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




One of the greatest challenges of doing animal rescue work is to keep a balanced and fair perspective on humanity. People offer so many lame excuses for why they can’t keep their pet: moving, lifestyle change, new job, etc. Then there are those people who don’t make excuses: these folks, without a conscience or a soul, just abandon their pets, leaving them to unknown fates. And then there are the abusers – the dog fighters, the sadists, the Satanic cults, the sociopaths. Sometimes, the animals who suffer at the hands of such humans are killed in shelters, ignored by municipalities, and devalued because they are too old, or have a bad attitude, or are sick, or are not marketable i many other ways. Their lives are worth nothing. They are treated as garbage – or worse!

Some days, we hear people lament that “I like animals more than I like people.” And many, too many, days, animal rescue people are tempted to feel that way. Indeed, many feel that way and become sour and negative about humanity in general.

At Animals In Distress, we are ALWAYS going to protect and help the animals in our care, even if they have some “issues” like age or health or training problems. After all, most of us humans have “issues” too: and most of us hope that someone will see the good and positive aspects of us, even though we aren’t perfect or “marketable,” however that is defined.

In addition to always being unconditionally on the side of the animals we rescue, we are also mindful that what we do, every day of the year, to help animals and save their ives, would not be possible without wonderful people like those reading this newsletter. YOU, dear friends, are the wind beneath our wings. YOU, give your money, your time, your prayers, to make our Kennel of Hope possible.

An important part of our pledge to you is that we will do our best to care for every animal and to try to place them in suitable forever homes. Nationally, only one in 7 of the cats ad dogs getting a home this year will actually stay in that home for the rest of its life. Just think of that horrible statistic. Whether adopted as a rescue, or bought from a breeder, or found as a stray, only one in 7 will stay in that home for the rest of its life. The others, if they’re lucky, may find another home somewhere. BUT the majority wind up in shelters, abandoned, or dead from neglect or abuse – dying alone and unwanted, scared and hopeless.

The truly lucky animals have someone who will insist on finding them a home that has a commitment for life, not just until they find another priority in their lives. At Animals In Distress, we spend countless hours getting to know the animals in our care, so we can guide people seeking to adopt. Health, behavior, energy level, sociability, and so many other factors should be part of every adoption discussion. Placing an animal in someone’s home is a huge decision, since that animals must be able to interact appropriately with whoever lives in or visits that home.

People who have adopted from us are among the most loving and genuine humans anywhere. They embrace the adopted animal with dedication and acceptance; they open their hearts and their homes to animals who would not even be given a chance at most other shelters or rescues.

One such placement was an older cocker spaniel named Hershey. This sweet dog had some health issues and was overlooked by many. Then the Schneider family stopped in and fell in love immediately, despite whatever issues Hershey had. When we did the home visit, which is absolutely necessary for anyone who takes animal placement seriously, we were touched by how deeply the family remembered its previous dog. They even felt comfortable enough with our placement person to share a little secret: their previous dog used to lie on the back of the sofa and look out the window. That dog’s nose prints were still on the window, long after the dog had died. No one in the house had the heart to erase those nose prints.

It has been quite awhile since Hershey was adopted. Every so often, like so many of our adopting families, the Schneiders stop at the shelter so we can see how well Hershey is doing. Our volunteers and staff live for those moments, those visits and notes and phone calls, letting us know that all is well and that the animal they adopted is in a loving, forever home. At each visit, we ask the Schneiders if the nose prints are still on the window. And each time, they smile and gently answer: the nose prints are still there. Everyone deserves to be so loved. Everyone deserves a loving home.

Never, ever forget: YOU make this possible. YOU give hope and love to animals, and people, because of your kindness and generosity.



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.



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



Sunday, June 2: 10:00 am

Registration starts at 10:00 am on Sunday, June 2, 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.

Also, Team Spook appreciates your support, even if you can’t attend. Just mail in your donation for Team Spook, 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 2
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 1 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. Contact Rose at 610-759-2819 or email us at aidpa@enter.net for a business listing form. Download the form below, indicate your wishes and we will do the rest. The Journal is also a fundraiser for us, so please help us make this year’s journal one of the best yet.

