In the mid 1970’s, the idea of an animal shelter where no animal would be killed was considered impractical and, to some, unrealistic. Yet the founders of Animals In Distress, most of whom had been active in the traditional local shelters for years, grew weary and more upset as thousands of healthy animals, right here in the Lehigh Valley, as well as nationwide, were killed. Nationwide, in that decade, an estimated 27 to 33 million cats and dogs were killed each year by shelters who had run out of room for them.

The founders of Animals In Distress – led by people like Martha Falk, Mildred Shirk and Dorothy King – decided to create an organization dedicated to helping the animals who would have little or no chance elsewhere – animals that were truly in distress. These animals would be given shelter, medical care, and time – time to heal and to recover. The assumption was that there was a home for every animal IF there was just enough time to find it.

Over the past 35 years, Animals In Distress has been blessed with the help of many caring people who have donated money and time to keep its doors open. Some Board members – specifically Nancy Michener, Rose Yanger, and Lois Gadek – have actively served on the Animals In Distress Board of Directors for over 25 years. Other newer members of the Board and staff share a common dedication to the organization’s principles and are important to the future success of the shelter. They will continue the organization’s work, with compassion and dedication.

Animals in Distress