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


Table of Contents


Merry Christmas from Animals In DistressHave you noticed that the older you get, the more memories you have at the holidays – of happy moments, of family fun like decorating the tree or putting up lights, or of special people – and pets – who shared those happy times and made them part of your memory bank? And you also think about those who have passed away and who no longer brighten the holidays….whose absence bring a tear and whose memory brings a sigh….

Regardless of what particular beliefs a person has, all of us have those we cherish…and whose loss brings us sadness. For some, the holidays, seem less joyous because of the loss of loved ones. This essay is dedicated to all of our wonderful friends, but especially to those whose hearts are heavy at this time of year.

Last year’s holiday AID newsletter featured an essay by Spook, our beloved spokescat, who was spending what turned out to be his last holiday in the hospital, fighting for his life. Sadly, his little body could not rally again, and 6 1/2 years of valiant struggle came to an end. His loss, and that of many other present and former shelter animals, as well as the loss of several AID volunteers and human friends, has made 2014 a devastating year for all of us.

At this happy time of the year, we must address the sadness that weighs down our hearts. We would like to share our reflections with you, our friends, our supporters, our Guardian Angels. You keep us and our rescued animals in your prayers and hearts and sometimes even adopt those animals into your forever homes. Thank you to anyone who has shown compassion and kindness to those who have no friends, no home, and no hope.

All of the ups and downs of life are due to the inevitability of change. Some change brings happiness; some change brings sadness. Change is inevitable, death is inevitable, happiness and sadness are inevitable. So the question becomes: what sustains us during times of change? What keeps us going when we want to quit? The answer lies in the reason we celebrate at this time of year when we acknowledge the transforming power of Hope, Love, and Kindness. Whether people reflect on the powerful meaning of the story of the Christ child in the manger, light candles for Hanukkah, or honor family and community in other traditions, they are really celebrating those aspects of life over which we have some control. We can all be kind to creatures great and small. We can all love those who have no one to love them. We can all see possibility and rebirth if we have Hope. The choice is ours. If we choose Hope, Love, and Kindness, the sadness of life is less sad. If we choose to be appreciative of what we have, rather than yearn for what we do not—or cannot—have, we become able to be happy and grateful for NOW—the moment in which we live. We must remember, always, to tell and show those we love that they matter. We must encourage Kindness and Hope in others. We must live in a holiday spirit all year round. We must be messengers of an alternative to darkness and hopelessness.

Every day at Animals in Distress, we do our best—with your help—to offer Hope, Love, and Kindness to many friendless, hurting, and hopeless animals (and some people like that too). Know that you are much appreciated and that we wish you and those you love the very best of holidays. You are lighting a candle in the darkness by caring about those who have been forgotten by others. Thank you for choosing Hope, Love, and Kindness.



When I wrote my holiday message to you last year, I was in the hospital. I thought I would be coming home soon, and was looking forward to being with my Animals in Distress Family. I tried really hard to get better, but my body just didn’t respond. So I am now in Heaven, writing this to you.

I am here with many, many friends from Animals in Distress. The list is very, very long. I want you all to know that we are not alone here: we have each other, just as you still on earth have each other. The folks at Animals in Distress loved each and every one of us shelter animals, whether we were “adoptable” or not. They did their best for us.

Max at Animals In DistressI have assumed the role of the shelter’s Guardian Angel. As such, I feel that I must let you know that the fine work of the shelter staff and volunteers  continues every day, including Christmas, New Year’s Day, and every other holiday. I watch with amazement as one sad story after another is given a happy ending. I was worried about a 5 week old puppy the shelter took in from an irresponsible owner. The pup was dying of a terrible infection called parvo virus, and was more dead than alive. Perkiomen Animal Hospital did an incredible job of keeping the pup (named Max) alive long enough for the fluids, antibiotics, force feeding, and other supportive care to do their work. Today, Max is the picture of health. In fact, he is getting ready to graduate from our Canine Good Citizen Class and, even though he is just 6 months old now, he is one of the best trained dogs in the class. Sad beginning, happy ending!

Another shelter resident this holiday season is Fallon, an older terrier mix who suffered multiple injuries and some paralysis as a result of being hit by a car and left in the street to die. The municipal authorities picked up this older, obviously neglected dog, hoping someone would claim her. No one did. She was scheduled to be euthanized after being held for nearly a week, with no medical care and no pain medication to ease her suffering. She will need months of recuperation at our Kennel of Hope but is improving every day. My buddy Eli and I weren’t lucky enough to ever recover from our paralyzing injuries, but our buddies at Animals in Distress loved us anyway.

Timothy, a cute black kitten, came to the shelter with serious intestinal damage. He was so tiny and so near death. The care he got from our veterinarian and from foster mom Rose Yanger was exceptional, and little Timmy is now in our shelter waiting for his forever home. Just about anyone else would have given up on him, but not the folks at Animals in Distress!

Spook at Animals In DistressHaving lived at Animals in Distress for 6 1/2 years, I know firsthand how much those shelter animals need to be there, where they are loved unconditionally. I know how, at night, everybody is sleeping peacefully and with full bellies, in a warm, safe place. I want YOU to know that your Love has made a difference in our lives. Even though my body is no longer there, my heart always will be. Thank you for loving me and my shelter friends. We love you right back!

P.S. Thank you for remembering me. Team Spook at the Wag Walk did very well. So many of you ask about me, send donations in my memory….well, I’m not a mushy kind of guy but I have to tell you that I am very touched to be remembered with so much Love and Kindness. I will always love you…for loving me and all my shelter friends.


This is a picture of a stray dog in Brazil. He found his way into a church and curled up in the Nativity scene, in the cradle with the infant. How symbolic! Let us hope that the fame this internet story brought to this picture translated into some kind soul offering this dog a home and a family for the rest of his life. People get sentimental over the holidays and do many acts of kindness. But after the holidays, they go back to their daily routines, sometimes not thinking about the need for that holiday spirit every day of the year. We pray for a time when all such stray and friendless animals can find sanctuary in a safe and loving home. We pray that all of YOU have a safe and healthy holiday and that the new year brings you all the Love, Hope, and Kindness we celebrate at this time of year.

WIshing you Love, Hope and Kindness...from Animals In Distress

May you and those you love share the magical joy of childhood Dreams…filled with cats that read you bedtime stories, dogs that can fly, and a world where all is wonderful and magical!! Although we cannot return to those days, we can remember them and those we hold dear…with Hope, Love, and Kindness.
May this time of year be everything you want it to be!!

Wishes of Love, Hope and Kindness from Animals In Distress

Love and Licks from All Your Friends at Animals in Distress