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




In a lesser know Robert Frost poem called “Death of the Hired Man,” a husband and wife argue over how to deal with the return of their former hired helper on their farm. Old Silas has been an on again/off again employee for years, sometimes leaving for a better paying job but eventually returning to the farm. The wife feels sorry for the old and obviously ill old man Silas, while the husband argues that Silas is an ungrateful drifter who needs to move on. Unable to harden her heart toward the homeless and pathetic old man, the wife states that their farm is the closest thing he has to a home and that: “Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”

It is painful to think about those without a home, a small corner of the vast universe where each living being can find peace and comfort, can find a safe place to rest and renew the spirit and the body. To be homeless kills the spirit little by little, erasing hope and a belief in the future. One of the seldom discussed aspects of Animals In Distress is the commitment we make to each adopter of our animals: each adopted animal will have a home with us, forever, if for any reason the owner cannot take care of the pet(s) adopted. Many reasons – illness, death, allergies, change in physical or financial status, etc. – can lead to a pet relinquishment, even 10 or more years after the pet is adopted from us. And we honor our commitment to each adopted pet by providing it a home regardless of how many years ago it was adopted.

Recently, we were called upon to take back several cats adopted out many years ago. In one case, the owner has to enter a facility that will not allow her to have her 3 cats from us: Molly is now 15 years old, and Spencer and Gabby are both 9 years old. It was heartbreaking to see the sadness in that poor woman, as she said goodbye to her 3 cats – the only real companions and “family” she had in her life. We wept for her and for the cats, who did not understand why their “mom” was crying and why they were left behind. The three cats were set up in a small room (apartment) in the cat wing, and are doing well considering everything. But at least, they have a place to be – a home – for as long as they need it.


Two other cats were recently returned after being adopted almost 9 years ago. The couple who had adopted them gave them a loving home but became ill. The husband died, and the wife, in declining health, had to move to a facility where she could receive round-the-clock care. No other option was available for the cats – Norm and Diana – than to come “home” to Animals In Distress.

Sometimes, something unforeseen happens after an adoption: one of the pets in the new home is not compatible with the new pet (even though we do introductions with the pets and take many precautions), or the pet has an unknown behavior problem (like separation anxiety), or something happens that makes it difficult to keep the adopted pet (like the birth of a child with severe asthma complicated by severe allergy to pet dander): regardless of the reason, the adopted pets have a “home” at the Kennel of Hope.

Obviously this is a huge commitment on our part. To honor it, we have to keep ourselves able to deal with our returns, which puts a strain on our resources and available space. However, a promise is a promise…and these pets, and their adopting families, are all part of the Animals In Distress Family. And family means commitment, and commitment must be unconditional. Thank for allowing us to make that commitment, and for being a part of the Animals In Distress Family. Your support has allowed us to keep our promise to pets like Molly, Spencer, Gabby, Norm and Diana. They – and 350+ animals now in residence plus thousands who have been adopted – have a “home” here for as long as they need it.




We need your help in making all of our events and fundraisers a success. The money from such events – 100% of it – goes to support our rescue work. You can help in so many ways: get sponsored for the Laps of Love, set up a fundraiser (dress down day, collection food sale, etc.) at work or church or Scouts/club, donate your time or services, become a Take-A-Pet Sponsor, and so on and so on. Visit our page full of fundraising suggestions. Also check our web site for information on upcoming events, copies of the most recent (and past) newsletters, and lots of other neat things. In addition, you can now donate online at our web site. All information is kept totally secure, and we never share donor or mailing information with anyone.


If so, would you consider donating them to us? Volunteers Sally and Danny Searfass have set up an aluminum can recycling program that has raised over $1300 so far and would love to have your help in increasing that success. Cans should be rinsed out and dropped off at the shelter (at marked drop-off spot behind the storage building next to the shelter building). Email aidpa@enter.net or call 610-966-9383 and leave a phone message if need help getting the cans to us.


Registration starts at 10:00 am on Sunday, June 5, which is the same day as our Pets and People Party we call Alumni Day. The whole day will be a lot of fun for you and your dog (or cat), plus dozens of prizes. Get sponsorships now and bring them with you when you register. The entry fee is only $10 per person, with 100% of the proceeds going to help the shelter animals. Entrants bringing $50 or more in sponsorships will receive an AID t-shirt. You can download an entry form here, pick one up at the shelter, or even fill one out on the day of the event.

