Hi there! It’s been several months since my last update, and what a wonderful few months they have been. We’ve got so much going on here in Middletown that I hardly know where to begin, so I’ll start with the happiest news – adoptions! Since January of 2015, we’ve adopted out 183 cats and 223 dogs, plus a horse, for a total of 407 adoptions this year so far. I’m also extremely happy to report that this is the MOST cat adoptions Pets Alive has EVER had by this time of year. A huge amount of credit goes to Becky, our cat manager, and her dedicated staff, Dani, Edna and Anne. They have gone above and beyond to step up and send animals home, even when things have been challenging.
One of our favorite adoptions was Donner, a legacy cat who spent the majority of his life at Pets Alive Westchester and finally got adopted at 12 years old. He’s doing great living in the lap of luxury with his new mom Sandi. Our dog adoptions are doing well too! We’ve really placed a strong focus on placing the harder to adopt dogs this year, and I’m so proud of my dog team for all of the work that they have done to give every dog a chance.
In May, we were the recipients of a grant from Animal Farm Foundation, which allowed us to host a seminar about dog playgroups called Playing for Life. Aimee Sadler created Playing For Life and she is a first class trainer. We spent a weekend learning how to run playgroups for our dogs…ALL of them, even dogs with behavioral challenges. The benefits have been absolutely amazing. Our dogs now regularly get out into playgroups to run around, socialize and play with other dogs. Their stress level has dropped tremendously and adoptions have skyrocketed. We’re very grateful to Aimee and her team for coming to teach us. We’re also SO proud of our employee Marcos. Aimee recognized his innate ability to train and has offered him a mentorship with Playing For Life! Marcos has spent some time traveling with Aimee and fine-tuning his skills. He’s bringing back all his knowledge to Pets Alive and the dogs sure are benefiting.
Early in the month of June, just as the flowers were blooming and we were gearing up for a terrific summer adoption season, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office called us for help dealing with a horrific hoarding situation in Minisink. We rescued 50 cats and 2 dogs from a house of horrors, and some of those animals are still recovering now, several months later. Molly the dog is thriving in her foster home with long time volunteer Patty, and 13 cats have already been adopted. Many of the remaining cats are still looking for their forever families, so please think about opening your home to one of these sweet animals and showing them how wonderful life can be with people who love them.
We also continued our partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in July, when we rescued a neglected young horse named Joey who was being housed behind a warehouse. Joey is doing fabulous and improving his socialization skills every day. We’re confident that he will find his forever home soon.
Through all of this we’ve also continued to rescue the single community animals that needed us the most. We’ve had a challenging few months for medical bills. We’ve faced several extensive surgeries for dogs that have come to us to heal them both physically and mentally. A hip surgery and two expensive cruciate surgeries have been tough financially. Kitten season has also been worse than usual with several badly injured babies coming into our care.. Stevie Staples, a four month old kitten, was found by a good Samaritan with a gaping wound under his chin, an abscess on his tail, and a parasitic infection so severe he was lucky to be alive at all. At four months old, little Stevie weighed only 1 and a half pounds. As I write this, Stevie is being picked up from the hospital where he has spent the last week recovering. For the first few days, he teetered on the edge of death while the veterinarians at Middlehope Veterinary Hospital brought his infection under control. Now that he’s been discharged from the hospital, the future is bright for this little fellow, who will be placed up for adoption soon.
For the rest of the summer, we’re continuing our “Free Love” adoption event, where people make a donation of their choice instead of paying an adoption fee. Help us spread the word by telling your friends and family!
There’s a lot to look forward to in the next year. We’re preparing to welcome in the dogs and cats from Pets Alive Westchester as they prepare to close their doors. We’re hoping to expand our community outreach in the next several months and make Pets Alive even better. We’re planning on putting some things in place to better accommodate Spanish speaking families looking for new pets and gathering some community members to act as spokespeople for our organization. We’re also looking at a long term plan to improve our housing and programs for dogs that need behavioral modification and training. We’re so excited to include you, our supporters, in all that is happening in our efforts to save lives. Thank you for your continuing support. We couldn’t do it without you!