Lariana Forsythe, interim CEO of Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA)

Lariana Forsythe—interim CEO of Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA), the domestic violence center based in Southern Pinellas County, which, in early March, opened an on-site kennel—explains that “interim” in this instance is a two-year designation required by the state of Florida for CEOs of domestic violence shelters who take the job without experience in that realm. Forsythe outlines the CASA history (founded in 1977), and describes the organization’s newest shelter, open three years, which is outfitted with 100 beds, but Forsythe says it can accommodate 133 people, while averaging 115-120 per night. Forsythe points out that people often forget that half that number tends to be children, and that CASA’s goal for a stay at the shelter is about three months, but that tenure can extend longer given the particulars of that client, including prospects for non-shelter housing and employment, children, etc. In addressing their new kennel, Forsythe addressed the profound importance of offering this option, citing a statistic whereby 71% of women entering domestic violence shelter reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed, or threatened family pets. Yet, Casa’s kennel, which can accommodate four dogs and four cats, stands as a national rarity, to a surprising degree: Currently, only about 3% of domestic violence shelters across the country are equipped to take in pets. In response to my question—given that tiny number—whether CASA’s kennel might serve as an example to other shelters, Forsythe observes this might well be the case, and that they can provide guidance and tools to help overcome the significant obstacles that prevent more shelters from establishing such kennels. (https://www.casa-stpete.org)

The interview with Lariana Forsythe streamed on Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/duncan.strauss/videos/10156705148624218/

 

ALSO: I spoke with Jenna Bardroff, event coordinator of the first-ever Sarasota Veg Fest that was to take place on Saturday, May 5, at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. She outlined the array of speakers, cooking demonstrations, films screening, 100 vendors, music, activities for kids, etc. that were to be offered at the event. (http://www.sarasotavegfest.org)

 

COMEDY CORNER: Dave Attell’s “Pets” (http://daveattell.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: The Tokens’ “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

AUDIO ARCHIVE:

Listen Online Now:


 

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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