Who are we?
What are our goals?
Who was Helen O. Krause?
Where is the shelter?
What is the process to adopt a dog?
What is the process to adopt a cat?
I need to find a new home for my pets. Will HOKAFI take them?
Why can't you accept the stray I just found?

Who are we? (Helen O. Krause Animal Foundation, Inc.)?

The Helen O. Krause Animal Foundation, Inc. (HOKAFI) is a non-profit no-kill animal shelter for dogs and cats located in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania. The shelter is primarily run by a dedicated corps of volunteers and governed by a volunteer board of directors. We depend entirely on the private sector for funding through donations, membership dues, grants and fundraising activities.

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What are our goals?

  • To find healthy permanent homes in the community for homeless dogs and cats through active pet placement programs.
  • Educate the public about general care of animals.
  • Inform the public on the availability of spay/neuter services in the community and the Foundation.
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Who was Helen O. Krause?

Helen Jessie Opperman was undaunted in her dedication to "her animals". In 1982 this dedication swept Helen into a well-publicized maelstrom. Triggered by a neighbor offended by her shelter's entropy, Camp Hill Borough Council refused to renew a required license. The 77 year old widow had three months to move or see her animals confiscated and destroyed. Deb Smith, one of many dedicated friends and neighbors who rallied protectively, remembers that despite the enormity of the threat, Helen "couldn't imagine someone being horrible enough to destroy the animals". She only saw the good in people. It was a dark time. The community she served all those years had turned on her. After great uncertainty and complications, and a year of extended deadlines, Helen and her animals finally found a new home in Dillsburg. The transition was difficult. But now she was backed by a Foundation formed by those who had weathered the crisis with her.

Some Things, and Some People, Never Change

The Foundation began generating solid financial support and flourished. Sadly, in the early 1990's Helen began to suffer from Alzheimer's Disease which gradually ate away at her independence and eventually prevented her from living alone. She moved in with Carol and Charles Umbenhauer, but soon her tenuous condition deteriorated and she entered the Cumberland County Nursing Home. As a result of her illness, Helen could no longer connect to generally defined reality but, not surprisingly, was that rare "happy Alzheimer's patient" and could still connect with animals.

Helen died on December 27, 1999, a few days before her 95th birthday. In newspaper and personal eulogies, she was remembered as "a smart, energetic woman who had an almost mystical bond with animals…Animals were her ruling passion."

Mim Myers, a wildlife rehabilitator who credited Helen for leading her to work as a rehabilitator, was quoted at the time as saying, "She had a special quality about her that gave her a talent to work with animals. Not only the compassion. There was something very mystical about her." Former HOKAFI President Emily McCarthy said, "Helen…valued the things that are on the earth, even down to the smallest songbird…They all had a place were equally important…"

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Where is the shelter?

Located in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, the shelter, founded by Helen Opperman Krause, sits on approximately two acres of landscaped grounds in a rural environment and consists of a state-of-the-art main cat shelter built in 1999, a cat shelter annex and a dog kennel. At any given time, we are home to as many as 140 cats, kittens and 10 dogs!

For directions to the facility, please call our voicemail line at 717-697-3377 and one of our dedicated volunteers will get back to you with additional information. You may also contact us via our website.

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What is the process to adopt a dog?

The process is very simple.  Whether you have viewed our website and found a dog of interest or would just like to visit the kennel on Saturday from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm, we encourage you to bring the family along to see if we have a match for you as we will need to meet all members of the household.  If you think you’ve found your match, we require the completion of an adoption application.  The adoption application is reviewed by our Adoption Committee.   If the Adoption Committee determines that a match has been found, an Adoption Counselor will make arrangements with you to schedule a home visit.

If you are currently “owned” by a dog and/or cat, we strongly encourage you to leave a message on our voicemail line at 717-697-3377 so an Adoption Counselor can discuss with you, the dogs currently under our care who appear to do well with other dogs and/or cats.

Please note that we are not a “same day” adoption facility.   Since the dogs under our care come to us as a stray or may have been abandoned or abused we need to make the best possible decision on their behalf, mindful of their health and well being as well as the same for your family.  Additionally, we do not adopt our dogs to families with children living in the household under the age of 6 years.

The adoption fee for our dogs is $150.00 plus 6% PA sales tax payable upon delivery of the dog to your home.

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What is the process to adopt a cat?

The process is very simple.  Whether you have viewed our website and found a cat of interest or would just like to visit the shelter on Saturday from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm, we encourage you to bring the family along to see if we have a match for you as we will need to meet all members of the household.  If you think you’ve found your match, we require the completion of an adoption application.  The adoption application is reviewed by our Adoption Committee.   If the Adoption Committee determines that a match has been found, an Adoption Counselor will make arrangements with you to schedule pick up of your new feline friend.

If you are currently “owned” by a dog and/or cat, we strongly encourage you to leave a message on our voice mail line at 717-697-3377 so an Adoption Counselor can discuss with you, the cats currently under our care who appear to do well with other dogs and/or cats.

Please note that we are not a “same day” adoption facility.   Since the cats under our care come to us as a stray or may have been abandoned or abused we need to make the best possible decision on their behalf, mindful of their health and well being as well as the same for your family.

The adoption fee for our cats, payable upon pick up at HOKAFI are as follows:

  • Adult under 7 years of age:   $80.00 plus 6% PA sales tax
  • Adult 7 years or older:   $25.00 plus 6% PA sales tax
  • Kitten: $70 plus 6% PA sales tax **
**An additional $30 sterilization deposit refundable upon receipt of proof of sterilization as It is a PA state law that all cats and kittens adopted from a shelter must be sterilized by age 6 months.

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I need to find a new home for my pets.  Will HOKAFI take them?

We don't, as a rule, accept pets from the general public. Instead, we work with you to find a solution in your own home or within your local community.  There are many organizations that do accept pets from the public that simply need to find a new home.  HOKAFi’s mission has always been to accept stray, and abandoned dogs and cats.

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Why can't you accept the stray I just found?

Strange as it may seem, space is still a big concern when it comes to accepting animals.  At the shelter, animals live in housing that is determined not only by species, but also by the level of care that each animal requires. So while a cat with feline leukemia would be placed in our Feline Leukemia Room here at the shelter, an older but healthy cat might move into Toby Town, an area of HOKAFI that's dedicated to senior cats.   And so it goes for every animal who comes to HOKAFI, from friendly dogs to feral cats, abused or traumatized animals and more. It sounds a bit complicated, but it's necessary to make sure that every animal who comes into our care is given everything they need for a healthy and happy life. It's also why currently available space - in an appropriate area of the shelter for the animal we're considering - is the biggest determining factor in whether or not we can accept a homeless pet.

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