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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Animal Support Project Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: Crisis intervention and proactive care for owned pets in crisis.

Results: Since officially founded in 2008, The Animal Support Project (TASP) has kept thousands of companion animals safe, healthy and loved in their own homes instead of relinquished to shelters or euthanasia. TASP problem solves "outside the box," bridging gaps in finance, training, logistics and education to deliver enduring solutions to conditions that endanger pets in their homes. Our all-volunteer, all-species servcie organization is building a more humane, more animal-savvy community, one pet at a time.

Target demographics: proactively keep pets out of shelters

Direct beneficiaries per year: 345 pets

Geographic areas served: the Capital District of NY

Programs: veterinary services, food, preventives, training, transportation, grooming, fostering and rehoming if necessary for owned companion animals in crisis.

Community Stories

57 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Richard H.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

TASP is unique because it strives to support people in need so they can keep their pets. I have watched how much they care as they help people. I have donated food to the organization and know that it goes to those who are in need.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am involved with a number of rescue groups and sometimes donate food to TASP. TASP is a unique organization among rescue groups. It is certainly the only one that I know in the Capital Region of NY State that has a mission to keep families and their pets together, supporting families through hard times. I have seen TASP supply pet food to many community food banks in a way that benefits those unable to buy food for their pets. In one specific situation, TASP responded to my request for help with a paraplegic military veteran and supplied food and flea and tick medication. In another case, I asked that a volunteer of TASP travel a long distance to evaluate a dog that the rescue I volunteer with could not take. The dog was very ill and TASP supplied funds to the owner to help with palliative medical care. In the pet rescue community, TASP is acknowledged for its special mission and the role it plays for families in need.

1 Fran M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First heard of this group years ago when I began transporting rescue dogs from down south. Unlike many other rescues, they were more hands-on, meaning fully involved even after the animal was adopted. Recently after the death of our own little doggy angel, we were asked to foster a little Yorkie who had outlived all available housing options. She came with baggage and issues and TASP was always there for us, no matter what. At this point, the little Yorkie is in the process of being adopted and we are the lucky adopters and I know TASP will still be there for us if we need them. Great group, great volunteers and I highly recommend them.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Animal support project goes above and beyond for people and their pets. Unlike any other rescue... tasp helps to keep families and their pets together, offering help with food..and providing service to help keep pet in their own homes with their families. Their love and dedication is endless and inspiring. Thank God for the work they do

Lisa Long K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my big beautiful Jag from The Animal Support Project. He was a handful and they went above and beyond to find the right family to understand him and embrace is inner spirit! Luckily it was us they picked to be his fur-ever family. Forever grateful to them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TASP is unlike any other rescue group I have ever seen, with a real focus on helping people keep their animals in their own homes. Sometimes something as simple as a new fence or temporary fostering can make all the difference in a family's situation, and I think this shift in mindset is incredibly positive for the community.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with TASP since the first van load of animals rescued from hurricane Katrina, and it has been amazing to watch the organization grow and flourish in the years since. TASP has been able to help so many animals, but more importantly has allowed even more people to keep their animals in situations where they would otherwise be forced to give them up. I think this more than anything sets TASP apart from other rescue organizations, and am glad to help them in any way that I can.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the philosophy of this non-profit: "Helping People to help their Pets" This group provides education and financial support to humans and their pets. We adopted a little Chi Joaquin who we love dearly from TASP- he's now 19 yrs old. I'v also enjoyed volunteering to help organize runners for the Mohawk Hudson Marathon for TASP.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

TASP is a great advocate for the animals, I had a stray cross eyed female cat that showed up at my doorstep...once I realized...she was dropped off and nobody came to claim her. I contacted TASP...we talked it over and they were willing to help get her shots and spayed if I kept her. Yes she, Clariese became a member of our family.

