COVID-19 and Pets Alive

Each day more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are being reported in the Hudson Valley and many if not all are concerned about how this will affect our community and the pets we all love. We know this is a scary time for many and I wanted to reach out to you to let you know everything we are doing here at Pets Alive to keep everyone safe.

Keeping our staff, animals, volunteers, and visitors safe

  • We have canceled our upcoming Bowl-a-Thon Event. We are working closely with Quinnz Pinz and hope to be announcing a new date very soon. If you have already registered, donated an item for the silent auction, signed up to volunteer for the event, or sponsored a lane, please watch your inbox as we will be communicating all the needed information to you.
  • We have suspended all New Volunteer Orientations through the end of March
  • We have suspended school groups and other groups from visiting until further notice
  • We took a proactive approach weeks ago and made sure we had sufficient supplies on hand for the daily care and needs of the animals in our care. – food, medical supplies and disinfectants for our animal areas – we use Rescue 
  • We are communicating with our volunteers, to please stay home if they have traveled outside the US in the last 30 days, have come in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or someone who is being ruled out, if their child’s school is closed down, and of course, if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat
  • We have also bumped up our daily cleaning measures and are cleaning door handles and surfaces in our common public areas multiple times a day. 
  • Staying sanitized: We have hand sanitizer in all our public areas and ample antibacterial soap 
  • We are staying informed, we are working closely with our national animal sheltering community and are participating in daily discussions to stay up-to-date on possible animal shelter impacts. Animal Sheltering magazine recently released a coronavirus tool kit, which is a helpful read for those of us working and volunteering in the shelter:

 What Pet Owners Should do

  • Create a plan: We encourage all pet owners to have an emergency plan in place for their pets. Make sure pets are wearing proper identification; have crates and extra food or supplies on hand; and identify a trusted family member, friend or pet sitter who can care for your pet if you or a family member become ill or are hospitalized.

Things to know

  • COVID-19 is contagious for humans and, as of now, is understood to spread primarily from person to person. The WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association ) Global Veterinary Community—an association representing more than 200,000 veterinarians—states that there is no evidence that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection to other animals or humans.
  • According to the World Health Organization, to date, there have not been any cases of dogs or cats becoming sick with the new coronavirus, COVID-19. There is also no evidence of people catching the virus from companion animals. 

At this time, Pets Alive is remaining open to the public. We have many amazing pets still searching for a family to call their own and we encourage you to open your hearts and home to them. We are hard at work protecting the health and well-being of our staff, volunteers, visitors and of course, the pets in our care. We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated as changes happen.

Wash your hands, sneeze, and cough into your elbow and know we will get through COVID-19.

Becky Tegze
Executive Director
Pets Alive

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A Stray’s Journey – Snowcone Part II

A little background:

Snowcone is an undersocialized dog; as a result of being on the run, he has developed coping skills that depend largely on the avoidance of contact with people in order to be safe in uncertain circumstances, so we have to gently guide him using his own comfort level as a blueprint. We can’t wait for him to get used to people, so we reward small behaviors in order to shape new habits. Rewards can be treats or even creating distance.

Snowcone’s in foster:

Because he was not doing as well as we had hoped, Snowy went into foster care with me.  I initially set up a large crate in the bedroom, so he would feel safe. During the day, the crate was left open. I also have a very mellow St Bernard, Violet, another rescue from PA.  They could interact without Snowy feeling too stressed.

After about a week of being in the crate and finding the two of them snuggling in it together, I decided to dismantle it.

Snowy did have a few problems acclimating to living in a home:

His first obstacle, or rather mine, was his need to mark as well as urinate on the path he felt the most comfortable with in getting to the door to go out. Sadly, my dining room table and a few wing chairs fell victim.  What to do?  Management always comes first, so I wrapped the furniture legs with wee wee pads and placed shower curtain liners on the rug under the table.  Problem solved until training could kick in, right?  Not so right:  My senior girl Violet had developed pancreatitis; this exhibited itself in sudden diarrhea, which I discovered when I first woke up one morning, eyes half opened, and drowsily made my way into the bathroom. You guessed it. I stepped barefooted right into it!  Poop to the left of me, pee to the right.

