Living The Last Moments To The Fullest │ Monkey’s House, A Dog Hospice and Sanctuary

Living The Last Moments To The Fullest │ Monkey's House, A Dog Hospice and Sanctuary


Living The Last Moments To The Fullest │ Monkey’s House, A Dog Hospice and Sanctuary

Needing to cope with the impending loss of a beloved pet is probably a pet parent’s worst nightmare. It would be like losing and mourning a family member. It’s fortunate if an old or terminally ill person belongs to a loving home. 

Though, what happens to those who live in shelters? Can they be given the same attention, care, and devotion?

Jeff Allen and his wife, Michele, wanted to help save shelter dogs nearing their end. They made it their life mission to give them the best memories and to treasure them until their last breath. 


Life at the Dog Hospice and Sanctuary

Living The Last Moments To The Fullest │ Monkey's House, A Dog Hospice and Sanctuary

“My wife and I started a non-profit Dog Hospice, which is very unique.”

The couple is a life-long animal advocate. They started by fostering shelter dogs with major or multiple medical issues deemed unadoptable by most. 

On their humble 6-acre farm, they built a home for these dogs. They met their needs, gave them affection, and cared for them up until their last moments. 

“They started giving us all the very sick dogs because she knew how to care for them when most people couldn’t.”

The couple felt the need to do more when they realize the lack of funding for these specific types of dogs. They have more needs than most dogs, with medications and veterinary care treatments. Unfortunately, dog shelters generally have little funding to begin with. 

That pushed the couple to action. The Monkey’s House was born. It was named after their adopted dog, Monkey, who passed in 2015. He was a stray dog that fate guided to a no-kill shelter before ending up in the care of the Allen family.

Monkey thrived for 17 months, living the final chapters of his life to the fullest. 

The non-profit started by simply opening up a social media page, precisely a Facebook page, which blew up over time. Currently, it has over 100,000 followers and counting! 

Monkey’s House operates and functions with the help of sponsors, donations, and volunteers. It continues to grow for the lives it’s fostering and caring for. 


Living Life to the Fullest at Monkey’s House

Living The Last Moments To The Fullest │ Monkey's House, A Dog Hospice and Sanctuary

One of the famous events of the organization is its field trips, which take their dogs on a fun day out. These days and memories genuinely make the lives of these dogs exciting and worth living. 

“With all the disabilities and conditions these dogs have, they love living every moment.”

Aside from managing the non-profit, Jeff is also an accomplished author with two award-winning books. 

He wrote ‘Where dogs go to live!’, which features heartwarming and inspiring stories of 37 dogs from the Monkey’s House. Throughout the book, readers will see glimpses of the dogs’ lives.

Jeff also wrote, ‘Life’s a dog bone, chew it all day long.’ It is a coffee table book featuring a beautiful collection of dog photographs. Scrolling through the pages, you will experience the lives and memories of these dogs. 

Both books are available on Amazon if you’re interested to know more. 

“Do not throw away dogs. They have life to live. They have love to give and love to receive.”

In opening Monkey’s House, Jeff and Michele hope to inspire and encourage others to take the same path. They genuinely believe that every dog’s life matters. 


You can find more information about the non-profit at

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Jeff: Hi, my name is Jeff Allen, and welcome to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chis: Awesome introduction, Jeff.  So,  thank you, glad to have you here.Why don’t you start us off? Tell us who you are and how you’re innovating and helping animals.

Jeff: So, my wife and I started a—nonprofit dog hospice, which is very unique. Most people’s question is, “What’s a dog hospice?”

So in 2015, we started this, and we take dogs from shelters that are going to be destroyed because they have— usually, multiple major medical issues and they’re unadoptable.

So, we take them here. We have a little six-acre farm. It’s all in a home environment, and they seem to thrive.

Their final chapter is their best chapter, we like to say.

Chris: Oh, that’s nice.

You said 2015 is when you started this. So, take us back to 2015. What was going through your mind? What really prompted you to start Monkey’s House?

Jeff: First off, my wife is a retired nurse, so, she has medical experience. And we were doing a lot of fostering for shelters in the area. They started giving us all the very sick dogs because she knew how to take care of them, where most people couldn’t.

And we had a little dog, no—actually, a bigger dog named: Goldie. She was a golden retriever. She was supposed to get surgery in a few weeks.

My wife Michelle, to try to get weight on her. The shelters, they’re strapped for money, especially for a dog that is more or less a hospice dog, but they’re still going to try to do that surgery.

She took her to her own vet. She actually said, “This is my dog.” Because she’s not supposed to do that when you’re fostering the dog— we paid for it.

And they said, “No, I really think that this dog, Goldie has cancer.”

So, the surgery was called off.

My wife said to me, “We’re going to adopt Goldie.”

And I kind of questioned her at first and said, “Why are we adopting, we are already fostering her?”

And she said, “No, she’s not going to go to the Rainbow Bridge without a family.”

That’s when we realize that there’s a lack of funding for these types of dogs. I mean, there’s a lack of funding in general in dog rescue, but especially the dogs that are really hospice dogs. They don’t have that long to live, and they usually are just escorted into the back of the shelter and destroyed.

And then we had a dog named, Monkey. That’s how Monkey’s House came. 

Now Monkey, the same kind of story came to us—shelter vet said, “Oh, just take them home, let him rest.”

“He’ll probably live maybe a month or two.”

And that wasn’t good enough for my wife. She said, “He has a heart condition.” I know we can get inexpensive meds even from Walmart.

