Recently at Pets Alive Westchester in Elmsford, New York we took in two dogs from a soldier who was suddenly deployed overseas. Unable to find homes for his beloved dogs he came to Pets Alive Westchester as a last resort. He was desperate to find homes where they would be safe, loved and have a lifetime of stability and happiness. We took them in knowing how difficult it would be to place not just one of them but both of them together in a home. This is Roxy and Rex.
Roxy and Rex are pit bulls, a brother and sister pair who are about 4 years old – and they are truly fantastic dogs. They know commands, they’re very well behaved, completely (and strongly!) housetrained, and they get along well with many other dogs too. They have accepted their transition gracefully and ignore the barking and chaos around them when they go out for walks or to the play yard. They are fantastically leash trained, walking perfectly without pulling. They’re even crate trained! Roxy and Rex are very tightly bonded to each other, with Rex watching carefully over his sister. They’re fantastic dogs with a fun-loving attitude who love being around people, and they’re also very calm dogs who give off a vibe of happiness to anyone they come in contact with. People can’t help but fall in love with them the instant they see them.
Some of our staff has speculated that this fantastic and friendly pair may be a subtype of pit bulls called “American Bullies”, and although it’s hard to say for sure their physical appearance certainly supports that as does their behavior. American Bullies have a powerful look but a docile nature, love people, and generally do well with other dogs.
It is historically difficult in our area to place pit bulls. It is harder still to place a pair of bonded pit bulls – but upon meeting this pair, we knew we had to try. These two beautiful and majestic, loving dogs are very, very worthy of a chance for adoption.
We know that a soldiers family goes through a tremendous amount of sacrifices throughout their loved ones military career. We in the animal world see the sacrifices that they have to make by leaving their beloved pets behind to serve our country. We thank our military and their families for all of their sacrifices that they continue to make to keep our country safe. We are here to help in any way we can as are many other great organizations. In this case the owner wanted us to place Roxy and Rex in a permanent loving home together if possible. Otherwise, we would have held them for as long as necessary or found foster for them until he returned. But these were not his wishes.
When we originally posted about Roxy and Rex on our Facebook page, we were somewhat disappointed with the reaction. Many wanted to place blame for the situation they find themselves in. We don’t want that. We are here to help, to help animals. These fantastic and worthy animals need our help – as does their owner, who never wanted to give them up and desperately wants them to be okay. When we are in a position to help, we want to do so, and blame is not helpful to achieve our goal for these two: to find wonderful homes for wonderful animals, to save their lives. Please help us focus on that goal by sharing their story and helping to find them a loving home.
Roxy and Rex are waiting for you. They have a lifetime of roly-poly pit bull love to share. If you’re interested in meeting Roxy and Rex, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out an application!
Filed in Animal Rescue
, Why we do this
by Admnistrator on Oct 06, 2013. There are comments.
Kerry Clair announced on Saturday that she would retire as Executive Director and President of Pets Alive, Inc. based in Middletown, NY.
For the past 6 years, Kerry has been at the helm of Pets Alive, rescuing thousands of animals during that time and steering Pets Alive to the forefront of the no kill movement. A beloved and valued member of the Pets Alive team, Kerry leaves behind a remarkable legacy of dedication, love and compassion for animals. The Pets Alive team will continue that legacy and expand on it, taking Pets Alive to new heights over the coming months and years.
Plans are already in place to build a state of the art medical facility at the Middletown location, enabling Pets Alive to save money while increasing the level of care to the animals. At the Westchester facility, major renovations are in progress, including a new roof and new dog kennels to provide a safer, healthier, happier environment for the animals. In Puerto Rico, Pets Alive will continue to grow and be a voice for change on the island. All of this and more is made possible in part by very generous grants from Sidewalk Angels Foundation.
With so many new and exciting developments in store for Pets Alive, the search for a new Executive Director to lead the Middletown sanctuary is already underway. Kerry has agreed to assist the board of directors in the search and to stay on to train her replacement, assuring a smooth transition.
