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

NEWSLETTER: DECEMBER 2013

TABLE OF CONTENTS

OUR HOLIDAY MESSAGE FOR YOU

There are friends who never let you down.Have you been watching any of those “home” shows where people are looking for a new home because their old home is too small, doesn’t have an “open” design concept, doesn’t provide enough entertainment area… the reasons go on and on for getting rid of the old and getting the new “home.”

What is a real home? It’s a place where you feel wanted and loved and safe… you know you belong there. A home can be one room, or it can be a mansion; it can be decorated with priceless antiques or with thrift store treasures. Regardless of its monetary value, or its decorations, it is a place where you can go to bed and sleep at night, without fear or watchfulness. You are at peace there.

For many animals at Animals In Distress, our Kennel of Hope is the first, the only “real” home many of its residents have known. Here, they know that they have food, shelter, and most importantly, kindness, every day, every night, for as long as they need to be here. When new animals arrive at our doors, they often reflect their lack of a real “home: – they don’t trust anyone… they grab food as if they will never get fed again… and they cringe at the prospect of being hit when a human hand reaches toward them. For such animals, Animals In Distress is a wonderful place – once they realize that they are safe, and loved, and cared for.

As you share holiday festivities with those you love, take a moment to reflect on Animals In Distress, a home for hundreds of animals who would have no joy, no holiday, and no future without our Kennel of Hope. may the blessings of the season be yours in abundance. Thank you for caring about those forgotten by others. Thank you for your support of the past year or years. Without YOU, thousands of animals would never have known what a home is and would have perished alone, in fear and pain.

As we count our blessings this holiday season, we say a special prayer for all our friends and supporters. Although you may not be physically present in our shelter on Christmas Eve, or any other day of the year for that matter, you are there – in every heart that breathes, in every animal that sleeps in peace, in every act of love and kindness that is offered countless times each day to the almost 400 animals who call Animals In Distress their “home” at any given time.

Nothing sold in stores could be as precious or more reflective of the true spirit of this holiday season than the wonderful second chance that you have given to animals whose faces you may never see in person, but whose welfare you care about in your heart.

THE BEST CALENDARS EVER

THESE ARE ONE-OF-A-KIND

AID Calendars for 2014 are now available. A joint project with the ITI1 team at Air Products has resulted in a one-of-a-kind Animals In Distress calendar, with each month featuring special rescues and full color photos.

2014 Animals In Distress Calendar

Each month tells the story of the featured pet(s) we rescued, and dozens of memorable photos are included. You see in February, for example, the pictures of Hero and Theresa, two dogs who lived in a park for over 8 years, barely surviving. Hero even had to chew off his lower leg when he was hit by a car. They are older dogs, not photogenic in the usual sense of that term, but they are devoted to each other: he would die to protect her. We chose this couple to represent February, the month when we celebrate Valentine’s Day and Love. Who better to reflect true Love and Loyalty than these two dogs, dogs who were turned down at 56 other organizations, dogs who were deemed unadoptable and unworthy of being given a second chance. After they had gone through unspeakable fear, pain, and uncertainty for over 8 years, their fate was to be death… imagine a world where no one would save them. Imagine a world where they would not be allowed to spend their remaining days together, in a safe place, in a place of peace and safety. So, we selected them to represent the heart and soul of what Love is all about. Our calendar matches each featured pet’s story with the spirit of that month.

As you can probably tell, this calendar is so much more than dates and pretty pictures. It reflects the heart and soul of our organization. It is truly very special.

We hope you will give these as gifts to everyone on your shopping list: in that way, each “gift” will be appreciated by the recipient AND will help to save lives and care for the shelter residents. We set the price at $12, which is very reasonable considering the cost to print them in full color on heavy, high quality paper. We wish we were able to mail these to everyone for free, as do many of the larger national animal groups; but we need every dollar for the work we do, so we hope you will support this fundraiser and know that your money is being used for animal rescue, not for mass mailings by highly paid marketers creating high pressure promotions.

If you can’t come to the shelter, we are happy to mail calendar orders as well, for a shipping cost of $6.00 (our cost) for one calendar, with $4 extra for each calendar after the first one, all to the same address. We can also mail directly to the recipient, at $6.00 postage for each different address. Contact us to place your order.

SOMETIMES, A PICTURE SAYS SO MUCH…

Donna Hosfeld visits with DC, a corgi residing at Animals In Distress

Donna Hosfeld visits with DC, a corgi residing at Animals In Distress

By the way, please notice the sweet picture here of DC, a 14 year old Corgi, being adored by Donna Hosfeld. DC’s owner is a veteran; he lost his job, then his home, and had nowhere to live where he could keep his dog. So he tearfully had to give up his beloved pet. We were the only ones to help, since most rescues and shelters considered a 14 year old dog unadoptable. Donna visited our shelter and fell in love with DC.

Some of you may know Donna, owner of Hosfeld Insurance. She has been active in the community on behalf of many charitable causes, including Animals In Distress. She recently received a major honor from Erie Insurance for her community service. In addition to the award, Donna was presented with a $2500 check from Erie for a charity of her choice, and Animals In Distress was her choice.

The very best thing about Donna and so many of our supporters and volunteers is that she does what she does because she cares: her work is done from the heart, not done for praise and public recognition. Helping is, in itself, enough reason. However, it is still nice to see people like Donna getting a public acknowledgement of their kindness and generosity: they truly deserve that recognition.

