Heroes Wanted!

Help us heal their broken hearts.

Becky, Executive Director

We make a promise to every animal that comes through our doors and becomes part of the Pets Alive family: You will always have a place, you will always be loved, and we will do everything we can to see you happy.

The past few weeks have been hard on staff. In some worlds, that would mean workloads and deadlines. In our world, that means seeing a senior dog losing their family, being given away without even a backward glance from the people who were supposed to love them. Watching their spirit leave them as the only family they have known for years turns their backs and walks away. Each day a little bit more hope vanishing from their eyes, as it starts to sink in that their family is not coming back for them, even as they sit and watch at the front of their kennels. Listening to their whimpers as they spend another night in a kennel instead of at the foot of a bed. The confusion in their eyes as their “owners” hand off their leash and they are walked from their world of warm beds, cozy carpeting and their own human into the world of a homeless pet: concrete, steel and barking dogs.

But this story is not about the people who failed Lexi, Kara and Heath. This is the story about their next chapter that we hope will include you in their corner, fighting along with us to find them a family who will love them — gray muzzles and all.


“Just Love Me” Lexi was a beloved pet for 8 years with a family and children to call her own. Now she is looking for a true hero as she enters the last part of her life. A victim of divorce and financial struggles, Lexi’s medical care was not a priority for her family. Now back with us, we are making it our number-one priority and are hoping for the best for this lovable senior. Lexi leans in to us, as if she just can’t get enough love. Lexi is housebroken, walks great on leash, and has lived with children, another dog and two cats. She does have an ugly looking mass on her back that we were told has more than tripled in size in the past few months. While we work on her medical needs, we are looking for a hero to step up and take this sweet 10-year-old senior into their hearts and home. Will you be Lexi’s hero?


Sweet, gentle soul Heath just wants to be loved. You can see his eyes light up when someone gives him the affection he is craving. He walks great on leash and is so happy when it is his turn for a walk. He does fine with low-energy dogs his own size and would do best in a home with older children, as the young ones seem to scare him. Heath was adopted as a puppy 5 years ago and had a great life until his owner moved away and left him behind; now, after living in a home, he finds himself living in the whole new world of a dog kennel.


Don’t let those gray hairs fool you! Kara is just 7 years young and can keep up with the youngsters. This lady loves everyone she meets. Kara is that girl who wants nothing more than to be the center of your world! She will reward you with a gentle paw, many kisses and her unconditional love. She does have just one request: that she be your one and only four-legged friend, as she just doesn’t like to share the spotlight and affection, but can you really blame a girl?

Do you have what it takes to be a hero? We think you do! Lexi, Heath and Kara are waiting at Pets Alive for their heroes. Please don’t make them wait long — they need you! Wonder if you have what it takes? Email our adoption team at adoptions@petsalive.org, who will happily answer any and all questions. Pets Alive is open 7 days a week. Just come on in and tell us you are ready to be a HERO!

Posted in Call to Action, Dogs, Uncategorized, Updates, Why We Do This | Leave a comment

No Horsing Around — It’s Time For School!

Joey when he arrived at Pets Alive

Written by: Joyce Washnik, Pets Alive Volunteer

Joey came to Pets Alive in 2015, a victim of severe neglect. Sadly, the 8-month-old horse had been living on an abandoned property by himself. Scared and malnourished, Joey was rescued and brought to Pets Alive to be rehabilitated.

With patience and persistence, the staff helped the young horse overcome his fear of humans and start to trust. It helped that Joey was naturally curious and very willing to learn.

Joey this past summer

Now a healthy and happy boy, Joey is headed for 3-4 months of intense training. Pets Alive has teamed up with a Middletown-based professional trainer, who will work to get Joey ready to be started under saddle. Everyone is optimistic that our boy will thrive, as he handles well in halter and enjoys experiencing new things.

No one knows that better than Barbara Whyte, a local trainer who worked with Joey last summer. She gives high praise to the Standardbred gelding, who she describes as sweet-natured and smart: “He will benefit from a professional training program. He is still young, so he can be a little opinionated at times, but with a professional program, he will excel. He does want to figure it out but he’s just confused because he’s never had to do any of this.”

During her time with Joey, Barbara would visit him 3-4 times a week, gaining his trust and focusing on ground work. Now, she adds, he is ready for the next stage of his training. “He has not had anybody up on his back yet. That is the goal: to have him able to be ridden.” She adds that Joey’s natural curiosity will help, as he learns to trust his new trainer and feel safe around him.

Even after he completes his training, Joey is going to be a work in progress, known as “green broke” in the horse world. “But at that point he will be far more adoptable than he is now,” says Barbara.

