Gracie said goodbye today

Gracie loved to go on hikes with her favorite volunteers, whether it was meandering through our dog trails or on a hike in the mountains. She loved to play, chasing a ball and jumping through the air playing catch. Gracie will be remembered for her spirit of adventure.

Gracie earned her angel wings today as she passed over the Rainbow Bridge. She survived her surgery Thursday evening but remained in intensive care. Today however, she took a turn for the worse. Even though the surgery was successful in removing a foreign object that had punctured her bowel, she could no longer fight the massive infection that had spread throughout her body. Some of Gracie’s favorite people were with her when she passed away late this afternoon.

Our hearts are broken as we mourn her passing. Gracie came to Pets Alive from a shelter in Georgia when she was just a year old. She quickly captured the hearts of staff and volunteers, who would often take her to different local hiking areas in the summer and in the winter. She particularly loved playing in the snow – the cold didn’t bother her in the least!

Thank your for being here for Gracie. Your donations and support enabled us to give her a fighting chance. We are so very grateful for all you have done to help Gracie. She will be dearly missed by so many.

Truly grateful,
Becky Tegze
Executive Director

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BREAKING: Gracie is fighting for her life!

An update as of October 13, 2018

Earlier today, Gracie said goodbye and crossed the Rainbow Bridge. You can read about what happened on our blog posting here. Thank you so very much for your support. She will be missed by many.

The original story posted on October 11, 2018

Just days ago, young Gracie was enjoying her favorite things – taking hikes with her favorite volunteers and dashing around the play yard. But now, suddenly, she is fighting for her life and will undergo emergency surgery this evening with hopes of saving her life.

Last Friday, she showed signs of inactivity, which was unusual for happy-go-lucky Gracie. By Saturday, she lacked her appetite and we immediately took her to our veterinarian. Her bloodwork showed that she has lyme disease and we started her on antibiotics. By Tuesday, she didn’t show any improvement and her stomach was now slightly distended. She went back to our local veterinarian for more aggressive treatment, including x-rays, ultrasounds and testing of the fluid found in her stomach.

Today, that fluid test sample came back showing a massive bacterial infection. We immediately rushed her to Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, NJ, a 24×7 emergency / specialty hospital. Their conclusion is that she needs emergency exploratory surgery NOW. While surgery is high risk, without quickly determining the source of her distress, her condition will rapidly worsen and her life is at risk. She now awaits quietly with a few members of our staff as the medical team prepares for surgery this evening.

The estimate for this surgery is between $7,500-$12,000, depending on what they find. Gracie is only 2 1/2 years old. She came to Pets Alive from a shelter in Georgia when she was just a year old. She deserves a second chance, a chance to run around our play yard once again and go on long hikes.

If there ever was a time an animal at Pets Alive needed you, it’s now. Won’t you donate to Gracie’s emergency medical fund? Even a few dollars will go a long way to help Gracie.


You are always there for the animals and we thank you from the bottom of our heart.

Becky Tegze
Executive Director

ps…prefer to mail us a check? You can do so by mailing it to: Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940.

Gracie atop her igloo in Camp Tyler

Gracie playing catch at Pets Alive

Posted in Call to Action, Dogs, Medical Cases | 4 Comments

URGENT: Jack and Jill need you!

Jack and Jill ran up the hill…an old nursery rhyme many of us remember as a kid. But earlier this week, Jack and Jill, two dogs, were running for their life – tethered together with an old, frayed leash that looks like it had been joined together for a lengthy period of time. Thanks to our town of Wallkill Animal Control Officer, Jack and Jill (as we named them) were rescued as they dashed down the road. They were brought to Pets Alive, where they are now safe.

These two young dogs had a rough life prior to their rescue. Imagine wearing a heavy 3.5 pound chain collar; that’s what we found on Jack’s neck shown here. A normal sized dog collar, pictured here next to the chain collar, weighs just ounces.

Jack’s mouth had sores and his back end was almost completely without fur. Both dogs also appear malnourished.

