What: More than 1,500 dogs and 200 cats have found a new chance at a happy life thanks to Northeast PA Pet Fund and Rescue.

Founded in August 2013, the Scranton-based nonprofit aims “to reduce the overpopulation of cats and dogs in Northeast PA and our southern states,” Director Shannon Ceccoli said. It takes in animals surrendered by local owners, pulled from shelters and rescued from the South, finding foster families to keep the pets “healthy, safe and loved until they are adopted,” Ceccoli said. The rescue makes sure animals stay up to date on shots, are spayed or neutered, and are microchipped.

“We make sure all our animals are happy and healthy before we adopt them to their forever homes,” Ceccoli said. “We also provide permanent sanctuary to animals who are deemed ‘un-adoptable’ due to their age, medical prognosis or even the severity of trauma they have suffered.”

The rescue focuses on the “core values” of respect, integrity, love, trust, accountability and liability, without which “we could not what we do every day without each other,” Ceccoli said.

“We never want to see an animal without a home to call its own,” she added.

Why: While Ceccoli has noticed “an increased interest in people opening up their hearts and homes to our adoptable pets” since the pandemic began, the rescue has encountered challenges over the last year. It cannot hold adoption or fundraising events because of the pandemic, so it lost out on “necessary revenue (like) we relied on in previous years,” Ceccoli said, and fees from adoptions only cover so much. It also continues to need foster families since it does not have a housing facility for its adoptable pets, and once it can hold adoption events again, the rescue will need volunteers, too.

How: People interested in fostering animals can visit the rescue’s website, nepapetrescue.com, and fill out a foster care application. Anyone interested in volunteering should email nepapet@gmail.com and include how they can help. Monetary donations can be mailed to, Northeast PA Pet Fund and Rescue, P.O. Box 3953, Scranton, PA 18505.

The rescue has a lottery calendar fundraiser already underway for May and will hold another in June, and it welcomes fundraising ideas, too. To reach the rescue, call 570-357-8032.

In her own words: “(Support and donations) would help to assist Northeast PA Pet Fund and Rescue to continue the wonderfully fulfilling work we currently do. But for our adoptable pets, it would mean the world to them, by assisting in finding them a forever family and home.” — Shannon Ceccoli, director