Tails of Hope: The Newsletter of Animals In Distress, Coopersburg, PA




It is hard to believe that Animals in Distress is in its 35th year. When the organization was started over 35 years ago, the idea of saving animals who were injured, older, or imperfect in some way was considered impractical, if not well intentioned. Those 35 years have been a struggle, partly because killing animals is always easier and cheaper than saving them, and because we have existed for 35 years without financial support from any local, state, or federal agency. Not one dollar of tax money has ever been used to do our work. YOU, our supporters, have made our life saving work possible.

As we enter our 2012 WAEB Radiothon, which is our biggest fundraiser of the year, we are hopeful but concerned. The bad economy, the increasing need for our help due to foreclosures and financial problems, and rising bills for medical care and other animal care expenses, have all taken their toll on our operating budget. At the end of April, we were running close to $150,000 in the red. That kind of deficit in operational revenue cannot be sustained. We need for this year’s Radiothon to be the most successful ever, and that’s asking a lot since we raised over $116,000 last year.

As always, we will do our best. We will pray for help from our friends and supporters. And we will try to let you know what is at stake. Due to length limitations in this newsletter, we can tell only a small percent of the rescue stories. But the stories alone don’t capture the ultimate reality of our situation: the 350 to 400 animals housed at our sanctuary, at any one time, have no place to go. Some of them, like Spook, will never be adopted. Animals in Distress is their home for life. Others will be hard to place, due to age, medical condition, or other reason. Many of them will also live out their years with us. And then there are animals who need time to heal, from broken bones and broken hearts. Time, love, and unconditional acceptance are needed for them to begin to recover from what has happened to them. They, too, have no place to be, if not here at Animals in Distress.

Bottom line is this: we need your help. Good intentions, hard work, and devoted volunteerism – crucial to our existence – will not by themselves keep our doors open. Cold, hard cash is needed to make miracles possible; to pay for medical care and special foods; to keep the shelter warm in the winter; to provide cleaning supplies and… the list goes on and on. Our promise to you is that we will use your donations wisely and totally for the animals. No one is paid for non-animal care tasks like bookkeeping, writing this newsletter, placement, fundraising, and so on. In fact, most of our Board members and volunteers pay all their own expenses out of their own funds, saving us thousands of dollars in costs for all sorts of necessities.

Our recent events – the WAEB Benefit Softball Game with AccuWeather, our Laps of Love Walkathon, and our 35th Alumni Day Celebration, among others – were made possible by devoted volunteers, loyal donors, and generous businesses who provided prizes, sponsorships, and food items. We always love saying that when we report a fundraising total for an event, people should know that close to 100% of that total gets used for our work. We don’t raise money by spending a lot for expensive prizes, resale items, food, and so on. We solicit those items through donations, so the proceeds from an event are guaranteed to go directly and totally for helping animals who have nowhere else to go. Please be part of this year’s Radiothon, while knowing that every dollar you give will be appreciated and will be carefully spent to save animals and give them hope. YOU are the reason we can work miracles.

Anton, rescued by Animals in Distress          Anton, rescued by Animals In Distress

One final thought. Here are two pictures of Anton, who came to us paralyzed and more dead than alive. One shows him at the vet hospital, in pain and close to death. The other shows him resting after marching in our Laps of Love. YOU made a happy ending possible, for him and so many others like him.
Please keep believing in miracles and kindness!


Our Alumni Day events on June 3 were successful in many ways.  Despite the threat of rain for much of the afternoon, great food and entertainment, plus lots of wonderful people and pets in attendance for the Laps of Love Walkathon and Alumni Day, contributed to the day’s success. The very best part of the day, though, was the return of many, many pets adopted from us over the years. It was heartwarming to see those pets (and their loving families) again, and even more heartwarming when the pets recognized their friends at Animals in Distress and ran up to them with wagging tails and big doggie grins, fondly remembering the time they spent with us, and the people who cared for them.

Spook asked to write the rest of this article, so from this point on, he is in charge!

Spook "walks" in the Laps of Love Walkathon at Animals In Distress

Spook, with the assistance of friend Stella, is in charge of Team Spook at the Animals In Distress Laps of Love Walkathon

Well, I thought it would never happen, but it did: I “walked” in the Laps of Love!! Yes, believe it or not, my friend Stella decorated a wheelbarrow, put me in it, and then pushed me up the hill and around the laps, along with the dogs and cats there. That show-off Anton was there, sucking up to everyone, especially the dogs. Considering that he was paralyzed and unable to walk 2 years ago when he was rescued out of the streets, I was impressed. Honestly, he is a miracle. I am sooooo glad that the folks here never, ever give up on any of us special needs animals. I’d have been compost by now, if they did! By the way, maybe we could do better than a wheelbarrow next year for my chariot!

