Pet Connections

South Hills Pet Rescue & Resort

The shelter and resort, located in a shared building, are maintained by a few people making a big difference. They are canine only at this point, accepting dogs from many sources and managing the kennel/resort with a total staff of three (volunteers are limited by insurance due to the behavior care that some of the dogs need.)  The building has fenced in play yards to provide daily exercise and fresh air. Most of the resort guests are previous residents who have been adopted out, as the rescue provides continual care for families that have adopted from them in the past. Kim McClearm, president of the rescue, talked about some specifics of what they do.

Dogs are admitted based on priority needs and available space. “We take all breeds with all need’s” Kim explains. The admission process can be challenging: dogs coming in from animal control may have behavioral challenges that need worked on, while owner surrenders might be bonded and need to be housed and adopted together. Some dogs are fearful or too shy at first to respond and need months or even years of care. And there’s only so much room to offer. One of the dogs there doesn’t like people, so finding a home was impossible. “He came in shut down from a rescue in New Jersey that was going to put him to sleep.” Refusing to give up, Kim provided a home and care for him to live there for rest of his life.  “He’s very territorial in the home and prefers to be a loner, so there are very limited options for him.”

Just the other day, Animal Control called the rescue to take in 2 dogs that had been in a home where the owner passed away and wasn’t discovered until 3 days later. The dogs – collie mixes – were a bonded pair of littermates that had spent their lives together and would struggle if separated. When dogs are young, they can move on if separated and adjust better than senior dogs like these.

When a dog needs special attention for training, the previous owner of the resort, Nick Ferraro, will come in and evaluate the dog. Nick ran South Hills Pet Resort as a boarding and training facility, which he purchased in 2012. Ashley Rittle was having a hard time with her dog and called Nick to request his training services. Little did they know the adventure ahead; they were married in June 2013, and that August, they were asked to help a local animal rescue that had been overwhelmed with dogs pulled from high-kill shelters set to be euthanized for behavioral issues. They agreed to take 13 dogs, but 62 dogs were dropped off at their door filling all of the Resort’s boarding kennels. Nick and Ashley cared for all 62 of these dogs in need, rehabilitating them before finding each dog a forever home. Nick retired two years ago from training & boarding, and sold the business and building the rescue. 

One of the tear-jerking examples of the work they do is the story of Hobo, found on the side of the road near Bentleyville close to death. The dog was likely starved and kept in a crate until someone dumped him on the side of the road. “He was immediately taken to the vet for emergency care; you could see every bone in his body” says Kim. “Even his head was sunken in.” Hobo needed fed little tiny meals every two hours for several months for his body to recover. “Victims of starvation need to slowly build up their food intake or their organs can shut down,” says Kim, “so that’s what we did.” When he received his vaccination, he contracted parvo from the shot, likely because he had never been vaccinated as a puppy. 

All the work paid off though, and he’s now living his best life in a home with another dog.

You can help support their efforts by donating items or cash for vet bills. There’s a bin located on the on the driveway of shelter grounds that physical donations can be placed in from 9am-6pm everyday. For example, the shelter goes through a 50lb bag of Purina One chicken & rice per day (studies have shown that when shelter residents are kept on a consistent diet, they have less stomach troubles which also reduces stress) at an average cost of around $70.  Any of the dogfood that is donated makes a difference for them. They also need basic care items such as towels, bleach and the like. You can find their wish list on their website at, or have items shipped directly to them. 

There’s also a donate button on the site if you prefer, for things like vet services. The organization is too small to have their own vet, so they rely on donations to provide medical care. The rescue uses several locations for care, including  Affordable Vet in Finleyville which takes care of their regular needs and Munhall Vet, who performs their spay and neuter surgeries.

If you’re interested in adopting, email to schedule an appointment to meet available dogs and fill out an adoption application. If you have other pets at home, we will schedule a meet-and-greet with our canine behavioral consultant and your furry friend/s. All SHPR dogs are microchipped, spayed/neutered and up-to-date on age-appropriate vaccinations.

South Hills Pet Rescue is a 501(c)3 organization. Tax ID: 46-5444195

Mail: P.O. Box 224, Monaca, PA 15061

Rescue: 15 Old 88, South Park, PA 15129



December 14, 2023
December 14, 2023


November 22, 2023
December 14, 2023