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


Table of Contents



As time goes on, a person learns that change is inevitable – whether in a good or bad direction. Just look at your photo albums to see the truth of that statement. Yes, we all grow older and develop sagging and wrinkles and hair loss and…just fill in the blanks! Sometimes, though, we can MAKE change – for better or for worse. And that is what we do every day at Animals in Distress: we change lives…for the better. We do our best to end suffering and despair, and to bring hope and recovery. This whole newsletter is devoted to reporting on major events we recently held, events that raise much needed funds for our shelter but also events that bring people together to celebrate family, hope, rescue, and life.

Our upcoming Radiothon, our biggest fundraising event of the year, starts on July 13 as Bobby Gunther Walsh of WAEB 790AM, 5:00 to 10:00 am, Monday thru Friday, shares stories of our rescues and has our animals in the studio with him as living proof of the importance of our life saving work. Part of the Radiothon is an emphasis on THEN and NOW: the animals we rescued were in desperate and hopeless situations THEN (when we rescued them) but they are NOW safe, loved, and hopeful in our shelter or in the home of a family who adopted them.

What power we all have in writing happy endings to sad, sad stories. What power we all have to take a sad THEN story and give it a happy and hopeful NOW ending. Together, we can literally make miracles happen. Our 38+ years of unwavering commitment to saving lives proves that. YOU are the only source of funding we have. YOU ultimately make the difference between life and death. YOU determine the ending of many stories with sad beginnings.

Sometimes, listening to the news, we become so disheartened. What can we do to stop violence around the world, terrorism, political corruption, child abuse…the list goes on and on and on. Those things are part of our NOW, and not a very happy part. However, we are not without power to change the outcome of some things. One of those things over which we have control is saving lives of animals without hope and without anyone to speak on their behalf.

Please take a few moments to reflect on what we can do, together. Please support our work. We can’t raise the $50,000+ it takes to run our shelter every month without your help In fact, If not for our volunteers, that cost would be much higher. We pledge to you that 100% of every dollar you donate is used directly for animal care – not for inflated salaries, marketing through tv commercials and expensive mailings, not for “administrative” expenses that hide a multitude of expenses having nothing to do with true animal rescue and rehabilitation. We get NO money from any public sources – not local, state, or federal. YOU are the only source of the money it takes to save lives. Please help make the NOW endings so much better than the sad THEN beginnings.

A message from Spook:

spook002Do you believe that my column is limited to this little space??!! Honestly, I don’t know how I can fit everything I want to say to you in this small area. Bottom line is this: we need your help. I know you remember me and love those of you who keep sending donations to Spook’s Memorial Fund to help other desperate animals like I was. Just a sad kitten unable to walk, my THEN story was pretty hopeless and pathetic. I know what it feels like to be afraid and alone. I really do. Thanks to folks who believed that animals like me deserved a chance, I had 6 1/2 years of life before my body finally could not go on. I keep watching over all of my friends at Animals In Distress, whether animal or human, as the Guardian Angel of that special place. I see them trying so hard to save lives…and I see them crying when a life slips away despite their best efforts. Really, folks: they (we) need your help.



Perfect weather and great company made this annual gathering a wonderful event. We wish that all our friends could have been there to see all the Love for animals that was manifested in those in attendance. Each picture in the collage below was taken by Anita Bielecki, who captured moments that symbolize so much. EACH animal adopted has its own story, and it would take several newsletters to tell them all. Petey, an Italian greyhound who came to us scared and insecure (his family of 7 years thought he was stupid) was there with his person Gail and her two other adopted dogs. Bella and Juneau, two huskies who were abandoned by their owners, sported their therapy dog status with proud owners Bev and Denny Repsher. Max, who came to us as a 6 week old puppy dying of parvo and other ailments, was back with his proud owner Matthew. Missy, another dog with a sad tale, also was back with her owners…she looked great. The list goes on and on and on. All of the photos in the collage show some of the many animals we rescued, NOW in the hands of loving owners. Some of the THEN pictures were shared with you before, showing broken bodies and broken hearts. But on Alumni Day and the Laps of Love, we celebrate only NOW; the future is bright for these animals NOW, because of your support THEN.

