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Pet owners find more hotel doors open during aftermath

  • Rex is one of about 100 pets staying at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.
  • Chains such as La Quinta and Days Inn are known for welcoming pets at all times at almost all locations, but a random check of 25 local hotels and motels found a few others 10 waived no-pet policies or pet fees during and after Hurricane Irma.
  • “On Friday last week we probably had close to 50 pets running around the hotel, and we’re a small hotel, 137 rooms,” said Kevin Scott, general manager of the Epicurean Hotel on Howard Avenue in South Tampa.
  • The Watergarden Inn at the Bay in downtown St. Petersburg closed Saturday but welcomed guests with pets when it reopened Monday.
  • After three days without power, Christina Hostetter started calling hotels Wednesday and found most would charge $75 to $100 if she brought Greta, the family’s German shepherd.

A greyhound named Rex strolled down the wide front steps of the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club early Thursday morning. Not far behind him came Greta, a German shepherd. The calm canines were just two of the many pets staying at the 91-year-old luxury hotel.

@TB_Times: A number of local hotels waived no-pet policies or pet fees during and after Hurricane Irma.

A greyhound named Rex strolled down the wide front steps of the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club early Thursday morning. Not far behind him came Greta, a German shepherd. The calm canines were just two of the many pets staying at the 91-year-old luxury hotel.

General manager Barbara Readey estimated 100 or more animals have checked into the historic landmark, which normally only allows service animals, since it reopened Wednesday after losing power during Hurricane Irma.

Chains such as La Quinta and Days Inn are known for welcoming pets at all times at almost all locations, but a random check of 25 local hotels and motels found a few others 10 waived no-pet policies or pet fees during and after Hurricane Irma.

“On Friday last week we probably had close to 50 pets running around the hotel, and we’re a small hotel, 137 rooms,” said Kevin Scott, general manager of the Epicurean Hotel on Howard Avenue in South Tampa. It normally doesn’t allow animals. “We wanted to do the right thing for people already stressed to their max. We’ve seen everything from chihuahuas to a bull mastiff. My sister was here with a 110-pound Native American Indian dog that looks like the direwolves on Game of Thrones.”

The Watergarden Inn at the Bay in downtown St. Petersburg closed Saturday but welcomed guests with pets when it reopened Monday.

“We previously didn’t allow pets. We felt compelled to ensure that everybody is safe and comfortable throughout this whole thing,” said manager Julie Will.

The Postcard Inn at St. Pete Beach typically allows pets but is waiving the $75 fee it charges for guests.

After three days without power, Christina Hostetter started calling hotels Wednesday and found most would charge $75 to $100 if she brought Greta, the family’s German shepherd. So she made plans to leave the dog with friends who had power and check in to the Vinoy with her husband and two daughters.

“We pulled into the Vinoy we saw a half a dozen dogs coming in and out of the hotel. I didn’t know when I booked it that I could bring her,” she said. “It’s one less thing for me and Greta to have to stress about. She’s seen us packing and unpacking and she’s been miserably hot.”

ST. PETERSBURG — A 33-year-old man was arrested Thursday after police said they discovered the remains of a dead puppy and found another dog injured and malnourished.

TAMPA — In an effort to salvage its weather-battered league schedule, the American Athletic Conference on Thursday announced a litany of changes to its slate, including the rescheduling of several USF games.

In the aftermath of 2005’s destructive Hurricane Wilma, Florida lawmakers approved laws to protect motorists at risk of getting stranded on the interstate, and residents of new highrises who can’t climb stairs.

LUTZ — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a man found with gunshot wounds on Thursday.

TAMPA — A 60-year-old man died Thursday afternoon after a tree branch he was trying to cut down knocked him off a ladder, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Pet owners find more hotel doors open during aftermath

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