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


Table of Contents

If You Believe…

In this age of controversy and hasty generalizations, we are confronted with a basic question: Do you believe…? Do you believe that Love and Hope are still possible? Do you believe that the good outweighs the bad? Do you believe that everyone, the least and most humble among us, deserves respect? Hope? A chance? Or a second chance?

Sadly, in the world of homeless animals, too many people do not believe…they decide who deserves to live, and who dies; who is “adoptable” and worth saving, and who is not. Millions of cats and dogs have been killed because no one believed in them. No one felt they were worth helping. How very sad. How very sad.

At our Animals In Distress sanctuary, we believe that everyone deserves a chance, that every life has value, and that those who are older or have a physical impairment or whose attitude needs adjusting… we believe that they deserve hope and love.

A recent example of the importance of our commitment to Love and Hope illustrates that no one is hopeless, no one is so worthless that their only option is being killed and discarded.

bennyBenny, a black and white shih tzu we rescued over 5 years ago, suffered a badly broken jaw, possibly from being kicked in the face. He had been suffering for awhile with that broken jaw, so repairing the jaw and getting the bone to finally knit took many months and a couple of surgeries. Eventually, Benny was doing better, but memories of all the pain and abuse he had suffered made him over-reactive if someone handled him or appeared to him as a threat.

Gradually, over the years, Benny became more trusting and actually would seek out attention. He wanted to be loved, but he just didn’t believe that no one would hurt him again. It takes months, or years, to bury such bad memories – both for people and for animals. It takes a long time to mend broken bones – and broken hearts. And Benny was no exception. He was ready to go into a home, but it had to be the right home for him.

People who acquire animals without being ready or able to make a lifetime commitment to them are one of the big reasons so many animals get abandoned and abused. Our commitment is to responsible placement of our rescues into lifelong, forever homes.

A nice couple started to volunteer with us, walking dogs, after their beloved dog had died. They weren’t ready for another dog but wanted to share their love with dogs who needed love. They came every Monday night for volunteer night and walked several dogs, among them Benny. Over 6 months, their attachment to Benny grew and grew to the point where they decided to adopt him.

Our dog placement people did a home visit and discussed Benny’s history and behavior issues. The nice couple was more than willing to handle Benny in a loving and supportive way, gradually allowing him to become part of their home and their family.

It’s been over a month since Benny went into his forever home, and he is doing extraordinarily well. He knows that he is adored and that he is accepted for who he is. We have seen photos of him sleeping with his head against his owner’s head, lying together on the sofa watching football. He has finally found the perfect home. And, ironically, the adopting couple feel that they have found the perfect dog for them.

We can tell many such stories, to show you how much your prayers and support mean to our sanctuary. We believe we can help these animals – no, we KNOW we can help them, but we need your help to do so. Please believe that together, we can make miracles happen and can save lives. Believe that each one of us has the power to light up the darkness and despair in our world, rather than leaving the world without hope and love.

This newsletter contains many holiday-related fundraising events and opportunities. Please support them, and support animals like Benny who need expensive medical care and then a safe and supportive place to be, for as long as they need it. They don’t deserve to die, alone and afraid and scared, because no one believed in them. Or cared.


Take a Pet to Dinner: Animals In Distress Fundraising programMany people who love animals cannot have one in their homes due to various reasons such as allergies, lease restrictions, space, etc. There are others who already have pets and cannot add to the pet population in their homes or some people live out of the area but have expressed an interest in helping the pets in our shelter.

We have a wonderful program at the shelter entitled “Take a Pet to Dinner.” This program enables a person to sponsor a dog or cat currently living at the kennel and to become that pet’s “special person.” What a wonderful gift idea for a special purrson for this year’s holiday season!! You can chose a 6 month or 12 month holiday sponsorship. The recipient will receive a festive gift announcement package, including a photo and story about their sponsored pet and the giver of that gift (YOU), along with a holiday gift announcement card. Throughout the year, the sponsor will also get periodic updates about the sponsored pet, so this gift keeps giving long after the holidays are a distant memory, keeping alive the true feeling of the holidays!

We do all the work, and you enjoy all the appreciation for such a thoughtful gift!! To give a Holiday Pet Sponsorship, just download and fill out this form. Sponsorships can be from a single person or a group of people, and can be given to one person or a whole family. What a great and yearlong gift for the family who has everything, or for a child who wants a pet but can’t have one due to allergies in the family or rental restrictions!

Click here to download a printable sponsorship form.

Send your form and payment to:

Take a Pet to Dinner
Animals In Distress
P.O. Box 609
Coopersburg, PA 18036

Gifts postmarked by December 10 are guaranteed to arrive before December 25.


