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


Table of Contents



One of the saddest remarks is that “he’s nobody…” What does that mean? Is any life so valueless that its holder is “Nobody”? Have we become so hardened that we consider other beings – with feelings, needs and awareness – “Nobody”?

And when it comes to stray and unwanted animals, we – as a society – declare them “Nobody” because they are unwanted, homeless, sick, alone… and we exterminate millions of animals each year because they have Nobody to own them, to shelter them, to heal them, to protect them.

When Animals In Distress was founded 39 years ago, its philosophy was based on a single principle: Every life is Somebody. Every animal deserved a chance, a life free of pain and fear and loneliness. No matter how old, or sick, or scared, every animal would get as much time as it needed to heal its emotional scars as well as its physical scars.

We remain dedicated to that philosophy today: everybody is Somebody at our sanctuary. Everybody deserves respect, shelter, and dignity. Everybody deserves Kindness, Love, and Hope.

Since the last newsletter, we have been swamped with requests for help. In fact, we have exceeded all past records for requests to help people and animals. In meeting those requests, we have stretched our resources beyond capacity. Most times, when there is a life or death situation confronting us, we don’t have the time to weigh the pros and cons of various options. We either act quickly, or allow an animal to die in unspeakable pain and horror.

Part of this 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, second chances, and life.

Our upcoming Radiothon, our biggest fundraising event of the year, starts on July 11 as Bobby Gunther Walsh of WAEB 790AM, 5 to 10 am, Monday through Friday, shares stories of our rescues and has our animals in the studio with him as living proof of the importance of our live 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. They are Somebody.

What power we all have to take a sad Nobody and transform it into a hopeful Somebody. Together, we can save lives. 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.

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 or mass marketing through television commercials and expensive mailings; not for “administrative” costs 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 us turn Nobody into Somebody.

Eli - resident and rescue at Animals In Distress
Laps of Love and Alumni Day Report


Hi, Folks!

We have been so busy. Our WAEB Radiothon is right around the corner, and I need to work extra hard to explain why we need everyone’s help. Folks, we need the money – to pay vet bills, utility bills, and… well, you get the idea.

Anton- rescued by Animals In DistressWhy should you donate? Well, let me talk about this picture: it’s Anton, the ONLY cat to ever walk for the whole length of the Laps of Love Walkathon here at Animals In Distress. I am so proud of him – he came to us more dead than alive, plus he was paralyzed too (just like Spook and me). The difference is that Anton was lucky enough to regain use of his hind legs – and now he can walk again!! Plus Anton has a home with Jeff Benner, who couldn’t love Anton more. Miracles DO happen – just ask Anton!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Laps of Love on Alumni Day, and a very special thanks to those who sent donations to sponsor Team Spook. Special thanks to our top Laps walker Matthew Salisbury and AID dog Max, who won first prize for raising the most money in pledges.

Thanks also to all the volunteers who made Alumni Day a huge success – the people who set up everything, the food prep folks, Donna Fisher and Friends for the music, the Commemorative Journal sponsors, the donors of the baskets for the social, all those who attended, the dog biscuit bakers, all the Laps volunteers… the list goes on and on.

Bottom line is that we can’t survive here without the help of ALL of our friends. Our Radiothon and other events are the lifeline for us – and you always respond with love and generosity. Sometimes, I get a little weepy when I think about how much we all appreciate the kindness of our friends. To them, all of us here at Animals In Distress are Somebody, not Nobody as we would be anywhere else.

Trapper. rescued by Animals In DistressMy friend Trapper also keeps up a brave appearance despite the fact that he is really scared. He was a stray with only 3 legs. Someone trapped him and had him in the trap for 6 days, trying to decide what to do with him. He was so scared that this person thought he was vicious so she was just going to put him back out on the streets to survive. When we rescued him, he was afraid and not very social. Trapper has come a long way in becoming more social but still needs time to trust people again.