1 vball315

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We volunteer with The Animal Support Project because we are able to help provide assistance not only to the animals, but to their owners who may be going through a tough time. Animals who may otherwise be passed up in a traditional shelter are brought in with open arms to The Animal Support Project and are often able to be placed into their forever homes.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first decided to begin volunteering, it wasn't hard to choose TASP to partner with. Working with TASP has allowed me to gain much knowledge of animals I am working with but also animal rescues as a whole. Melinda especially is always going out of her way to help just about anyone who reaches out to her. She puts her heart and soul in to the rescue to raise money to help people who need help caring for their animal, since they don't charge adoption fees everything is paid for through grants and fundraising.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I hadn't planned on getting another dog, but then through a volunteer at the Animal Support Project I heard about Max. Max's previous owner was so ill, she couldn't care for him. Well, Max is a small little elderly poodle with a mega-personality. His eyesight is dimming and body is showing sign of arthritis. I have to come to love this little guy so much. The Animal Support Project helped a woman who had severe health issues and they helped me when they brought Max into my life. They bring love and compassion to the animals but they also touch so many lives in their good work.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a senior chihuahua who desperately needs dental work. He also has a grade 4 heart murmur so going under anesthesia was under question. I needed to get him a sonogram of his heart to make sure he was a candidate for the dental surgery. His quality of life means the world to me. But my finances simply wouldn’t allow me this necessary cardiac workup and surgery. I contacted The Animal Support Project not knowing what they could or could not do for me. Well they surpassed my expectations. Melinda was kind and very well understanding of exactly what my dog needed. And they were able to help me. They are definitely angels. I’m so grateful. Thank you!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The pic w the 3 little pups was our girl, when we got her and her brother she was pregnant and gave birth to 5 but lost 2 and mama stopped eating and so i reached out and got her help immediately these people are wonderful they DESERVE every good review and donation that they get they also got her and her brother flea control and worm meds she is doing great and were so happy to have her home ty so much to everyone for the help, sandy n babies would have died if not for them

1 Erin97

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So proud to be a small part of this group of giving, tireless people. Everyone involved selflessly gives their talents, time, and love to help animals and to help each other.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank You so much for treating and caring for Harley & Stella. I do not have a lot of income and it’s great to know their are places and people like you in the community. The care you provided for my cat and kitten was top-notch and I will highly recommend you to everyone I know. Thanks again, T. Slater

1 Lucinda C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am very proud to be a volunteer with The Animal Support Project (TASP). Unlike the vast majority of other nonprofit animal organizations, adoptions are neither the primary focus nor an expected revenue source. Rather, TASP performs crisis intervention directly with owners to keep animals living with the families that love them. In extreme cases where no other solution is possible and space is available, they will foster and re-home animals. They are this region’s ONLY all-volunteer, all-species companion animal safety net, and their actions reduce the numbers of animals surrendered and/or euthanized for an owner’s lack of funds during a tough time.

A few examples, out of the many performed this year, follow.

Two weekend days were set aside for the first time this year to hand out free Seresto dog and cat collars to low-income families. Several recipients also received coupons for free vaccinations/spay/neuter, and when necessary transportation for the procedure was also provided. Although there was no charge, several people donated whatever they could, and one woman even walked miles with her and her mother’s cats in the sweltering heat to ensure their beloved cats received their collars. (A volunteer drove them back home.)

Two of the successful dog adoptions this year began with calls concerning a young pitbull abandoned at a private boarding facility and a blind senior miniature pinscher who had been surrendered to a local shelter three times. These wonderful dogs deserved so much better and received love, stability, training and confidence during their stay in the TASP program. Happily after a thorough application, reference and home visit process (but no adoption fee), both are now living a happy, secure life with families that adore them.

One crisis that was averted this year concerned a desperate owner with a young chihuahua mother. The mama was not well enough to satisfy her newborn nursing pups and had stopped eating herself. It was unlikely they could survive much longer. The mother and three puppies were all rushed to a TASP vet before being closely monitored and nursed back to health in foster care. The mama will soon be returned to the family that loves her after she is spayed. Her owners will also receive some training and education, supplies and tools to make her return a success. The puppies will remain with TASP until they are vetted and adopted.

While, these examples represent just a small percentage of what TASP has accomplished this year, they demonstrate how TASP stays true to its mission, and by doing so, continues to earn the respect they so rightfully deserve.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Although I have admired The Animal Support Project’s (TASP’s) mission and respected their dedicated volunteers for many years, I only recently volunteered to foster when their co-founder, Mitch Valerien, died unexpectedly leaving seven senior dogs behind.

