Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley

Mission Statement

The mission of our no-kill shelter is to find safe, loving homes for abused, abandoned, and homeless animals in the A-K Valley and to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.

Our Vision

To always be a trusted and caring no-kill animal shelter that the community looks to for animal rescue, education, and resources.

Our History

Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley was founded in 1966 as a network of foster homes providing temporary shelter and adoption services for abandoned and unwanted animals. From 1966 through 1985, volunteers fought to end the practice of euthanizing abandoned dogs in the city of New Kensington. The group raised funds to help with veterinary care and food for these strays by asking for donations from friends and relatives, many times paying the bills themselves.

Prior to 1985, the city of New Kensington paid a dog catcher to control city strays. The dog catcher was a local citizen, who used the dog catching position as a part-time evening job. The dog catcher retrieved strays from the streets, temporarily housing them in a small dog pound behind the city’s municipal building. The pound had room for only six dogs and there were no spaces available for stray cats, puppies or kittens. No hot water was available in the building. Only basic care, food and water, was provided to the animals. No veterinary care was available. The city dog catcher would often find homes for the strays or would reunite them with their original owner. If homes were not found, the animals were euthanized.

In 1985, the members of Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley received reports that the dog catcher had left the dogs in the pound unattended for several days during a particularly cold period. The group asked the city to allow them to assume management of the city dog pound, cleaning and feeding the animals housed here. The original agreement was informal and all members were given keys and access to the pound.

A cooperative agreement reached with the city of New Kensington in 1986 provided a permanent shelter for Animal Protectors. This partnership also provided a portion of the $95,000 required for the shelter project. A Department of Agriculture grant and matching private donations secured by Animal Protectors provided the additional funding needed.

The shelter was built on a gently sloping lot, approximately 195 ft. x 272 ft., all owned by the city of New Kensington. The small shelter that was constructed in 1986 is the shelter that is currently in use by Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley. It is a one-story concrete block building with outside dimensions of 54 ft. x 42 ft., un-insulated, with a flat roof. It consists of 21 dog kennels, three small rooms that are used for medical treatment, a common cat room, and the shelter office. There is one bathroom also used for storage, as well as a galley kitchen with room for two washing machines and two clothes dryers.