Bonnie, rescued by Animals In DistressThen there’s Bonnie, a cat with the whole underside of her body a mass of infected ulcers and sores… even her mouth was swollen and infected. She just was released from the hospital after 2 weeks of care. She is terrified right now, and will need time to recover from her horrific experience.

When I looked at all the happy and well cared for animals who came to the Laps and to Alumni Day, while I was surrounded by shelter animals in need of care and love until they can heal and, if lucky, be adopted, I was so grateful for Animals In Distress and its supporters and volunteers.

Lovey, rescued by Animals In DistressSeeing little Lovey, an elderly tiny dog adopted by Marie Smythe, or Max, who came to us dying of Parvo when just a tiny puppy and now a handsome dog adopted by Matthew Salisbury, or Big Boy, a huge mastiff mix who spent almost 3 years in two different shelters before being recently adopted by a wonderful couple who never had a dog before, and so on… these animals and their loving families are real proof that our hard work to help such “un-adoptable” pets is worth the effort.

Please enjoy the Alumni Day collage posted here. The pictures and happy faces eloquently testify to the positive message we are able to send – of Love, Hope, and Kindness – in every life we save and in every adoption we do.

You see, love… time… hope… are what the Radiothon is all about. I pray that you can help us out – so many lives depend on it. Plus I would purrsonally appreciate your help too. I am one of the lifers here, so I know really well that the line between life and death is very fragile. I intend to stay on the life side of that line for as long as possible, and we need your help now.

Love and Licks,
Your friend Eli

By the way, all the photos in the collage were taken by Chris Shellhammer. Thanks, Chris, for allowing us to share many special moments of the day with those who weren’t there and those who will enjoy sweet memories of their visit to the shelter on Alumni Day 2016.

Animals In Distress - Alumni Day 2016

A Message from Spook

Well, it’s that time of year again when I try to explain how important our WAEB Radiothon is to so many animals. When I was just a baby and couldn’t walk, I was taken in by Animals In Distress. They were so kind to me. I knew Love and Hope and Acceptance right up until I had to go to Heaven. I always watch over Animals In Distress, and am so grateful to see how many sad animals, like I was, have been rescued recently.

Joshua - rescued by Animals In DistressMy heart went out to a little gray tiger kitten who, along with its 3 to 4 week old litter mates, had to be cut out of a wall. The mother cat had been chased away, and the kittens were screaming inside the wall, dying. The one little gray kitten couldn’t walk on its front legs and was about half the size of the others. It seemed so tiny and weak. It mostly just lay there, dehydrated and sad. As soon as the kittens arrived at Animals In Distress, the volunteers got to work feeding all the kittens. They all seemed better, but the littlest kitten still could not walk and was weak, unable to get up.

It was decided to take the kitten, who was named Joshua, to the hospital. X-rays ruled out broken bones and dislocations, but still there was no explanation as to why the kitten couldn’t walk. However, you never know what can be accomplished unless you try. Joshua is now in a home where he can get round-the-clock care and is doing better. You can meet him during Radiothon weekend and see your donation “in action”.

Some folks might say that a kitten’s life isn’t worth all that effort. Well, I used to be a kitten like that, and I am so glad that the folks at Animals In Distress thought I was worth the effort to save me.

Then there’s a big rescue the shelter did, involving a hoarder-type house with a lot of cats and kittens, most not spayed and neutered. The owner had unexpectedly taken ill and was dying. Inside the house were desperate animals in need of a place to go. One of them was a calico cat who was obviously pregnant and about to deliver. The shelter set up a quiet place for Alexa (what we named her) and, a few days later, she gave birth to four kittens. All were born dead. The saddest sight of all was her lying in the box with her dead kittens, trying to lick them and take care of them. Even we angels here in Heaven wept to see that sad sight… that poor mother cat, those poor babies.

humanityAnd then there was the rescue of an adult black cat who was blind. He had been abandoned by his owner and, being blind, didn’t know where to go or how to get food. Someone fed him for several winter months and gave him a box in the yard to hide in. He didn’t go anywhere. He couldn’t. Obviously, it was a matter of time until something horrible would happen to him, so he became another rescue. Wally, as we named him, is such a nice cat – obviously has been a pet. He is safe now and would make a nice friend for someone who sees with their heart instead of their eyes.

