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




A major concern for animals in our society is discrimination against animals who are older – sometimes, shelters euthanize animals over 5 years because they are considered “unadoptable” or “difficult to place.” Well intentioned celebrities, like Rachael Ray on a recent show honoring Adopt A Pet Day, promote visits by shelter pets. Such was the case on Rachael’s show when North Shore Animal League in New York State brought in several animals – ALL were puppies of about 8-16 weeks old. Of course, those puppies were cute. ALL puppies (and kittens) are adorable. And they usually are easy to handle and very affectionate and sociable.

But what about the shelter animals who are older? Or maybe aren’t as cuddly and sociable? Who maybe have been abused? Or are maybe older and have some health issues? Don’t those types of animals deserve to be acknowledged? Don’t they deserve the chance to show how much they can offer to a prospective adopter?

The same age bias occurs with people as well, and many senior humans are pushed aside as not being as capable or worthy or as desirable as those who are young. Sadly, in the case of senior animals, they have no rights except those we give them. And if shelters and rescues don’t promote them as adoptable and deserving, they will be discarded (and killed) as “unadoptable.”

At Animals In Distress, old age is not considered a death sentence – or a disease. Rather, old age is, as the saying goes, “a privilege denied to many.” So our sanctuary makes a commitment to every animal it rescues, wither young or old, healthy or sick: we will do our best – with the help of our friends and supporters, and we have honored that commitment for 41+ years.

You can visit many senior animals in our shelter. Some have been with us for years. Some of them act and look half their age, just as with some people!

Recently we were able to find a wonderful home for one of our senior dogs, a beagle named Scout. Scout came to us 3 years ago. He had two large masses on his abdomen/chest area, and his owners did not wish to get him medical help. After all, they said, he was 10 years old – why spend money on an old dog? The irony was that Scout seemed quite happy and active, doing well otherwise for a 10 year old dog. When Scout came to us, he seemed in decent shape except for those masses. So we had the masses removed and basic medical tests done. Cancer was suspected so we had him evaluated by an oncologist. Amazing news?? He had an underactive thyroid gland (like many of us humans) and just needed a pill to bring his thyroid level up to the right level. So many health issues are treatable. Just because an animal (or person) is a senior does not justify giving up on them. And that certainly was the case with Scout.

After he was doing very well medically, we offered Scout for adoption. Everyone loved him, but many were concerned about his thyroid condition despite the fact that it was totally under control. And of course, many people were concerned about his age. It is understandable that many loving pet owners avoid getting an older pet because they don’t want to lose a beloved pet for many, many years. We respect those kinds of adopters because they make lifelong commitments to their pets and make them a part of the family in every way.

BUT – and this is a big BUT – some people prefer older pets, for a variety of reasons. Older pets seem to be more calm ad better trained (in most cases). Older pets have fully formed personalities and preferences. And older pets appreciate love and a home as much as any pet, maybe more so, since they know what it is to have – and then lose – a family and a home.

Animals In Distress was founded on the belief that every pet deserves a home, and that there should be no time limit on finding that home for each of our animal rescues.

Read more about Scout here…



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 report that our aluminum can recycling program has raised over $5000 so far (that translates to over 6 TONS!!!) 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). Please note that most soup and veggie cans, and brands like 9-Lives, don’t use recyclable cans, and aluminum foil/one-use pans are not recyclable.


Please don’t cut them apart. We need the whole tape for the program!


Sunday, June 3: 10:00 am

Registration starts at 10:00 am on Sunday, June 3, 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 (coming soon), pick one up at the shelter, or even fill one out on the day of the event. Special visits by Eli the Wonder Dog, shelter veterinarians and others.

Also, Team Cat appreciates your support, even if you can’t attend. Just mail in your donation for Team Cat, and the cats will get credit for raising money to help the shelter animals. Why let the dogs get all the credit?!

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.

CLICK HERE to download a sponsorship form.


Sunday, June 3: 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 2 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 23.



Thanks to everyone who made our Longaberger basket/Vera Bradley Bingo a success, raising over $5217. 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 and others did a lot of coordinating and managing of the details.


JULY 16-22

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 610-759-2819. 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.

Note that Radiothon week is a week later than our usual week for Radiothon.


Please 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 Trinity and her babies, Scout, and so man 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 – together!

