PO Box 77
Lucernemines, PA 15754
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Last Updated:
9/18/2013 7:32 PM

  Starfish To the sea Animal Rescue

"Animal rescue is certainly time consuming, emotionally draining, thankless and underrated work.  But fulfilling... oh, is it fulfilling.  The first wag of a tail that has long forgotten how; the feel of the purring sigh of a contented cat drifting off to sleep on my lap; and even the happy chatter of guinea pigs as they rifle through their salad bowls looking for that favorite piece of fruit or veggie... if there were no other sensations in my life, that would be enough to keep me moving forward." - Crystal Collins, founder Starfish To the sea Animal Rescue

 Sally Beach


Starfish To the sea Animal Rescue is a multi-species rescue based in Southwestern PA.  We are a foster-operated rescue, meaning we are cageless (some exceptions apply- such as birds or small mammals!)  Our goal is to help our animals as individuals rather than treat them like numbers and make a real difference in their lives.  We may not be able to "save them all," but we don't use that as an excuse not to save as many as we can!  STAR promises each and every animal in its care that it will never again feel lost or abandoned, left "stranded on the beach," and will be returned to the proverbial sea with a brand new life!

How did your rescue get its name?

The philosophy stems from a poem based on a work called The Star Thrower, by naturalist and anthropologist Loren Eiseley. 

See our Starfish and Other Poems page for the story!

What kind of animals will you accept?

Typically, we will accept any common household pet- from mouse to dog or parrot or turtle.  We are limited by our foster home capacity, unfortunately.  In most cases, we can accept nearly any animal we come across as long as we can house it. In some situations, we have placed animals while they are still in their original homes- we call this owner-fostering.

See Surrendering your pet for more information.

Can I come to see your pets?
Generally, no.  Our pets are kept in foster homes and we do not want to put our fosterers in a situation where they cannot preserve their privacy.  Whenever possible, we try to make arrangements for the pet in question to attend the home visit that is required prior to adoption.  In those cases, there is no obligation to adopt, of course.
How are you different than a no-kill shelter?

 Our animals are housed with families, as part of the family.  Rather than being caged, we can keep them in a similar situation to how they might live in their new homes, furthering their preparation for a new life!  Daily, around-the-clock supervision and observation allows us to better understand the animals in our care, and thus make a better potential family match.  It is our goal to find not only "a" home for our rescues, but "the" home- the right place to hang their hats (collars?)  We feel this is much more acheivable for us than if we kept a typical shelter.

See Fostering! if you would like to know more.

Why do you need to come to my home?

Imagine loving someone unconditionally, and having that love returned to you with reckless abandon.  You care for them, you help them in a time of need, nurturing and watching them grow.  Then you have to say goodbye as someone you have only just met and barely know takes them away forever.  The peace of mind that comes with knowing where "forever" will take place is priceless.  That is why we require home visits for every adoption.

Unfortunately, there are many cruel people in the world who obtain animals and then treat them poorly.  There are also many people who would lie on their applications- and do, when adopting from a shelter or rescue that does not screen the home.  By requiring a home visit, we are doing our best to ensure that we are sending a pet to a home that cares for its current animals, will keep the animal in a manner that meets or exceeds the terms of the contract, and has been forthright with the information on the application.  We are not inspecting your home for dust, just making sure the pet in question will be a good fit for your family.  We have even helped first-time pet owners make their home more puppy-proof by offering suggestions, or given advice about where to keep a dog's crate.  Most home visits are pleasant and enjoyable- we've made friends with potential adopters for other rescues by volunteering to do home visits!

I don't live nearby.  Can I still volunteer/adopt?

Absolutely-though there are certain limitations.  If we cannot find a home visit volunteer in your area, we cannot foster or adopt to you.  We are very sorry, but we can't send a pet to a home that no one has seen before- it is too dangerous.  Generally, if you are in the eastern half of the United States or even southeastern Canada, we can accommodate you!  See Adoption Info for more details!

Volunteers are always welcome- there are many things you can do for our rescue without having to be any farther than your keyboard or telephone! See Volunteer Info for more details

My local shelter has a smaller adoption fee- why are your prices so different?
Though we are a tax-exempt organization and our vets are wonderful, we do not receive the discounts that shelters typically do from their veterinarians, and we do not have an on-staff doctor.  We are grateful for any breaks our veterinarians will give to us but we understand that they cannot lose income for every animal we rescue.  Also, we receive no state or governmental funding or grants.  In addition, we usually do more complete and thorough vetting of our pets- beyond neutering and vaccinating, we perform dental cleaning or bloodwork when necessary and for every senior; every dog or cat receives a heartworm or feline leukemia test, and we place our animals on Frontline and Interceptor or Heartgard!  Rest assured that compared to what we must pay for our pets' medical care and what you would most likely pay at your own vet, you are walking away with a bargain at our adoption fee rate.