By the way, we want to congratulate our longtime friend and supporter, Bobby Gunther Walsh of  WAEB 790AM, for being given the Humanitarian Award from Lifepath for his many charitable activities.

A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL

Speaking of exceptional effort, thanks to all who participated in our annual Wag Walk at Lake Nockamixon. We raised over $11,000 of much needed funds. Fabulous Brenda Bolster was again the leader in soliciting sponsorship money – we don’t know how she does such a great job, year after year, but are sure glad she does! Two new cat kennel volunteers, Chris Shellhammer and Keith Greenleaf, were second and third in amount of sponsorship money collected (they also adopted a cat from us recently and took in a foster kitty from one of our volunteers – great people!). Best of all, the dogs seemed to be having a great time: it was fun for them and their humans too.

Animals In Distress Wag Walk at Lake Nockamixon

Special thanks to the volunteers who did all the work for this event: prize soliciting, set-up of tents and tables, food preparation, registration, bookkeeping… the list goes on and on. Sometimes we stop to reflect on the endless generosity of time and money that our volunteers who. Most of them are at the shelter and see, firsthand, what all their efforts are for; they see the sweet faces of our animals, they pat their heads, they feed them treats, they speak kind words to them: it’s not difficult to understand why they need to do their very best when they know that these and so many other lives depend on them. Here are a few pictures of this fun and happy event (thanks to Lowell Linde for these shots of a day well spent).

STOP HOLIDAY STRESS

Christmas Wreath at Animals In DistressLet’s be realistic: the holidays are a mixed blessing. Many people become exhausted (and sick) by running around buying gifts and all that goes with them (wrapping, delivering, paying for, returning, etc.). Many people spend too much, eat too much, and have too much. In the process of celebrating the holidays, we sometimes minimize or even forget the meaning of the holidays, which are a time for giving, not getting; a time for being grateful for what we have – our health, our loved ones, our other blessings.

Let’s make a deal: if you consider sharing your holiday celebration with the animals at the shelter, you will receive in return: less stress and work for you, more time for what really matters, tax deductible holiday “spending,” and the knowledge that you have helped those who will not have any holiday at all, without your help.

Further, those who receive your gifts will know that they are being honored in the best way possible: by having good done for others, in their name, in their honor. What better way to honor the memory of a loved one? In this Holiday Fundraising brochure are all sorts of gift ideas. Please consider them as part of your holiday giving. You and the gift recipients will feel great by giving and receiving such gifts, and so will the homeless animals at our shelter.

Remember: 100% of all money donated – and ll money raised through such fundraisers – goes directly to care for the 370+ animals housed at Animals In Distress, over the holidays as well as during the rest of the year.

Share your gift giving with our animals

Holiday Tributes at Animals in DistressHelp us decorate the shelter for the holidays and so something special as well. In all Tribute categories, the person’s or pet’s name(s) will be printed on velvet ribbons attached to the Holiday Tributes. A personalized announcement of your thoughtful gift will be mailed directly to each recipient you designate on the enclosed form. If you prefer, we will send the announcements to you so you can deliver them personally.

Please consider honoring a family, friend, business, or special pet or person by selecting one or more of these very special donor holiday options:

  • Poinsettia Tribute with Name of Person/Pet Honored – $30
  • Special Ornament with Name Honored – $50
  • Special Wreath with Name(s) Honored – $250

Please designate your instruction on our Holiday Tributes form and mail your instructions to the P.O. Box on the form. The Holiday Tributes will remain on display until after the New Year. Please allow our volunteers adequate time to process your request. Tributes will be processed as soon as possible, and displayed at the shelter immediately after we receive them.

HOLIDAY REFLECTIONS FROM SPOOK

Spook at Animals in DistressWow – another year has gone by, and here I am writing this holiday message as I have done for many years. You know, I am so happy to be alive… in fact, I am in the hospital again, just now, because I am having a few problems. But I hope to be back “home” soon, in my playpen at Animals In Distress. You see, that is the only home I have ever known, and will probably ever know, so I consider myself sort of an expert on this place. I grew up here, I have greeted visitors, trained puppies, herded guinea pigs, and supervised the cat wing – in addition to keeping up my page on Facebook, writing this column… well, you get the idea. I work hard here, because I am so grateful for my life… and for all of you, my friends.

Listen, folks, you make everything possible. All of us animals here would be compost if not for the fact that you care about us… and we do our best to let you know how much you meant to all of us here. When some young people came in to give us the money they reaised with their lemonade stand, I accepted their check: I swatted it a little to make them laugh but made sure not to damage it so the bank wouldn’t have a problem. I wanted them to know how much we appreciate kindness.

You see, I love you… I want you to know that. When I saw a blind kitten named Marnie getting a home recently, and I saw Sunny the cat starting to use his hind legs after being crippled (he’s getting physical therapy now), when I saw a scared street cat (Footsie) come in with the pads of his paws ripped off and bleeding… I said a prayer of thanks that Animals In Distress is here, every day of the year, for all of us. I sent Santa Paws a letter asking for a gift: and the gift I wanted was a chance to thank all of you for my life and the lives of all my friends. You gave us life, peace, and love – the most precious gifts of all.

paw2
Love and Licks for a Purrfect Holiday,
Spook and his Fur Family

P.S. That’s my baby picture up there…wasn’t I cute?

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