You're Invited to Our 45th Birthday!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Friends of Strays is celebrating 45 years of saving lives in Pinellas County!

Join supporters, board members, and staff Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 6-8 p.m. at Grand Central Brewhouse, to celebrate the shelter’s “birthday” with light fare, craft beer, and of course, cake!

Dara Eckart, Friends of Strays CEO, will speak briefly on the shelter’s long history in the community – as well as the long-awaited growth for the future.

“Forty-five years is an incredible achievement, and we are so excited to celebrate with our community,” Dara said. “Without that community, our lifesaving work would not be possible. Our success is heavily weighted by the support we have gained over more than four decades!”

Friends of Strays is St. Pete’s oldest no-kill shelter, founded in 1978. A group of passionate volunteers at the time would bike around their neighborhoods, tending to stray cats and taking them in to socialize them and find them new homes.

In 1989, Friends of Strays opened a brick-and-mortar shelter for cats, which we are still operating out of to this day, at 2911 47th Ave. N., St. Petersburg. In the following decades, the shelter would expand its programming to take in dogs in 2000, hire a full-time veterinarian, develop practices for TNVR (Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return), and more. Throughout these 45 years, Friends of Strays has strived not to just save the lives of cats and dogs in need, but also to become a community resource for passionate pet lovers through free vaccine clinics, pet pantry partnerships, and free TNVR programs.

Friends of Strays is now in the midst of a capital campaign to expand into the Schwartz Family Adoption Campus, with construction underway for a new cat adoptions building and future phases in planning for dog adoptions and expanded medical facilities. To learn more about Friends of Strays’ future, visit:

RSVP to our "birthday" is not required but appreciated: email [email protected] or send us a message and let us know you're coming!