We launched our Humane Hero project last month where we will start highlighting exceptional people who go above and beyond for animals in need. To acknowledge those special people, we have decided to share what makes that person a Humane Hero.
We have the honor of highlighting Amber Sitko as our February Humane Hero of the month.
About Amber Sitko
Amber is from Metro Detroit and has lived here all her life. She’s the founder and President of All About Animals Rescue and is also currently working as a Cloud Solution Architect for Microsoft.
Amber is no stranger to animals. Her mother was always interested in animals and they always had at least one pet in their home.
Right now, Amber has three pets: A dog named Phoenix who was rescued in Detroit, and two cats. Her two cats are named Pretzel (taken in from a hoarder house) and Jenny (a former feral).
Early Work with Animals
Amber became interested with animals growing up after realizing how helpless they are and how there aren’t enough people helping them.
She knew she wanted to volunteer for a cause at some point down the road, but after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Amber became motivated more than ever to go ahead and start volunteering.
Inspired by the volunteer work from those who helped after the 9/11 attacks occurred, Amber then started volunteering with the Michigan Humane Society.
While at the Michigan Humane Society, Amber helped with getting Pet Finder started there. She then witnessed pet adoptions and learned how shelters work.
Wanting to make a bigger impact for animals, Amber decided to volunteer for a smaller rescue shelter. While at the smaller shelter, she started helping with adoptions through Pet Smart, setting up cages, and helping with spay/neuter clinics with a local vet once a year.
Even after volunteering with two shelters, Amber realized that the shelters were not simply going to adopt and foster their way out of the problems they were seeing with animals in need.
Amber and a few others realized that they should focus on spaying and neutering as a solution to ending pet homelessness, suffering and unnecessary euthanasia because they weren’t able to keep up with the number of animals they were trying to help via fostering.
Amber later attended a Pet Smart’s Charity conference in Chicago where she heard of the concept of low-cost spaying and neutering at a high volume. She learned that a lot of people were spaying and neutering at high volumes (one place getting up to 6,000 animals spayed and neutered), but no one in Southeast Michigan was doing this.
After attending the conference, Amber and a few others came back and rented a 1,500 square foot building in a strip mall where they started a wellness clinic and spay/neutering once a month. They did this for a couple months.
Eventually, Pet Smart Charities reached out to provide them with more money to spay and neuter more often. This helped them to increase spaying and neutering to up to five days a week.
Driven by her desire to help more pets be spayed and neutered, Amber was inspired to found her 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, All About Animals Rescue in 2005. All About Animals Rescue is the largest high quality, high volume, low-cost to no-cost spay/neuter, non-profit, animal welfare organization in Michigan with clinics in Warren, Flint, Detroit, and Auburn Hills.
Amber’s Current Goals and Accomplishments
Right now, Amber is hoping to move forward with an Access to Care Program that will help families with payment plans and simple pricing (one straight price) to help provide their pets with quality care.
Families are having a hard time footing the entire cost of the average vet bill and Amber hopes to make a difference in that area.
Amber also desires to find more vets and staff members to help with spaying and neutering efforts and finding those who are available to help more families get quality care for their pets.
Vets are retiring and are in demand, so there isn’t a lot of vets to help with the urgent needs of pets right now.
When asked about what her greatest accomplishment has been for animals, Amber said, “Doing high volume, high quality low-cost spay neuter.” She also said keeping their pricing the same since she started her nonprofit organization is also an accomplishment.
Amber believes helping community feral cats and training over 3,000 people in TNR (trap-neuter-return) over the last several years are additional accomplishments she is happy to have helped with.
At one point, Amber even accomplished an outreach program (Pets for Life) where she and a few other people went door to door to low-income homes in Detroit to do more free spaying and neutering.
Most Memorable Moment and Future Plans
Amber’s most memorable moment while working with animals is the time she helped rescue cats from a hoarder house in Grosse Pointe. The woman who owned the home had 42 cats living with her. Police and firefighters also intervened. Amber felt that being able to help save those cats was a wonderful opportunity. Her cat, Pretzel, is one of the cats that was rescued from this home.
Her goal is to go even further with coming to the rescue for animals in need by continuing to expand spaying and neutering opportunities. She also plans to keep working on her Access to Care program to give families simple and straightforward pricing that includes payment plans if needed.
Amber hopes to accomplish these goals and even purchase a building in the Pontiac/Waterford area. Amber and her team currently rents a building in this area and they have a wellness clinic located there too. They’re picking up and transporting animals from this location and would like to make those efforts more permanent.
The Access to Care program is currently located in Flint. Once Amber and her team can get this program rolling with the right number of staff and the process to make this program function, they will roll the program out to their other locations. Their additional locations include:
- Surgery centers in Flint and Warren
- Wellness transport pickup locations in Detroit and Auburn Hills
Right now, Amber is looking for vet techs to help staff her locations, so she can further help animals in need. If you know someone who’s looking for veterinary work, please reach out to Amber and her team.
You can learn more about Amber, her team, and their All About Animals Rescue organization by visiting their website here: