We Have a Passion for What We Do

The Rescue Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to building trusting relationships with people and their pets, while at the same time improving the lives of animals in Kansas City’s under-served communities. We provide basic survival items such as food, water, flea/tick prevention and dog houses for needy animals. We offer low cost veterinary resources and emphasize the need to spay and neuter. In addition, we provide community education/awareness to the public on responsible pet ownership and empower people to make a difference.

In the last 12 months we have provided:

  • Over 20,000 lbs of food to animals in need
  • 100 Dog houses
  • 240 Bales of straw
  • Thousands in gasoline and auto expenses
  • Provided love and kisses and treats to thousands of animals, for many it was the first affection they had ever received.

I am sure you have all seen pictures of mistreated and abused animals. Animals that live their whole life on a chain, without water and food for days at a time. No stimulation whatsoever. The Rescue Project has an outreach program where our volunteers go to the inner city looking for these abused animals. We provide counseling to the owners, food, treats, dog houses, flea and tick treatment, and some much needed love. Afterwards, we follow up to see if conditions have improved. You would be surprised how many people respond to the counseling. You probably wouldn’t be surprised at how many don’t. If abusive conditions continue, the owner is asked to surrender the animal or face being reported to animal control and being ticketed and fined. We also offer low cost veterinary services and of course, emphasize the need to spay and neuter. Our selfless volunteers work in –5 to 105 degree weather to make sure these animals get the quality of life they deserve.

No one at The Rescue Project receives any compensation. 100% of your donation goes directly to helping provide food, medical care, etc.

This is just a fraction of the services The Rescue Project provides. Please help us meet our goal so we can continue to help our animal friends.


The Rescue Project

Our Leadership Team

Director of Operations – Mae Spencer


Director of Outreach – Melissa McMillin


Adoption Coordinators – Deanna Parker and Haley Duft – adoptionstrp@gmail.com


Foster Coordinators – Heather Dollar & Jen Everhart – fosterstrp@gmail.com


Volunteer Coordinator – Angela Lamb – volunteerstrp@gmail.com


Donation Coordinator – Ann Thompson – trpdonations@gmail.com


Petfinder & Community Medical – Amanda Horn Vanlandingham – amandaannehorn@yahoo.com


Outreach Coordinator – Betsy Rivas – outreachtrp@gmail.com


TNR Coordinator – Holly Lawton – hollylaw68@gmail.com


Events and Fundraisingevents4trp@gmail.com

Intake Requestsfosterstrp@gmail.com


Meet Our Leadership Team and Board of Directors

Amanda Horn Vanlandingham – Board President

Amanda developed a love for animals at a very early age, fostered by supportive parents who allowed her a menagerie of pets including gerbils, cats, bunnies, dogs, and horses. Her first exposure to the shelter system was when her family adopted her beloved childhood dog Bear from a shelter. This was furthered when her parents made her work off a speeding ticket in high school by doing community service hours at the local humane society. This stuck with her forever, and while completing her medical residency in Kansas City she started to volunteer with various rescues, quickly settling into a focus on outreach work, seeing how important it was to the community as a whole.

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She was one of the original volunteers at the inception of The Rescue Project and while she now resides in Oklahoma City where she works as a Pediatric Hospitalist, she has remained an active volunteer managing our adoptable pets on the websites, coordinating our online auction fundraisers, and fielding community medical assistance requests.

Mae Spencer – Director of Operations

Originally from rural Kansas, Mae grew up on a chicken farm with a strong appreciation for the love and dedication needed to care for animals. Once she became a mother, this passion became a mutual love with her daughter, Keeley. Being involved in their communities has been the foundation of every relocation they have made and introduced them to roles within many wonderful organizations in varying states.

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Since moving to Kansas City and growing their fur family, Mae and Keeley have focused their efforts to the animal rescue world. After volunteering and fostering for varying organizations, The Rescue Project’s 100% foster-based and all-volunteer run mission spoke to them and compelled Mae to become more involved. In 2018, over 40 animals found temporary sanctuary in the Spencer home as they awaited their forever homes. Mae served as the Outreach Coordinator with TRP before moving into her current roles of Foster Coordinator and board member.

Mae is a Category Manager of Insights and Solutions with Hallmark. Mae is a former board member for Daymon Women’s Network. Mae, Keeley and their fur family are enjoying their 2nd year in KCMO and plan on many more to come!

Lisa Foster – Secretary

Lisa’s passion for animals began when she was a child. She has had cats her whole life and each one that joined the family was found as a stray. Since joining The Rescue Project in 2016 she has supported several roles including fostering, assisting with TNR, donation pickup, outreach. Currently she is an Adoption Coordinator and board member.

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Lisa has 4 rescue cats and 3 of which are “foster fails” from TRP. They range from 15 years to 9 months. Smokey and Teddy were her first fosters that she found as strays on her front porch. Her hard work to trap and domesticate them helped her to have a strong appreciation for stray animals in the community. In addition to her work with TRP, Lisa is a Solution Designer with a healthcare IT company in Kansas City. She was raised in the area and enjoys spending time with family and volunteering.

Emily Burrows – Board Member

Emily has always been an animal lover, but while working as a Supervisor at a Law Firm in the KC Metro area she noticed a growing need for animal rescue groups. Emily became an active member of the Charities Committee in her office and began organizing donation drives within the office for various animal shelters and rescues throughout the Kansas City area.

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Emily was introduced to The Rescue Project by a mutual friend and within the first few weeks was an active volunteer, and within the first two months she had her first foster dog, Bailey. In 2017 Emily became the Foster Coordinator for TRP and recently transitioned to being the Animal Vetting Coordinator and board member.Emily and her husband have fostered a total of seven dogs and have enjoyed having the experience with each of the dogs as they all brought something different into their “herd”.

Melissa McMillin – Board Member

Melissa was raised on a farm and that is where her passion for animals began. She had dogs, cats, horses, fish, goats, and pigs. As an adult, she wanted to use her talents to help animals and was introduced to the rescue world. She has worked with several organizations in the Metro, as a volunteer and as a Board Member.

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Melissa was introduced to The Rescue Project at the end of 2019, where she began fostering puppies as well as assisting with merchandise branding and event media. She joined the board in 2020 as the Media and Merchandise Manager. She also works closely with KCK Animal Services. Melissa lives with her 3 rescued dogs, Niles, Tanner, and Huxley as well as her rescued cat, Gizmo. In addition to her roles with TRP, Melissa is a Paralegal for a Heavy Civil Contractor in Kansas City.Melissa was raised on a farm and that is where her passion for animals began. She had dogs, cats, horses, fish, goats, and pigs. As an adult, she wanted to use her talents to help animals and was introduced to the rescue world. She has worked with several organizations in the Metro, as a volunteer and as a Board Member.

Erica Johnson – Board Member

Erica always wanted a dog growing up, but her family always had cats. She finally adopted a puppy from the Emporia Animal Shelter and her life was changed forever! She saw that a rescue is no different from any other dog and they deserve every chance at a great life. Erica moved back to Kansas City after finishing her Accounting Degree at Emporia State. She was looking for an animal rescue to foster with and found The Rescue Project. She fell in love with the mission and being the voice for animals in need

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Erica has volunteered in a variety of ways with The Rescue Project including Fostering, Outreach, Donations, Foster Supplies, and now as the Accountant. Since 2018, Erica has fostered over 50 dogs and cats with The Rescue Project ranging from puppies to seniors and even a nursing momma dog. She is happy to finally be able to put together her passion for animals and love of accounting as the Accountant. She brings experience from For-Profit and Non-Profit companies to this role.