My experience with TASP has been truly wonderful. Not only do they continue to provide food, supplies, preventative medicines and cover veterinary costs, they helped make Sadie’s transition into my home as seamless as possible for her and my own dogs and cats. Melinda replaced my four foot gates with taller ones to ensure Sadie (who is a scent hound) could not clear them, and built a kennel in case it was necessary to separate any of them outside in the short or long-term. She was also available over the telephone and here in person to answer questions, provide guidance and oversee meets and greets, both on-leash and off. This ease of access, positive support and responsiveness increased all of our confidence quickly, and made for a very smooth transition that has been easy to maintain. These actions represent just a glimpse of the larger picture of services TASP routinely provides to help meet a wide range of personalized needs.

It is amazing how much this small, dedicated team of volunteers accomplishes both on their own, and through partnerships with other like-thinking people and groups/organizations. Award of The Top-Rated Non-Profit Badge would not only acknowledge and honor TASP’s good works, it would also help spread the word about this critical organization. In turn, that will ultimately bring about more success stories of families, once struggling, now able to keep and care for their beloved animals.

(I have attached pictures of the kennel and one of the gates so you can see examples of their work. l have also included pictures of Sadie when she recently passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, and Sadie with my boys, Shadow and Midnite. ❤️

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TASP steps in to help out at a crucial time when pet owners are faced with otherwise having to surrender their pets to a shelter because of unforeseen circumstances. Pets are family members, and keeping that family unit intact is a huge need especially during hard times.

Review from Guidestar

1 Writer

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization help pet owner both keep their pets and pay for much needed medical and other services which most others require to surrender their beloved pets before they are helped. This is both compassionate and plain common sense.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Animal Support Project is one of the few that tries, and succeeds, to keep people and their pets together. Rather than requiring them to relinquish their animals before helping with medical care, they just help. They have helped me on several occasions with medical expenses for my pets, many of whom are seniors and require specialized care. They have helped their neighbors with fencing, foster care and other non medical emergencies. This non profit, all volunteer organization embodies the true meaning of helping. I will always be grateful for their help.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome group. They help so many with community outreach and animal adoptions

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A big Kudos to this organization. When I worked at a veterinary practice I knew if I needed to find someone some help that these were the folks to turn to. Phenomenal group, doing a phenomenal job. Thank you for all that you do!!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

THE AGENCY AND FOSTERS ARE AN INCREDIBLE GROUP OF ANIMAL LOVERS. I HAD ADOPTED A SPECIAL NEEDS SENIOR KITTY. THEY ACTUALLY CAME TO MY HOME FIRST TO MAKE SURE I AND MY HOME WERE SUITABLE. THEN BROUGHT HIM FOR VISITS BE BEFORE RELEASING HIM TO ME. THIS AGENCY CARES ABOUT THE ANIMALS. THEY ARE NOT SIMPLY A "HOLDING CELL"

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Animal Support Project were pretty amazing in helping my mother be able to take in a dog that she otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. They were all to happy to help her with some; vet visits, food, transportation for the pooch, and even with getting a more suitable fence for her yard. And, maybe best of all, working with them was an absolute delight. And now my mother’s home is that much fuller. : )

Colleen Conroy M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

TASP is a wonderful organization! Their main focus is to help pet owners who are struggling to keep their pet because financial, sickness, disasters or other hardships have come into play. They assist with fostering or placement if needed. I have witnessed many rescues and have heard about hundreds of others this fine group of volunteers have done. I am also a proud owner of my best friend Clancy, saved from a kill shelter and brought to me to foster for a week..10 years later, he is still by my side.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Animal Support Project uses creative 'outside the box' solutions to help owners in crisis stay with their four legged family members. Pets love us unconditionally and when people are in crisis they need that love. TASP works to keep pets and owners in healthy, loving relationships.

Kim C.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've seen this group on several occasions , and every time they were professional and went above and beyond in every instance . Hard working and truly dedicated people. Wish more were like them. :)

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've followed this organization for many years, and have always been impressed with the professionalism, and scale of the work they do. They truly make a difference for the animals, and those who love them. Highly recommend!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

The professionalism and compassion this Group has for the animals they rescue is hard to put into words.

They travel near and FAR to help those who can't help themselves. Their mission often becomes a part of their friends and families lives too. They have most definitely touched mine without even trying....

