The idea to build Noah’s Animal House, on the grounds of The Shade Tree Shelter (Nevada’s largest shelter for abused women and children) – to provide boarding, veterinary services, and daily care, for the pets of the shelter’s clients – came to Staci Columbo Alonso (one of The Shade Tree’s directors), after she was contacted by the shelter’s executive director, for help with a new client who would not commit to the program, without her beloved cat.  

Following this interaction (whence she envisioned a world without “No Pets Allowed” signs, at any American domestic violence shelter), and realizing how many Shade Tree clients were seeking the same protection and safety for their pets as themselves; Alonso spearheaded the charge to make Noah’s Animal House a reality.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Noah’s Animal House; over the course of which, more than 1,400 pets (not just dogs and cats, but also guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, and birds) have been cared for and protected for 85,000 boarding nights.  By acknowledging that victims of domestic abuse will not leave their pets behind (to be abused as payback); Alonso, and an incredible board, chaired by the indefatigable Diana Bennett, have let those women know that, thanks to Noah’s Animal House, abandoning their furry or feathered loved ones, is no longer an option they have to consider.

This is why the recidivism rate for women at The Shade Tree without pets is more than 10%; whereas the return rate for those with pets at Noah’s is less than 2%.  In other words, those women with ready access to their pets (providing them with the comfort and healing necessary for their recovery) are far more likely to break the cycle, and move forward with an abuse-free life.  And that’s amazing, any way you look at it.

Now, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Noah’s Animal House, the organization is throwing an Animal House-themed celebration, inside Crimson, at Red Rock Resort Casino & Spa; featuring live entertainment by the “number one party band in America” – Otis Day & the Knights (“Shout,” “Shama Lama Ding Dong”).   And, because I’m in that sort of mood, here’s a teensy bit, on them!

Originally a fictional band, created for the now-iconic 1978 film National Lampoon’s Animal House; Otis Day & the Knights featured actor DeWayne Jessie as ‘Otis’ – lip-synching to Jamaican reggae singer, Lloyd Williams’ vocals of songs by The Isley Brothers (“Shout”) and Mark Davis and William Peace (“Shama Lama Ding Dong”) – and Grammy-winning bluesman Robert Cray, as the Knights’ bass player. 

The musically-inclined Jessie (older brother, Young Jessie, sang harmonies for The Coasters) had already racked-up acting credits in television (Kojak, Police Story, Starsky & Hutch) and film (Car Wash, Thank God It’s Friday); and after the commercial success of the film (and its soundtrack album), producers encouraged Jessie to begin working under the name ‘Otis Day’ and tour, with the danceable treatments of late-‘50s and early-‘60s rock and soul, that they did so well.  The act was so successful (they played 260 sold-out dates, their first year on the road), that they released an album (the George Clinton-produced, Shout), in 1989.   And now, back to our program…

(So, where was I...?  Oh, yes!)  Guests will be encouraged to partake of complimentary beverages (including bottomless Jungle Juice, in red Solo cups); a delicious array of food that you ain’t gonna find in any cafeteria (no food-fights, if you please); complimentary ‘College’ t-shirts (for channeling your inner Bluto Blutarsky); an auction with both silent and live components; an Animal House trivia contest; and rides-home via Shopping Cart.*  I'm gonna be there; and I hope you will be, too!

Noah’s Animal House | 10th Anniversary Celebration
Crimson | Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
Friday, November 17th | 7-10pm
Click HERE for info and tickets

Get into it!

[Editor's Note: They did it, in the movie…  Besides, it's nice to know that you're paying attention.]

Related Articles: