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


Table of Contents


There are friends who never let you down.As we get within weeks of this year’s WAEB Radiothon, our biggest fundraiser of the year, we are hoping that our friends understand the importance of this event. The kind of rescue work that we do is always expensive: it takes a lot more money to save lives than to end them. In these tough economic times, when many hard working and responsible people are suffering from job loss and economic uncertainty, it is especially difficult to find the funds to keep our doors open. And just when things seem to be getting better, disaster can occur – or emergencies arise – that require immediate attention. There is no time to worry about what a rescue will cost: a life is on the line, and immediate action must be taken.

For example, this past winter cost us thousands more than usual in plowing, fuel, and repairs on the buildings. Just like that, with no warning, life takes a turn for the worse. The consequence is that we have had to spend thousands of dollars more than expected, with no end in sight to rising food, utility, and other unavoidable costs. Add that to overwhelming veterinary bills and animal care in general, and we are now close to $300,000 in the red – and it’s only June! However, with 300 to 400 lives in our shelter, we have no choice but to do what it takes to save lives and care for the lives in our care. These animals have nowhere else to go.

Compounding our challenge is that we never ask for any tax money, so we exist totally on the kindness of donors and on incredible volunteer effort. Bottom line is this: we need your support. The space limitations of this newsletter necessitate that we can only share a few of the many reasons your support this year is so important. But let us share a few rescues with you. If these animals could speak, they would tell you what your caring about them has meant and how it has changed (quite literally “saved”) their lives.

shelbyTake Shelby, a beagle who came to us 4 years ago at 9 years of age. He had a heart condition and several other medical problems, but we took care of his needs. Even when he developed seizures, we got him on medicine that controlled them and moved him to a quiet room where he could remain calm. Some would call Shelby one of the “unadoptables”: he’s old, he’s got medical problems, and he&’s not used to being in a home so he lacks house manners.

Hopeless? No! Like so many others, Shelby received care and love. Imagine our happiness when – after 4 years – two nice families came in and offered to adopt him! We placed him just a few days ago with one of those families – and the family who didn’t get him understood and said, “We want what is best for Shelby.”

And then there’s Lippy, the 16 year old cat who got a home. Or Ling Ling, an old Maltese with a mouth of rotting gums and decaying teeth. We have to raise over $50,000 per month just to cover basic costs. Please help us give these animals a second (or third or fourth) chance. Call in and pledge on WAEB from 5 to 10 am, July 14-20 at 610-841-4999 or mail in a donation with this newsletter’s coupon. Or make a donation online.  Anything you can do to help will make a difference. Last year, we raised over $126,000, and that seems like a very ambitious goal for this year. However, our dear supporters have believed in our mission for over 37 years, and we ask you again to be as generous as possible. Lives depend on it. Thank you for being Friends who never let us down in our work to save lives.

Click here for more information about Radiothon.



One of our largest turnouts, all day, allowed us to see many adopted AID pets and their families, as well as meet new friends. The animals and the people seemed to blend in to one big family, eating the delicious food prepared by our volunteers, participating in the basket social, pet cake walk, and dog contests; in general, a great time was had by all.

antondogAnita Bielecki’s photos of the event really captured the spirit of the day, and we are sharing many of them in this newsletter. We want you to see how much Love you have made possible by your donations and support. Words simply can’t capture the loving looks in the eyes of a pet and its owner. As we look at these photos, we see example after example of the success of our rescue and rehabilitation work. YOU make these successes possible. YOU are the reason we can continue to do this kind of long-term rehabilitation. First, we should mention Anton who sucked up to every dog in the Laps. Anton is one of our miracles since he was paralyzed when we rescued him, but has regained full use of his back legs and has taken on the role of official cat at all our events.

sherripeteyThen we have Petey, who is sort of amazing. Petey came to us from a family who decided, after 7 years, that he was more of a bother than he was worth; they felt he was “stupid” and “impossible” to train.  They hadn’t physically abused him in any way; they just didn’t want him anymore. His lack of socialization caused him to be terrified of everyone and everything (except other dogs; he loves other dogs). So we spent countless hours working with him, not sure he would ever be confident to be shown for adoption, let alone get adopted. This sweet soul had no confidence and no sense that he was worth the air he breathed. Heartbreaking describes it. Well, after a long time, Petey was adopted by a nice lady who had adopted from us previously, and he amazed us by showing up at Alumni Day. He is still timid, of course, but he has come so far in so many ways. Most touching of all was when he saw Sherri Hillborn, one of the people who spent a lot of time with him at the shelter; his face lit up, his tail wagged, and he threw himself into her lap. Nothing, absolutely nothing, means more than the sight of that sad dog looking so happy: he KNOWS he is loved, and that he matters.


Marty, an old poodle who came to us in very neglected condition, and with an old back injury resulting in him being hunched over, spent the afternoon being greeted by all his old friends at AID, safe in the arms of his loving owner.


Bonzai, a sharpei who was with us quite a while, looked so happy with his new owner. Like Petey,  Bonzai had a shattered spirit when we rescued him. Only after many months of kindness and medical care to correct some of his health issues did he show his potential to be a happy and adoptable dog.

Each animal has its own story. Each adoption touches our hearts. Each rescue lives in our memories. Our hearts hold all of this and overflow on Alumni Day, when so many of our success stories come back, in person, to share the day and say thank you for their lives. There is no better reward for the heart breaking work we do than to see these animals and their loving owners.

One final thank you: our volunteers did another outstanding job getting everything together for the day: they prepared prizes, set up tents and tables, donated baskets for the basket social, made food items, cooked the food, and did countless other tasks. They are amazing, dedicated, and invaluable to our work. Also, many thanks to all who took out listings in the Commemorative Journal so this keepsake book could be memorable and special.

Spook asked to write the rest of this essay, and he is not to be denied! So here is Spook, via HeavenNet.

Hi Folks,

I hope all of you are doing well. Things are ok in Heaven, but I really miss all of you. My favorite event, Alumni Day, looks real different from up here: you know, I sort of can see what a bird sees when it’s flying in the clouds. Anyway, here’s what I wanted to say.

spookmobileFirst, thank you so much for not forgetting me. Team Spook and the Alumni Day Commemorative Journal both were well supported by you, in my name. The Spook’s Angels page in the Journal and those who donated to Team Spook for the Laps of Love made me all warm and fuzzy; you are keeping my name and my memory alive. Your donations in my name are saving other desperate animals like me. Honestly, folks, I am so touched that you haven’t forgotten me. I couldn’t believe that my SpookMobile “walked” in the Laps, without me of course inside, but with angel wings (you get those when you go to Heaven). How nice…how touching. It makes me cry just thinking about it.

seargentWhat I wanted to share was the fact that shelter animals also took part in the Laps: there was Sergeant (pictured at left), an older terrier mix who has had multiple painful surgeries to repair damage to his intestinal tract and rear areas. I sort of relate to him since I had several surgeries too. He is such a sweet guy and has stayed so upbeat despite what he has gone through. And then there’s Jack, a lively Jack Russell terrier who has gone through a series of homes before coming to us. And then there’s Spencer, a Cairn terrier neglected by his owners. And the list goes on and on. My point is this: the happy adopted animals who returned for a visit started out as rescues, they lived in the shelter, they were loved and cared for by the same staff who took care of me and so many others, and they were eventually lucky enough to find loving, forever homes.

When you help Animals in Distress, you are helping to save pets like these. You are giving them a chance in a cruel world, and a disposable society. Please know that your help is saving lives. And thanks again for not forgetting me. I have not, and never will, forget you.

Love to you all,
Your Friend and Guardian Angel,


By the way, that Anton continues to steal the show. I have to admit it: he is quite the star. He can tolerate, even sucks up to, dogs and people like they were his best buddies. He has sort of taken on the role of official AID cat representative at events, and his companion and chauffeur Jeff Benner makes sure Anton has the wardrobe of a true star. I am glad Anton is there to show that miracles are possible. He was so lucky to re-gain the use of his legs, and he is re-paying the shelter with being a wonderful example of the work they do. Way to go, Anton!

Click this image to enlarge a collage of images from the day.




Listen to our WAEB 790AM Radiothon, Monday through Friday, July 14 – 18, on the Bobby Gunther Walsh Show, which airs weekdays from 5:00 to 10:00 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.

Pledge line in the studio is 610-841-4999.

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 19 and 20, 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 on Saturday and Sunday.

Click here for more information about Radiothon.


Basket Social and Silent Auction

at Animals in Distress Sanctuary
July 19 and 20, from 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 18.


Live Broadcast from Hamilton Family Restaurant

Saturday, July 19
8 am to 12 pm

2027 W Hamilton St.
Allentown, PA 18104

Stop by, meet Bobby, make a pledge.


Live Broadcast from Westgate Jewelers

Saturday, July 19
12 pm to 4 pm

2367 Shoenersville Road
Westgate Mall
Bethlehem, PA 18017

Stop by, meet Bobby, make a pledge.


Continental Breakfast with pastries

at Animals In Distress Sanctuary
Saturday, July 19
Starting at 8:00 am

The Basket Social and Silent 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 20, starting at 8:00 am

Breakfast from 8:30 – 11:30
Hot picnic/lunch 12:30 – 3:00

Smokin’ 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 Silent 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.

Click here for more information about Radiothon.


The Power of Challenge Hours

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 donation coupon in our printed 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 Radiothon progresses.

Donors of $100 or more are eligible for a drawing to
win one of these two fabulous prize packages:

  • A White Gold & Diamond Pendant from Westgate Jewelers that can be worn to a Sunday Brunch for 4 at Hotel Bethlehem, with transportation in style by Adamo Limousine.
  • OR
  • A Room Makeover featuring a 5×8 or 8×11 rug from special remnant section compliments of Joe Mascari’s Carpets and Rugs International and a Vail LazyBoy recliner rocker from Hager Furniture in Palmerton

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

  • A “Getaway” at Oliver’s Salon and Day Spa in Allentown, including a massage, manicure and pedicure
  • An overnight stay in a fabulous suite 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
  • 1 Hour Computer Repair (excludes parts) from ABE Onsite Computer
  • 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 9:00 am.
Keep in touch with the Radiothon starting July 8th.

The show can also be seen on Service Electric‘s channel 50.
Monday through Friday 5:00 to 9:00 am

Please patronize the businesses that support us. Some of these businesses have been friends of our shelter for more than 27 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.

Special thanks to our 2014 Radiothon sponsor, Earl Wenz Monuments of Breinigsville.

Click here for more information about Radiothon.


It is within our power to write happy endings to sad beginnings. Although our animals can’t talk in words, they communicated 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.

Over one year ago, a small, senior Maltese dog was found wandering around downtown Allentown. He was so thin and weak that he could not have walked very far. We named him Ling Ling. He needed to have his rotten teeth and gums tended to surgically. All but one of his teeth were removed since they were beyond repair. As most of us know, one infected tooth can bring excruciating pain; it is difficult to imagine the years of torment that this poor dog must have endured. Ling Ling is a sweet guy and we are always hopeful that a kind family will see his potential and adopt him. Sadly, in our society, age is almost a sin; we need to look young, and we celebrate youth over age. Unwanted pets like Ling Ling are often considered “unadoptable,: but they are not considered that at Animals In Distress. During our Radiothon, our special needs animals hope their friends will visit so they can thank YOU personally for helping Animals In Distress rescue special needs pets like them.

At the writing of this newsletter, a rescued cat we named Journey is in the hospital with a badly broken pelvis (hit by a car? kicked? We don’t know), fighting for his life. A tiny kitten, the only survivor of a litter of 2-day-old maggot-covered kittens we rescued is being fostered by Rose Yanger. Please keep him and so many others in your prayers. Help us save them. Please. Without your help and support, such rescues would not be possible.


Saturday, August 16 – 8 am to 3 pm
Sunday, August 17 – 8 am to 1 pm
At Animals In Distress

We have a huge amount of great items, many of them cat and dog related, with 100% going to help our animals. If you want to set up a table (for a donation of $10) and lighten your load of “stuff,” contact Kelly at 610-762-8553.


Also, volunteer Steve Homick has designed special donation cans for people to have in their homes, to fill with extra change. The cans are available at the shelter and since October have raised almost $1,000! Imagine: just spare chance can add up to that!! This could be a great way to raise some funds for the Radiothon as well as all year round for the shelter.