Animal House Project

A Year in Review – 2019

Every 4 seconds another companion pet enters a shelter/rescue in the United States. That is 21,600 pets per day: 151,200 pets per week and 7.8 million pets per year. Nearly, 50% of the companion pets that enter the rescues and shelters never find a new home and sadly are euthanized. Five out of 10 dogs are killed in shelters; 7 out of 10 cats are also killed. Of the many millions of dogs and cats surrendered to shelters or abandoned each year in the United States, approximately one million + surrenders/abandonments were due to the owner’s financial inability to care for their pets, this includes feeding and providing basic veterinary care.  This is a very sad statistic but sobering.

Based on conversations with Rescues and Shelters, the time to help Pet Parents that have fallen on financial hard times starts with the initial call to the rescue/shelter. One of the first questions that needs to be asked is the reason for the surrender. If the answer is because the owner must choose between feeding and/or caring for themselves versus taking care of their beloved companion animal, the answer becomes a question a quality of life for the owner and the pet. Many times, owners feel that because their animals are loved by them, someone else will also appreciate the companionship of the animal not realizing that there is no guarantee that the animal would be adopted.

This is where I tell people the rubber meets the road so to speak. There are options and we need to educate both pet parents and all the rescues and shelters to ask that very important question so that organizations such as Animal House Project can help to provide not only the necessary food ensuring that these beloved companion pets stay at home with the families that love and cherish them. My fervent hope is that that all pets can live as ours do, in a loving, forever home with uncompromised care. By the time an owner brings their companion pets to the rescue/shelter they have already started the detachment process and it is extremely difficult to get them to change their minds even with the offer of assistance, that is why it is important to educate, educate and get the word out to organizations to ensure that we stop the cycle before it starts.

So who are the clients of Animal House Project: the clients that we are seeing are all living below the 200% poverty level:  senior citizens and retired military personnel living on fixed incomes; military vets that are returning home from service who have companion pets to help deal with medical issues and are not working; families who are still facing a reduction in incomes due to layoffs and downsizing of the recent recession; and patients that are receiving medical treatment and having to choose between necessary medicines and food for their animals.

Poverty is and continues to be the #1 reason why most our families feel the need to surrender their pets, despite the various organizations that can help. We need to educate and spread the word that organizations such as Animal House Project can help.

To continue the Mission Statement and help as many families as we can, we need to do more fundraising and are open to create out of the box ideas to further the mission statement of our organization. Please join our team to raise much needed money for our Organization. Go to www.animalhouseproject.org for more information.

Animal House Project has implemented an aggressive outreach program to expand our reach into the community and provide necessary resources to those who need them most. We have targeted the areas with the highest poverty rates in both Chester, Montgomery, and Berks Counties to provide donated food assistance; low-cost spay/neuter surgeries, pet supplies, and humane education to pet owners. To empower communities to treat the lives of animals with respect and dignity, we must provide the necessary resources and services for them to do so.

If you have ever thought about becoming involved with Animal House Project, now is the time to do so. We are asking for the community to join us so that we can work together with the same clear goal in mind: saving companion pet lives. The significant progress at the Animal House Project would not be possible without the continued support of the communities that we serve.

Our dedicated and tireless volunteers are an integral part of the Animal House Project, playing a vital role in almost every aspect of our organization. More than 60 volunteers provide everything from performing administrative tasks; inventory; pantry days and working with our companion pet owners; distribution for our newest program – rescue food assistance; organization for signature events as well as going out to community events to spread our message. Our volunteers have donated countless hours to our organization, and we are indebted to their constant support.

Interested in joining our pack? Please complete a Volunteer Application

Food and Toy Collection: Help our companion animals in need at your local school, church, or community center! Starting a food drive is a way for kids to promote the overall welfare of animals in their community. Children can help gather materials and food needed for the pet food pantry.  This can be a one-time event or an ongoing collection.  A wish list of food and supplies will be provided.

Create Collateral Material for the Pantry:  The generation of children coming through the school system is creative and understands social media.  A perfect project may be to help put together a piece that can be used on YouTube or Social Media to promote the pantry to potential donors.  Are they creative in graphics?  A New Logo?  Help with a website?  A new Brochure?

Community Service at Animal House Project: The Community Service Program is designed for people who are required to complete a specific amount of volunteer hours for school, work, court, or a club. Duties in this program include assisting with inventory; distribution as well as other assigned duties to help further our mission.  

Community Service for Students:  Volunteers in this category generally have a small amount of required community service hours to complete for educational project requirements associated with a school or community group. Students can volunteer independently if at least 16 years old (with parent/guardian approval).

We have had many schools participate in putting together a FUN – Raiser especially now to help raise funds for Animal House Project to purchase our own truck versus the continual rental of a vehicle to help further the mission of Our Programs.

Court-Mandated Community Service:  Volunteers in this category have been court-ordered to perform community service. Interested applicants must be at least 18 years old, and the offense(s) must not pertain to theft, drugs, violence, animal abuse, or sexual assault. A copy of court documentation of offense(s) must be provided.

How to Apply:  Applicants are admitted into our Community Service Program based on the pantry’s needs. Completing an application does not guarantee placement. Due to the large number of requests, we receive, please allow a minimum of 48 hours for AHP staff to respond once the request has been submitted. A scheduled appointment is required in advance and we will do our best to schedule appointments within 1-2 weeks of the request.

Please plan on alternate options as we are unable to accommodate last minute requests. If accepted, all Community Service Volunteers must -follow the schedule assigned to them.

Please contact MaryBeth Yannessa at 484-558-0467 or
via e-mail:  info@animalhouseproject.org