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


Table of Contents



Our upcoming Radiothon, our biggest fundraising event of the year, starts on July 15, 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 life 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.

What power we all have in writing happy endings to sad, sad stories. Together, we can literally make miracles happen. Our 42+ years of unwavering commitment to saving lives proves that.

How do we get the resources to 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.

Sometimes, listening to the news, we become so disheartened. What can we do to stop violence around the world, terrorism, political corruption, child abuse, political corruption… the list goes on and on and on. Those things are part of our present world, and not a very happy part. However, we are not without power to change the outcome of some things. One of those things over which we have control is saving lives of animals without hope and without anyone to speak on their behalf.

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, a harsh reality is that if it were not for our dedicated volunteers, that monthly 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, marketing through TV commercials and expensive mailings, not for “administrative” expenses 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.

We hope that you will make a generous donation to this year’s Radiothon. We are challenged to equal the $158,314 we raised last year. We are counting on all of our friends to do what they can to enable this year’s Radiothon to have a solid amount pledged before July 15. We cannot tell you how important this is. Please do what you can. Lives depend on the results of the Radiothon.

We offer a few examples of recent rescues in this mailing that would not have been possible without your help. Some of these animals are in our shelter right now. Please visit and meet them. See the gratitude in their eyes. See the lives you have helped to save.


We got a call about a dog whose owner was going to have to euthanize her because he couldn’t afford to board her any longer. She is a black pit bull mix, so it was difficult to find anyone willing to take her. She was full of scars, recent and not so recent, and was not a cute puppy or adorable marketable type. Here is her story.

Midnight was first found in a Philadelphia animal control facility which is notoriously over capacity. Their appeals for someone to save the dogs on the euthanasia list have flooded the internet for a very long time. And someone decided to send a friend to Philly to save Midnight from death.

Midnight’s early years were horrific. She was used as a breeder. She was used as a bait dog and has the scars to reflect how miserable her life was. Then she wound up on the kill list.

The person who was going to ultimately adopt her decided not to adopt her, so the friend kept Midnight. She was scared, which is understandable, given her history. But here was her chance for a decent life.

A few weeks after going to her new home, she and her owner were out for a walk. Midnight sniffed along a fence that bordered the sidewalk, as any dog would do, and then WHAM!! A dog behind the fence grabbed her head through a large hole in the fence and caused several bite wounds. So Midnight found herself at the veterinary hospital getting patched up.

Again, she suffered trauma that she did not provoke. Reliving the horrors she suffered as a bait dog must have been so traumatizing.

Fast forward a few weeks later, she and her owner are out on another walk. This time, they are very careful to avoid the hole in the fence and anything else that looked dangerous. But then, WHAM!!! A German shepherd living in a house across the street broke through the screen door and ran across the street, attacking Midnight and inflicting wounds all over her body.

What a horrible scenario… unspeakably sad. So back she goes to the veterinary hospital again.

It’s so difficult to imagine what must have been going through her mind at this point. However, she was very bonded to the man who had adopted her, so she started to heal both physically and emotionally, once again.

Then her owner suffered a cardiac event and was facing a long recuperation. He could not take care of a dog. No one in his family or among his friends would take her. And he was running out of money to board her. He contacted the Philadelphia shelter from which he had adopted her, and they said she would be euthanized if he brought her back.

No local shelters or rescues would help. Midnight was a black pit bull, which meant she had two strikes against her. She had been used a bait dog and had been attacked by dogs, so she could be expected to have behavior issues.

When we got a call about her, pleading for us to take her in, one of our volunteers went to meet her. When she was brought into the room, this poor dog did not know what to expect. There she was, covered in old and new scars, sitting in the middle of the room, head down, hunched over and quivering. Heartbreaking beyond words. She did not know what life was going to throw at her next, and her fate was in our (and your) hands.

This is the kind of rescue that just has to happen. Enough is ENOUGH… she had been through a lifetime of misery in her few years, and we had the power to end all that and give her a chance to be safe and loved.

Midnight has been living at our sanctuary for several months now, and is such a sweet dog. Please come and visit her. She and so many others are the reason we need your help for this year’s Radiothon and all throughout the year. Our greatest fear is not being able to help such animals, who truly have no hope without all of us.


Imagine how soulless a person has to be to abandon a senior cat who is blind. Imagine the terror and confusion felt by such an animal. Yet, every day, thousands of pets are left to fend for themselves by people who just don’t care. One of those abandoned pets is a cat we named Mushu.

Mushu was found drowning in someone’s swimming pool. Being blind and totally disoriented in his surroundings, he must have stumbled into someone’s pool. He struggled to find his way out, but was losing strength and hope. The homeowner discovered the desperate animal before death overtook the poor cat, and Mushu was rescued by Animals in Distress.

Yes, he is an older cat. Yes, he is blind. But those aren’t reasons to give up on him, to consider his life of no purpose or value. Animals like Mushu are difficult to adopt out, since most people are looking for young, perfect animals. However, each life matters. How many of us don’t have some challenges? Some imperfections?

Eventually, Kelly Hartnett, one of our Board members who has taken in several special needs cats (including some blind ones), decided that Mushu deserved a chance to join her family. It is difficult to think about what Mushu might say if she were asked about her owner abandoning her like this. To be honest, sometimes we think it’s best that animals can’t talk: their stories would break our hearts.

Here is what Mushu might say to her former owner:

A Letter to My Former Owner:

I’m sorry that whatever I did was so bad that you didn’t come looking for me. It’s hard being blind. I was lost and fell into a swimming pool. I nearly drowned…but a nice man saved me and took me to Animals in Distress, a place that he said would take care of me.

I was so scared but found a wonderful home with a shelter volunteer who understands that I have been through a lot. She is patient and loves me. She has other blind cats but knows that true seeing is with our hearts, not our eyes. I wish you could see how happy I am. I’m safe and have all the food I could ever want. I feel safe. I feel loved. I spend my days curled up on my favorite blanket.

But I’ll never stop wondering what I did that was so bad that you didn’t come looking for me.



Everybody’s talking about the WAEB 790AM Radiothon, starting July 15. Mark your calendar now, so you don’t miss out on this important and fun event, that is dedicated totally to raising funds to rescue and rehabilitate desperate
and injured cats and dogs.

Pledge line in studio is 610-841-4999, all week.

Shelter pledge line is 610-967-4417, Sat and Sun 8 am-6 pm.