ST. CLOUD -- Anna Marie's Alliance in St. Cloud is in the process of building an animal shelter to house pets of domestic abuse victims.

In 2008 the facility started a pet foster care program. Members of the community volunteer to take care of the pets until they can be reunited with their families.

Anna Marie's received donations from Pet Smart and members of the community to build a pet shelter that's connected to their current facility. Margaret Bushinger is a women's advocate and pet program coordinator. She says there are many organizations donating their money and labor to help the project.

This is a growing nationwide trend. There are at least 73 pet shelters throughout the country, with 15 more being planned. Bushinger says it's critical to the healing process for domestic abuse victims to be with their pets.

The shelter will have room for up to five cats and five dogs. There will be some additional space for smaller animals. They hope to break ground on the shelter once the snow melts and have the project completed by the end of the summer.