Friends Of Strays Inc
2911 47th Ave N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33714
Just a comment to Mike M review. Cats shouldn't be "let out of the house for 5 hours" and it's that mindset that creates, lost cat flyers, cat hit by a neighbors cat because the fur baby was running after a lizard and didn't see the car. You see? Perhaps you'll let the pups out for just a quick potty.... these forever toddlers need your love and constant supervision for their safety.
Perhaps you can volunteer at the shelter to help with the age cleaniut and walk time.
I've been a volunteer with Friends of Strays for about a year now--mostly on Sunday mornings helping to feed and clean out cages. I have been consistently impressed with this Shelter and the care and passion they have for their animals--both cats and dogs. There is a new Shelter Manager as of about a year ago who is awesome and really knows her stuff. Everyone who works there has the welfare of the animals as their first concern, and a genuine care for the unique needs of each cat or dog. Many of the shelter workers know each and every animal by name and they take time out of their duties to pet the animals, and talk to the ones who are most shy or scared. There are set times for feeding and cage cleaning across the day and if there is a smell when you visit, well that's pretty normal in a busy shelter but please know that these animals are not in any way neglected or mistreated. I can't speak to the experience of the gentleman who was turned down for adoption--and I think there is always room for discussion with the staff if you think a decision is unfair--but I can personally share that the saddest thing that happens at the shelter is not animals that are not adopted. It's when animals are adopted and then returned, which does happen more often than you would think, and it's crushing to see that cat or dog who left with such high hopes of a forever home be rejected and have to readjust to shelter life. So the folks who screen potential pet adopters may be particularly careful--and please, never lie to them or on your forms--but it's because they care so much and want to see these little guys thrive in their new homes. I would encourage anyone who wants to adopt to visit (check the hours on the FOS site); if you can't adopt, donate or volunteer. It's a truly rewarding experience.
We were hesitant to visit after reading some other online reviews, but there was a puppy there that we really wanted to rescue, so we went over. The place has a very overwhelming stench and in some cages animals were sitting next to their own waste waiting for the staff to clean it. We visited the puppy we wanted to adopt and filled out all the paperwork required. He was on a "medical hold" for worms and it broke our heart to leave him there, but we hoped that we could get him out of there soon.
We got a call several weeks later (this week) that he was cleared by the vet and ready for pickup. My family was very excited. When we called back, the staff member asked if we let our cats outside (which we clearly indicated on our paperwork when we visited). We answered honestly..."yes" and we were summarily told that they don't adopt to people like us and there were no exceptions. My family was crushed. Instead of sending this puppy to a loving home, with 2 cats that are outside 5-6 hours per day, in a safe gated community, and in daylight only so they can remain active while staying mentally stimulated...they'd rather keep it in a cage until someone who thinks exactly as they do comes along to adopt him.
We just added a 9-week old puppy to our house last week and want a companion for him, but now have to shift our search elsewhere. I will not recommend deterring people from going to Friends of Strays because the clientele really needs our help, but I will caution you about the staff and how you answer the questionnaire and their lines of question. If you want to save these creatures, ensure your answers are in accordance with their somewhat political agenda. Otherwise you'll be belittled, sent on your way, and the animal will continue to live in squalor.