Win a master designer Henry Dunay specially created sterling silver necklace featuring the Animals In Distress logo of a dog and cat sleeping peacefully in a heart, designed as an original from Neiman Marcus, OR a beautiful full size Amish quilt OR a hand-crocheted arghan with a cat design. The drawing will be held at 4pm on Sunday, December 17. Winners do not have to be present to win. 


RAFFLE TICKETS – Donation of $5 each or $25 for 6.

Get your tickets at the shelter or download tickets here.


doginmangerLet’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 newsletter 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 all money raised through such fundraisers – goes directly to care for the 350+ animals housed at Animals In Distress, over the holidays as well as during the rest of the year.


Holiday Tributes at Animals in DistressHelp us decorate the shelter for the holidays and do something special as well. In all Holiday Tribute categories, the person’s or pet’s name(s) will be printed on velvet ribbons attached to the Holiday Tributes. The display will be unveiled at the Holiday Open House on Sunday, December 4 and continue through the New Year. A personalized announcement of your thoughtful gift will be mailed directly to each recipient you designate on the form available for download here. If you refer, we will send the announcements to you so you can deliver them personally.

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

Poinsettia Tribute with Name(S) Honored – $35 each
Special Ornament with Name(S) Honored – $75 each
Special Wreath with Name(s) Honored – $250 each

Click here to download a Holiday Tributes form.

Please designate your instructions on the form and mail to:

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

The Holiday Tributes will be displayed at the Holiday Open House and will remain on display until after the New Year. Please allow our volunteers adequate time to process your request. Tribute requests postmarked by December 12 will be guaranteed to arrive where designated before December 25. Tributes received after that time will be processed as soon as possible, and displayed at the shelter immediately after we receive them.

For more info, contact us through our web site, email aidpa@enter.net, or call 610-966-9383 ext. 8.


Rev. Mark Swanson again officiated at our annual Blessing, offering thoughtful messages about the role pets play in our lives and the importance of being grateful for all the blessings we enjoy. Music was provided by Sharon O’Connor, from Delaware. As always, our volunteers did a great job of providing food and baked goods for the event, and most people enjoyed the fact that most of the edibles were homemade with love.

Despite some cool and misty weather, Wag Walk went well, with lots of people and dogs attending and, of course Anton the cat who represents Team Spook. The total raised was $8304. Not bad for such a gloomy day! The top three bringing in the most donations were Brenda Bolster, Karen Winston, and Chris Shellhammer. Top fundraiser under 18 was Mackenzie Harry. Thanks to everyone who participated, and especially to Kelly Hartnett for organizing everything, and Bob Johnson and Linda Hoffert for helping with set-up and other arrangements.

Team Spook raised over $1600 of the total, so cats were well represented. Thanks to Anton and his chauffeur Jeff Benner for making sure that there was a feline in attendance to cheer along the dogs!!

We have many photos of both events and will include them in our next newsletter for all of you to enjoy.


Happy Holidays Open House at Animals In DistressHAPPY HOLIDAYS OPEN HOUSE

Sunday, December 3
At Animals In Distress
12:00 pm – 4:00 PM


Fabulous selection of craft and gift items, baked goods (please deliver donated baked goods to the shelter by noon on Saturday, December 2), extensive homemade dog biscuit selection in many flavors, and much, much more.

This event features the area’s largest selection of items with a cat or dog motif, may one-of-a-kind. All items are reasonably priced.

* Baskets filled with various items are needed and can be brought to the shelter by 3 pm on Saturday, December 2. They should have a value of at least $10 and can be in any theme you choose: chocolate or coffee or tea lover, cat lover, bathroom, dog lover, etc. The baskets we have received in the past have been exceptional, with some worth $75 or more. Drawing of the Basket Social Winners will be at 3 pm on Sunday, December 17.


Santa Paws at Animals In DistressPET PHOTOS WITH SANTA PAWS

Sunday, December 10
Saturday, December 16
At Animals In Distress
1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

No appointments needed.
People are welcome to pose with their pet.



Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday through December 24
At Animals In Distress
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Please stop by and do some last minute shopping, while also enjoying one of the area’s greatest gift selections featuring cats and dogs. New items are added constantly.

Note: We have received beautiful items from a gift shop that recently closed in Bucks County, as well as some fabulous collectibles from people who were downsizing their homes. These items are in great or new condition and will be sold at a fraction of their retail value. In addition, there will be selected items eligible for additional price discounts to people who enter a discount drawing at the shelter. Since 100% of every dollar spent in the gift shop goes directly to the animals at our sanctuary, you can shop without guilt and give gifts that give live to homeless and scared animals. To acknowledge the special nature of gifts from our gift show, we will have gift cards available when you purchase something. The cards will say that you (the purchaser) have lovingly helped the shelter animals by selecting a gift from Animals In Distress.