Written by: Carlin Goodwin

Lucy’s House for the Prevention of Homeless Pets

Like many in the Vermont/New Hampshire area, and indeed all across the nation, I am not ignorant of the financial difficulties facing many of our neighbors in these troubled economic times. What I will admit to being ignorant to is the consideration of just how far reaching these needs have extended. Ignorant until, however, I stumbled across a website about a non-profit organization called Lucy’s House for the Prevention of Homeless Pets, a Pet Food Bank located in Essex Junction, VT.

Lucy’s House is an organization assembled in order to help pet owners and the friends they can’t afford to lose, but at times find they can’t always afford to keep. Caring for a pet can be very expensive, and can be especially draining for those whom deal with a low income, medical issues, or the elderly, living on a fixed budget. Lucy’s House helps to assuage these costs as often as they can, in order to help families stay together, and not have to be split up, sending their beloved animal friends to the shelter, or simply abandoning them to fend for themselves, which is emotionally and mentally draining for both pet and owner alike.

As I eagerly checked my email for a message from Jan Ellis-Clements, Executive Director for the Board of Directors of Lucy’s House, I received a message, one large paragraph, apologizing for the lateness of her reply. She was detained by an emergency vet visit for a woman with a puppy who had ingested a small object and needed emergency surgery. She explained that she was pre-occupied with setting up a medical appointment and trying to figure out the payment for the procedure, as the medical funding they receive was not due for another month. Luckily through a partnership with a local vet as well as the understanding of the veterinarian in practice, they were able to make arrangements to save the puppy, and I’m sure, the happy and relieved puppy-parent as well. I was taken aback by Ms. Ellis-Clements politeness in thinking that she should apologize to me, as I was simply staring at a laptop screen, while she was helping to save a life, possibly two. But considering all of the good works that Lucy’s does, kindness seems to be a trait they carry in excess.

Besides helping with emergency medical bills and delivering 12,000 pounds of food a month to food banks and meals on wheels programs, Lucy’s also offers support in dog training and pet planning for possible imminent relocation , and information on Trap-Neuter-Release programs for feral cat population control in order to cut down the homeless animal population explosion in the area. There are multiple ways that we as a community can help to support Lucy’s House, including donations of money, pet food, homemade dog biscuits and dog and cat toys.

A lot of people all over are making a lot of sacrifices in how they live and their quality of life through no fault of their own. And we donate what we can; canned foods, water bottles, send texts to various phone numbers in order to help out where we can. But to make a big difference in the stomachs AND hearts of many, it’s as easy as dropping off a bag of kibble. How much do we have to sacrifice to survive in today’s economic climate to keep our families together? Thanks to the big hearts and sharp minds at Lucy’s House, not more than we can bear.

Donations can be sent to:

Lucy’s House for the Prevention of Homeless Pets, Inc.
Attention: Executive Director Jan Ellis-Clements
21 Foster Road
Essex Junction, VT 05452

You can also call: (802) 879-0898 or find them on Facebook to learn about more opportunities to help, or to volunteer your time.