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


Table of Contents

Blessing of the Animals…And a poignant message

Our Blessing of the Animals was memorable. Rev. Mark Swanson officiated, offering thoughtful messages about the role pets play in our lives and the importance of being grateful for all the blessings we enjoy. AID President Lois Gadek reflected on recent losses of both pets and people, including one of the first people who fought hard to bring Animals in Distress into existence – Joanne Bauder – and the loss of Ed Mory who, along with his wife Diann, was a generous supporter as well as adopting several cats from us (Diann died about a year ago). The list of those no longer with us reminds us to value and spend time with those we love. Do it NOW, and don’t miss the chance to enjoy those we love – and let them know that we value them. We may not have a second chance to do so. As these words were spoken, several people in attendance nodded their heads in agreement, or dropped a few tears. That message was all the more poignant since some of the animals and people in attendance may not be with us next year, since they are fighting health issues that may not be conquered despite their best efforts.

Music was provided by Sharon O’Connor and Jackie Irwin, from Delaware. The duo performed a new song, composed by Sharon for our Blessing and performed for the first time in public at that event. The message of the song, which was a happy and upbeat experience for all of us, was that although there are many fine breeds of dogs, both large and small, the singer’s favorite breed is “Rescue.” We loved her message and the fun way she delivered it. Sharon later asked if we thought some people might be offended by her song, and we unanimously responded that no one can be offended by being reminded that for many people, a dog that is rescued is their preference: shelter populations contain 25+% “purebred” dogs (whatever that means to people), so it is possible to rescue a dog that appears to be a specific breed, while also not taking anything away from the dogs of mixed heritage. Every life is precious; every dog, every person, every cat, every living creature, deserves a chance.

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.

Anyone looking around the Hospitality Center could see how much love was manifested between people and their pets. Older pets, energetic young ones, pets from shelters and pets from elsewhere,…all were welcome to be part of this celebration of love. We offer the collage below to share some of the people and animals who were part of the Blessing and want those who couldn’t attend to know that they were included in our prayers and kept in our hearts.

AID Blessing of the Animals 2015

Click here to view an enlarged collage


Happy Holidays Open House at Animals In DistressHAPPY HOLIDAYS OPEN HOUSE

Saturday, December 5
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 December 5), extensive homemade dog biscuit selection in many flavors, and much, much more.

This event features the are’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 December 4. 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 4 pm on Thursday, December 17.


Santa Paws at Animals In DistressPET PHOTOS WITH SANTA PAWS

Sunday, December 13
Saturday, December 19
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.


Longwood Gardens Bus Trip

Sunday, December 6

Sold out a few weeks after it was advertised.


stop holiday stressLet’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.


cat-antlersHelp 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 December 5 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 10 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.

Take a Pet to Dinner: Animals In Distress Fundraising programA HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA

Many 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:

Holiday Sponsorship Gift: 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.


Thanks to all who participated in our annual Wag Walk at Lake Nockamixon. We raised $8,548** of much needed funds. Brenda Bolster was again the leader in soliciting sponsorship money; she does such a great job, year after year. Other top fundraisers were Chris Shellhammer and Karen Winston. Top child fundraiser was Mackenzie Harry. All the pets in attendance had a great time. The weather, beautiful autumn colors at the lake and surrounding woods and marina, and good fellowship among all attending made this a purrfect day.

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 show. 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, for each fundraising event we hold, 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 Anita Bielecki for these shots of a day well spent.

spook002**Special thanks to those who donated to Team Spook. You donated $1,365 toward the total. It is wonderful to know that so many of my friends have not forgotten me. I am here in Heaven, keeping an eye on my home and family at Animals in Distress. I have never forgotten you, and miss you every day. It is wonderful to know that you have not forgotten me.

Love forever,
your friend and Guardian Angel Spook


WagWalk 2015 collage

Click here for an enlarged collage


November is national “Adopt a Senior Pet” month.

November is "Adopt a Senior Pet" monthToo many pets are considered unadoptable by some shelters and rescues – as well as by too many people – because they are older. The definition of older ranges from 5 years on up. This belief costs many animals a chance to live out their years in a loving home and also creates a false sense of value (about people as well as about pets). NONE of us is getting any younger. Wouldn’t it be terrible to think that we lose value and the right to exist because we are getting older? Many senior pets, with wonderful personalities, reside at Animals in Distress. They get passed by sometimes by kind people who mean well but don’t want to think about losing another pet in a few years. That is understandable, and we respect their wishes. However, we also believe that senior pets deserve a chance. Especially appreciated are those families who adopt one of our seniors. They make the final years of senior pets extra sweet and fulfilling, and are repaid with devotion beyond words to describe. The heart knows what words cannot express. Growing old is not a crime…being unloved and unwanted because you are old is a crime on the part of those who see only with their eyes, not with their hearts.