Click here to download a Journal listing form.

Forms and donations must be received by May 17.



Tickets are still available for our Longaberger basket/Vera Bradley Bingo scheduled for May 4 at the Emmaus Fire Company on 50 S. 6th Street in Emmaus.

Click here for a flyer to post or share with friends, family and coworkers.



JULY 15-21

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 42 years of support and for your faith in a kinder, more loving world.


If animals could talk, they would thank those who have helped them. We see it all the time at Animals In Distress; a cat or dog arrives in deplorable shape, both physically and emotionally broken and hopeless. Some of them have given up hoping that anyone will be kind to them, that anyone will care. Too often have we looked into the eyes of animals who are near death. Some have been suffering alone, and afraid, for days or weeks. Bot nobody notices. And nobody cares.

The reason we call Animals In Distress The Kennel Of Hope is our dedication to helping those who would have little or no chance elsewhere. A recent cat admission shows another example of such a rescue.

A stray cat was found by someone who could not ignore the sick stray. The first lesson you learn in rescue is that you never know what to expect: will the animal have a terrible disease? Does it have some quirky behavior that is not obvious at the time of rescue? Will it learn to trust people again? Most of the time, these animals have no name. They have nothing except for their bodies.

The cat in question in this story was named Moo Moo (photo shows Moo Moo as a stray before rescue). Preliminary testing showed that he was positive for FIV, which is a feline immune system disease often called “feline AIDS.” Although cats can often live for years with this disease, they are usually euthanized immediately since FIV can be spread to other felines through bites. Such was going to be Moo Moo’s fate. Because Animals In Distress has an unconditional commitment to each animal it rescues, including to those cats who test positive for FIVE and FeLV (feline leukemia), our shelter/sanctuary maintains separate rooms for FIV and FeLV – and is one of the very few no-kill shelters that does so. Although our FIV population is large, we could not let Moo Moo die, so we took him in. Further evaluation revealed that this poor cat was struggling to breathe due to lung worms, and he was suffering from various intestinal parasites, including coccidia.

This sweet cat had definitely been a pet at one time, and is very trusting despite being let down by humans. He is recuperating at Animals In Distress now and has a decent chance of recovery. We don’t know how much damage is permanent but are hopeful he will have years ahead of him.


Spook at Animals In DistressFrom Heaven, I get a chance to think about what people choose for their priorities. When I was a crippled kitten, I didn’t think about such things. All I knew was that I had nowhere to be ad no one to love or help me until I was rescued by Animals In Distress. There I learned all about unconditional love and commitment. I saw so many desperate animals like me: we weren’t purrfect, sometimes health-wise and/or behavior-wise, but we were lives that mattered to the folks at Animals In Distress.

Recently I was overjoyed to watch a senior dog named Penny get adopted. You have been following her story in this newsletter. She was operated on to remove a huge mammary mass, that turned out to be cancer. A second surgery verified that the cancer cells were gone but that Penny would need periodic monitoring to catch any returning cancer at an early stage.

Only at Animals In Distress would people still believe in Penny. Yes, she is a senior citizen, BUT she deserves whatever time she has left. Old age does not mean she is worthless. Obviously, animals like Penny are not considered “marketable” and are euthanized at most places. However, who is to say which lives don’t matter? Or aren’t lovable?

Here’s where the story gets me all teary eyed! One of the veterinary technicians at the specialty hospital were Penny’s cancer was evaluated could not get Penny out of her heart. Even though this vet tech, Karyn, has other pets and certainly sees hundreds of animals in her career, she decided to welcome Penny into her family. The picture here shows the bond between them.

For Karyn and her family, Penny’s age or medical history weren’t reasons to reject her. They looked past those issues to see what a sweet and deserving dog Penny is. Wouldn’t life be better for all of us, humans and animals, if people could see all the good in us, instead of focusing on our limitations?