Every dollar matters. Thank you for 41 years of support and for your faith in a kinder, more loving world.


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 lucky pets who are abandoned get taken in by someone kind. The rest die slowly of disease, injury, and starvation.

Recently, we took in a litter of 6 kittens and their mother. The kittens were still nursing and not yet weaned or able to survive on their own. This little family was wrapped up in a box that was taped shut, like a tomb. The box was placed on the property of a church. No one is usually at the church during the week and the box would have gone undetected for several days IF something miraculous hadn’t happened.

A kind group of church volunteers who help run a soup kitchen stopped at the church to get the food ready. Imagine their shock in seeing that box. Imagine their horror in discovering this little abandoned family trapped inside.

What kind of depraved mind does it take to leave this mother cat and her babies to die in a dark, airless tomb? How can people guilty of such monstrous behavior sleep at night?

Because this group of women was kind enough to care about the homeless and desperate people whose meals depended on that soup kitchen, the kittens and momcat were found in time. The mother has been named Trinity. She was obviously a pet since she is super friendly and trusting. Trinity and her babies are dong well at the shelter. All family members are a pretty light orange/buff color except for one that has dark markings. The photo shows her and her kittens nursing about an hour after arrival at AID.

Thanks to all our friends and supporters, Animals In Distress was able to offer this orphan family a safe home for as long as they need it. By the way, Trinity and 5 of her 6 kittens are close to Spook’s coloring!


Spook at Animals In DistressFrom 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 pets 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 have never survived 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 Trinity and her babies – and Scout – have NO chance. PAWS UP to you for being the kind of purrson who makes miracles possible at Animals In Distress.

Love, Spook



A senior gentleman and his friend came to visit us. The man, named Mike, had lost his beloved dog of many years. Although he was older, Mike could not see himself living without a dog for the rest of his life. He wanted a senior dog so they could spend their lives just hanging out and being happy. We were delighted when he asked if we had any such dogs (we always do, of course!!) and also asked about beagles. It’s almost as if he was describing Scout.

Mike lives in a senior apartment complex, so he wanted a dog that was social enough to enjoy all the attention he would get from the residents there and from the people he would meet on his walks through downtown Bethlehem. Again, Scout – just about the most social and friendly dog on the planet – seemed a perfect match.

When told about having to give Scout his daily thyroid medication and take him for periodic blood work to check thyroid levels, Mike said that was no problem: he too had medical issues and needed daily meds and periodic health checks. When he met Scout, he was surprised that a 13 year old beagle looked and acted so much like a young adult. Obviously, Scout could have been passed off as much younger, but we would never mislead a potential adopter about any animal from our shelter.

After getting approvals from the apartment complex and filling out some forms, Mike was ready to take Scout on his new adventure. Scout settled in almost immediately, including getting used to riding on an elevator. The residents and staff of the complex welcomed him with open arms, and Scout enjoys several walks daily around downtown Bethlehem and along Monocacy Creek. If you’re driving through that area and see a cute beagle sitting with his owner on one of the many benches in that area, stop and say hello. You will see how important your help is in making such happy outcomes possible.




Sunday, May 20
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
At Wright Veterinary Medical Center
3247 Wimmer Road
Bethlehem, PA 18020

Food, Rescues, Therapy Center Tour.

Click here for more information.


Tuesday, May 22
7:00 pm

At Animals In Distress

Applications and guidelines can be found by clicking here or they can be picked up at the shelter!


Saturday, May 26
8:00 am – 10:00 am
At Lehigh Valley Zoo
5150 Game Preserve Rd
Schnecksville, PA 18078

Includes local shelters & vendors.

Click here for more information.


Sunday, June 3
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 25. 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.


Sunday, June 3
10:00 am

At Animals In Distress

This event will be a lot of fun for you and your dog (or cat). Get sponsorships now. Even if you can’t come, just mail in your donation to sponsor a shelter animal or your own! One of our volunteers will “walk” for you!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD a registration form (coming soon) or pick one up at the shelter. Start collecting sponsorship money now!


Monday, June 11
6:00 pm

At Iron Pigs Stadium
1050 Ironpigs Way
Allentown, PA 18109

To benefit Animals In Distress.

Game starts at 6pm.


Starts Monday, July 16
Final event at the shelter Sunday, July 22

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 610-759-2819. 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.