Jill’s skin was also spotty and she had sores all over her body. Luckily, they do not have any tick-borne diseases but we are testing for other possible medical conditions, including the cause of their severe skin issues. Both dogs require vaccinations, spay/neuter and microchips. As much as they may have been abused, they are two friendly canines, wagging their tail and just wanting some love – which they will get plenty of at Pets Alive.

Won’t you help Jack and Jill recover from their abuse by making a donation now to our Medical Fund? Every dollar will help these two precious dogs get back to health and ultimately find their forever home.


We thank you once again for your generous support.

Becky Tegze
Executive Director

ps…prefer to mail us a check? You can do so by mailing it to: Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940.

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BREAKING! Hurricane Florence dogs coming to Pets Alive

As devastating Hurricane Florence continues on a path to slam into the southeastern states, Pets Alive staff and volunteers have been working around the clock and preparing to take in dogs from the hurricane evacuation zone.

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue of Ashville, NC is working feverishly on coordinating a mass evacuation from not only their own shelter at risk of flooding but from other animal shelters at risk as well. The shelters are moving as many animals to safety way ahead of the storm, and the animals will be transported to northern animal shelters not currently in the path of the storm.

Pets Alive nor Brother Wolf Animal Rescue are strangers to rescuing animals from storm-ridden areas. During the 2017 hurricane season, we worked with Brother Wolf and other animal rescue organizations in the south and rescued 36 dogs at risk of danger from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Nate. You were there for these animals. Thanks to your support, all 36 of these dogs were vetted and medically treated as needed and were adopted into loving homes.

We are now asking for your help once again in anticipation of the arrival of  8 dogs that could arrive as early as Tuesday morning. The Brother Wolf Animal Rescue transport team just left Horry County Animal Care Center in Conway, South Carolina. They will drive through the night to Pets Alive for a long 12-plus trip – barring traffic and any other unforeseen complications.

The dogs will all need to be vetted by Pets Alive prior to being put up for adoption. This  includes vaccinations, microchipping, deworming, spay/neuter, and treatment for any other unknown medical conditions. We will also be a holding area for another local animal rescue, Suruluna Animal Rescue, who is also taking in a handful of dogs later this week.

You have helped the animals so many times in the past. Our medical fund is already stretched and is dwindling as a result of a summer full of animal rescues. We anticipate this could be one of several emergency rescues we will be involved in as the storm season progresses. Can we rely on you once again – our partner in rescue – to help these dogs so we can get them the emergency care they need and ultimately find them all loving homes?

There are several ways you can help:

1. Make an online MONETARY DONATION now or you can mail us a check made out to Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940.

2. Donate supplies including:

    1. Dry dog food (Pedigree is preferred)
    2. Canned dog food (Pedigree is preferred)
    3. Bleach
    4. Contractor garbage bags
    5. 3-lb paper trays
    6. Blankets and linens.

Supplies can be dropped off at Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown NY daily between 10:00am-4:00pm. You also can order directly from our Amazon wishlist and have the item(s) mailed to us at Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940.

3. Consider adopting one of these dogs – or any of our other dogs available for adoption. Check out the latter here. For every dog you adopt, you open up space at Pets Alive for another animal in need. You can submit an online adoption application.  (NOTE: The Hurricane Florence dogs will not be available for adoption for at least two or more weeks as we assess their health and treat them as necessary.)

4. Volunteer. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization and do all sorts of tasks from animal care, property maintenance, laundry, to fundraising and more. Contact us at for further information.

We thank you for your generous support. We could not do this live-saving work without you. And for those of you who are affected by Florence, we hope you and your loved ones are safe.

Becky Tegze, Executive Director

ps…Every dollar you DONATE will help us care for these loving animals and find them homes.

pss…Bookmark this blog and check for updates as the dogs arrive at Pets Alive and they begin their new journey.

A few animals of Hurricane Florence that you will help support as they arrive at Pets Alive

Welcome Asa!

Welcome Camille!

Posted in Animal Rescue, Call to Action, Dogs | 2 Comments

URGENT! Only one day left to Saving Pets Challenge!

The end of the road is near and we need your help to get over the finish line! You have helped us raise 77% our $100,000 fundraising goal for the Saving Pets Challenge, which ends on Thursday, May 31 at 1:59:59pm ET!!

