Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort Inc., also known as C.A.R.E., is a unique no-kill animal shelter in Ruskin. C.A.R.E. was established in 2001. It is a special place for neglected and unwanted cats and dogs, and its mission is to reduce the number of homeless and abandoned animals through adoption, sterilization and education.
Most of the animals that come to C.A.R.E. need just a few weeks of special care before they are ready for adoption into a good home. Others who are older or sick or have suffered extreme trauma become C.A.R.E. ambassadors and find a special home at C.A.R.E. for the rest of their lives.
Rula Urso, a volunteer and board member of C.A.R.E., said, “C.A.R.E. is the only animal shelter in the SouthShore area, and we are proud to serve our community.”
Urso added, “We do not operate on a first-come, first-served adoption basis. Rather, we are very selective because we want to make sure our animals are placed in the home that is the best fit for the animal and those adopting. Our animal care manager does extensive research to make sure the adoption is a success for all. At C.A.R.E., we see so many animals that are surrendered due to people not doing their research and what is involved in having a cat or dog. We try to make sure this is avoided at all costs.”
C.A.R.E. is also different in the way they care for the animals who come to them.
Urso explained, “Unlike other shelters, our animals are not kept in cages 24 hours a day. Our dogs are outside during the day where they get plenty of fresh air, exercise and playtime. Our cats are free, roaming in one of three rooms where they are separated by age, and each room has a screened lanai where they can laze and watch the squirrels.”
C.A.R.E. receives no county, state or federal government funding. It is fully dependent on donations, proceeds from fundraisers and bequests and foundation grants to maintain operations and sustain its presence in the SouthShore area.
Urso said, “An ongoing challenge for us is ensuring that we have enough volunteers to provide daily care for our animals. Volunteers are needed to clean and prepare our kennels and cattery, socialize our dogs and cats and provide loving care. Donations of items from our wish list are greatly appreciated at this time of rising costs for food and supplies.”
C.A.R.E. is located at 1528 27th St. SE in Ruskin. For more information, please visit https://www.careshelter.org.