Dogs, too, have been in great need of help. One little guy, a fox terrier mix we named Thomas, was abandoned by his owners when they moved suddenly. Locked out of the house and the fenced yard, he hid under the dumpster in the back alley for two weeks, waiting for them to come home.

And then there’s Bonnie, abandoned in horrendous condition in someone’s driveway. Her underside was one huge mass of sores and infection. The pictures of her are the worst we have ever seen. She had no fleas, the vet said, because there wasn’t enough healthy skin on her body for a flea to suck blood from! She’s received extensive medical care and is doing better, but has a long recovery ahead of her.

Without Animals In Distress AND YOUR help, these animals and so many more would die, alone and in pain. They would be silent Nobody’s, living and dying without anyone caring. Please help my dear friends at Animals In Distress help animals like these – and like me. We are Somebody…and so are you.


Monday through Friday, July 11 – 15

Listen to our WAEB 790AM Radiothon 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

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 16 and 17, 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.

SAT & SUN 8am-6pM

Click here to learn more about our Radiothon


Basket Social and Silent Auction

at Animals in Distress Sanctuary
July 16 and 17, 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 16.



Saturday, July 16
8 am to 12 pm

38 Main Street
Hellertown, PA

Stop by, meet Bobby, make a pledge.


Live Broadcast from KOSPIA FARMS

Saturday, July 16
12 pm to 4 pm

2288 State Street
Alburtis, PA

Stop by, meet Bobby, make a pledge

Click here for more information about what’s happening at Kospia Farms.


Continental Breakfast with COFFEE & DONUTS

at Animals In Distress Sanctuary
Saturday, July 16
Starting at 8:00 am

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 17, 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 be here to prepare the food and they do a fabulous job – everything they serve is super!

Tune in from 1:00 to 3:00 pm for a 2-hour live broadcast from our shelter, thanks to ResQ products.

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 Radiothon and the food being served at Sunday’s events.

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.



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
  • 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 10:00 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

Nobody… in the Shadows

Blizzard - rescued by Animals In DIstressThey are in the shadows, those cats that don’t belong to anybody. One day, they were cute kittens and attracted the eye of someone who took them home. How charming! How much fun, as the little fuzz balls scampered around and played. Then, the novelty wore off. It was too much trouble to clean the litter box, too much work to feed the kitty, too much money to spay or neuter and get shots. So, Nobody’s Cat was set on the street to fend for itself.

Such was the sad story of Blizzard, a tiger cat we rescued from certain death on the streets, People saw him from time to time, but no one claimed him: he was Nobody’s cat. Where he slept in the bitter cold of winter, or the chilling rains, was Nobody’s concern. Whether he got food was Nobody’s worry. He was a Nobody, almost invisible, certainly not worth anyone’s effort.

The big blizzard of this past winter almost killed him. Someone videotaped him trying to navigate – desperately – in 3+ foot high snow drifts. Due to a plowed driveway, he was able to sneak into someone’s garage and found a cold shelter there. The kind owner of that home offered him food from time to time, but did not offer him an indoor home. Sadly, the neighbors didn’t want him around and were trying to shoot him. His day were numbered.

Blizzard is now safe at Animals In Distress and has a lot of goods years ahead of him, now that he’s been given a second chance, now that he is Somebody.

Blizzard’s story is so typical of that of many animals who seek anonymity in the shadows, and who die silently and alone most of the time. The lyrics of an old song come to mind: “You’re nobody til somebody loves you.” Well, Blizzard and the 350+ other animals at the Kennel of Hope are Somebody, because they are very much loved by all who make our work possible. “You’re nobody til somebody cares” continues the song. And because YOU cared, Blizzard – and so many other desperate animals – will have a second chance in a world that seldom gives second chances.