary Technology toward the SPC SCHOLARSHIP FUND for the students.

 A big “BIG THANK YOU” to all who helped make this event a successful evening, the many hospitals, the BOD of the PAF/PCVMA and the SPC staff and volunteers.


Pet Loss Support ProgramThis past year our grief counselor, Janice “Crystal” Finnis, spent 157 hours of telephone and in-person group session counseling and had 291 counseling telephone calls.  Crystal has been with the PAF for over 34 years doing counseling in Pet Loss Support for our clients across many hospitals.  This is a major undertaking if you multiple her work numbers over 30 plus years of service.  It takes a special person to cope with people in a very difficult time in life.

Janice has practiced as a Grief Counselor/Trauma Therapist and Educator for 42 years. She completed post graduate studies specializing in death and dying, bereavement and the grief process, as well as trauma and related post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).   Offered individual, family and group counseling as Mental Health Counselor at Illinois State University Student Services and at community social service organizations.     Also, taught Family Life Education classes and workshops on grief and PTSD.     Initiated the first Pet Loss Support Group in the State of Illinois and facilitated it.

In April,1987, She initiated the first Pet Loss Support Group in Florida at our Pinellas Animal Foundation (PAF).  Made Public Service Announcements on radio and television regarding the Pet Loss Support Groups.  Assisted in writing a grant to Juvenile Welfare Board for intergenerational program involving seniors and at-risk youth facilitated by companion animals.  Taught classes at St. Petersburg Junior College on the Companion Animal Bond and on the Stages of Grief.  Provided training for the SPCA staff and Disaster Animal Rescue Team (DART) on PTSD and the grief process.

Janice has continued to facilitate monthly Pet Loss Support Groups for the past 34 years offering grief support and education on stages of grief at the PAF and as an on-call Trauma Therapist at local hospitals that lack a psychiatric unit.

Please join me and the PAF BOD in applauding Janice for her many years of faithful service to our/your clients as she is a very special person in our community.


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