Thanks to everybody who supported the Laps and Team Spook. I guess some folks had other plans for June 3, so we didn’t raise nearly as much as last year, but we do appreciate all who participated. A big part of Alumni Day is always our basket social and silent auction. Some folks donate the most fabulous items, like huge baskets of chocolate (catnip would be better, from my viewpoint), and gift baskets full of yummies for entertaining. Thanks to all who donated and bid on these items. Thanks also to all our volunteers, for making these events possible: Marla, Steve with his hotdog hat, Cheryl, Linda, Stella, Sally, Marion, and so many more: YOU make these events possible. Donna Fisher and Friends again provided the music and lots of laughs.

AID President Lois Gadek and Treasurer Nancy MichenerMy favorite part of Alumni Day wasn’t on any program; it was a surprise (and I love surprises). Our president, Lois Gadek, surprised two wonderful people with awards in honor of their loyalty and dedication to the shelter and, of course, to pets like me and Anton.Nancy Michener, who has been Treasurer for the past 33 years, was recognized for her devotion to the work of keeping the finances straight, handling the endless forms to be filed, and in general keeping us in good shape. Lois stressed that Nancy is often behind-the-scenes doing important and much needed work, and helped to guide Animals in Distress through some very difficult times.

AID President Lois Gadek and Kennel Manager Lori CimaThe other person being recognized is my special friend Lori Cima. I can honestly say that I don’t know if I would be alive today if not for Lori, who is our kennel manager and much more. She is totally devoted to the care of all us shelter animals, and has a million things to do to make sure we are ok. The special needs animals like me, the animals with diabetes or other problems, the animals who are terminally ill and dying – all find compassion and love from Lori. Honestly, folks, I am blessed to call her my friend.

One thing Lois said really struck me as worth repeating (I can’t say that everything she says is worth repeating, but this is!): she said that she gets concerned when people say that they like animals better than people. She wants to change that statement to “I like animals better than some people.” Without kind and loving people, Animals in Distress could not have survived for 35 years. Without kind and loving people, many shelter animals would not be adopted. Without kind and loving people, there would be less love and kindness in this world. That makes a lot of sense, I think.

Love and Licks,

Your Friend Spook



Here are a few photos and memories of the day. Hope you enjoy them!

Thanks for sharing your day with us!


The Annual WAEB/AccuWeather Softball Game to benefit Animals In DistressHistoric Limeport Stadium was the site for the 25th Benefit Softball Game to support our shelter’s work. The AccuWeather team played valiantly, cheered on by Dr. Joe Sobel, but the WAEB folks ultimately won the game by one point! Bobby Gunther Walsh and the WAEB folks were smiling from ear to ear! A total of just over $4,755 was raised from raffle and food sales, plus donations, including those made to meet a $500 challenge by Bob and Jan Thomas.

Many thanks to all who made this event possible, starting with the staff and friends of WAEB and AccuWeather.  Special thanks to our dedicated staff and shelter volunteers who again cooked and served the delicious food at the stadium, handled the raffle, and did countless other chores at the stadium and also back at our shelter.Denise Schaffer again helped to provide emergency medical care. Thanks also to the fine folks at Limeport Stadium, whose hospitality and kindness are much appreciated.

Grilling at the Annual WAEB/AccuWeather Benefit Softball GameAllen Audiology generously sponsored the game this year. Winners of the top raffle prizes were:

Very special thanks to Bob and Jan Thomas for donating $500 for a challenge to the game attendees, who contributed over $900 to more than meet the challenge! Delicious food for the cookout after the game was again donated by the Allentown Farmer’s Market.

The very talented Sing for America sang the National Anthem, and James Ruhf played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes as balloons were released in memory of AccuWeather’s Ken Reeves, who died a few months ago in a tragic accident. One balloon was from Animals in Distress, one from WAEB and ClearChannel, and one from AccuWeather. Each balloon carried wildflower seeds to be scattered by the wind, as are the many acts of kindness shown by Ken Reeves and all our supporters. All the team members, and everyone in attendance, were given seeds to plant and grow in Ken’s memory and spirit.

