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Tips from Benedict’s Coffeehouse Used by Paws of Love

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on March 6, 2020

Saint Leo University Donations Go to Pasco, Hillsborough Animal Rescues

Tips from Benedict’s Coffeehouse Used by Paws of Love to Help Area Shelters

Saint Leo University helps its furry friends, and now patrons of Benedict’s Coffeehouse and the nonprofit Paws of Love organization are teaming to help area animal rescues and shelters.

All tips placed in the jars at the university’s latest addition to campus, Benedict’s, are donated to Paws of Love. In turn, Paws of Love is purchasing items to donate to shelters. Although Benedict’s Coffeehouse is a We Proudly Serve Starbucks™ venue, it is operated by Dining Services.

“People are going to leave a tip [at Benedict’s],” Justin Bush, interim director of Dining Services said. “And we have to make it equal across food services [as tips are not left at other Dining Services locations]. So we’re supporting a cause that is near and dear to Saint Leo by donating the tips at Benedict’s to Paws of Love.”

Since its opening in December (the grand opening was January 13, 2020), $300 was donated. The Paws of Love organization purchases 26 harnesses, 10 leashes, 10 litterboxes; six cases of Pedigree dog food; dog training pads; and 24 cases of Friskies cat food. In addition, The Lions’ Pride Media Group donated old issues of the newspaper. The items then were distributed on February 20 and February 21 to the Pasco County Animal Services shelter in Land O’ Lakes, FL, and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

“I’m a huge animal lover and there just are so many animals in need,” said Cassie Keever, senior coordinator in Student Affairs. “It’s a wonderful thing to help the shelters. And Paws of Love is helping with the specific needs of the shelters. That’s what is unique.”

Paws of Love advisor Heidi D’Ambrosio reaches out to area animal rescue groups and shelters to find out what items are needed. The organization was started in 2018, and Saint Leo students, faculty, and staff began making healthy no-bake dog treats; assembling first aid kits for pets; creating braided dog toys from recycled T-shirts, and fashioning cat trees from recycled materials. Those items then are donated to area shelters and rescues.

Courtney Receveur, a junior, said using the tips from Benedict’s Coffeehouse to purchase items for animals is great because they “didn’t have someone to care for them on a personal level.”

To find out more about Paws of Love, email [email protected]. To learn more about Benedict’s Coffeehouse, go to

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, offering nearly 60 undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs to more than 19,500 students each year. Founded in 1889 by Benedictine monks, the private, nonprofit university is known for providing values-based education to learners of all backgrounds and ages in the liberal arts tradition. Saint Leo is regionally accredited and offers a residential campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, 32 education centers in seven states, and an online program for students anywhere. The university is home to more than 95,000 alumni. Learn more at


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