In the summer of 1996, I received a frantic phone call from a friend that a dog had just been dumped out of a car on Lake Cook Rd and was dodging cars in the Barrington area.
I was home during a break from college at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois, where I was an Animal Sciences major and planning to continue on to become a veterinarian.
The beautiful little girl that was scared to death and dodging cars was a 6 month old female American Staffordshire Terrier, who we soon named Kiley. She had asphalt stuck to half of her body, road rash on her paws, chin and side and was extremely emaciated.
I had grown up with a family filled with rescue dogs, horses, cats, pigs, parrots and even wildlife that I helped my mom rehabilitate. I had never had anyone as special as Kiley come into my life. She returned to college with me as I continued my last year and she quickly opened my eyes to what I needed to do with my passion for animals.
I needed to open a non-profit, no kill animal shelter for all breeds of dogs and cats. Animal House Shelter was established in June of 2002. When we began our mission, Kiley helped us in so many ways. Her temperament was so gentle & loving, she was a natural to help us determine if an animal was dog-friendly. She also mothered many orphaned puppies throughout the years and greeted all of the families coming to the shelter looking to adopt. She was always the most excited to see children there to volunteer or adopt and was sure to showering each of them with many kisses.
Kiley and my mom, who was also my best friend, were and always will be my source of inspiration for Animal House Shelter, Inc. They inspired our organization to carry out our mission to save homeless dogs and cats from euthanasia that we rescue from high kill facilities all over the country.
I lost Kiley to adrenal cancer in 2008. I lost my mom to cancer just 3 years ago. Because they both were such special souls that impacted my life in ways that I can not fully explain, AHS has now rescued, rehabilitated and found forever homes for over 45,000 dogs and cats to date.
We have outgrown our current facility in Huntley and desperately need your help to expand in order to save over 5,000 lives per year. This building expansion will include a low cost spay/neuter clinic, training facility not only for the animals we rescue but also to train therapy dogs for our Mutts for Military program to place homeless animals with veterans suffering from PTSD, sanctuary rooms for our long term residents, adoption bonding rooms for adopters to spend times with homeless animals to decide who will become a permanent part of their family, children's education room to teach children how to treat animals, (birthday parties, girl scout, brownie, cub scout, eagle scout and school group tours.)
This new building will not only help us to save over 5,000 animals a year but will help us provide low cost veterinary care to the community, give back to the veterans that have served this country, educate future generations of children and impact so many families' lives with the adoption of a new beloved family member.
Please help my Mom, Kiley and my dream come true to have a huge positive impact on our society!
To the right of this you will see the link "Animal House Shelter Building Expansion" that you can click on to get even more details on the New Building Project to be built on the existing shelter property with a detailed layout, pictures & a video!