(Saint Petersburg, FL) – Friends of Strays is proud to announce its new Safer At Home Fund, a resource for our community members facing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19. The idea behind the Safer At Home Fund is to provide those who are unable to care for their pets due to loss of income with an alternative to surrendering their animal to a shelter. We have partnered with Operation: SNIP, a spay/neuter and wellness veterinary clinic, and Pet Food Warehouse, a pet supply store, to provide veterinary care and pet supplies at no cost to Saint Petersburg residents who are out of work.
The process to get involved is simple. Those in need of assistance can visit the Safer At Home page on the Friends of Strays website and fill out a short online questionnaire. Our staff will review all submissions and distribute vouchers that can be redeemed at Operation: SNIP and Pet Food Warehouse based on individual needs. In order to be eligible for financial assistance, applicants must be Saint Petersburg residents and have lost their primary source of income due to COVID-19.
“Our Safer At Home Fund is designed to prevent beloved pets from entering shelters by providing options and assistance,” says Friends of Strays CEO, Dara Eckart. “This is an unprecedented time for all of us, and nobody should have to worry about giving up their animal on top of so much uncertainty. The benefits of this new program are two-fold: our community members get the support they need to care for their pets, and it eases the burden on shelters by helping to keep animals at home. We hope this fund will help ease the stress of our community during this crisis.”
Friends of Strays will be allocating $10,000 from an unexpected bequest that we received to start the Safer At Home Fund and we hope our community will assist in our ability to expand this resource. On Tuesday, May 5, we will be participating in Giving Tuesday Now, a global day of giving to respond to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. All the money raised during this virtual fundraiser will be designated to the Safer At Home Fund. And thanks to a generous donor, every dollar, up to $10,000, raised on Giving Tuesday Now will be matched. Those who want to help support The Safer At Home Fund can contribute to our Giving Tuesday Now fundraiser on May 5th or make an online donation at any point.
Friends of Strays is St. Petersburg’s oldest no kill animal shelter. Founded in 1978, our top priority is to connect animals in need of rescue with people who will love them. With thousands of cats and dogs entering our shelter every year, Friends of Strays’ staff and volunteers provide the utmost love and care for every animal that comes through our doors. Through our outreach, advocacy, and social service we strive to ensure that animal companionship is accessible to all. In addition to pet adoption, we seek to create a better world for pets and people by focusing on life saving programs promoting pet retention, community empowerment, and humane pet ownership education. We are heavily dependent on the altruism of the public for our sustained success on behalf of these animals. For more, please visit our website or follow us on Facebook.