Petey visits Animals In Distress on Alumni Day 2015Petey (on right)

Max visits Animals In Distress on Alumni Day 2015     Missy visits Animals In Distress on Alumni Day 2015
Max (left) and Missy (right)

Many thanks to all our volunteers for an outstanding job of setting up everything and cooking the delicious food (we sold out of just about everything). Thanks to Donna Fisher and Friends for music with a smile, to everyone who took out an ad or listing in the Commemorative Journal (the printing cost is paid for by Leo DeLong of Bucks Development so that 100% of the Journal proceeds go directly to animal rescue), and to all who attended. Special thanks to those participating in the Laps of Love and remembering to support Team Spook.

For those who could not attend Alumni Day, we know that you are with us in spirit, even if you aren’t there in body. Thank you for keeping our shelter and our animals in your hearts and prayers. We are blessed to have such great friends and supporters, as well as such loving adopting families who then become part of the larger Animals in Distress family. Look closely at the collage so you can see what we saw on Alumni Day. Living the experience of rescuing animals every day of the year is beyond words. It really is. But the real payoff for all of us is seeing broken hearts and bodies heal, seeing trust and hope light in eyes that were once full of despair and pain. THEN, seeing those animals – now healed – in homes with loving families…well, there is no bigger reward for what we do, for what YOU make possible with your support.

Never forget that as we celebrate Alumni Day, we are surrounded by almost 350 to 400 cats and dogs whose future resides in our hands. Cats looked out the windows at the festivities of the day, wondering when they would have a chance to get a loving, forever home. Dogs in the shelter heard the festivities out in the courtyard, smelled the grilled food, and wondered when they would have a chance to get a loving, forever home. Some of those animals have health issues, or are older, but they still need and deserve a family of their own. Alumni Day celebrates the lucky ones…those who were rescued, recovered from their sad past, and were adopted. But we are ever mindful that other animals wait, patiently, for a home. In the meantime, they have a home with us…and they are loved and cared for by our kennel staff and volunteers.

No other event we hold captures more fully the importance of what we do…and the lives we save…and the people who embrace the chance to give such needy animals a second chance. In a world full of sadness, violence, and disappointment, Alumni Day stands as a symbol of all that is good and kind and possible in our world.

Animals In Distress Alumni Day 2015


A record sized crowd of friends and supporters attended the final WAEB-AccuWeather Benefit Softball Game on May 7. Dr. Joe Sobel and the AccuWeather group racked up more points than WAEB, but everyone was a winner in our eyes! A total of over $3200 was raised through raffle ticket and food sales, and donations.

Many thanks to Bobby Gunther Walsh and WAEB for hosting the event again, to Dr. Joe and the AccuWeather family for making the long trip, and to all the businesses who donated prizes and food. Allen Audiology again sponsored the event. Southern Lehigh Living Memorial Community Park kindly allowed the game to be played on their softball field. Denise Schaffer (medic) was present to make certain everyone had a safe and fun afternoon. Thanks also to Tracy Ceschin for singing the National Anthem, to all our volunteers for an incredible effort in preparing and serving food both at the game and at the reception at the shelter after the game, to Bobby’s Race Crew, to the WAEB staff, to the AccuWeather team, and to Jeff Benner and Anton the cat who threw out the first ball (sort of).

Winner of a handsome man’s watch donated by Westgate Jewelers was Gunnar Knauss of Macungie. Lucky Francis Aiello of Phillipsburg, NJ, won a beautiful pair of earrings also donated by our friends at Westgate Jewelers. Mishka Garcin of Allentown won the gas grill donated by Lehigh Supply Appliances. Lowell Linde of Zionsville won a $500 gift certificate donated by Joe Mascari’s Carpets and Rugs International. Candy Kotran won a camera, Sandra Wolf won a personalized afghan, and Terry DeBiase won a print – all of these donated by Dan’s Camera City. Many other attendees won an assortment of prizes, gift certificates, t-shirts, and other items – a RECORD for number of prizes won at any of our games.

Many thanks for the support of Coca-Cola Bottling of the Lehigh Valley, Yocco’s Hot Dogs, Link Beverages, and WAEB.

The food for the cookout after the game was sponsored by Lehigh Valley Acura Honda Hyundai & Phillipsburg Easton Hyundai, the Vinart dealerships – your pet friendly auto dealers. Everything was set up and prepared with loving care by our incredible, hard working volunteers. By coming to the reception after the game, the players and members of the audience get to see what they were playing for!