Because of that, he would do best being adopted by an experienced horse person. “He’ll make a connection with somebody and be able to do what they want. I think he could really go in any direction,” adds Barbara, from jumping to dressage.

The plan is for Joey to reside off-site at the professional facility, working with his new trainer most days and getting accustomed to his surroundings. The intense program will be expensive, which is where you, our generous supporters, come in. Estimates for training and board are approximately $4,000-$5,000.

Joey spreading the news he is going to school!

Can we count on you to help cover Joey’s “tuition” so our beautiful Bay-colored boy is ready for his final adventure: a forever home?


Alternatively, you can mail us a donation check to Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940 and write “Joey” on the check or call us at 845-386-9738 to call in a credit or debit card donation.

Thank you, in advance, for helping Joey thrive!

Posted in Animal Rescue, Call to Action, Horses, Updates | Leave a comment

What a Week!

Where do I even start. The loose dog running down the highway? The two dogs found on the coldest night of the week with no food or water? The three cats found wearing collars huddled together in a school yard? The scared house cat found under a bush? The sweet pitti running loose, lost and confused in zero-degree weather? The poor cat injured at a recycling center? The call for help with a cat hoarding situation?

So the good news is the happy, goofy lab found running down the side of Route 17 is just fine! He is a big boy who loves everyone he meets (which tells us he once had a loving home). Sadly, we have not been able to find his owners, and no one has come looking for him. How he found himself running down the side of a busy highway will remain one of those mysteries.

Enter Wiggle Butt, a young pitti found running loose in a local neighborhood in ZERO degrees! But this girl is smart — she turned on her charms for the first person she found out in the freezing temperatures, who called our local animal control officer. As of now, her owner still hasn’t been found.

If the dogs weren’t keeping us busy enough, let’s talk cats! How did three sweet, very young cats wearing bell collars find themselves huddled together for warmth in 5-degree weather outside one of our local schools? Were they lost? Dumped? Did they follow their family’s children to school, and no one noticed? If ever you wished cats could talk! Luckily, they were spotted and scooped up before hypothermia or frostbite could set in. We are searching for their owners but, so far, we aren’t having any luck. Sadly, none of them are microchipped.

Now let’s talk about Cole, a sweet, biscuit-making kitty who was found by a man out walking his dog. At first the man thought nothing of seeing the cat underneath the bush as he walked by with his dog. But when the cat was still there on his return trip, he knew something wasn’t right. So he took his dog home and walked back to the bush and Cole was still there meowing. The kind man scooped up Cole and brought him to us. Thanks to Lost Pets of the Hudson Valley, we may have found his owners. They are on vacation but contacted us right away, believing that Cole is actually Eric and has been missing since November. Everyone please think good thoughts that we might have a happy reunion taking place very soon!

Sadly, not all of our days have happy endings. Some days we get there too late to save them. To the kitty injured at the recycling center, we are sorry we couldn’t save you, but know that in that short moment of time you touched our hearts and, if nothing more, we ended your suffering. Though we only knew you for a few minutes, we hope you understood the kindness of strangers who tried so hard and who will not soon forget you.

We ended our week with a call for help from our friends over at Ani-Mall Pet Hospital. They had been made aware of a hoarding situation in Sullivan County, where the caregiver had been put in the hospital leaving thirty cats in the house with no one to care for them! Twenty of the cats are now at Ani-Mall receiving much-needed vet care for severe upper respiratory infections, parasites and fleas. To start, six of these sweet angels will be coming to Pets Alive with the hope that, as we are able to find them loving homes, we will be able to take more from this sad situation and finally give them the lives they deserve — loved and spoiled.

It truly takes a village.



Becky Tegze
Executive Director

Our dog kennel building project Matching Challenge continues, therefore your monetary gift to help will be doubled, with the matching funds helping our dog kennel project!

Posted in Animal Rescue, Cats, Dogs, Updates | 1 Comment

URGENT: 15 dogs rushed to Pets Alive now need you!

Racing against time, we worked diligently with one of our transport partners, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, NC, who transported dozens of animals from an animal shelter in Tennessee. The shelter’s Director was arrested on charges of animal cruelty last month, and was subsequently fired by the shelter’s board of directors. Since that time, 3 others associated with the case were also arrested on animal cruelty charges. Overcrowded conditions at the shelter led to an unsanitary and unhealthy situation for the animals. In late December, a newly hired Director of the no-kill facility sought help to reduce the animal population through transports to other shelters and adoptions.

