Join Our Pets’ Kitchen in support of the pet kennels at the St. Petersburg CASA – Community Action Stops Abuse. CASA is one of the only people shelters in Florida and one of the few in the entire country who accepts the pets of the families who find a safe refuge there. This keeps pets together with their families in a safe environment and out of other already crowded pet shelters and rescue organizations. When you donate at OPK’s checkout to the CASA Pet Shelter, 100% of your donation will go directly to CASA’s specific Pet Shelter Project Fund. And, Our Pets’ Kitchen donates a portion of sales to the CASA Pet Shelter.

In addition to their pet and people shelter, CASA operates a 24 hour crisis hotline, thrift shop, counseling services, community support groups, courtroom advocacy, child protective investigative team, cell phone program, and community education and corporate training.

In a visit with CASA staff I learned that prior to the pet shelter opening, many victims came to them needing to leave their abusive circumstances but couldn’t because they didn’t want to leave their pets. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “71 percent of domestic violence victims reported that their abuser also targeted pets”. And, “In one study of families under investigation for suspected child abuse, researchers found that pet abuse had occurred in 88 percent of the families under supervision for physical abuse of their children”.

I can’t imagine being faced with the decision to either leave my pets behind in an abusive situation in order to ensure my personal safety, or to stay with my pet in the abusive circumstances where we are both being abused. Selecting either of those choices could be deadly for the pets or the person or both. Thankfully there are shelters like CASA who accept and care for the pets of survivors, so they aren’t faced with such awful decisions and circumstances.

I had the great honor to visit CASA’s shelter, including their pet shelter. Their facility is state of the art, where safety and security are paramount. Being free from harm, survivors of domestic violence were busy using the large resource center filled with computers and staff and volunteers to assist them with job searches and finding permanent homes. Pets have a large fenced, grassed play area where they can run, play, and heal from their abusive circumstances. Thank you to CASA for all you do for people and pets!

The CASA pet shelter needs ongoing funding for pet shelter maintenance, food for pets, and the administrative costs of operating the pet shelter. We hope you will join us with your support.