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


Table of Contents


candlelightSome people hang on to the holiday spirit: they leave their lights on longer, they close their drapes at night so people driving by don’t see that their Christmas tree is still up (and lit), they leave wreaths on doors and icicle lights along their roofs. They don’t want to let go of the season – of the feelings it brings.

It is easy to want to hang on to a season when people are extra kind, when they smile more, when they are more charitable, when songs of joy and happiness fill the air. At Animals In Distress, we like to say that we hold on to the Christmas spirit all year, in how e do what we do to help friendless, sad unwanted animals. We are so blessed to have friends who care about these animals, and during the holidays we get to hear from many of these friends – through donations, nice notes on cards, and collections of needed items.

eliSchool groups and scouting groups and church groups schedule visits. It is always nice to watch children’s faces when they meet Eli, a paralyzed cat, or Sarge, a whippet mix (pictured below with Santa) who has undergone much painful medical treatment while remaining sweet and tolerant. Sometimes the children make cards to go along with the items they collected. Once child from the 4th grade at Marlborough Elementary wrote on her card: “Thank you for taking care of these friendly animals. You may not know how many amazing lives you’ve saved. Thank you so much for your love and support to these animals. I bet they really appreciate it.” Another child from that same school wrote:

“I hope that God can bless your animals so they can stay strong…”

santaandsargeThat card took our breath away: the child asked God to bless our animals so THEY could stay strong. What wisdom and kindness are in those simple words. A child in years, but a wise person in soul and spirit. Then there are the people who sent much needed donations, accompanied by loving and encouraging notes and letters. Most thanked us for what we do for the animals, many blessed our work and us, and some mentioned specific animals who are sponsored in our Take-A-Pet-To-Dinner program or mentioned in our newsletters.

antlersSeveral children told their families to donate the money they would spend on Christmas gifts for the child to the shelter, or to buy gifts for the animals with that money. Imagine a 5 or 9 year old child being so caring as to say something like that, especially in this day of material things and people driven to accumulate more and more. There is such hope for the future when young people see so clearly what is important, when young people are inspired to choose others’ needs. No wonder many of us hate to see the holiday spirit fade. We want to believe in goodness, and hope, and love, and charity… we yearn for a world run by compassion and understanding, where we support and nurture each other, where we care for those without a voice.

We must mention and thank those whose tributes to loved ones filled our Hospitality Center. Poinsettias, ornaments, and wreaths bearing the names of those being honored or remembered filled the room, silent reminders of those who are loved. What better way to honor those we love than to help others in their names? And we must not forget those who donated baskets, food, and other items for our open house and the holiday bazaar. The photo collage in this newsletter captures the wide range of ways that people helped…including those who attended our events, bought raffle tickets and homemade pet greats, and volunteered in many ways to make everything happen.


Your encouraging letters and notes, accompanying your donations, have filled our hearts with inspiration, especially when we are struggling to choke back tears and are wondering if we can continue to do this heartbreaking work. Knowing that you understand what we do and why we do it means everything to us. You help us to continue our work. You care about animals that you may never see in person, that you may never hold in your arms…you are generous, compassionate, and supportive. You, to quote a famous song, are “the wind beneath our wings.”

aidhc-christmas2You come in all sizes, and ages, and body types, Some of you are athletic, some are book worms and still read the paper version of books instead of electronic books. Some of you are eligible to collect Social Security, while others are too young to get a driver’s license. The bottom line is this: YOU are good, just as you are. You are special. You are making a difference. Because of you, the world is a better place; and our little corner of the world at Animals In Distress exists because you are who you are – and what you are.

In 2016, we resolve to keep the holiday spirit alive all year. We pray for the strength to do what must be done, and we pray that our friends will continue to bless us with their donations, prayers, and time. Thank you for being there for us. We pledge to you to continue to do our best for hundreds of the most pathetic and friendless animals. We promise not to give up on them. In return, we ask that you continue to do what you can to make our work possible.

To repeat the words of the Marlborough 4th grader: “I hope that God can bless your animals so they can stay strong…” We hope that we stay strong so we can continue to save lives, light candles in the darkness, and keep the holiday spirit alive all year. With your help, that goal is attainable. Thank you for believing in our work. You make miracles possible.



Click here to view an enlarged Christmas 2016 collage




viewfromuphereThis is a special and difficult column for me to write. I have been dead for two years now. I died on January 30, 2014 after a 6-1/2 year battle to stay alive. I was blessed to be at Animals In Distress, where Love is unconditional. I would not have survived without all of the people who took care of me, and the people who make the shelter’s work possible. I really miss all of you. I miss my animal friends and my human friends.