Hard working, selfless people... Blessed to have them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been working with tasp for many years In that time they"ve stayed with me through the death of my Wynona and also sammy davis Jr. who stayed with me to the end of his life
I went to many adoption clinics over the years and have gotten so much more then I ever gave
Now I don"t see Melinda that often because I can"t drive as far any more They are the BEST
Marie Tuosto

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TASP is a wonderful organization, seeking to fill a niche between pet owners and shelters. Unlike many rescue groups which are geared towards finding homes for unwanted, adoptable animals (a fine goal), TASP focuses on keeping pets with their families through times of economic, medical or social conflict. It does so by providing services and products, either at cost, or free, to those who cannot afford things like food or litter, or are unable to care for their pets for a period of time due to medical or other circumstances. Melinda, the president, is a pure powerhouse, who in addition to a full time job, fosters animals along with her own pets, does home visits to those seeking service, delivers supplies all over the Capital District, busies herself with revenue generating activities, such as bi-weekly photo clinics and multiple tag sales, to manning information booths and participating in charitable events, to supervising adoption clinics. TASP almost never turns down a client request and seeks innovative answers to complex situations. I strongly urge support of this organization as it operates on a shoestring and strives to do so much both for animals and people who love them.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Animal Support Project is a wonderful animal welfare association, unique in the sense that it not only rescues animals from perilous situations, but works with families who have pets and are in danger of losing them due to situations involving finance, divorce, moving, etc. In this way they try to treat the symptoms of animal homelessness before it becomes a reality. In addition to regular adoption clinics, manned by tireless volunteers, they also have a special component of their program involving pet portraits, where the public is invited to multiple locations around the Capital District, to bring their four footed family members to be photographed in front of one of a series of colorful backdrops. Although a small fee for the patrons, the funds collected go right back into the agency, and are used to help animals, and their families, in any number of troublesome and potentially tragic circumstances. TASP also forges partnerships with less than obvious partners, one of which is an RPI fraternity. I had the pleasure of accompanying TASP president Melinda, and several volunteers, to a get together at the "House" where Melinda, in a multimedia presentation, outlined the protocols and projects of the organization and specified opportunities for volunteer enhancement. It was state of the art yet very personal, and I'm sure inspired participation from any number of frat boys. I believe in the efforts of the TASP and they deserve all the support they can get to carry on there very important work.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Animal Support Project (TASP) has always been there when we have called for assistance. As a veterinary hospital we often have people who want to provide life saving care for their pets but just simply can't afford it. TASP has stepped in to assist these owners and their pets on many occasions. They also have answered the call for assistance from some of our clients regarding things such as transportation to veterinary care for those owners who no longer drive. This seems a simple thing, but when your pet is sick and you have no way of getting them to proper care this can be a very stressful situation for an owner.
TASP has been wonderful to work with and I highly commend them for the great job that they are doing!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't say how grateful my wife and I are to Melinda and T.A.S.P. We now have a wonderful Dog by the name of Sophie who needed a forever home. After losing our best friend Bojo due to his age and Renal Failure, Sophie came into our lives. She is such a beautiful and loving soul, and like Melinda said,"Probably smarter than a lot of humans you know"

It's hard to find another Dog like the one you loved and lost, but Sophie is like our dear old friend Bojo in a few ways. Her looks and some of her personality favors Bojo's. Sometimes I wonder if Bojo sent Sophie to us.
Sophie has found a forever home in our home and hearts. Thank you Melinda and T.A.S.P.!! Oh, and Bojo!!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have the privilege to live in the same small town that many of the volunteers live in. I have seen first-hand the work that they do for animals and their people not only locally but on a state-wide scale as well. They help those individuals who have very little keep their beloved pets in times of hardship or crisis. They are compassionate and totally dedicated to helping pets and their people.