The timing of the transport was tricky. It was wedged between a minor snow storm Wednesday evening as Brother Wolf’s transport van drove through the night to arrive at Pets Alive on Thursday morning prior to winter storm Harper bearing down on the Northeast this weekend. Fifteen dogs found a home at Pets Alive and are now on the mend from living in deplorable conditions. They will be available for adoption in early February.

Eight shepherd-mix young dogs were huddled together, looking fearful but relieved to be in the warmth of a spacious kennel. They came in at the last minute and Pets Alive agreed to take these scared pups. Four of them are pictured here hanging out in the corner of their kennel shortly after they arrived at Pets Alive.

Star, Dawn and Phoenix pictured here are three Chihuahua puppies who were dumped on church stairs and experienced bite wounds to their heads. They like playing with their new toys as our medical staff member checks them out.

We continue to assess each dog’s medical condition and are working to acclimate them to their new surroundings. Each dog will require vaccinations, microchips, deworming, blood work, spay/neuter and a lot of tender loving care. This will cost us several thousand dollars. Won’t you help us care for these precious animals so they heal? There are several ways to help:

Our dog kennel building project Matching Challenge continues, therefore your monetary gift to help the 15 pups will be doubled, with the matching funds helping our dog kennel project!

Donate Pedigree brand puppy chow and canned food from our Amazon wish list – or buy from any online or local store and drop off the donations. We will also accept Purina ProPlan puppy food as well.













Prefer to send us a check? Mail us at Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10490 or call us at 845-386-9738 and we’ll take your donation over the phone.

Meet Kimber!

Meet Belle!










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Holiday magic. Theo finds happiness after 6 years.

Theo resting at home!

A warm and cozy bed. A yard to run around in and play. Endless hugs. That’s how Theo will spend New Year’s Eve. But it wasn’t always that way.

Theo, a yellow shepherd, arrived at Pets Alive from a shelter in Georgia when he was just barely 4 months old. That was in January, 2013.

He got adopted a short time later but within 2 years, he was back at Pets Alive because of behavior challenges. Several other attempts at adoption over the next 2 years also failed – but with your help, we never give up hope on Theo.

Theo was entered into our Improving Adoptability program. It is run by a team of trained volunteers that work with a dog to help them overcome behavior challenges and increase their chance of successful adoption. Several members of the team worked with Theo for months and he eventually learned to play with other dogs in play groups, he overcame his behavior challenges, and he became more dog-social.

Theo loves his new mom!

Hard work paid off. One of Theo’s holiday wishes came true! He hit the jackpot yesterday when one of the volunteers from the Improving Adoptability team adopted Theo! He’s a real love bug with his new mom and he likes hanging out with his new sibling Lilly.

Your generosity helped care for Theo all these years, but over 250 of Theo’s friends are still at Pets Alive awaiting their magical day when they get adopted. And there will be hundreds more that will come our way in 2019.

Please give Theo his final holiday wish and make a 100% tax-deductible donation in 2018 so together, we can continue this important work. AND YOUR GIFT WILL BE DOUBLED!

When you donate to our general animal care fund by 11:59pm ET on December 31, a wonderful couple, Joe and Kelly Sicari, will make a matching donation to our kennel building project fund up to $250,000. Help us reach this goal!

Learn about our Matching Challenge here.

Thank you once again for helping animals like Theo.

Already made your year-end holiday gift? Thank you for your support!

Theo (left) and his new sister Lilly

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Thank you!

Daryl was treated for severe injuries after being hit by a car, and then got adopted

THANK YOU! The 48 stray dogs from Orange and Sullivan Counties we helped in 2018 say THANK YOU. The 219 stray cats rescued from our local streets say THANK YOU. The 159 community cats who were spayed, neutered and vaccinated in 2018 because of our local Trap-Neuter-Return Program say THANK YOU. The 18 dogs who were rushed to safety at Pets Alive as Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas say THANK YOU. Kalamazoo, a pot-bellied pig found roaming the streets of the Bronx and now up for adoption at Pets Alive, says THANK YOU. The 200 dogs pulled from danger at kill facilities say THANK YOU. The 11 calves who found safety and a new lease on life say THANK YOU.

Alien recovered and got adopted

Alien, who received lifesaving medical treatment after being poisoned, says THANK YOU. Fiona says THANK YOU for making it possible for her to receive lifesaving emergency surgery. The Pets Alive staff and board of directors say THANK YOU because without your continued support, none of these precious souls would be here to say THANK YOU.

Millie with her adoptive family after 6 years at Pets Alive

To all our adopters, THANK YOU for giving the older, shyer, outgoing, younger, not so well-behaved, wallflower, in your face, oversized and undersized pets a second chance. THANK YOU for believing that each and every one of them is perfect in their own way.