This is your last chance to support this Challenge with a donation and help us reach our goal raising $100,000 and possibly win $5,000 in grant money.



The money raised will go towards making needed repairs to our dog kennel building. This will ensure the safety of our dogs and enable us to maintain maximum capacity to continue to save so many lives like sweet Dolores, pictured here, a 10-year-old, one-eyed senior we rescued last week.

Please help us repair the dog kennel building by donating $10, 25, $50, $100+ or any amount you can. Your gift will be doubled up to $40,000, thanks to pledges by Sidewalk Angels Foundation and The John & Christine Tortorella Family Foundation.

Additionally, we are in 5th place of all the animal rescues entered into the Challenge. Fifth place wins a $5,000 grant in prize money from sponsor Michelson Found Animals Foundation; your donation can help us maintain this position. If we reach our goal of $100,000, we could possibly slide into 4th place, which wins $10,000!

Please don’t miss this opportunity. Make YOUR most generous gift.


Thanks so much for everything. We really, really appreciate it.

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Double your impact and transform lives!

Remember the 2017 Hurricane dogs? First it was Hurricane Harvey, then Irma and Nate, forcing evacuations from animal shelters throughout the affected areas. Fortunately, Pets Alive had the capacity to rescue 36 dogs from these shelters and save their lives. These dogs were just a few of the 239 dogs that together, we rescued in 2017.

You now have the opportunity to continue to make these miracles happen. We are entered in the Saving Pets Challenge, a month-long online fundraising event, to raise $100,000 to repair a very broken kennel building. Without making the repairs now, it’s only a matter of time before our capacity to save so many dogs becomes limited.

The 30-year-old kennel roof needs to be replaced. The exterior portion of the 60 dog runs needs repairs to the floor and walls, and the fencing needs to be replaced. Ten runs have fencing that’s pieced together with chains, making the doors hard to open, and in 8 of the runs, the flooring cracks have yielded to crumbling concrete.

Check out our video which provides a view of the building condition and why your donation today is so important.

Your donation to the Saving Pets Challenge will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $40,000 as part of the kennel project!

Additionally, the group that raises the most money in the Saving Pets Challenge between May 8-15 will be awarded a grant of $5,000 by Challenge sponsor, Michelson Found Animals. The charity that raises the most money for the 5-week duration of the Challenge will win a $50,000 grand prize from the Challenge sponsor! That could be Pets Alive with your help.


We thank you and so do the animals! Your support is crucial to the Dog Kennel Transfurmation project and helping provide a safe and healthy environment for the animals as they await their forever home. The Challenge concludes on May 31 so don’t delay!

ps…prefer to make a donation via check? Please mail your donation to Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940. While your donation will not count towards the sponsor prizes, it will qualify for the matching gift! Thank you!

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Paying It Forward: 5 Million Steps for Pets Alive

By Joyce Washnik, Pets Alive Volunteer

A spontaneous camping trip last June planted a seed in Courtney Black’s head: What else could she do to put this sense of adventure to the test? Her “aha” moment came when her thoughts turned to the Appalachian Trail (AT). With no major commitments in her life, the timing seemed perfect.

“And once my mind landed on the AT, it felt like the idea had been there, kicking around for a while,” she says. “It made my heart race and made me so excited. I stayed up until morning researching it. And that excitement has stayed these past 9 months. Every single part of my life, from June through now, has been completely geared toward getting on the trail.”

Originally from Middletown, New York (and now living in Savannah, Georgia), Courtney wants to make the 6-month, 2,200-mile trek (some 5 million steps) count: She plans to use her journey to raise funds for Pets Alive. “Any amount would make me happy,” she says.  Join us in cheering Courtney on as she makes this 2,200 mile hike while paying it forward and raising funds and bringing awareness to the many animals Pets Alive helps each and every year.  Together let’s raise $2,200 a dollar for every mile Courtney will hike! 


Hiking the trail can be a costly endeavor (estimates are $1,000 per month for shelter, food and supplies along the way), plus additional funds to cover a storage unit, cell phone, bills and more. Courtney also needed to provide 6 months of food and supplies for her two kitties, who will be in the care of a loving foster home while she’s away.

