Our Story

The Animal Debt Project, Inc

Our Story

We started in California.  Jeff Myers lived in Southern and Edie Messick lived in Northern California. Jeff was friends with the Rescue Coordinator at the Los Angeles County Downey Shelter. Downey had an awesome long hair Dachshund mix, who was in terrible shape but always with a smile on her face. She was kept in Medical Isolation due to her condition. Jeff was asked to visit and meet her and adopt her if possible. It was a no brainer!  When Jeff met this darling girl, she had no fur, scabs everywhere, tail wagging furiously and a HUGE smile on her face. Jeff immediately fell in love and took her home. DARLA was the beginning of the vision for The Animal Debt Project. Later, Jeff was asked to take in a senior Shitzu with cancer who had very little time left. Jeff accepted and Grandpa Jack went home with Jeff. Once in a home with dogs and humans who loved him, Grandpa Jack lived another full four months before crossing the Rainbow Bridge.

Edie Messick, while on vacation in September 2012, came across a FaceBook site, Paws To The Rescue (PTTR) headed by a wonderful woman, Jen Nall, in South Carolina.  PTTR needed some help in funding transport for some dogs so Edie contributed.  This started a friendly relationship between Edie and PTTR and inspired Edie to become more involved in the rescue of dogs. Edie found a little girl in the Downey shelter and just knew it was meant to be. Arrangements were made and Jeff Myers was asked by the Rescue Coordinator at Downey if he could hold the little girl for a few days until Edie could make the drive from Northern California.  Jeff agreed, contacted Edie and asked her if she could take “just one more”. Hence, Lucy and Daisy were the first two rescues Edie made from the Los Angeles area. While picking the girls up, Jeff and Edie discussed his long term vision for The Animal Debt Project and a partnership was formed. Lucy and Daisy were immediate foster failures with a dear friend of Edie’s in Northern California. Informally, Edie started making the drive to Southern California once or twice a month, rescuing dogs from Los Angeles shelters and taking them to her home in Northern California. Edie had them vetted and began networking to find them homes. She then became involved with a local Northern California rescue, H.A.L.O. (Homeless Animals Lifeline Organization) and with the assistance and tutelage of H.A.L.O., began finding wonderful homes for these dogs. She then knew that rescue was what she wanted to do full time.

In January 2015, Edie made the decision to move to Colorado to open a formal rescue for The Animal Debt Project.  Jeff was asked if he wanted to come along and he needed to know how soon did he need to pack his bags. A location was found in Wellington, Colorado and Edie and Jeff moved with all their dogs on May 31st 2015.  The Animal Debt Project, Inc. was formally Incorporated and granted 501(c)(3) status on June 15th 2015.  We obtained permits to build our facility on site and were licensed by Weld County to house up to 50 dogs. And the rest is history!!!