James Ruhf playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes at the WAEB/AccuWeather Softball Game to benefit Animals In Distress

Balloons launched in memory of AccuWeather's Ken Reeves at the Annual Benefit Softball Game for Animals In Distress

"Sing for America" sang the National Anthem at the Animals In Distress Annual Benefit Softball Game

As the strains of Amazing Grace played, we all watched the balloons go higher and higher and higher, until they drifted beyond our sight, into the heavens. It was a special moment for all in attendance, and extra special for those who knew and worked with Ken. By the way, Ken’s wife had written a nice note about him, saying how much he loved playing in this annual game for us. We hope that in some way, Ken’s spirit will look over all the future games and that his AccuWeather family will feel that each future game is in honor of his spirit.

Because WAEB  and the AccuWeather folks have been playing this benefit softball game for 25 years, we presented each team with a plaque of our heartfelt appreciation for their friendship and loyalty for those 25 years. In a period of time when many relationships don’t last even 5 years let alone 25 years, we feel blessed to have been part of this incredible friendship and partnership with these two organizations.

Lowell Linde again took incredible photos of the event, which are posted on the WAEB web site. A few are shared in this article, but the vast number of pictures on the waeb.com website will give a real idea of the event.

A final big thank you to all of our newsletter readers and all of the WAEB fans who bought raffle tickets, attended the game, and in general supported this event (and many others throughout the year).



Listen to our WAEB 790AM Radiothon, Monday through Friday, July 9 – 15, on the Bobby Gunther Walsh Show, which airs weekdays from 5:00 to 9:00 am. Listen at these times for latest news, prizes, events, and rescue updates. Phoned in pledges can be made all through the show, at the number announced by Bobby. It is crucial that many people call in and support this major fund raising event.

AID President Lois Gadek will be calling in each hour during the week, with stories of rescues and other matters related to why donations are urgently needed. In the studio will be various pets and their handlers (some are people who have adopted from us, and some are people who work with our sanctuary residents and volunteer their efforts in so many ways). Service Electric’s Channel 50 carries Bobby’s show live, so you can actually see the pets in the studio. You can also check Gunther’s website at WAEB.com, and our website at animalsindistress-pa.org for updates.

Over the weekend, July 14 and 15, Bobby will be on air live with appeals and announcements at intervals in the regularly scheduled broadcasts. During the weekend, pledges will be taken by phone at 610-967-4417, from 8 am to 6 pm, as well as in person at our sanctuary and at the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market on Saturday.


Basket Social and Chinese Auction

at Animals in Distress Sanctuary
July 14 and 15
8 am to 4 pm

Baskets and items should be delivered to the sanctuary by Saturday at noon, at the latest. Phone 610-966-9383, ext. 8, if you have questions or need to make arrangements to get your donations to us by July 16.


Live Broadcast Spot from Allentown Farmer’s Market

Saturday, July 14

Stop by, meet Bobby, make a pledge.


Continental Breakfast with pastries compliments of Giant Food Stores Bakery

at Animals In Distress Sanctuary
Saturday, July 14
Starting at 8:00 am

The Basket Social and Chinese Auction continue through Sunday at 4:00pm.
The Craft and Gift Bazaar starts on Saturday morning and continues through Sunday at 4.


Delicious Breakfast and Picnic

at Animals In Distress Sanctuary
Sunday, July 15
Starting at 8:00 am

Breakfast until noon, and hot buffet picnic/dinner after noon.

Our friends from the Allentown Farmer’s Market are again donating the delicious food for this all-day open house. Beverages are donated by Coca Cola of the Lehigh ValleySmokin’ Smitty’s Catering of Emmaus will prepare the food and do a fabulous job – everything they serve is super!

Music will be provided by Sound Surge Mobile DJ.

Tune in from 1:00 to 3:00 pm for a 2-hour live broadcast from our shelter, thanks to our friends at ResQ1250.

The Basket Social and Chinese Auction continue until 4:00 pm.
The Craft and Gift Bazaar is open until 6:00 pm.

Can you help make our world a kinder place for all – humans and animals? The lessons we teach children NOW will determine the future of our society and our quality of life. Please help us continue to send a message of unconditional Love and Hope.



Much of the success of our Radiothon is finding Challenge Hours money. Basically, when someone donates money for a challenge, the understanding is that the listeners are urged to donate an amount equal to or greater than the amount of the challenge, and must do so within the stipulated time. Challenges stimulate calls and provide some important funding.

