Michele Allen’s life changed when she adopted a 13-pound shelter dog named Monkey, who only had a few more months to live. Robin’s Spotlight is moving to Southampton, New Jersey to share this story. Michele and her husband, Jeff, knew what they were getting into adopting a terminally-ill dog. Despite that, however, they loved and cared for him as much as they would have with any other dog. Although Monkey’s death was really hard on them, they were inspired to go above and beyond in his honor. Now, the couple are the proud owners of Monkey House, a six-acre farm where they care for other terminally-ill dogs. Since 2015, this non-profit has been a loving home for dogs to spend their final days.
Allen has changed most people’s perspectives who think a dog hospice would be a sad place. For her and all these dogs it really is “the happiest place on earth.” Caring for 25 dogs at a time; Michele, Jeff, and their 50 volunteers certainly keep busy. Based on their medical needs, each dog gets home-cooked meals and also receives herbs and natural supplements, acupuncture and chiropractic care. "It's extremely important to me that we not fail them in their final moments," she said. "I want them to have a very gentle passing, and I want them feeling as loved and supported as they can be."
Michele said in an interview they’ll do whatever they have to do to accommodate the dogs. She’s found that nutrition has tremendously helped as a first step. Many dog’s issues have been toned down in the first week with this nutritional change. The organization has a veterinarian and even rehabilitation specialist who help as well. Allen’s words on how this experience has changed her life is absolutely heartwarming.
“Every life matters, and their lives matter tremendously. In the shelter world, statistically, every dog here could be put to sleep right now. That's just a horrible injustice to these companion animals who have brought us joy, have brought us love and have licked our tears. They shouldn't leave like that.” Now, when she hears joyful noises or sees a dog walk that didn’t before, that’s what keeps her going, that’s what is so incredible. Your story and work brings smiles to all of us, Michele! You’re changing lives everyday- what an amazing way to Be Robin Hood.