In almost no time, Penny made herself at home with the rest of the pets. She knows she has found her forever home and is so loving and appreciative. Karyn reports that Penny senses that Karyn has been going through some challenges due to illness in the family, and Penny is extra attentive to Karyn and tried to reassure her that she loves her no matter what.

Although I was never lucky enough t b adopted in my 6-1/2 years at Animals In Distress, I understand the bond between Karyn and Penny. I felt the same bonds with my human friends at AID. In fact, even now, although I am not here physically, I never will be gone from the hearts of those who loved me.

Thank you for giving Penny and me and Eli and so many others a chance to know that our lives matter.

Love, Spook


Speaking of the yearnings of our hearts, we recently placed two kittens in a nice home. A very special bond existed from the first time they met between the little boy in the family and a sweet kitten named Velvet. It’ almost as if they fell in love with each other at first sight. In the shelter, as soon as Velvet saw the little boy walk into the room, the two cuddled together.

After the adoption, the family, as almost all of our adopters do, sent us photos of Velvet and their son. We decided to share them with our friends who made these rescues and adoptions possible. With all the pain and sadness in the world, it is so important to celebrate the good things we make possible through compassion, hope and love.

We like to think that children, especially, get our message of unconditional love and acceptance. That message will support and strengthen them as they grow up and, we believe, make the future leaders of tomorrow the kind of people who will make the world a better, and kinder, place for ALL of us.


Over the years, may adopting families have become good friends of Animals In Distress. Some become supporters and volunteers. Some come back many times to adopt other pets. And some have selected special needs animals, despite the extra care such animals may require. And some of these adopters include children who appreciate and understand what a special gift the shelter animal has been to their families.

Such a family is the Higgins family. The first dog they adopted was a very senior dog named Ling Ling. Ling Ling had previous health conditions, but the family decided to give him a loving home for as long as he had. Later, they offered a similar senior dog a home. And recently they adopted a third dog, this one younger and healthy. When their son Shawn was deciding what kind of project he would do to earn his Eagle Scout badge, he decided to help Animals In Distress. He wanted to give something back to the sanctuary that had saved the lives of these precious dogs.

Shawn and his group worked hard for weeks to build a file and records room for all the paperwork at Animals In Distress. This was a substantial project and necessitated building shelving and creating a room design that would be most efficient. When they were done, and the final paperwork was signed, we asked the family to pose for a picture that included their most recent dog adopted from Animals In Distress.

We share that picture here as one of the countless examples of the fact that saving animals not only benefits animals but also benefits humanity. No act of kindness is ever wasted. Rather, acts of kindness are like pebbles thrown into a lake. Each pebble produces concentric circles that ripple out form where the pebble first hit the water. No one knows where those ripples will wind up, but we can be sure that they will affect everything around the. Good deeds create good deeds.

We are so appreciative to Shawn and his family and fellow Scouts for a job well done.



Saturday, May 4
Doors open at noon, Games start at 1:00 pm
At Emmaus Fire Co.
50 S. 6th Sreet
Emmaus, PA 18049

Silent Auction. 50/50 Raffle. Door Prizes. Special Games.
Tickets: 20 games for $20
Bring donations for the shelter (food, litter, treats, cleaning supplies, etc.) and get 3 FREE Chinese Auction tickets.
Limited to 145 seats.
Food provided by the Emmaus Fire Co. volunteers.

Tickets available through Kelly Hartnett – call 610-762-8553 or email khart70906@aol.com
or get your tickets at Animals In Distress.

Download a flyer here



Sunday, May 19
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 about Wimmer Wag Fest.



Tuesday, May 28
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, June 1
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
At Quakertown Animal Hospital
2250 N. Old Bethlehem Pike
Quakertown, PA 18951

Includes local shelters & vendors.

Click here for more information.



Sunday, June 2
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 17. 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 2
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 or pick one up at the shelter. Start collecting sponsorship money now!



Starts Monday, July 15
Final event at the shelter Sunday, July 21

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.