Luckily, this poop and pee fest only lasted a month.

Snowy and Violet

Then there was the feeding issue.  Because Violet is on special food for her pancreatitis, she cannot have regular food.  Snowy was initially fed in his crate with that door closed and the bedroom door closed. Now he is fed in the bedroom with the door closed; in fact, he will not eat with anyone in the room or noise outside of the room.  This is something I can slowly work on by being in the room for his breakfast; he should be hungry enough to eat.

The most important aspect is building trust. While Snowy allows petting, he doesn’t trust enough for him to enjoy it. I slowly built up the time I pet him. Low and behold, one day he jumped up onto the bed next to me. I pet him for about 5 seconds and stopped as soon as he exhibited any sign of stress.  Before long he was enjoying full out belly rubs. I was in seventh heaven.

Then the holidays hit…

Written by Robin Markovits CCDT, AKC



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URGENT: Cupid needs your love and support

**Warning: Graphic images**

How law enforcement found Cupid

Cupid, a badly abused dog, was brought to us by law enforcement; she is what we refer to here at Pets Alive as a “scoop and run”.

As Cupid arrived, her paws never even touched the ground as one team transferred her to our vehicle and another team ran for the phone to alert our veterinarian, Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC, that we were en route with an emergency.

Open, raw and bloody wounds were all over her legs, an environment highly susceptible to infection and a source of pain.

Yet, she is a kind and gentle dog, letting the veterinarian team examine her even though she was abused and in pain.

Cupid being examined by the medical team

Cupid’s days of abuse though, are over. She is currently hospitalized where she is receiving multiple types of treatment for her wounds. The medical team is using a wet-to-dry dressing on her wounds, which involves placing moist saline gauze onto the wound bed, then allowing it to dry and adhere to the tissue in the wound bed.

Wet-to-dry dressings are a non-selective debridement method that removes necrotic (dead) tissue. Sadly, there is not enough healthy skin to even close the wounds at this point, but over time, through treatment, her skin will improve. Once that dead tissue is removed, the wounds can start the healing process.

Cupid goes for a walk after having her wounds wrapped

She is also receiving water therapy to promote healthy skin and laser therapy for pain management – and antibiotics to fight off infection.

Cupid will heal in time, however, it will take intensive care for months for her to recover.

We have committed ourselves to Cupid’s healing knowing that our community, our supporters, our friends, our volunteers, and our adopters will join us in that commitment to help Cupid heal – and  be loved and spoiled the way it should have always been.

Can we count on you to help Cupid and share some love this Valentine’s Day and help us pay for her medical expenses?

Prefer to send us a check to help Cupid?  Mail a check to Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940 and write “Cupid” on the check.

Thank you once again for being our lifeline to help the animals!

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URGENT: George needs your help!

Little George, a small 4.5-month-old Yorkie puppy, needs a big operation. He started out life on the wrong foot through no fault of his own. He came from a puppy mill through a breeder that buys puppies for breeding purposes or for flipping the puppies for profit.

Unfortunately, George turned out to have a birth defect to his heart from all the in-breeding at the puppy mill and he can’t be sold with his current condition. To the breeder, George was not a life worth saving.

But to Pets Alive, George is exactly a life worth saving and we need your help to make that happen.

George’s heart has all the blood pumping into one side of his heart, which will cause heart failure – and ultimately death – unless repaired surgically. During an initial examination, it appears George has a condition called PDA or Patent Ductus Arteriosus but our veterinarian is doing some additional preoperative testing this week to confirm this condition.