Please join us in thanking Kerry for helping to build a strong foundation on which Pets Alive can continue to grow and save even more lives over the coming years. As Kerry looks forward to a well-deserved retirement, we wish her all the best that life has to offer.
Board of Directors, Pets Alive, Inc.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
~Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Filed in Updates
by kerry on Aug 17, 2013. There are comments.
So this is my swan song.
Today, I have officially resigned from Pets Alive.
I will be here for the next few weeks or a few months, to train a replacement and work for a smooth transition.
I love this organization and all we have done with it in the six years I’ve been at the helm.
It’s been a rush of emotions, trials, tribulations, successes, and failures but I know that I leave Pets Alvie in capable hands – hands that will continue the great work we’ve been doing for so many years.
Thank you all for all these great years.
As you can imagine this is a very stressful job and it takes it toll…and I am looking very forward to retirement.
I’ve been blessed to work with an amazing organization and an amazing group of people!
Thank you all for the wonderful support!
I go into my retirement knowing that we did great things here and have saved thousands upon thousands of lives…but not only that, we were able to teach other groups to do the same.
Filed in Updates
by kerry on Aug 10, 2013. There are comments.
By Erin Guilshan, Executive Director Pets Alive Westchester
Wilfred is a beautiful Russian Blue cat that was abandoned on the doorstep at Pets Alive Westchester with nothing but a note. In this note the owner described a cat that was thought of as manipulative, uncaring, and overall a horrible boy that was so undeserving of love that the last straw was when Wilfred was diagnosed with diabetes. The owner then decided instead of taking care of him to dump him at Pets Alive Westchester.
As you read the letter that was left with Wilfred, keep in mind that this boy is nothing but loving, sweet and gentle. He brightens up any room and has been one of the sweetest cats we have ever had at Pets Alive Westchester. As we were reading this letter, we thought that this will go down as the craziest letter ever left with an animal that was abandoned on our property! One of the things that the owner wrote was that he was “WICKET” and inconsiderate! The letter also states that he’s a bully, obnoxious, manipulative and tactical which we found to be quite humorous given the fact that he is none of these things.
I’ll let you read the letter for yourself and after you’ve picked yourself up off the floor from laughing so hard, please read on.
Are you OK? Are you shaking your head wondering what state of mind this person was in when writing this letter? Whenever we think we’ve seen it all, we come across something else that makes our jaws drop.
Dr. Katie is our veterinarian at Pets Alive Westchester. She has such a big heart for the animals and is simply just amazing. She has been fostering Wilfred so that she is certain he’s getting his medication every 12 hours. Her home is filled with animals and he’s simply wonderful and loving. As Dr. Katie stated, “he is so sweet and only wants to be LOVED. If he can be in a home that will take the time every 12 hours to administer his medicine for the diabetes he’ll be fine. He just needs someone who will love him. That’s all he needs”.
Well, thankfully the person who dumped him prayed for him because he ended up at Pets Alive Westchester!!
Dr. Katie will be leaving for Pets Alive Puerto Rico next week working with the Pets Alive animals. Wilfred is in need of someone who could take him into their home and make sure he gets his treatment for diabetes. It’s one treatment every 12 hours. Not a big deal. But without it, he will suffer and we do not want that to happen.
It’s always sad when an animal is abandoned. Our hearts sink for them. We bring them in, evaluate their health, feed and give them love. We always wonder how anyone can do such a thing though. We cannot fathom the horrible stress that they must endure while being all ALONE at night in a place that they do not know. We’ve even had people leave them in hiding places!! Why is that? Wouldn’t you want them to be SEEN so they could be cared for? We can’t begin to imagine all that these animals go through when they are left outdoors with no food or water and no one to let them know they will be OK. It’s just horrible. How about coming to see us, email or call us. Don’t just leave them to be unattended in the extreme weather conditions and without a person to help them. It’s unfair!!! The animals rely on us to be the ones to care for them.