They are all volunteers, from the president on down, that's what is so amazing about TASP; every dollar they receive in donations or grants goes to help animals. I like that my money goes to the animals, not to pay advertising fees or pay someone's salary. My money really makes a difference to the animals TASP helps.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an Animal Control Officer with small town police department that requested help from The Animal Support Project for a large animal cruelty case involving equines last November (2013). This group showed up with equipment and volunteers with expertice in handling horses and worked with us for most of the day. They were professional, efficient and most helpful handling the animals and assisting in veterinary exams and loading and offloading seized horses on trailers. Afterwords and ongoing we are getting advice and assistance with grant request to recover some of what it cost our small police department. Great group to work with!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Well how do I start, my brother went through a divorce and could not afford to care of his dog, so I took him in with my other 3 dogs and my brother, a few weeks latter his dog got sick and we found out that he had diabetes and needed insulin and a lot of medical care, we could not afford the cost of his care. His name is Hercules and is 6 years old. A loving little guy so good with everyone, he did not ask for his life and this diabetes. My brother and I did not know where to turn, we heard about The Animal Support Project and contacted them. Melinda was our angel and came to our rescue. Hercules was very sick when we brought him to her, she kept us informed of his health and how he was doing. He needed insulin everyday and got better, but became blind due his illness, but still doing well. Melinda worked very hard to find him a new home, so hard to find a home that will take in a dog with diabetes and blind, but she found one In Rhode Island, a wonderful family who now loves Hercules so much. This project payed for the cost of his insulin and vet bills 100% to get him where he is today, without this project, Hercules would have died. What a wonderful organization saving the lives of animals. They are truly my angel. Thank You from the bottom of my heart. Carol Nazir

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came upon "The animal support project" with the help of a 14 year old stray Basset hound who was lost and in pretty poor condition. I was trying to find out how to help this poor old guy find his owners. I called a lot of the local animal welfare people and they did not offer me any advise except take him to the pound. I remembered this organization from their Tag sale. I called and Melinda first thing she said was can you bring him here or shall I come there? She said she would help direct me in finding his family. Not only did she do this but she gave me meds and food for him. I took him home and nursed him back to health and fallowed her advise on how to find his family. Two weeks later Buster the Basset was back in the arms of his loving family. He had gotten scared when the neighbors had fireworks on the fourth of July and took off. He had been on the road all alone and hungry for about 3 weeks. Since then I have been paying it forward as much as possible and volunteering for them. They are a GREAT ORGANIZATION and a fantastic group of people.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I stumbled upon this organization when looking for someone to help me with a stray basset hound with medical issues that i found on a busy highway. I had tried a lot of other organizations and no one would help me. I wanted to find who he belonged too and to help him get home. When i called the ANIMAL SUPPORT PROJECT i was told we will help you can you bring him here or shall we come there ." I was floored." i took him over and they not only helped me by telling me what to do to find his owner but they helped me with his medical issues, giving me worm meds and flea meds, and things like food etc...Thanks to them Buster the basset is now home with his family, and in great shape for being on the road for 3 weeks at 14 years of age...I was so impressed by the overall expertise of these people i now foster dogs for them and would do anything i could to help this wonderful group of "People and Animal friendly "RESCUERS.....THANK YOU.....

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm so happy to share my experience with The Animal Support Project!

Two years ago my vet asked me if I would consider fostering a dog that had a leg injury and whose owner was homeless. I took in Josie and she and my dog Zelda had a terrific time for eight months until her owner could take her back.

Last year I got involved helping homeless people and one of my discoveries was the difficulty and often tragic consequences to their pets. Pets can be a literal lifeline for people when their lives are falling apart. As someone who has personally gone through a few years of severe depression my own dog, Zelda, has literally kept me from giving up on my life.

Now I find myself facing my own potential homelessness and, almost incidentally, I just broke my leg and am now in a cast and walking on crutches! I am fortunate to have a place to move to for one month, but I cannot bring Zelda with me.

The Animal Support Project is doing everything they can to help me find Zelda a new home, or perhaps a foster home until I can back on track. I hope that soon I'll be able to report on our success, even though it will break my heart to lose Zelda.

When I get my life back together I hope I'll be able to help this organization by foster dogs for people in difficult circumstances.

Thanks Melinda and everyone else at The Animal Support Project

Review from Guidestar

Cindi2

Client Served

Rating: 5

EXCELLENT organization. Quick responses. Efficient, reliable, competent people responded to my questions and helped me find the perfect companion. I LOVE THEM!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Mitch and the animal suuport project helped me by fostering my 4 year old Terrier mix. She is a wonderful and can be quite anxious dog when left alone and we were no longer able to care for her. At times she was very lonely and did not have the interaction she needed. We were her 5th home in her 4 years and she desperately needs a "forever" home. She is so lovable and friendly. I was so confident when Mitch contacted me to take her in, the work that the animal support project does and what they stand for is so great! Even though I am very sad to give up "my poor" Nimaue it makes me feel very glad to know that she is getting the attention she needs and the company of other dogs to play with. Even the foster home is better than any home she has had so far. I really appreciate what the animal support project has done for us, Thank You!

Review from Guidestar