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


Table of Contents


herotheresaAs you reflect on the year that is past, and on the upcoming year, take a moment to reflect on what your love and support have meant to the cats and dogs who find refuge at Animals In Distress. Nothing happens just by hoping it will. Hard work, dedication, prayers, AND money allow us to do the work that we do. Every dollar is precious, every dollar counts. So, you won’t be getting any mailing labels, calendars, and other “gifts” in the mail from us. We need to money those items cost to save lives. However, we decided to send you a different kind of “gift” – one that you can’t buy in stores, one that you don’t return because it’s the wrong size or color. Our gift to yous is the many happy animals living at our shelter. They would not be alive today if not for YOU. A few of them are profiled in this Holiday Newsletter to reflect the kind of “gift” you make possible.

One such animalis Theresa, a dog who is part of a great love story. Theresa was a stray in the remote area of a public park for over 8 years, along with a companion dog we named Hero. Attempts to capture them were unsuccessful for 8 years until one day, they and their litter of puppies were caught. The puppies were little and cute, so they were placed by the people who trapped the family. But no one wanted Hero and Theresa. They were older, they were not well socialized, and they weren’t the kind of dogs deemed “adoptable.” Of the 57 animal shelters and rescues contacted, ONLY Animals in Distress agreed to save their lives.

Most people aren’t as devoted to each other as these two were. For 8+ years, Hero had protected his family, even chewing off his gangrenous leg after being hit by a car. Recently Hero passed away. We all worried about how Theresa would react to losing her companion and protector. Our staff and volunteers have made a huge effort to spend time with her, to let her know that she is not alone or forgotten. She is spending the holidays – and the rest of her live, probably – with us, loved and protected, thanks to those who make our sanctuary possible. She embodies the commitment of Love and Devotion better than many people do.


Santa and Max (adopted from Animals In Distress)The senior Yorkie featured in last month’s newsletter – the one with a mouth of rotting teeth and horrible infection – has been adopted by the family who was fostering him. They have sent us a picture of him having his picture taken with Santa. Tears welled up in our eyes at the thought that this sad, dying, infected, miserable little dog had been saved – and transformed – because of YOU. He will spend this holiday season in a loving home, free of pain, clean and well fed, surrounded by Love. YOU made that “gift” possible, and our gift to you is letting you know what a huge difference you have made in the lives of many animals like Max.


Our open house was wonderful, with people and pets filling the Hospitality Center with music, happy greetings, and festive spirit. Adopted pets returned to share in the event, and many volunteers prepared and served food that rivaled catered events in quality and taste.

The open house and the Pet Photos with Santa Paws the following weekends were such joyous gatherings with so many people and pets feeling the magic that happens at Animals In Distress. Several people commented that they had been feeling tired and sort of “down” until they came to the shelter. After a short time, they felt upbeat and joyful, their spirits lifted by the positive and loving energy surrounding them.

The poinsettias, ornaments and wreaths bearing the names of people or pets being honored or remembered filled the room with gently memories of those who could not be present physically., but who were remembered with Love. Some of you send in such tributes year after year, keeping the memory of loved ones alive – and honoring those still living by sharing your love with our shelter animals.

Anita Bielecki captured some of the special moments with her camera, and we share those moments with you in the collage here.

One photo shows a sweet old dog named Lovey, missing one eye and some of her teeth, who is now loved and in a home where her owner things Lovey is beautiful. Lovey would not have been considered “adoptable” by many people, but there she was, in her party outfit – so happy and well cared for in the arms of her loving guardian, Marie.


 Click here for an enlarged collage


santascoutA senior beagle named Scout is still waiting to be discovered. He was discarded by his family and had not had adequate medical attention. He was disposable to them after ten years of devotion to his people. This typical happy-go-lucky beagle has been given vet care and lots of love, thanks to your support, and is now on thyroid medication for a manageable condition that in no way disqualifies him for adoption.

Scout and almost 400 other pets will be spending the holidays – and maybe many months or years – at Animals In Distress, until just the right home can be found. Each day is a gift to them, a chance to experience Love, Hope and Kindness. Scout is pictured here, with another longtime shelter dog named Sarge looking out the window behind Santa. Sarge has had many surgeries and gone through excruciating pain, but has remained sweet and trusting.


Have you ever thought about how one good deed can lead to another? Like a stone thrown in a lake, with circles going out from the center point where the stone hit the water, a good deed can have ripples way beyond our imagination. We have seen many of our shelter animals go on to become therapy animals, going into nursing homes, rehab centers, and other places to bring happiness and distraction to people who need them. Once rescued by people like YOU, these animals go on to give back. One example of this is a cat named Anton.

When rescued, Anton was paralyzed and not expected to ever walk again. He was starving, in pain, dirty, and miserable – without a friend in the world. However, Animals In Distress offers unconditional love to the animals who need it most, so Anton was given a home and medical care. Eventually, despite all odds, he regained use of his back legs – truly a miracle – and was adopted by Jeff Benner. Anton comes to our events, always wearing an appropriate outfit, and greets everyone (dogs included) with a pleasant smile.

He is a remarkable cat, but he has now taken his “magic” even further by becoming a therapy cat for the staff and residents in the nursing home where Jeff’s elderly mother resides. Anton strolls the halls, greeting staff and residents, on his almost daily visits. And he lies next to Jeff’s mother, quietly offer her is feline companionship. No one can put into words how much his visits mean to Jeff’s mother (always a cat lover), so we will let the pictures do the explaining. Such sweetness, such Love…if you ever get sad at the holidays, remember that there are so many good things that you have helped to create, and that you have inspired. YOU are making a difference.