ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A St. Petersburg animal shelter is coming up with a plan to keep its kennel empty after the coronavirus pandemic.
Friends of Strays, at 2911 47th Avenue North in St. Pete, is looking for options so people don’t have to resort to surrendering their pets. This includes more resources to afford vet care, fostering instead of adopting and “re-homing” the pet so it doesn’t have to go back to the shelter.
Here’s a list of the new programs the local shelter is adding*:
• Safer At Home: Friends of Strays’ new Safer At Home Fund is a resource for our community members facing financial hardships that provides them with an alternative to surrendering their animal to a shelter. We have partnered with local businesses and are distributing vouchers for free veterinary care and pet supplies at no cost to Saint Petersburg residents to help them through their times of need.
• Kitten Heroes: The Kitten Heroes Program is a partnership between Friends of Strays Animal Shelter and the caregivers of community cats, working together to keep underage kittens out of crowded shelters and rescues. Instead, we help empower caregivers to adopt kittens into loving homes after completion of spay/neuter surgeries and vaccines! Friends of Strays loans out traps and necessary supplies to catch and house cats and kittens safely. We then provide spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations, and deworming services for FREE for the kittens and Mom, once the kittens weigh 2 lbs.
• Home To Home: Unfortunately, there are circumstances that make it impossible for someone to keep their pets, so Friends of Strays has teamed up with Home To Home -- a direct-to-adopter program for pet owners looking to rehome their animals. In just a few simple steps, pets can find a loving new home all while bypassing the shelter system. Those who are no longer able to care for their animals complete an online pet profile and upload photos. Once approved by the Friends of Strays staff, the profile will be published on the Home To Home page of our website as well as our Facebook page. If someone is interested in a pet on the Home To Home page, they can directly reach out to the owner and the two parties can privately work through the rehoming process. It’s free to use for both owners and adopters, and gives animals needing a new home the best of both worlds: their current owner can find the best fit, and their adopter can learn all about their personality and preferences first-hand.
• Adoptions Through Foster: We are expanding our foster program to incorporate adoptions directly from foster care. This means that some animals will never have to spend a night at the shelter. Foster parents provide animals with enrichment that shelter staff cannot replicate and increase their visibility throughout the community. They also give us invaluable insight into an animal’s personality outside of a kennel environment which leads to dogs getting adopted quicker with a lower rate of return.
*=Information taken from Friends of Strays.
You can click here for more information on Friends of Strays and its programs.