Now that I’ve expressed my deepest disgust for people who dump animals, I can promise you this….the person who wrote the letter is the “WICKET” one, not Wilfred. There is not one ounce of what this person wrote about Wilfred to be true. He is a gentle, loving boy that loves to be around people, other animals and is in desperate need right now for someone to foster or adopt him.
If you think you are the person who would love Wilfred and would take him into your home, please contact us at email@example.com. Let’s give this sweet boy a chance to enjoy life with someone who REALLY cares and doesn’t think he’s “WICKET”.
Can’t adopt? Become a Monthly Sponsor. A monthly sponsorship for as low as $25 a month will help feed an animal at Pets Alive Westchester. We can’t do it alone. Your support is needed.
Filed in Animal Rescue
by john on Aug 01, 2013. There are comments.
Written by Pets ALive Cat Manager, Becky Tegze
“No you didn’t?” “Are you crazy?” “My god you have a heart of gold.” “I could never do that.” “Really a 16 year old cat?” “I wish I could.” “I don’t know how you did it.” “You truly are an angel.” These are just some of the things I’ve heard when someone learns I adopted a cat who was 16 years young (my girl is in the prime of her life and I refuse to call her old).
Sheba isn’t just a 16 year old cat who needed a home, she is a cat that at the age of 10 was dumped at NYC’s very high kill Center Animal Care & Control (CACC) because her owners were moving. She somehow made it out of the CACC alive, was lucky enough to end up at Pets Alive in 2005 where she waited patiently for a forever home for 6 years. I do apologize Sheba for making you wait so long but like many others, mommy needed a kick in the you know what.
Let me back up a little bit here in my story. I first met Queen Sheba in 2007 when I started volunteering at Pets Alive. The more I volunteered the more I found myself making Sheba my first and last stop of the day whenever I volunteered. I started buying her special treats and pretty beds and collars for each holiday. Dale, the cat manager at the time, would say “Just take her home, when are you going to take her home? You know you are going to!” No, no I can’t, I already have a senior at home, I can’t do it. I can’t lose two of them back to back. She is 16 I’ll only have maybe a few months with her, I would respond.
Then the phone call came, “Beck, just wanted to let you know I have may have an adopter interested in Sheba.” Dead silence on the phone, my heart dropped, the tears were instant, and I choked out “is it a good home?” My minds races – OMG was Sunday the last day I would get to kiss and love on Sheba? Was that really the last time I would see her. I pull myself back together. This is what volunteering means. Loving them and loving them enough to let them go. Our goal is for them all to find homes so we can save others and love and care for them till their time comes to find a forever home. I finally found my voice “Thanks for letting me know. Kiss her goodbye for me and tell her that I love her.” It comes out barely as a whisper past the lump in my throat. I hang up and cry my eyes out – happy tears that the sweet senior I love, and who has been waiting far too long, will finally have a home. I’m crying because I love her so much, and I’m happy for her …yet my heart is breaking for selfish reasons cause she won’t be mine anymore. Oh why hadn’t I brought her home with me?
The weekend rolls around and I make the drive up to Pets Alive. It doesn’t feel the same. My Sheba won’t be there. She is in a home. She has a new family. I find I can’t bring myself to stop at the cat house. It just hurts too much. I head down to the kennel and walk and love on some dogs.
Why hadn’t I brought her home with me? Was it her age? Worrying she wouldn’t be with me for years to come because of her age? But is there really any guarantee? No there isn’t. I have friends who have lost cats to cancer, and other diseases at very young ages. I myself lost my first cat when she was only 13. So I could cross that off my list. No matter what age you adopt a cat there is no guarantee on how long they will be with you. It doesn’t make you love them any differently or any less. Regardless if they are with you 5 years or 20 years you still love them and they will love you.
Later that night the phone rings “Hey why didn’t you stop at the cat house? I saw your car”. I reply “I just couldn’t. It’s too soon after Sheba has gone home.”
