Rescued animals, adults with disabilities form special bond at Our House of Hope

On any given day, Libertyville’s Lisa Kringinger and her crew of volunteers work with the dogs they rescued based on basic obedience, agility, and confidence building.

It’s an animal therapy of sorts – for dogs and volunteers who are, for the most part, young adults with disabilities.

Lisa Kringinger is the founder and CEO of Our House of Hope, the Libertyville organization that has worked tirelessly during the pandemic to make sure people can feed their pets and be healthy.
– Mark Welch | Staff photographer

Kringinger calls the unique partnership Project Paws-Ability, and it’s just one of several programs she has developed through the House of Hope rescue organization she started in 2007.

“Paws-Ability is a transitional program that bridges the gap between what exists and what can be had for both rescue animals and challenging youth,” says Kringinger. “In Our House of Hope, everything is Paws-Able when you embrace the human-animal bond.

“These connections lead to comfort, strength, readiness, and confidence in times of transition,” she adds.


Lisa Kringinger holding a smiling little dog.  Some of the volunteers at Our House of Hope who help rehabilitate and train pets are adults with special needs.

Lisa Kringinger holding a smiling little dog. Some of the volunteers at Our House of Hope who help rehabilitate and train pets are adults with special needs.
– Mark Welch | Staff photographer

Kringinger used to work for a vet, but it wasn’t until she saw the “magic” happening in her four adopted children, all of whom had their own challenges, that the seed of a unique rescue organization began to take root.

“We’ve tried every kind of therapy you can name for our kids, but we didn’t see huge progress until we got their own animals. It was magic,” says Kringinger.

The House of Hope Rescue usually receives about 50 animals annually from all over Lake County. It’s a number she admits is low given the demand, but with the amount of rehabilitation and medical intervention most dogs need, and the number of foster families available, she has to limit the number.

“The majority of dogs we receive are older, who need medical and emotional rehabilitation, or dogs who need more time,” says Kringinger.

House of Hope, a pet rescue run by Lisa Krinninger of Libertyville, helps a variety of animals, including the chinchilla.

House of Hope, a pet rescue run by Lisa Krinninger of Libertyville, helps a variety of animals, including the chinchilla.
– Mark Welch | Staff photographer

While caring for the animals, Krinninger saw another growing need – the owners struggle to provide food for their pets. She started an informal pet food store and in 2014 established our own pet food store within The Central Bark Doggy Daycare in Grayslake.

“Since opening in 2014, the need has tripled,” says Kringinger. “We serve the entire Lake County area. The need is everywhere, you just don’t always see it.”

Kringer relies on private donations to stock the pantry, but has seen a decline of up to 77% during the pandemic, all while the need continues to grow.

However, she and her volunteers continue to operate the store, as it represents another learning experience for them. Her young ones learn what it takes to work in a pet food store, handling everything from inventory to storage.


"The majority of dogs we receive are older, and those in need of medical and emotional rehabilitation," Says Lisa Kringinger, who runs Our House of Hope, a nonprofit pet rescue organization in Lake County.

“The majority of the dogs we receive are older, and who need medical and emotional rehabilitation,” says Lisa Kringinger, who runs Our House of Hope, a nonprofit pet rescue organization in Lake County.
– Mark Welch | Staff photographer

Each week, they find out that they go through 2,000 pounds of food, plus candy, toys, and boxes for about 400 customers.

“During COVID, we saw our stocks almost completely depleted, but we caught our breath, tightened our belts and moved forward,” says Kringinger.

As House of Hope continues to recover from the pandemic, Kringinger welcomes donations — pet food and financial donations to help with operating costs.

Learn more about the organization and its services by visiting www.ourhouseofhoperescue.com/ or www.facebook.com/Our-House-of-Hope-Pet-Food-Pantry-776718282390347/ or www.facebook.com/permalink.php? story_fbid = 383071843413773 & id = 105664137821213.

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