Are You in the Doghouse?

Valley Save-a-Pet, Inc., a respected pioneer for Northeastern Ohio’s no-kill movement in the humane treatment of animals, was founded in 1976 by a small group of friends dedicated to alleviating the suffering and mistreatment of animals.

In the early days, VSAP relied on donations, memberships, word-of-mouth publicity, and a totally volunteer workforce to breathe life into their mission. Fostering cats and dogs until they were able to be adopted into forever homes was a top priority, but how to do it?

And who could possibly have imagined that one small idea would lead us all straight into the doghouse?

Needing to raise additional money for small, high-priority programs, founders Jackie and Art Kaplansky suggested a small, wooden doghouse with a slot in its roof to both encourage donations and to raise awareness about VSAP. A sample doghouse was built by a friend, and then another…and another! Thanks to local merchants and veterinarians, the doghouse project was off and running.

Thirty-nine years later, more than 80 doghouses have been built and placed, with more on the way. Following the original design, David and Sylvia Wenmen of Aurora currently build and paint the houses. Then the doghouses are off to VSAP headquarters, where volunteer Nancy Straughter hand letters the roofs and attaches an information card to the front of each one.

Before being assigned a final destination, each house is registered with the Program Manager, Chuck Carll, who records and will track their placements. Volunteers regularly collect donations for deposit.

If you are a Very Special Animal Person who knows of a location in your community that is willing to display a doghouse, or if you would like to monitor an existing one, please call (440) 232-9124.

Contributions to the “In the Doghouse” project may also be made via our online option, right here at

 All proceeds from the doghouse project support VSAP’s core programs: Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation, Have a Heart Spay-Neuter, TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) and Adoption.

 The next time you see one of these little boxes around town, we hope you will remember this story, thank the merchant or vet, and join us — in the doghouse!



Valley Save-A-Pet was established in 1976. Since that time we have worked tirelessly to provide shelter, health care and a future filled with love for the cats and dogs we have rescued.
We operate one of the most extensive spay and neuter programs in Ohio including our ”Trap, Neuter and Return” (TNR) feral cat project. We also provide funds for emergency veterinary care of animals owned by people in financial need.
We are a totally a volunteer organization which depends on your contributions to meet our operating budget. 100% of all donations goes to helping animals.


** Please consider donating so we can continue helping all the animals in need. You can do so by using the Donate button on your right. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.


Buddy aka as “Ivan” was with Valley Save-A-Pet for some time.  He was passed up so many times and we could not figure out why.  Buddy is a sweet, loving, playful and an all around wonderful cat.  Kathy saw him and fell in love with him.  She adopted him and in a short time he and Grace were best friends.  This picture tells the story.  Ivan even watches TV.  He loves to play with balls and will kick them back to you.  Thank you, Kathy, for loving him and giving him the home he deserves.  He is a happy l’il guy living with two labs and another cat, who all get along great.