“OMG, you don’t know, the woman picked a different cat, Sheba is still here.” “What!!!!! OMG my girl! I could have seen my girl!” I go to bed kicking myself I could have seen her I could have loved on her today my Sheba is still there. STILL THERE. Those are the last thoughts I have as I fall to sleep.
I wake up with those words still haunting me “still there”. She has been over looked again. This is what should make me cry, not that I won’t get to see her again but that this cat that I love so much is STILL THERE. This sweet senior, overlooked again. Was it because of a NUMBER, because like me people are afraid to adopt a senior all because of a number?
“Dale, it’s Becky pack Sheba’s bags she is going home today. I’ll be there in an hour”.
I’m determined this sweet senior will not be “homeless” one more night. She IS GOING HOME!
It’s been almost 3 years since I made that phone call and brought my girl home. Sheba is now 18 years young and going strong, loving life, loving her toys, enjoying sunbeams in her very own home and we are loving each other.
Sheba has disproven every single “reason” I had come up with in my mind not to adopt a senior.
Each day is a gift, there are no guarantees in life, never take anything or anyone for granted, and you never know how long someone will be in our life and most importantly AGE IS JUST A NUMBER. Sheba has taught me the greatest gift you can give is the gift of loving unconditionally, not to judge or to be afraid of an age it is just a number, not to worry about the time you won’t have together but to enjoy the time YOU DO HAVE TOGETHER.
“I couldn’t afford the vet bills” is something I hear also. Since I brought Sheba into my home she hasn’t required any more vetting then my younger cats. In fact I’ve probably spent more money on my younger cats then I have on Sheba. Unless you have a Magic 8 Ball or a crystal ball you have no way of knowing what the future will hold. Young cats get sick too and because we love them, we will do whatever we can do for them.
Adopting a senior has been an eye opening experience and more rewarding than words could ever express. So get over your fear it’s just a number, stop worrying about what little time you may have but CELEBRATE the time you do have. Open your heart and home to a senior and you too will experience the greatest gift of all! There is nothing more rewarding then waking up each morning with my Sheba curled up next to me. We may not have 20 years together but we make each day count and we never take each other for granted. She has taught me to cherish each day, each moment, each purr, each midnight zoomie (luckily at her age her zoomies are usually around 8pm cause like her momma she likes to sleep).
Pets Alive and Pets Alive Westchester has many amazing seniors, just like my Sheba, who are waiting for you to come and give them the greatest gift – a second chance at a loving home. I promise it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Step above the rest, step outside the box and open your heart and home to some of the most deserving animals in need.
ADOPT A SENIOR PET!
Buttons, Candi, Benji, Bridget, Jamie and Mamma Mae Maria are just a few who are waiting for you to give them a second chance!
Filed in Animal Rescue
by kerry on Jul 30, 2013. There are comments.
Recently a new Facebook page cropped up.
It is called REHOMING PETS OF THE HUDSON VALLEY. It is a FaceBook page for you to post your no longer wanted animal and other people can adopt them from you, or buy them, or whatever deal or trade you might make.
On the surface of it, it appears to be a site to help people find other good people to adopt the animals they no longer want or can not keep. Me? Well…I’m beyond upset about this. The person running this site is actually the same one that runs the LOST PETS site which is a fabulous site and does a great job, and I believe him to be a kind and compassionate man. I have appealed to him to shut it down and explained why.
His response was to ban me from posting to the FaceBook page. My crime was posting to people that listed their animals and asking them NOT to do this and explaining why.
MOST people don’t understand how dangerous this is. Most people are not in the rescue and cruelty world. You KNOW these things go on but you don’t think it is HERE, or could happen to you, and you also believe you can pick out the “bad people”.
I am here to tell you that is not true. The people that come to your door will be polite, and courteous,, and dressed well, and will fawn over your dog. They will provide GREAT references to you (their buddies that also fight dogs). You will be thrilled that Fido has a good home and maybe you take $50 or maybe you give your dog or cat away for free. (Yes they start with kittens and puppies believe it or not, so they are not “safe” to post either!)
