Welcome to Sarasota in Defense of Animals.

Unwavering loyalty and dedication, Since 1989 SDA has helped the animal victims of cruelty, neglect, sickness and abandonment.

SDA is proud of its accomplishments and the establishment of not only a credible reputation for protection of animals in Florida, but nationally as well.


deck2deck2020 4



Hello Everyone, I am Russell Matthes, one of the partners with the Daiquiri Deck ownership group and board member of Sarasota in Defense of Animals (SDA).

I wanted to talk directly to you today about the history of the Deck2deck2Deck and it benefits to SDA. When we started the Deck2Deck 9 years ago with help of Courtney Smith from Yoga Shack and Amy Stine of LuluLemon, we wanted to create a “grass roots” event that brought our community together via a fun run with a celebration after the event. As we were “brainstorming” we had all kinds of crazy ideas and in fact have used most of them over the years. We have had dancing tunnels, fog machines, slip -n-slides, bounce houses, human car wash and so much more… then we are like let's have a “blowout party” at the finishing Daiquiri Deck with free booze and a great morning buffet. Well needless to say it has been a huge success and is now expanded to Deck2Deck2Deck!

We sell out really fast every year and the community loves the event. Some runners will tell you that it is the best and favorite run of the year!! As the event grew, we realized by charging a small participation fee we could help our favorite local charity Sarasota in Defense of Animals. So, let me tell you a little about SDA.

SDA is a charity true to my heart since it involves animals and my mother being one of the original founders who is still acting President today. Since 1989 she and my father along with hundreds of volunteers have worked tirelessly over the years to take care of thousands of animals that never had a real chance at a quality life. These animals had either been abandoned, abused, or have physical, mental, or social disorders. The organization has worked with local and federal governments to in act laws protecting animals and have created a 10-acre sanctuary that is simply stunning for these animals to live out the rest of their lives.

Now I know with COVID-19 and the election everyone is influx! Unfortunately, we were unable to do our traditional fun run and party so naturally sign-ups have dropped dramatically! And I totally get it!! We are all busy and we get solicitations all of the time. And now from us you see “virtual run” and are like what the heck is that and it looks confusing so it's easy to just delete. So, this is why I am making this plea today! These animals have no idea what is going on in our “human world”. I am committed to help raise money for SDA so that they can continue to do their amazing work by taking great care of the animals. We need your financial support even without the actual run this year!!

And I promise you when things get back to “normal” next year’s 10th annual Deck2Deck2Deck will be the BEST EVER!!!

Please Please go to: runsignup.com/daiquirideck_signup or follow SDA on FB and/or Daiquiri Deck’s Instagram @daiquirideck.

There will be plenty of links to sign-up or donate 😊 You all can make a difference and I cannot wait to see everyone next year!

On behalf of the animals, our volunteers and of course this event committee Thank You and God Bless!

Meet one of SDA's special volunteers

SDA would like to say, "thank you and meow" to EILEEN ENGBER!!

Having a wonderful sanctuary does not just happen! It takes a lot of hard work, love, compassion, money, and dedication by so many people who truly love SDA and the animals that live here. Our workers and volunteers go above and beyond for these precious animals... and we would like to acknowledge one of our long-time volunteers!

If we at SDA were asked to define loyalty, we would say, "Eileen Engber!!!"

For the past 12 (yes, 12) years, Eileen has come to our SDA sanctuary every Monday and works all day long in our catteries caring for 150 previously homeless resident cats. Eileen cleans litter pans, mops floors, feeds cats, gives medications and puts fresh laundry on places where our lazy cats lounge, sleep and hang out.

Eileen not only does all of these chores for the cats, but makes generous monetary donations as well. We often call upon her to transport cats to a veterinary clinic and she has even paid for the medical treatment for many of her favorite cats. Eileen has donated all of these services without fanfare for 12 long years and we are eternally grateful to her. Eileen Engber sets a pure example of loyalty and how to translate a love for animals into action. Thank you Eileen! SDA and the animals love you!

Have you had a bad experience purchasing a pet from Petland, Puppytown, or another retail pet store in Sarasota?

Please read the following and speak out about your experience!

We may be able to tell you exactly where your puppy came from. Remember, no matter what they tell you, ALL pet stores buy from puppy mills.

Retail pet stores often knowingly sell animals with preexisting health problems stemming from inhumane conditions. The buyers are then stuck paying for unexpected medical bills and many animals suffer needlessly from this practice. This is an acknowledged problem, and 9 other cities in alone Florida have already banned retail pet sales, with 35 cities banning the practice nation-wide.

For these reasons, the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners is currently reviewing an ordinance that would ban retail pet sales in Sarasota County while still allowing adoptions. This issue has become HOTLY contested, and the Board plans to revisit the issue in early 2014, pending further investigation.

To convince the Board that this dishonest and inhumane practice needs to be banned, we are currently collecting stories of people's negative experiences purchasing pets through retail sellers in Sarasota.

We ask that you share your story by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please include as much detail as you are comfortable with, such as rough dates, costs, photographs, and personal outcomes.

Please forward this email to anyone you think may have an opinion on this or a story to share.

Help us stop this dishonest and inhumane business practice by convincing the Board to ban it in Sarasota!

For more information on retail pets sales and puppy mills, please visit:  http://www.prisonersofgreed.org/


Tatum Ridge Elementary - Save The Animals!

A special thank-you goes to Mrs. Ozkan's Tatum Ridge Kindergarten Class, that held a plant sale and raised an amazing $622 for SDA.

Mrs. Ozkan is a remarkable teacher who has been leading her classes for many years in a humane project called, "The UNLESS project" whereby her class makes and sells items to raise funds for donation to SDA. Every year they surprise us with a really nice size check from the proceeds of their project. "The UNLESS Project" is designed to encourage her little kindergarteners to make the world a better place and gets its motto from the Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax, quote: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Click here to read the letter

We Need Your Help!

The Sarasota in Defense of Animals (SDA) sanctuary with 385 resident animals is in jeopardy of closing!!!The Sarasota in Defense of Animals (SDA) sanctuary with 385 resident animals is in jeopardy of closing!!!

Click here to watch the news story featured on TBO.com

Click here for the Sarasota Herald Tribune Article.

These are hard times for people and for animals. Finances for all non-profits are bleak and this is certainly true for SDA. We have made deep cuts in our budget and are doing all we can to survive in this recession.

We appreciate your monetary support and have great faith and trust that we can continue to provide the necessary care for our 400 precious animals.

Sarasota SDA PLEASE help SDA help our animals by making a contribution PLEASE help SDA help our animals by making a contribution on our website or by mail to SDA, PO Box 15653, Sarasota, FL, 34277-1653. SDA is registered with the IRS as a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, ID No. 65-0124076.

SDA is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Florida, filed on June 29, 1989 and the document number of the corporation is N33042 and has complied with the registration requirement of Chapter 496, Florida Statutes, the Solicitation of Contributions Act. All contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the State. Registration #SC-07264.