Also, Team Spook appreciates your support, even if you can’t attend. Just mail in your donation for Team Spook, and Spook will get the credit for that in his total . He wants to win, so he needs everyone’s help to build up his total. Spook wants people to know that he can still raise funds for the shelter even though he is now in Heaven.

Entrants will be eligible to win some really nice prizes, but mostly, they will know that they are helping the animals and having a great time as well. You won’t meet a nicer bunch of people (and animals) than you will during the Laps of Love and the Alumni Day events that follow.


Sunday, June 5: Noon – 4:00 pm

This annual event is like a big family gathering, where people (and their pets) can eat, socialize, play games, enter contests like a Pet Cake Walk or a Pet/Owner Lookalike Contest, catch up with old friends and make new ones… plus win some great items in our always fabulous basket social. (By the way, baskets are needed and can be dropped off by June 4 or brought to the event by noon.)

A memento of the day is our Commemorative Journal. Please consider taking out a listing in it, in honor or memory of a loved one, or as a tribute to someone, or as a way to share a favorite poem or photo. Business listings are also welcome. A special page for Spook will list Angels donating in his name. Just let us know that you want your name listed as one of Spook’s Angels.

Click here to download a Journal listing form. Forms and donations must be received by May 17.



Thanks to everyone who made our Longaberger basket/Vera Bradley Bingo a success, raising over $6000. Volunteers did so much to get ready for the event – setting up tables, collecting prizes and sponsoring donations, preparing and selling food (we just about sold out), and doing many other tasks to make sure that everyone had a memorable and fun time. Since we limit the number of participants, the room was comfortable and the chances of winning were excellent. Nancy Michener continues to provide humor and sets a good pace by calling out the numbers (with side comments!), and Kelly Hartnett, Stella Polit, and others did a lot of coordinating and managing of the details. One participant, who is also a regular volunteer at the shelter, exclaimed the next day: “That was so much fun…I don’t think I’ve had a better time anywhere!”


To benefit Animals IN Distress
July 11 – 17

Donations for Challenge Hours and for incentive prizes are needed now. Please contact us if you can help with either at aidpa@enter.net or call 610-966-9383, ext. 8. Donations during the on-air portion of the Radiothon are encouraged when people know that they can make every dollar they donate double or triple its value during these Challenge Hours.

PLEASE consider donating early so we can start with a good amount toward our final total. This is our biggest fundraiser and is essential to our ability to continue our work.


donna-dcSometimes, the animals we rescue are those considered “unadoptable” by most shelters and rescues because they are elderly, and/or have health or behavioral problems. One such dog was a 13 year old corgi named DC who was owned by a war veteran who became homeless and could no longer care for her. Recently, DC developed a terminal liver condition and passed away after months of medical care. She knew love and caring until her last breath, because Animals In Distress became her home and the people there became her family. We are saddened to lose her at close to 16 years of age but take comfort in knowing that she lived and died knowing what it is to be loved – a n opportunity denied to many – too many – animals and people. Thanks to the staff and volunteers who cared for her, and to Donna Hosfeld for hosting a fashion party and donating the proceeds to us to help defray DC’s final vet bills. The photo here shows Donna and DC when they first met. Obviously they had a connection at first sight.


Did you ever wonder how someone can take a pet who has lived in their family and just abandon that animal? Unfortunately, we see this happening all too often. The few abandoned pets taken in by a kind person are lucky. The rest die slowly of disease and starvation, or suffer injuries due to being hit by a car, shot, attacked by another animal, or in many other horrible ways.

ollieRecently, we rescued a cat whose owner placed him in a carrier and abandoned the carrier in a tree line along a country road. If not for the alertness of a passerby, this poor cat may never have been found. Scared and cold, the orange tiger (whom we named Ollie) huddled in his carrier, the only familiar place he had left. He seemed in decent condition, so we assumed he has been taken care of up to that point. His whole world had changed in a second, and he now had no home, no family, nothing familiar…just himself alone and scared. For several days, we tried to make him feel at ease, and our hearts broke when he produced a sad, feeble meow when we talked to him, almost as if he wanted to say “Thank You” but was afraid of the sound of his own voice. Time heals wounds, and Ollie is doing better now but still looks for the owner who left him to die. We pray he will find another home soon. He is about 5 years old and front declawed, with a sweet and mellow temperament. How anyone could leave him behind cannot be explained or justified in any way.