So, we adopted Monkey, saw our vet, our cardiologist, he thrived for 17 months, and then after he passed, we said, “That’s it, we have to do something to help these dogs.”

And my wife actually opened up a Facebook page and that was it in 2015. 

So, 2015 is when it officially became Monkey’s House. As you said, there was quite a journey before that point.

Chris: Now, you’re still working a day job, aren’t you? Like, this is not like your full-time thing.

Jeff: I work in corporate America, probably more like 50-60 hours a week, but I do this—I’m actually finding more time because I’m mostly remote now because of COVID, which fits well.

So, I help with the dogs in the morning and I help at night. I do more of the— I call it: the back office work,  the fundraising, all the donor management,  the different campaigns we have.

But my wife is truly the medical expert and we partner with different veterinarians that help us out and give us a break.

Chris: So, how many dogs do you guys have at Monkey’s House at any given time?

Jeff: We used to always have around 25 dogs. 

Because we have blind dogs, we have deaf dogs, we have blind and deaf dogs and we have some of the bigger dogs.

These little dogs are going around. I call it almost like a pinball, right? They’re banging into these bigger dogs and like after a while the big dog says, hey, I had enough of this.

So, some of the dogs that really can’t tolerate that are out in the cottage or in the garage, but mostly I’d say there’s probably 75%, 80% of them are in the house with us.

We have volunteers, my wife calls it— we call the volunteers aunts and uncles because she says, “They have to be part of the family to really understand the dogs and work best with the dog.”

So, we have a lot of aunts and uncles that come over—and let me tell you about feeding, so, we don’t feed kibble, we are holistic feeding.

So, some dogs will get raw, some will get home-cooked, some will get all different varieties.

You talk about turkey, chicken, beef, pork and then different supplements and they will still get the medicines that they need.

Well, nontraditional and traditional. So, we do a combination of both.

Chris: How are you guys funding all this?

Just through donors—I mean, the food bill alone, every month must just be astronomical.

Jeff: It is, luckily we work with a company called, all provider, they’re a raw food provider. They give us about 50 pounds a week, donated.

We buy another, probably close to 80 pounds a week from them. We buy other products as well.

That’s not the only food that we will serve. So, it is expensive.

But we are a nonprofit 501(c)(3), and we are donation-based. When we started this—and it still is my work says, “It’s all about the dogs.”

We started the Facebook and the social media. Now we’re up to, I think, close to 100,000 followers.

It’s pretty amazing how the community grows.

Chris: Now, this obviously wasn’t enough to keep you busy, because then you said, you know what, I’m going to write a book and tell the story about this. Tell me more about that.

Jeff: This is my first book, which is an Amazon best seller, and I also won a gold award for, reader’s favorite books It’s: Where Dogs Go To Live.

It tells all about the hospice, but really I wanted to focus on the dog’s lives. 37 dogs are featured in here, because—and some people say, well, why did you write the book?

I wrote the book because their lives matter.  To somebody, they didn’t matter.

Sadly, 90% of the dogs we take in were dumped at the shelter. One other book, I just wanted to show this and plug it.

Life’s A Dog Bone, Chew It All Day Long!

This is a coffee table book that has pictures of the dogs and some quotes. Most of the quotes I made up. They’re funny, they’re cute.

There’s a couple of books out there. You can get them on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

We’re famous for our field trips. We used to be a senior citizen bus, which is now a senior dog bus, we call it. 

It’s called Waggin One.Just like Air Force One.

We pile 25 dogs on the bus with a few volunteers. The other volunteers will meet us at the Jersey shore.

A few times a year, we’ll go down there. The dogs that can’t walk, we put them in strollers.

Or sometimes we have a backpack. We throw a little dog in the backpack. They love it. Even Tequila, which was a cocker spaniel who had no eyes.

With all the disabilities that these dogs have, they love living every moment.

Chris: I mean, since you started this, have you learned anything about yourself? 

Jeff: Yeah, I’ve actually become a lot more tolerant, I think.

But it teaches me to enjoy every moment, that I can.

Chris: Yeah, I was going to say, they definitely— like you said, they live in the moment. They’re living for today, and 5they’re enjoying the best life.

And it sounds like you’re giving them a nice, comfortable place with great food. It sounds like a great Airbnb that I’d like to visit.

Well, Jeff, this has been really nice to talk to you and learn more about Monkey’s House, tell people where they can go, and learn more about you guys and follow and support you. 

Jeff: So, they can go to our website, it’s MONKEYSHOUSE.ORG to learn more about us, but if you really want to  follow us on Facebook or Instagram, more on Facebook.

But every night we put post out. Like I said, we have a lot of followers. And you could just find Monkey’s House on Facebook about these hospice dogs.

They’re not throwaway dogs. They have life to live. They have love to give and love to receive.

Chris: I always like to wrap up the show, just reminding our viewers and listeners that maybe you’re listening to this and you’re saying, hey, I know I got a great idea, or, I know somebody you should talk to, Chris.

I’d love to have them on the show.

Just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW and we’d love to feature them or feature you if you’re the person that’s got the idea.

And please don’t forget to check out DOOBERT.COM where you can sign up to be a Dooberteer.

We always need more fosters, more transporters, more people that want to help out our animals and rescues and shelters. 

So, Jeff, thank you again for coming on. Thank you for what you guys are doing with Monkey’s House and it was really great to talk to you.

Jeff: Thank you for having me on, I appreciate it.

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