Pizza for Pets program founder Lauri Partanio poses alongside a loving pet. (Photo courtesy of Lauri Partanio.)

By Anna Edlund

Local program Pizza for Pets advertises using flyers of adoptable animals within takeout orders in an attempt to save them from high-kill shelters. Lauri Partanio, owner of Professional Pets Florida, has given loving homes to over 35 pets and recruited a multitude of restaurants and sponsors to her cause since beginning the program in February.

Seeing firsthand how animals can be so easily overlooked in shelters throughout her experiences working with them, Partanio sought a way to help her community in a successful way.

“It pulls at my heartstrings because I know that they’re adoptable, they just need some time to be featured. Some senior, medically needy, special needs, some just happy, healthy pets. Being able to help just a little bit is so fulfilling,” said Partanio.

What started as just flyers on pizza boxes expanded to multiple restaurants and businesses that were eager to contribute. The first to take interest was Vine Vegan, a plant-based restaurant, which added ‘Plants for Pets.’ Many establishments followed after with their own versions, such as ‘Pints for Pets,’ ‘Protein for Pets’ and ‘Pasta for Pets.’

Adopting through the flyers offers unique benefits, such as a free adoption and Professional Pets Florida’s Discount for Life Program. Any pet adopted from the organization is given a helping hand with any pet-sitting or dog-walking needs, which is especially beneficial for apprehensive new owners. Additionally, the pets are all microchipped, spayed or neutered and vaccinated, free of charge.

“It’s filled my cup; I never expected this project to help 38 animals find their forever homes,” Partanio stated as she reflected upon what she started.

Many small businesses have graciously sponsored the program, but more help is required to expand it further. The more sponsors, the more restaurants can be included, and the more possible owners can be reached.

Anyone interested in sponsoring can send an email to with their business information.

Those who want to adopt one of the loving pets can take a flyer to the Pet Resource Center at 440 N. Falkenburg Rd. in Tampa to redeem their free adoption.

For more information on the cause, visit the Facebook page at or the website at

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