Volunteers walk the dogs

THANK YOU to our volunteers for giving of themselves selflessly and tirelessly, and for loving our animals unconditionally. THANK YOU to our volunteers who come in all kinds of weather to walk and train our dogs. THANK YOU to our volunteers who come in every week and clean and scoop litter boxes. THANK YOU to our volunteers who go out at night every week to humanely trap community cats so they can be altered, vaccinated and returned to their colonies. THANK YOU to all our volunteers who take our animals to adoption events, foster bottle babies, greet visitors, take pictures, run special events, do laundry and work behind the scenes.

Donations arriving after Hurricane Florence dogs arrive

To our supporters: THANK YOU for always hearing our pleas for help and jumping into action dropping off needed supplies of bleach, dog and cat food, KMR and linens. THANK YOU for always hearing our pleas for monetary donations. Without your support, we wouldn’t have been able to afford to help Gladys, Pearl, Fiona, Alien, Jack, Jill, and Daryl, all emergency medical cases. It is because of you, our supporters, that Pets Alive will be there when the call comes in to save the animals that need us most. We can only cover the front lines because we know you have our backs. THANK YOU!

On behalf of the entire Pets Alive staff and board of directors, I want to wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy New Year. Stay warm. Stay safe. Hug your pets tight. THANK YOU for being part of the Pets Alive family.

For the animals,

Becky Tegze
Executive Director

p.s…when you donate to our general animal care fund by December 31, a wonderful couple will make a matching donation to our dog kennel building project fund up to $250,000! Prefer to send a check? Mail it to Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940. You can also call in a donation by reaching us at 845-386-9738.

Posted in Cats, Dogs | 2 Comments

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Hi. I’m Cam!

Hard to believe 2018 is coming to an end. So many wonderful things have happened since I wrote you last year. Ms. Becky tells me that over 500 of our friends here at Pets Alive have found loving homes!  Some of her long-time friends finally have homes to call their own — including Millie, Oatmeal and Josie, all who waited over five years. Did you have a hand in making this happen? I think you did, and don’t tell anyone but Ms. Becky shed a few tears when she told me, she was so happy. She very much wishes we all would find families to call our own.

Santa, since I’m pretty sure you had a hand in helping Millie, Oatmeal and Josie, I was wondering if you could help me with a few more Christmas wishes this year? And in the true Christmas spirit, not even one of them is for me.

Hi! I’m Willy!

My first wish is for Willy. Willy is a big boy with a big heart. When I asked Ms. Becky how such a handsome fella like Willy could still be at Pets Alive waiting for his family to find him after five years, she sighed and said, “Sometimes I just don’t have the answers, Cam.”  Ms. Becky told me Willy is a good boy, he is sweet, a little bit of a wallflower, but if you give him a little bit of attention, his love for you will light up the room. Ms. Becky said Willy was found in a kind person’s backyard with no note or any clue as to how he found himself there, but was just looking for someone to love him. So if you could find a kind family to love Willy, he promises to light up their world with his love.

Hi! I’m Nala!

My second wish is for Nala. You see Santa, Nala is breaking Ms. Becky’s heart. Nala is the victim of divorce and, instead of her family fighting for her, they gave her up. Now this slightly grey-in-the-muzzle 11 year old is finding herself spending the holidays in a kennel instead of sleeping in front of a fireplace surrounded by family. She is the perfect girl, loves everyone she meets, both human and canine, but so many people come in looking for puppies or young dogs. Ms. Becky worries that Nala is going to get overlooked because of a few grey hairs. Santa, could you please bring a family for Nala who will appreciate the love of a senior pet. Speaking as a senior myself, I can tell you we have a special kind of love to share with our families.

Santa, my third and last wish this year is for Ms. Becky and Pets Alive. 2018 marks the 30th year Pets Alive has been in operation, and it has been an amazing 30 years with many ups and some downs. Ms. Becky sometimes worry how we will make it through even one more month, especially when one of us gets sick or something breaks (and given how long we have been around and how old our buildings are, lots of things break). Ms. Becky and everyone at Pets Alive has been working hard, and right now something special is happening: When someone donates to our general animal care fund, a wonderful couple will make a matching donation to our kennel building project fund up to $250,000! So Santa, if you could please spread the word about this amazing opportunity for all of us at Pets Alive, we know it will help guide the way to our next 30 years.


ps…prefer to donate with a check? Mail it to Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940.

Posted in Call to Action, Dogs | Leave a comment

The Twelve Strays of Christmas – Leon

1,698 days. That’s how long Leon has been waiting for just the right family to come along and make him their very own. This sweet, big boy was found wandering in the backyard of two of our volunteers.They knew right away that the handsome boy was lost or, worse, had been abandoned by his family. The search began to try and find his owners, but after a few weeks and no luck, they had no choice but to bring Leon to Pets Alive.