They leave with your dog. That dog then has his mouth duct taped shut (if it is a cat they tape the mouth and tape over the paws as well). The animal is then thrown into a ring with a dog in training and that dog is encouraged to kill your pet.
Sometimes they don’t.
Your dog will then be pulled out and used again and again until he is dead.
DO NOT ADVERTISE YOUR PET on Craisglist or on FaceBook sites, and help us get these shut down. Help us to explain to people how terrible an idea this is and how unsafe it is for their animal.
Even Craigslist in the Hudson Valley will NOT allow these ads. They have come to learn the hard way how terrible a way this is for an animal to be rehomed.
Please consider LIKING the FaceBook page (https://www.facebook.com/RehomingPetsOfTheHudsonValley) and posting this on all the posts that people are posting there to get rid of their animal:
Please reconsider this. Please do not advertise animals on sites like this for adoptions.
This Facebook page is no different than Craigslist or any other online site to obtain animals. (The exception would be for shelters and rescues using online sites to promote their animals – where people are then referred to their adoption applications). Even Craigslist does NOT allow these types of ads anymore because they have come to understand and learn the dangers of this.
People that respond to these ads usually do so because they have been turned down at shelters and rescues and can NOT obtain animals from reputable places.
Rescues and shelters have lists and photos and names of the problem people out there and they have “DO NOT ADOPT” lists of the ones that they are aware of. They share this info with other rescues and shelters.
Middletown. Newburgh. Port Jervis. What do they have in common? All have huge dog fighting rings.
Do you know how they train the dogs to fight and kill? By getting free or cheap dogs and cats from lists like this (or stealing them from your yard), then they duct tape their mouths shut and throw them in the ring with their future fighting dogs.
THAT is the future for many animals obtained from Craigslist and sites like this. If you are not experienced with reviewing an application and checking people out thoroughly – they will get past you. They will give you references that are actually other dog fighters. They come to your home as a well dressed, “newly married couple”, and offer your dog or cat a wonderful loving home.
These people are shills.
Responsible people adopt, and can pass reference and vet and home checks at local rescues or shelters and that is where they obtain their new family members.
Sites like this is where the people that can NOT get animals from good rescues, go to get them. You are putting your pets in grave danger.
How do I know? Because I am one of the people that pick up your animal’s torn apart body and remove his collar and peel the duct tape from his mouth, and then I call you to find out how your dog wound up here. You all tell me the same thing. You advertised the dog or cat and found a wonderful couple that adopted him from you.
This is NOT a good way to place your pet.
PLEASE RECONSIDER THIS!!
You all know that we share the GOOD news with you. The successes, the happy things. I never talk to you about the horrors we see, or the terrible things that go on out there. We just show you the happy ending.
That’s because I believe that you don’t NEED to see it. There is enough evil in the world. I’d rather show you all the GOOD out there, all the happy endings for these animals.
But I need you all to help now and make sure this FaceBook site does not get off the ground. All the dogs pictured here are ALIVE. I won’t show you pictures of the ones that are NOT. The ones that we removed collars from and called the owners asking how their dog wound up here.
They all say the same thing.
They all have the same story.
This really nice person or couple came and adopted him from them.
They checked his references.
Don’t advertise your dog or cat on any online site or in the paper.
Contact a local rescue or shelter.
What will WE do to help??
We never just COMPLAIN about something.
We will act to try to help.
In this case we will start up a website.
If you submit your dog or cat to us for adoption and we can not take the animal in, we will list him for you.
We will review the application for you and turn over any good ones to you.
If anyone would like to volunteer to handle this, please let me know.
If no one steps up then we will need some time to pull this together and come up with a plan, and find a volunteer of our own to handle this.
In the meantime…please go to the REHOMING PETS OF THE HUDSON VALLEY FACEBOOK PAGE and post the above text (the part in italics) on all the posts that people have put there looking to find new homes for their animals. They have blocked me. They can’t block all of you.