When she made the decision to hike the trail, Courtney traded her 9-to-5 job for positions with flexible hours, working and saving as much as she could each day.  Last month she also gave up her apartment and her car to eliminate expenses.

Despite juggling three jobs from June to February, Courtney’s trip almost didn’t happen. Five devastating financial setbacks in a four-month period wiped out all the money she had gathered. Courtney was just about ready to call it quits — until angels showed up at her bartending job.

One night in February, a quiet couple came in and sat at the bar. Before leaving, they called Courtney over and handed her an envelope. They said, “We have a mutual friend,” and told Courtney they knew she planned to give up her dream of hiking the trail. They also shared that they had just hiked the trail themselves, and they implored her not to abandon her dream. Then they handed her an envelope.

Courtney says she cried uncontrollably at their generosity, and it helped her “get her fight back.” Even though she was still short for the trip, she wanted to figure out a way to make it happen. Four weeks later, more angels appeared in her life.

The owner and staff at Savannah Smiles, the dueling piano bar where she works, had been secretly pooling their funds for five weeks, and they surprised Courtney with another envelope toward her trip: “I was crying, like ugly crying! I couldn’t speak. I don’t even have words. They didn’t let me give up.”

Courtney with her friends and supporters

Now, she is ready to hit the trail and pay it forward by raising funds for the animals of Pets Alive. When Courtney lived in Middletown, she and another friend would come to Pets Alive and volunteer as often as they could.

“We walked dogs, cleaned the cat house and rewarded ourselves with the Kitten Room,” she says. “We even convinced one of our girls to add another pup to her family, Zoey the beagle!”

After she moved to Georgia, Courtney wanted to find a similar no-kill rescue where she could volunteer her time — to no avail. “It made me realize how lucky all the people and animals are when they have a Pets Alive nearby,” she says.

When Courtney departed on April 11, she was proudly wearing her Pets Alive T-shirt. “I cannot express how much I love and respect the Pets Alive organization,” she says. “Your tireless effort to save each and every type of animal, your creative fundraising tactics, and your ruthless pursuit to free animals from situations that are anything less than perfect are all so inspiring.”

Join us in following along on Courtney’s amazing journey as she hikes 5 million steps, 2,200 miles for the animals of Pets Alive!


p.s. We will provide periodic blog posts as Courtney advances along the trail or watch our Facebook page for updates. Thank you, in advance, for your support. Any donation made will be used to care for the animals at Pets Alive.


Courtney hit the trail just about a month ago and what an amazing month she has had.  She started her journey of 2,200 miles at The Arch.  For those not familiar with the Appalachian trail the arch marks the beginning of the 8.5 mile approach trail that connects Amicaloa Falls State Park with the beginning of the Appalachian trail on Springer Mountain in norther Georgia.

Courtney has shared some amazing scenery with us and her followers on instagram (@courtneyablack).


If you aren’t following Courtney’s journey on instagram we encourage you to do so!  (@courtneyablack)

Courtney is making great progress despite 21 days in a row of RAIN!  We are thrilled to announce that Courtney has hit the 300 mile mark on her journey!

300 Mile Mark!


Courtney is going strong and has passed the 400 mile mark on her journey!

400 Mile Marker!

While Courtney is hiking she is not only seeing amazing scenery that most of us will never get to see, she is also making all kinds of friends along the way!


Courtney has hit the halfway checkpoint on the Appalachian Trail!  That’s right Courtney has checked in in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia and making her way north to Maine.


Courtney is less than 800 miles to her goal, Mount Katahdin, Maine!  And almost halfway to her goal in raising $2,200 for the animals at Pets Alive.  Donate today and help Courtney reach her goal. Click here to donate:


WOW!  Courtney is in the home stretch of her 2,200 trek with less then 300 miles till she reaches her goal of Mount Katahdin, Maine!   Help her reach her goal of raising $2,200 for the animals at Pets Alive, a dollar for every mile she hikes.  Donate today and help Courtney reach both her goals. Click here to donate:

Courtney has made it to Maine!!!

