Co-Sheltering & Animal Welfare Program

Recognizing that the human-animal bond is valuable and worth preserving through times of homelessness, GRACE has become the first “animal-friendly” low-barrier homeless shelter in the region, accepting guests with Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals and Companion Animals. 

The Co-Sheltering & Animal Welfare Program (CSAW) compliments regular shelter services at GRACE by providing animal accommodations for people entering emergency shelter or visiting campus. Overnight and day-use kenneling in addition to a food and supply bank are meant to meet many basic and immediate needs for our guests.

Veterinary Services

A monthly on-site veterinary outreach clinic is provided by St. Francis Pet Care to provide basic veterinary care including examinations, vaccinations, deworming, microchipping, preventive medication, and more. The Humane Society of North Central Florida provides similar services off-site, including some emergency or specialty veterinary care. Both organizations provide spay/neuter services.

Dedicated Staff

The Animal Welfare Coordinator (AWC) is responsible for coordinating all animal services, providing oversight of animal welfare, and ensuring the health and safety of staff, guests, and visitors. Additionally, the AWC offers outreach and education including counseling on topics such as nutrition, behavior, and responsible ownership. The AWC is one of your first stops when arriving at GRACE with an animal and is available to assist guests and staff with all animal-related matters.

For all animal-related questions or to coordinate veterinary services please contact Riley, the Animal Welfare Coordinator at 352-792-0800 x135, or email [email protected].

Partner Agencies 

We are honored to be joined by these partner agencies and funders:

Wagmore Foundation*
Petsmart Foundation*
Humane Society of North Central Florida
Home Van Pet Care Project
St. Francis Pet Care
Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL)

*denotes funding partner


Contact the Animal Welfare Coordinator at [email protected] if you are interested in donating to support the GRACE Co-Sheltering and Animal Welfare program.

Consider donating a Kuranda dog bed through the Kuranda ShelterBeds Program here.


Lauren Poe
Mayor, Gainesville, FL
"They're doing remarkable work and changing the lives of hundreds and hundreds of people."
Dr. Bernie Machen
President Emeritus, UF
"GRACE's early success represents a truly remarkable launch of a much-needed community resource."


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