Normally a shunt going through one of the arteries would be used to heal the defect in a minimally invasive procedure. Because of George’s tiny size – he only weighs a mere 4.5 pounds – this is not an option. Shunts are not made that small, therefore he will need surgery on his heart to repair the defect and save his life.

A board certified surgeon, with assistance from our veterinarian from Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC, will need to open George’s chest cavity to make the repair so the blood pumps correctly and goes to both sides of his heart. This is a very risky surgery – but his only chance to survive.

In the spirit of the holiday season, won’t you give a donation now to our medical fund so we can save George and give him a second chance? This surgery must be done soon if George has a chance at survival.

Thank you once again for your help! Your support makes the difference for so many animals.

Posted in Call to Action, Dogs | 2 Comments

Back To School: Joey’s Adventure Continues

By Joyce Washnik, Pets Alive Volunteer

Since September, our beautiful Bay-colored boy, Joey, has been in training at a Middletown-based facility, where he is learning basic ground manners and groundwork, with the goal for him to become a riding horse. The good news? His trainer says he’s making great progress.

For those not familiar with his story, 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.

Now, thanks to your generous support, Joey’s curiosity is helping him in his training at the off-site facility, where the focus is on strengthening the bond between horse and human, and helping our boy overcome his fears.

Groundwork includes: lead exercises, such as how to walk on a lead rope; touch exercises, including grooming/brushing and general human contact; and circle work, where he works on a lunge line (a long lead rope used to train a horse from a distance), as he is taught to respond to voice commands.

According to his trainer, Joey is a fast study. “He has been very accepting and smart about all we have done with him so far,” says Cheyenne Martin, who also owns the facility.

That acceptance began from his very first day. “When he got to my farm, he calmly stepped off the trailer and walked right into his stall,” she says. “He acclimated very well, and he quickly adapted to going out with the other horses.”

One thing Joey wasn’t a fan of was having his feet trimmed. In the past, sedation was given prior to farriers working on him. But Cheyenne opted for a slow and steady approach.

“As I started grooming him and working with him and got to his feet, he wasn’t necessarily bad or trying to hurt me — he was just scared and unsure, so we gave him a few weeks of just handling his feet and not attempting to trim or anything,” she says. “Then, once he was comfortable picking them up and having them cleaned, we trimmed him with no issue. Once he realizes what you want and that it’s OK, he does what’s needed.”

Joey’s 2020 training will continue to focus on groundwork, as a horse that has done a lot of groundwork will learn much quicker during the breaking/training-to-ride process and will cooperate better. Cheyenne remains optimistic.

“I won’t say it will go fast or without any issues, simply because it will depend on how he reacts to tack, lunging, and eventually being ridden. But other than giving him the time to be OK with everything, I don’t see too much of an issue. He does take correction well and respects those who treat him like the powerful animal he is.”

Can we count on your continued support to help our big, beautiful boy get the training he needs so he’s ready for his final adventure: a forever home? Please click here to contribute to Joey’s School Fund. Thank you for your support to help Joey get adopted!Prefer to send a check? Mail a check to us at Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940 and write “Joey” on the check.

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It’s GivingTuesday: Luna needs your help

Luna at ACC of NYC – Brooklyn

Emaciated. Severe alopecia (loss of fur) and dermatitis (skin condition). Demodicosis (mites). Lameness. Conjunctivis (inflammation of the eyelid). And she has a mass above her eye. That sums up Luna’s health.

Luna is a small 10-month-old puppy that wound up at Animal Control Center of NYC – Brooklyn and Pets Alive is taking her in. We anticipate Luna will arrive at Pets Alive later today. Luna will need intense care to provide the appropriate nourishment to get her weight to normal, she requires multiple medications and medicated baths to treat her various conditions, she needs to be spayed and the mass will most likely require removal. We are told she is friendly and enjoys playing with her toys.

Help us give Luna a second chance by supporting our #GivingTuesday campaign.