We hope you will continue to join us in following along on Courtney’s amazing journey as she hikes 5 million steps, 2,200 miles for the animals of Pets Alive!


Posted in Call to Action | 5 Comments

Love and Trust… 11 years and counting

We first met Cam 11 years ago and we instantly knew what a special boy he was. We just didn’t know how very special he was and how he would touch the lives so deeply of so many. 

When we first introduced you to Cam, he was a scared, reactive, fear-biting dog who no one could approach or get near.  The first step in Cam’s journey came in the form of Pat Whitacre, one of the best canine behaviorist and trainers in the country, originally from Best Friends Animal Society and later, Pets Alive. Pat started working with Cam by gaining his trust, feeding him one piece of kibble at a time through a funnel.  One. Piece. Of. Kibble. At. A. Time.

Slowly as Cam’s confidence grew, his circle of friends grew – first with other trainers and then a select few volunteers. We soon learned that once Cam accepted you into his “club” you were in for life – and there wasn’t too much he wouldn’t happily go along with. From being dressed up in tutu’s to letting volunteers paint his nails and brush his teeth, he never disappointed them by rewarding them with anything less than some of the best slobbering kisses to be found.

Talk to any member of his “club” and you will feel the unconditional love between Cam and his people. They remember the first breakthrough they witnessed. Whether it was him walking like a gentleman on a leash with a trainer or sitting nicely while volunteers froze eating their lunches at the picnic table and the trainer would say “Guys, you can move – he’s fine”. They will tell you about the first time Cam gave them one of his famously wet slobbery kisses and how they felt like they were now part of some exclusive club and that they had been accepted by none other than Cam. To be accepted and to be loved by Cam is a true gift and each and everyone of us in the “club” are honored to have been chosen by him.

Over the years, Cam’s “club” has grown and his fears have lessened. While he still gets nervous in high stimulation situations, he now looks to his “club” members to reassure him instead of lashing out.  While we have yet to find the family who is able to put in the time and take a chance on Cam, we have never given up trying or hoping for them and are blessed to love him and care for him until they come along.

Recently we noticed Cam was a little wobbly in his back end. Being an older boy and a pleasantly plump one at that, we weren’t too worried but wanted to make sure it was just his age catching up with him. We did some blood work and our veterinarian found he had some elevated levels that were of concern. Cam was sent for x-rays and an ultrasound at our local vet’s office.  Much to our shock, a mass has been found on one of Cam’s lungs…

It has hit us hard here at Pets Alive and the members of the Cam Club. Our love. Our heart. Our larger-than-life Cam is sick. It can’t be. It’s our invincible Cam! He is OUR super star. He is the heartbeat of everything Pets Alive is and stands for in every way, shape, and form.

With enormous thanks to the very generous members of the “club,” Cam’s medical expenses are fully covered and he has already been sent for a CT scan and an EKG.  As we all hold our breath waiting for news, we hold our beloved Cam tight, knowing our love will see him through. We will keep you posted on his progress and we will keep sharing your love with him as we go through this together.

Posted in Dogs, Medical Cases | 6 Comments

Frozen Pups Get Second Chance

12 degrees. No blanket. No food. No water – unless a frozen block of ice counts. Just a thin plywood box for protection from the howling wind. For a day? For a week? For a month? For years? How long did Pearl and Gladys endure and survive these conditions? For some questions, we may be better off not knowing the answers.

What we do know is that Gladys, 11 years old, and Pearl, 3 years old, did endure and they did SURVIVE! On December 28, 2017, while trying to execute a warrant at a home in the town of Wallkill, NY, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department heard the dogs crying for help. What the deputies found were two emaciated dogs in metal pens – without water, food or anything to provide warmth and protection from the cold.

Pearl in fenced-in pen at her “home”

That is when we received the phone call from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department asking if we could help. It was not a question of could we or should we – or even could we afford emergency medical care if it was needed. It was a simple “Just get them to us!” response.

We immediately called the Animal Control Officer out on the scene to assess what we needed to do to get ready for their arrival. Did we need to head straight to our veterinarian or to the emergency veterinarian hospital? Were they stable? Were they able to walk? Staff at Pets Alive immediately went into triage mode so they could quickly assess their immediate needs when they arrived.

