Let’s hear it for the big 5-0. It is quite a reason to celebrate. I am not talking about my birthday. I saw that one already. I’m talking about the 50 year celebration and gala for Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley.
Animal Protectors (AP) was started as a 501(c)3 in 1966 by some great founders – Margaret Edmonston, Katherine Sleppy, Evelyn Abraham, Taft Abraham, Ray Szymczak, Patrick McDade and John Spalic. What started as a group of concerned citizens who felt there was a need to take care of the stray dogs and cats in the New Kensington area, blossomed into caring for the animals in the New Kensington dog pound, and steadily grew into what it is today – a no-kill shelter that cares for approximately 600 dogs and cats every year. Now that is something to celebrate.
When asked, Jeanne Lessig, a volunteer at the shelter, said that the one thing she would change if she could was that people of the local area realized that AP exists as their shelter.
AP works with other shelters and rescue organizations for the best care of its charges. One example, two Newfoundlands were placed with Gentle Ben Giant Breed Rescue when the two dogs were very scared and were eating very little. AP also brings in a few animals from kill shelters when their own number of dogs and cats is low.
In addition, AP has a TNR Program (Trap Neuter Return) to help lower the feral cat population. Anyone in the area with feral cats may contact the shelter for help. AP will provide them with a trap and a schedule for neutering. Keep in mind, after the cat is returned, arrangements must be made for continued feeding.
If you haven’t already heard, a new property was purchased on June 10, 2016, and an architect has been hired to remodel the building to fit the needs of the shelter. AP’s new building is located on Church Street in New Kensington, 0n the same property as Logan Ferry Presbyterian Church. They will share the parking lot with the church, and the property has close to 4 acres of a level park-like setting.
Support from the community will be very important as they moved forward. Monetary donations are always helpful, as vet care for the animals is always expensive. When the shelter building on Linden Avenue was built in 1987, the annual expenses total around $25,000. Today we average $26,000 a month. With the new building our expenses will be even higher.
AP staff consists of two full-time and seven part-time employees. They work very hard caring for the animals at the shelter. The shelter also has several volunteers, but they always need more. They need volunteers in all areas. Dog walkers, cat care, office volunteers and fundraising. They would also love to have a professional grant writer. Anyone 16 years or older that would like to volunteer at the shelter should fill out a volunteer application from their website or at the shelter. All new volunteers go through orientation. They are given a tour of the building and all duties are explained and also receive a volunteer handbook with rules and procedures to follow.
AP would like to thank all the officials from New Kensington who encouraged them to stay in the city and helped them get approval. They are looking forward to another 50 years or more of helping the homeless animals in the area.
* * * * *
Congratulations to Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley. May you continue to serve the community well for many more years! ~Ray
Subscribe here to receive future posts in your inbox.your