We are proud to be part of #GivingTuesday today, a global movement for generosity. Your gift will go directly to helping Luna and the other animals at Pets Alive. No donation is too small. THANK YOU for your support!

Prefer to send us a check? Mail it to Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940 and write “Giving Tuesday” on the check and we’ll apply it to our Giving Tuesday Campaign.

Luna takes a nap

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Video: Thanks to you!

On this Thanksgiving Day, so many animals are thankful for your support. Because of you, the animals have a safe and warm place to live, eat nourishing meals, receive the medical care they need, get pampered by our staff and volunteers, enjoy playtime, and find their forever home.

Please watch this short video of our special message to you:

You are truly a partner in rescue and we thank you for all you do.

The staff, board of directors and animals at Pets Alive wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Time is running out

Your vote is URGENTLY needed to move us into 1st place!
Last chance on November 20

Thank you for your help so far in the Mid-Hudson Heroes challenge! Final voting ends at 11:59pm ET on Wednesday, November 20. We are currently in 2nd place, but with your help, we could move into first place and get a $2,500 donation from sponsor Ulster Savings Bank!

Simply vote for Pets Alive today and tomorrow – exactly every 24 hours through November 20. That’s two more votes to help move us closer to receiving the donation.

Please share with your friends and family.

If we come in 1st place, this money will be used to help keep the animals warm and well fed over the cold winter months.

Note: You must have a Facebook account to participate.

Thank you so very much!

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Vote now and save lives

Your help is needed!

Pets Alive is entered into the Mid-Hudson Heroes challenge sponsored by Ulster Savings Bank. The charity that gets the most votes by November 20 in each of 4 categories gets a $2,500 donation from the bank! As of the time of this writing, we are in 2nd place in the “Animal Welfare” category, but with your help, we could move into 1st place!

If we were to receive this generous donation, it’d help keep the animals warm and well fed over the cold winter months. To help, simply vote now and every 24 hours through Wednesday, November 20 at 11:59pm ET when it ends. TO VOTE:

Mark your calendars and VOTE EVERY 24 hours through November 20, 2019 – and please share with your friends and family. Already voted? Thank you for your help!

Note: You must have a Facebook account to participate.



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Pumpkin Spice has a broken jaw

Hit by a car? Kicked? Abused?

We may never know how Pumpkin Spice found himself all alone on the streets to fend for himself – with a broken, dislocated bottom jaw. Imagine the pain he must’ve been in while wandering around looking for scraps of food that he could eat with a broken jaw, a source for water, and safe shelter from the elements.

Lucky for Pumpkin Spice, a good Samaritan finally came upon him yesterday and called the town of Wallkill police, who then went to pick him up. Subsequently our town of Wallkill Animal Control Officer called upon us for help – and finally, Pumpkin found safe refuge at Pets Alive.

One look at Pumpkin Spice’s jaw and we knew he needed medical care right away. We sent him directly to our veterinarian, Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC yesterday afternoon for immediate treatment of his injuries.

X-rays confirmed his bottom jaw is indeed broken and dislocated, but what we didn’t expect is that it is not a recent injury! Pumpkin Spice has been fighting to survive for a lengthy period of time until he could find help. He is also emaciated and dehydrated – but wants nothing more than to be loved and cuddled.

X-rays of Pumpkin Spice’s broken, dislocated jaw

X-rays of Pumpkin Spice’s broken, dislocated jaw







He was stabilized late yesterday and today Pumpkin Spice will undergo surgery for repair to his jaw, which will then be wired back into place.

He’s got a long recovery road ahead of him. We’ve been hit very hard with multiple expensive medical emergencies in recent weeks but we could not turn our backs on Pumpkin Spice. Can we count on you for your support with yet another unexpected medical emergency to help us pay for his expenses? No donation is too small. Every dollar will help.

Pumpkin Spice will be available for adoption once he heals from his injury. Email us at for information about adopting Pumpkin Spice. Thank you once again for your help!

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