When Steve and Kelli Chickos launched The Dog House, a pet supply retail shop on 8th Avenue just a block north of Main Street, one of their goals was to be able to use the store as a way to support local animal rescues and shelters. Opened since July, the Safety Harbor couple previously known for winning the 2013 Mayor’s Award of Excellence have been busy supporting local animal organizations. For starters, a portion of the proceeds from every sale go to non-profit animal organizations including Bay Area Greyhound Adoption, Canine Estates of Palm Harbor, Florida Boxer Rescue, and others.
In addition to donations, the couple have offered a series of complimentary shopping sprees to local animals in need to help spotlight their plights.
Animal lovers will recall Kahlessi, the pup that recently made national headlines after being dumped on a suburban lawn, emaciated and missing half her face. Rescued from a county shelter by Passion 4 Pits, she needed extensive medical care to repair the physical abuse, so fundraising efforts were vital to her future. Media coverage helped spread the word, and an on-line fundraiser earned enough to cover her medical costs. Upon hearing of the sweet little dog, Steve and Kelli wanted to help and knew that nothing raises a gal’s outlook like loads of attention (and new bling), so they stepped in and offered her a shopping spree. I’m happy to report Kahlessi remains in great spirits, and is now well along on her road to recovery, having enjoyed her recent shopping spree at the Dog House where she picked out a beautiful new swarovski crystal studded collar, a soft new bed, and a tail-wagging new object her foster mom called a toy.
And let’s not forget Angel, the senior foster dog with Suncoast Animal League whose bucket list of 50 items were one by one checked off, drawing media attention to the plight of older dogs in need of homes. During her adventures, Angel was able to cross off three of her bucket list items while enjoying her free shopping spree at The Dog House…she got to visit a dog friendly store for her first time and held a tail-wagging event where she “signed” pawtographs while she sampled doggie treats. And now finally, she found her last and most important bucket list item…a new forever home.
But animals aren’t the only recipients of the Chickos family’s generosity. The Fox 13 Hometown Heroes story on Jan Williams, a long-time volunteer for the Humane Society of Pinellas, spurred Steve and Kelli to veer from their normal path and offer a free shopping spree to this very special human who has spent over a decade volunteering weekly to work with the dogs at HSP.
A beautifully appointed shop that is fun to browse through and conveniently located…and helps out animals in need. What more could an animal lover in Safety Harbor ask for?
Check out the Dog House at 727 Main Street along the side of 8th Avenue North – woof!
~written by Barbara Ulmer, Safety Harbor resident blogger