Then there was Thomas, a young fox terrier mix who was left behind when his owners moved. The landlord was checking on the property a few weeks after the family moved away and noticed Thomas in the back alley hiding behind the dumpster. The owners had placed Thomas outside the back yard fence and drove off, not caring what his fate would be. The landlord was shocked since the owners assured him that Thomas was going with them when they moved. Thomas had no place to go so he just hung around the back alley scrounging for scraps and waiting…and waiting…and waiting…for his family to return. Thomas is now at Animals In Distress. This sweet fellow is trusting, loving and playful – a really nice dog who didn’t deserve to be thrown away like garbage.


spook002From up here in Heaven, I see people doing a lot of cruel things to each other and to animals. Now that I’m an angel (sort of), I try to be on my best behavior but I get furious when people abandon their pets. What do they think their pets are going to do?! Most house pets don’t know how to hunt or scrounge for food or dodge traffic or escape from people and other animals trying to hurt or kill them. From Heaven, I can see how afraid and desperate these pates are but I can’t do anything about it since angels can’t interfere in human business. I just have to watch and pray really hard that some good people will rescue each animal and offer it a safe place to be and some food to eat and this is really important, a kind word and a gentle touch.

If not for Animals In Distress, I would never have survived for as long as I did. I know that YOU make all this possible, and I love you for caring about all of us. Without YOU, pets like Ollie and Thomas have NO chance. PAWS UP to you for being the kind of purrson who makes miracles possible at Animals In Distress.

Love, Spook



Saturday, May 14
10:00 am – 6:00 pm

At South Mall
3300 Lehigh Street
Allentown, PA

Click here for more information.


Tuesday, May 24
7:00 pm

At Animals In Distress

Applications and guidelines are available here or at the shelter.


Sunday, June 5
Registration at 10:00 am
Walkathon starts at 10:30 am
At Animals In Distress
5075 Limeport Pike
Coopersburg, PA 18036

This event will be a lot of fun for you and your dog (or cat). Get sponsorships now. Also, Team Spook appreciates your support, even if you can’t come. Just mail in your donation for Team Spook, and Spook will get the credit for that in his total.

Click here for more information.

Click here to download a sponsorship/registration form!


Sunday, June 5
Noon to 4:00 pm

At Animals In Distress
5075 Limeport Pike
Coopersburg, PA 18036

Set this date aside now. Enjoy live music, games, a basket social and much more.

Commemorative Journal listings due by May 17. A special page for Spook’s Angels will list the names of people who select to be an Angel in Spook’s memory and honor.

The Journal listing order for is available for download here or get one at Animals In Distress.


Starting Wednesday, June 15
6:30 pm

At Animals In Distress

Space is limited so call or email if you are interested.
The class runs for 7 weeks.

Click here for more information.


Starts Monday, July 11
Final event at the shelter Sunday, July 17

Donations for Challenge Hours and for incentive prizes are needed now. Please contact us if you can help with either at aidpa@enter.net or call 610-966-9383, ext. 8. Donations during the on-air portion of the Radiothon are encouraged when people know that they can make every dollar they donate double or triple its value during these Challenge Hours. PLEASE consider donating early so we can start with a good amount toward our final total.

This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and is essential to our ability to continue our work.

helpwantedPlease participate in our fundraisers and help us raise the funds necessary to continue to do our work. Our monthly costs are climbing at an alarming rate, and we are deeply concerned about this. All creatures great and small deserve our Love and a second chance. And with your love and support, we can continue to save lives and bring hope to those who are forlorn and afraid.

Our greatest fear is that we will one day lack the resources to help pets like Molly, Ollie, and so many others who would have little to no chance elsewhere. We have never taken one dollar of “public” money from local, state or federal governments, and rely solely on our incredible volunteers, fundraisers, and your donations for everything that we can accomplish.

Every dollar matters. Thank you for 39 years of support and for your faith in a kinder, more loving world.