In addition, Challenge Hours have been subsidized by families who have adopted pets and by people who want a memorial to honor a deceased loved one. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who has adopted a pet from us over the years would offer a donation (or Challenge Hour money, if you prefer) in honor and/or in memory of their pets? There is no more fitting way to honor a special pet’s gifts of Love and Companionship to us than by helping those who need help, and hope.

To offer a challenge, please contact us by email at aidpa@enter.net, or by phone at 610-966-9383 ext. 8 (someone will return your call as soon as possible), or by mail at:

    Animals In Distress
    P.O. Box 609
    Coopersburg, PA 18036

You can also donate to the Radiothon by returning the coupon in our newsletter.

Special thanks to Ironton Telephone Company for providing the extra lines for the pledges at the station and at our shelter.


We know that you donate only to help needy animals. However, due to the generosity of the following business and individuals, we are able to offer these incentive prizes in various categories. This list is not inclusive, since more prizes will be added as the Radiothonprogress.

Donors of $100 or more are eligible for a drawing to win this fabulous Christmas Spirit prize package:

Donors of $50 or more are eligible for a drawing to win one of the following prizes:

  • A 5 x 8 ft rug from a special remnant section compliments of Joe Mascari’s Carpets & Rugs International
  • A $250.00 Gift certificate from Hager Furniture in Palmerton
  • An overnight stay at Comfort Suites, Allentown
  • A foursome day of golf at Wedgewood Golf Course
  • Full maintenance services on your car by Steve’s Roadside Service (Kutztown) including oil & filter, all fluids, check tires, etc. at your home
  • A 16 x 20 pet portrait by R.J. Harwick Photography of Emmaus
  • A “Get away” at Oliver’s Salon and Day Spa including a massage and pedicure.
  • Other prizes to be announced

Donors of $25 or more are eligible for a drawing to win one of the following prizes:

To Our Out-of-Town Friends:

You can now listen to our WAEB 790AM Radiothon from anywhere in the world through
“streaming” on the WAEB web site, WAEB.COM. You can tune in to Gunther weekdays
from 5:00 to 9:00am. Keep in touch with the Radiothon starting July 11th.

The show can also be seen on Service Electric‘s channel 50.

Please patronize the businesses that support us. Some of these businesses have been friends of our shelter for more than 25 years, and we deeply appreciate their generosity in allowing us to raise funds that go totally to support the work that we do. Throughout this newsletter, you will see many names of businesses that are making this year’s Radiothon possible. When you visit them, thank them for their support of our Kennel of Hope.


It is within our power to write happy endings to sad beginnings. Although our animals can’t talk in words, they communicate with their love and their hearts. Here are a few animals whose stories would have a very sad ending, if not for Animals in Distress and those who make our work possible.


Frosty, rescued by Animals In DistressRight after Christmas in 2010, a small, senior dog was found wandering in the middle of a remote country road. He was thin, scared, and almost frozen to death. We named him Frosty. Because he was an older dog, with a gray muzzle, people looked past him at the younger dogs. Despite his excellent personality, Frosty waited and waited for a home. Whenever we visited a nursing home or school, or had groups of children visit us, Frosty was our first choice to be our dog ambassador. But still, for almost 2 years, he was by-passed.

Finally, early in 2012, a kind family saw his potential and adopted him. He is now loved and is repaying them for adopting him, with doggie grins and kisses. In our society, age is almost a sin; we need to look young, and we celebrate youth over age. Unwanted pets like Frosty are often considered “unadoptable” but they are not considered that at Animals in Distress.

Bobby, Gunther and Walsh

Gunther, rescued by Animals In DistressDuring last year’s Radiothon, a litter of kittens came to us in horrible shape. They were covered in parasites, dehydrated, and pathetic looking due to the massive eye infections that had pasted their eyes closed with ooze. They looked like something out of a horror movie. We named them Bobby, Gunther, and Walsh. Because of your kindness, we were able to provide them with much needed medical care, and months of time in which to heal. Two of the three kittens were eventually adopted, and the third – Bobby – still waits for a home. Without your help and support, such rescues would not be possible. How can we not help these poor orphans?


Sally, rescued by Animals In DistressFor the past several months, a lab mix we named Sally has been recuperating with us after being abandoned along a country road. She was skin and bones, and the back half of her body had no hair on it. Many times, older pets are just discarded, to fend for them-selves, and they are considered disposable. Sally is such a sweet senior dog, and we are doing our best to give her some decent years, enough to eat and kindness that she has probably never known in her life.