Special thanks to all of our staff and volunteers for doing hundreds of tasks to prepare for the event and to set up at the field, cook and serve the food at the game, and coordinate a thousand other details. Our volunteers do so many things throughout the year, giving so generously of their time (and money), and we just could not hold such events without all of them.

A final thank you to all our newsletter readers and to the WAEB listeners who bought raffle tickets, came to the game, and in general supported this event.

WAEB/AccuWeather Softball Game 2015 to benefit Animals In Distress


Bear finds a forever home thanks to Animals In DistressBear, a black lab mix, fell out of favor with his family and wound up chained outside. He was despised by his family, who bragged that they seldom fed him – and when they did, they threw some food at him. Finally, a kind woman who kept hearing them say that one day they thought he would just die, and relieve them of the burden of throwing him food every few days, convinced them to give Bear to her. Unable to keep Bear, she sought our help. After hearing of this desperate situation, we took Bear in and gave him the medical and emotional care he needed. What a fantastic dog he has become.

Just around Christmas, the Aleczysk family adopted Bear and added him to their other dogs, including a husky named King also adopted from us. What a happy ending to a sad, sad story. Bear has fit in well with the family, including the darling grandchildren. He is so appreciative of his home, and the unconditional love from his family. This happy ending was made possible by all the people who support us, and who understand that the work we do means the difference between life and death for animals like Bear. At left is a picture of Bear as he gets ready to leave our shelter and start his new life. His NOW is so much better than his THEN!!!


Listen to our WAEB 790AM Radiothon, Monday through Friday, July 13 – 17, 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: 610-841-4999
(SAT & SUN 8am-6pm)

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 18 and 19, 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 to learn more about our Radiothon


Basket Social and Silent Auction

at Animals in Distress Sanctuary
July 18 and 19, 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 KOSPIA FARMS

Saturday, July 18
8 am to 12 pm

2288 State Street
Alburtis, PA

Stop by, meet Bobby, make a pledge.


Live Broadcast from VEGAN TREATs

Saturday, July 18
12 pm to 4 pm

1444 Linden Street
Bethlehem, PA

Stop by, meet Bobby, make a pledge.


Continental Breakfast with COFFEE & DONUTS

at Animals In Distress Sanctuary
Saturday, July 18
Starting at 8:00 am

Donuts provided compliments of Redner’s Markets.

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


Delicious Breakfast and Picnic

at Animals In Distress Sanctuary
Sunday, July 19, 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!

Tune in from 8:00 to 10:00 am for a 2-hour live broadcast from our shelter.

Live entertainment all day provided by Dennis Krause of Sound Surge.

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

Special thanks to Ironton Telephone Company for providing the extra lines for the pledges at the station and at our shelter. And thanks to Vinart Pet Friendly Auto Dealerships for sponsoring the food being served on Sunday

Click here to learn more about our Radiothon


The Power of Challenge Hours

The Power of Your Donation is multiplied when you offer a $500 Challenge Hour

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.


At the writing of this newsletter, we are in the middle of several rescues. Several tiny kittens struggling to survive are being fostered and fed round the clock. A cat found more dead than alive with a large, infected, rotting tumor on her stomach has undergone major surgery and is recovering. Her name is Abby. The tumor was cancerous, and we hope that the surgery removed all the affected tissue. Either way, this sweet cat has a home with us for as long as needed.

A cat named George Foreman continues to recover from surgery to remove a badly injured ear. Since he is FIV positive, he will eventually go into our FIV room. We need to have him checked for pellets since someone reported that he had been shot in the face.

Several senior animals have found refuge with us. Some, like a senior dog named Fallon, have recovered from their injuries (she was a stray hit by a car and in a painful condition for several days in a municipal holding facility). After the 5 day holding period, with no one claiming Fallon, she was scheduled to be euthanized: too old, unclaimed, injured, not “adoptable.” Well, this wonderful, sweetly natured senior girl is recovered and deserves a good home. With us, she will have enough time to find that home. In fact, she walked in the Laps of Love on June 7, as a sort of thank you to us for saving her life.


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:

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
  • 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 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 10:00 am.

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 28 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.

Click here to learn more about our Radiothon