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


Table of Contents

A Special Plea

This newsletter contains lots of information on fundraising. Folks, we need the money to pay for the many costs required to save lives. Saving animals who are old, young (not weaned), injured, and otherwise “unadoptable” takes money…and lots of it.

Please support these events if you can. Please donate what you can. Lives depend on it. For decades, YOU have made the difference between life and death for thousands of animals…YOU have made miracles possible. YOU have made Hope and Love possible in a society that sees so much selfishness, cruelty, and indifference to the suffering of others.

You may not realize it but you are thought of more than you know. Each time a broken, scared, helpless animals is rescued by us, and we rush to get that animal the best care we can give it, we think of YOU. You may not be there in person that day, but YOU are there in spirit: your love and compassion, your generosity, your caring about others who have no hope without our help…YOU make those rescues possible. YOU are a blessing to us, and a Guardian Angel to animals whose lives have been saved due to your generosity and love.

Max, rescued by Animals In DistressJust recently, we saved a 14 year old dog in horrendous shape. His owner had badly neglected him for a long time, for whatever reasons we cannot imagine. The little Yorkie had a huge black growth along his lower lip, which was 10 times its normal size. The stench from his mouth and body was indescribable, the horrible smell of rotting flesh and decay. In addition, this tiny fellow – named Max – was very thin and had patches of missing fur.

According to the owner, Max had to be gone that day…the owner was moving, had domestic problems, etc. We were concerned about the ability of Max to adjust to life in a kennel environment, after being in the same family for 14 years. He was very shy and afraid to come out of the carrier he was in, but we needed to examine him closely to make the best decision we could on his behalf. When we lured him out of the container with some chicken we were using for a dog needing medication after surgery, to our surprise, this little dog got more responsive, as if he knew he had finally found somewhere that people cared about him and would take care of him. It was a very heartwarming moment – and a horrible one when we realized the full extent of the dog’s condition and suffering. We feared the worst, of course: some sort of cancer, with no hope of survival for poor Max.

We always do our best for each animal, even those who seem hopeless. We at least have to TRY.

Imagine our horror and joy at learning that the “growth” was actually a huge mass of matted fur, caked with debris and pus and infection. When the huge mat was being removed, the veterinary staff discovered that several teeth had been entwined in the mat and were being pulled out of their sockets as a result. Teeth fell out as the mat was being cut away, and a mouth full of rot and broken/missing teeth was revealed. Dental surgery was done to clean up Max’s mouth, with the result that he has few teeth left.

Can you imagine the suffering Max endured? If you have ever had ONE bad tooth, you know how painful that can be. Imagine the pain suffered by this innocent and helpless dog. The worst part is that most of that suffering could have been prevented by simple grooming and basic maintenance.

We are grateful for being able to help Max…the alternative would have been a terrible death.

Max is now recuperating in the home of one of the vet technicians who worked on him. He looks – and feels – like a different dog, a reborn one – free of pain, with loving hands petting him and a full belly. The photo here shows him sitting on the lap of the vet tech’s husband, the night he went to their foster home. What a difference from the suffering, scared dog when he first came in.

YOU made this possible. As you celebrate the upcoming holidays, please know that we keep you in our hearts and prayers. The animals you have helped to save would thank you if they could. Know that you are making a difference. You are making our world a better, kinder place for all creatures great and small.


Animals In Distress: Take a Pet to Dinner fundraising programMany 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 $8,050 of much needed funds. Brenda Bolster was again the leader in soliciting sponsorship money; she also donated the goodie bags at check-in in memory of her dogs, Eddie and Marshmallow, who recently passed away. The other top fundraiser was Karen Winston. Top fundraiser under 18 was again Mackenzie Harry. All the pets in attendance had a great time despite the damp and threatening weather. Turnout was much less than last year, due to the weather, but we are grateful to have raised an amount that is just a few hundred dollars less than last year.

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 is a collage of 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 $915 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


Animals In Distress Wag Walk 2016

Click here for an enlarged collage


Win a Samsung 32″ flat screen LED television, a wine and chocolate basket, a hand strung necklace, or a gift basket from MORE (a trendy fashion boutique affiliated with Westgate Jewelers).

RAFFLE TICKETS – Donation of $1.00 each


Drawing to be held at the shelter on Saturday, December 17 at 4:00 pm.

Winners do not have to be present to win. Get your tickets at the shelter or download tickets here.


Christmas Wreath at Animals In DistressLet’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.


Holiday Tributes at Animals in DistressHelp 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 Sunday, December 4 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 12 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.


Our Blessing of the Animals was memorable. Rev. Mark Swanson officiated, offering thoughtful messages about the role pets play in our lives and importance of being grateful for all the blessings we enjoy. AID President Lois Gadek reflected on how important it is to be grateful for what we have, and to appreciate those around us while we are blessed to have them in our lives. Several pets (and people) who usually come to the Blessing were absent this year, due to death or illness. Their absence made this message all the more poignant: we need to appreciate those in our lives while we can.

Music was provided by Sharon O’Connor, from Delaware. Jackie Irwin, who has accompanied Sharon for many years, was absent this year since she has moved to another state, but Sharon did well without her. Jackie is a true animal lover and will be missed by all of us. It has been traditional for Sharon to perform an original song she wrote decades ago, when she first started to provide the music for our Blessing of the Animals. It is called “Waiting at the Window,” and reflects on the fact that our pets wait and wait patiently, until we come home. Then, their day begins. They are so happy to see their human friends, and offer 100% devotion and love in exchange for shelter and a bowl of food. This is one of the best bargains that humanity has ever made – or should we call it a gift and a blessing? Years before writing that song, Sharon had rescued a little poodle type dog who was being badly abused. She named him Snoopy, after her favorite comic character. When Snoopy died, the song took on a deeper meaning: this dear, little dog was no longer waiting at Sharon’s window – except in her heart and mind. Some of us have heard her do this song many times, but we always feel that it is so special and so true: it never gets old. Tears of sweet remembrance roll down cheeks at the Bless every year, for we all understand and relate to the song’s message.

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.


Happy Holidays Open House at Animals In DistressHAPPY HOLIDAYS OPEN HOUSE

Sunday, December 4
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 Sunday, December 4), 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 Saturday, December 3. 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 3 pm on Saturday, December 17.


Santa Paws at Animals In DistressPET PHOTOS WITH SANTA PAWS

Sunday, December 11
Saturday, December 17
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.