This viewpoint allows me to keep watch over Animals In Distress. I can see everything. As a sort of Guardian Angel, I make sure that the spirit of this special place stays strong. I have been watching very carefully as several special needs animals are becoming a little better. I know that they (like me) would not have a chance in most places, and I love to see how they respond when they realize that they are loved even though they are not purrfect.

chappieOne little guy who sort of fascinates me is a black and white kitten named Chappie. When Chappie came to the shelter, he couldn’t walk or stand for very long. We were told he tried to follow his feral, stray mother but was left behind, alone and afraid. He couldn’t keep up with her. Don’t get me wrong: Heaven is a great place. But we Angels aren’t allowed to interfere in the world’s affairs. I so wanted to help Chappie, to save him, but I couldn’t. I could only pray that someone would help him get to Animals In Distress because once he was at the Kennel of Hope, he would have the best chance possible to survive. And my prayer was answered. He was rescued and diagnosed with a brain misfire called cerebellar hypoplasia. This congenital condition causes cats (and kittens) to fall over rather than walk. They lack coordination and struggle to get around. They aren’t in pain, however; and many times, the condition improves as the cat grows older.

Chappie is now about 8 months old. He can stand up and wobble around before falling over, but still has a lot of strengthening of his muscles to work on. He is such a spunky fellow (sort of reminds me of me) and doesn’t realize there is anything wrong with him. He is given rugs to walk on so he gets better traction and gets some assistance when he tries to walk so he can train his brain to adjust his coordination as needed. Whatever happens, Chappie will have a home at our sanctuary as long as he needs it. That means everything.

I never understand how some animals (and people) get designated as “unadoptable” or unlovable. Everyone deserves to be loved, despite age or looks or handicap. What is a turnoff to some is not a big deal to others. For example, a chocolate cocker spaniel named Hershey came to the shelter with cataracts, painful glaucoma, and infected ears. He was blind and in pain due to these problems. At 8, he wasn’t old, but he wasn’t young either. He needed surgery to remove the one eye due to its painful swelling caused by the glaucoma. His ears got better with treatment but would need regular care. Lots of people said he was a sad case, but folks, I don’t think Hershey thought he was sad or pathetic. He made the best of his situation and, after the surgery to removed his painful eye, he became quite lighthearted: for the first time in a long time, he wasn’t in horrible pain. hersheyBetter yet, a kind family visited and fell in love with this sweet boy. He was adopted around Christmas, and the family reports that he is a joy to have. Don’t you just love happy endings? I know that I do!

This photo is of Hershey with Santa Paws and his new “dad.” YOU made this possible. Without folks like you, animals like Hershey, Chappie, me, and so many others have no hope…and no life. I wish I could be at Animals In Distress in purrson. I miss you and will never forget you. I hope you will never forget me or Animals In Distress.


rednerslogoThanks to all who send their Redner’s cash register receipts to the shelter. We redeem them for cash. You must go to the Customer Service Desk and obtain a Save-A-Tape card that will allow your tapes to participate in the program. Keep those tapes coming! They are providing a nice stream of income, since we receive 1% of the tapes’ totals, excluding sales tax, milk and cigarette items.

Click here for more information about how saving your Redner’s receipts can benefit Animals In Distress.


At the beginning of the year, we not only renew our commitment to a message of hope for all animals. We also renew our membership in the Kennel of Hope.

Members are welcome to all shelter events, receive the newsletter, nominate and vote for Board members, and go on record as supporting our work to preserve the dignity and life of animals forsaken by others.

Please complete and send in the following coupon to indicate which of four membership categories you wish to be listed under, and if your membership is a new one or a renewal. Gift memberships are also available. Provide the necessary information on a separate sheet of paper and we’ll inform the recipient of your thoughtfulness.

Click here to download a Membership Renewal/Enrollment form.



Starts Sunday, March 13
Continues through Easter

At Animals In Distress

Visit our gift shop in the shelter’s Hospitality Center for all kinds of Easter items. You will also find one of the largest selection of dog and cat related gifts in the area.

The Easter Bazaar is open during our public hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm.


Sunday, March 13: 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Saturday, March 19: 1:00 – 3:30 pm
At Animals In Distress

This event is always a lot of fun, seeing old friends and new pose with the Easter Bunny. Bring your own props or use some of ours – dogs look great wearing bunny ears! Cats do too!


bingo2016Sunday, April 3
Doors open at 5:00 pm
Bingo starts at 6:00 pm
At Lehigh Valley Active Life
1533 Elm Street
Allentown, PA

In addition to 20 games of bingo, there will be a Silent Auction, 50/50 Raffle, Door Prizes, Refreshments and fun for all! Come out and have fun while supporting a great cause. All proceeds benefit Animals In Distress.

Click here for more information.

Click here to download a flyer to share with family, friends and coworkers!