Gladys’ leg and unkempt toe nails at time of rescue

Arriving in patrol cars, Gladys had to be carried out of the car; she did not want to leave the warm blankets the officers had wrapped her in and the warmth of the heated patrol car. Her core temperature was down to 99.7 degrees (normal temperature for a dog is 102.5 degrees) and she weighed in at just 44 lbs. At some point she may have been partially frozen to the ground or the “blanket” the officers had found in the wooden box she was living in; she had missing fur that revealed a few layers of skin on her legs.

Pearl upon arrival at Pets Alive

Pearl was in slightly better shape and walked into Pets Alive on her own, even if she was unsure of what happening. She could sense she was finally going to be warm and cared for the way she should have been. Pearl’s temperature was elevated at 104.1 degrees (103.5 degrees is considered a fever) and she weighed in at 65 lbs. Normal weight for a dog her size is about 80 pounds. The deputies asked our team to check her back paw that appeared to have been frozen to the ground when they found her. Luckily her paw looked to be okay with no permanent damage.

Both girls tested positive for Lyme disease. Gladys tested positive for Enrilichia Canis while Pearl tested positive for anaplasmosis. These are all tick-borne diseases that can be debilitating if left untreated. Pearl and Gladys will be on antibiotics for a month to treat these diseases. They both will also need to be spayed and Gladys will require extensive dental work once her health improves. The girls also had a heavy burden of whipworms, requiring deworming – possibly the first one they ever have received. Upon doing further blood work and urine analysis, it was found that Pearl’s fever was due to a severe urinary tract infection, which requires an additional antibiotic and further blood and urine lab work.

Pearl and Gladys are SAFE and WARM and are receiving 4 meals a day at Pets Alive so they can safely gain weight. Their physical and emotional needs are being met by interaction with the staff as we ready them for adoption. And we are happy to report their abuser has plead GUILTY to animal cruelty charges! He will be sentenced in February.

Pearl and Gladys relaxing at Pets Alive

Just get them to us!” Because you have stood with us, this is our only response when we get a call like this one for help. We know you, our supporters and friends, will join us in our response of “Just get them to us!” With your support: We will be their haven. We will be their shelter. We will be their protectors. We will be their hope. We will be their champions! And we will find them their “happily ever after’s” in warm, loving homes.

Won’t you share the love and kindly make a donation to our medical fund via our Giving Grid to help care for Pearl and Gladys as they heal from their abuse? Any size gift will help. Thank you once again for being our partner in rescue.

Donate now!

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After 1,353 days, Noel rings in the New Year at home!

Make your final 2017 donation now!

This year, Noel will ring in the New Year with a new family, thanks to you who have supported her during her nearly 4-year journey.

Noel arrived at Pets Alive via a transport from the Cayman Islands on April 20, 2014. Noel, a loving and affectionate female dog, was only 2 years old. Several months after her arrival, the energetic Noel got adopted. She was hopeful it would be her forever home, but through no fault of her own, she was returned to Pets Alive the following year when her family could no longer care for her.

Noel in training

Once she returned to Pets Alive, we placed Noel into our Improving Adoptability program. This program, run by volunteers experienced in dog handling and training, is aimed at helping those dogs whose current behaviors reduce their chances of becoming a member of a new family. Through different training techniques, Noel was able to learn how to overcome chewing behavior – and she learned basic obedience commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “down”.

Earlier this year, we placed Noel into our “Diamonds in the Ruff” program, a new fee-waived dog adoption program made possible by an investment from the Petco Foundation. This adoption incentive program targets dogs with special needs such as age or medical conditions, or dogs that have been at Pets Alive for a lengthy period of time. We never give up hope that someday, the right family will come along and be a perfect match for a particular animal.

All of this paid off for Noel; her new year will be merry. On December 29, 2017, 1,353 days after her arrival from the Cayman Islands, Noel found her forever home!

Noel with her new family

Won’t you make a tax-deductible donation before midnight tonight so that more animals like Noel can find forever homes in 2018? It is your generosity that enables these types of wonderful stories to happen.


Thank you once again, for your generosity and support.


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