Now more than four years later, Leon is still waiting for a special family to pick him. Do you have a soft spot for sleek handsome boys? Enjoy little love nibbles? Willing to share your pillow each night? If you answered yes to any of those questions, Leon is the man for you!

Help Leon, one of our 12 Strays of Christmas, find his happily ever after this holiday season. Can’t adopt at this time? Share his story.

Please donate to Pets Alive so we can continue to provide a safe landing spot and loving environment for strays in need. A donation today to our GENERAL ANIMAL CARE FUND will receive a matching donation towards our KENNEL BUILDING PROJECT thanks to our very special supporters Joe and Kelly Sicari.

Posted in Call to Action, Cats | Leave a comment

The Twelve Strays of Christmas – Laura

Not every dog who comes to Pets Alive is socialized and ready for adoption. We also take in very shy animals who have had little or no human contact. That’s the backstory of Laura, part of a litter of 8 puppies from North Carolina. With much training and patience on the part of Pets Alive staff and volunteers, all but three of the hound mixes have been adopted since 2011. Laura is now ready to find her forever home, too!

Lucky for her, she has been fostered by Wanda Vogel and family for the past 1 ½ years. The Vogels had experience with acclimating shy dogs, as they had already adopted Laura’s sister Brandi (originally called Blondie) in 2012.

Wanda wanted to make a difference in another dog’s life, so she returned to Pets Alive in 2017 and offered to foster Laura. She couldn’t bear the thought of Brandi’s remaining siblings spending the rest of their lives at the shelter. By bringing Laura home and working on her socialization skills, the family’s goal was to help the shy girl get her own happily ever after.

Before the Vogels could foster Laura, they committed to getting to know her better, traveling from their home an hour away to spend some 10 weekends at Pets Alive — a couple of hours each time — to get Laura used to walking on a leash and being around them. After several months, Laura went home with the Vogels to continue her training.

Since summer of 2017, the transformation has been remarkable. “Laura started as a little lady who couldn’t tolerate touch to one who will let us pet and scratch her,” says Wanda. “She is still shy, even around us, so we are careful to not startle her. She will tolerate a bath, brushing and wiping muddy paws. She wants to be in the same room but is not ready to join you on the couch — yet. She loves to walk, and walks beautifully on a leash now.”

Wanda describes Laura’s nature as “sweet and gentle.” She gets along with most dogs, and is also fine with cats (her foster family has 2).

As for the best home for the girl? “I think she would blossom in a quieter home with no children, someone or a couple who are okay that she won’t be a cuddler right away, a home with or without other animals,” Wanda says. “I just look into those soft brown eyes and see the gentle old soul inside and I know she deserves a family.”

While it won’t be easy to let Laura go, the Vogels say her placement in a forever home will allow them to foster another shy pup. “I tear up whenever I think about it,” says Wanda. “But I know that the right person to adopt her will give her a great life. Then we take Laura’s brother or sister and start again.”

Help Laura, one of our 12 Strays of Christmas, find her happily ever after this holiday season. Can’t adopt at this time? Share her story.

Please donate to Pets Alive so we can continue to provide a safe landing spot and loving environment for strays in need. A donation today to our GENERAL ANIMAL CARE FUND will receive a matching donation towards our KENNEL BUILDING PROJECT thanks to our very special supporters Joe and Kelly Sicari.

Posted in Call to Action, Dogs | Leave a comment

The Twelve Strays of Christmas – Kalamazoo

A stray pig! We kid you not. Our loveable, big boy Kalamazoo somehow found himself wandering the streets of the Bronx! New York’s finest knew right away that this adorable stray needed to get out of the big city and off to a country life ASAP.

After an overnight stay at NYC Animal Care and Control, Kalamazoo hitched a ride and took what might have been his first sniff of country fresh air as he was welcomed into the Pets Alive family.

So if you squeal in delight at the thought of piggie kisses, think there is nothing better than a pig in a ball pit rooting for lettuce, have strong arms for lots and lots of belly rubs, and a big heart then Kalamazoo would like to canoodle with you!

Help Kalamazoo, one of our 12 Strays of Christmas, find his happily ever after this holiday season. Can’t adopt at this time? Share his story.

Please donate to Pets Alive so we can continue to provide a safe landing spot and loving environment for strays in need. A donation today to our GENERAL ANIMAL CARE FUND will receive a matching donation towards our KENNEL BUILDING PROJECT thanks to our very special supporters Joe and Kelly Sicari.

Posted in Call to Action | 1 Comment