I’m sorry to share such horrible pictures with you – but these dogs are the ones that were SAVED. The ones that MADE it. Let’s make sure no other ones wind up in this same position by well meaning people that don’t understand the dangers.
As each of you posts, you will likely be blocked from the site, and my hopes is that then someone else will pick up the torch and continue to post and warn people of the dangers of this type of “adoption”.
So let’s end this on a HAPPY note.
Okra, pictured here – made it out of that fighting ring. He is one of the success stories.
Did you know he was originally obtained from an ad “free to good home” in the paper? He then spent two years of his life fighting, and trying to survive. He then spent three years in a basement of a shelter waiting for the court case to finish up. Then he was ordered executed.
Instead…we took him here. THIS is a success story. Let’s make sure no other dogs wind up in a position that Okra was forced into.
Want to do one more great thing? Come down and adopt Okra.
Take him home and show him love and enable us to save another.
Filed in Animal Rescue
by kerry on Jul 05, 2013. There are comments.
Many people have been wondering what is happening now at the Port Jervis (Deepark) Humane Society.
You’ll remember that we did a series of blogs a few months ago about some really horrid conditions there, and the people that were running it.
In the months that followed, there have been some really fantastic changes to be noted at the Port Jervis Deerpark Humane Society.
The first positive thing to come of the whole mess was that the previous director, Bill is gone. Retired, forced out, left, quit – many different versions of what happened but it doesn’t matter. Bill is no longer there. He was the person responsible for the management and care of the animals there for the past 35+ years…and the person I would hold mostly responsible for the way things were.
My own experiences with trying to stop him from killing a dog that pets Alive could save was documented in a blog I wrote a number of years ago.
The fact is that if you don’t support no kill and don’t support NOT killing animals in your shelter then things can never really change.
When we first started our diatribe against the PJHS and all the horrors there, they had just recently hired a new shelter manager, Katrina who was working with Bill. Katrina, Bill….was all the same to us. The pictures and videos stood for themselves.
But once Bill was out, something beautiful happened.
Katrina, and the board that was left, decided to change things.
It wasn’t an overnight change…but they were committed to it.
One of the first things they did was reach out to us and arrange a meeting.
And we talked for a couple of hours.
Katrina, myself, some of the board.
And they seem to have been pretty unhappy with things there too.
They asked for a cease fire and a chance to make things better.
I know a snow job when I see one, and most of this meeting wasn’t a snow job.
We opened up a dialogue and started talking a LOT about many things.
Last week I went down to their facility to check things out for myself. We had heard from some volunteers that things had changed dramatically for the better and I wanted to write this blog if it were so. I reached out to Katrina and she took a lot of time out of her day to show me around and discuss the changes there and what her plans were to continue improving conditions.
First thing I noticed that all the animals had clean food and clean water. (Yeah, really – that wasn’t always so!).
Cat litterboxes and cages were clean. Cats were mostly one to a cage and not over crowded or on the floor in crates. They all had something to lie on – a towel, piece of carpet…something. Cleaning protocols and rules were in place. Signs and cage cards and notes were up and visible.
All the SICK cats were NO LONGER with the healthy cats in one room. All the sicks cats were in a separate room in the back medical ward. It also looked like they were all getting medical attention for their illnesses. Staff had a good grasp on what was wrong with each, and what medications or care they were receiving.
There is still no cat room where cats can wander free and have a place to socialize with each other. That is always sad to me in typical shelters, as our cat rooms are such happy places for our cats to hang out together on couches, or climb cat trees, or romp with toys, and it is a nice place for people to volunteer and visit with them and groom them. It is a happy place to visit a cat, and potentially to choose a cat to adopt.
(Note: the beautiful cat pictured below is available for adoption. She is declawed and has some litterbox issues but would be perfect for a person that perhaps had an outside catio! Can you help this gorgeous cat find a home?)
Seeing cats living full time in cages is just sad to me…but the hope is still there that they will find a place to create such a room in the future, and Katrina did seem to support the idea.
She did mention to me that vets they had spoken to didn’t like the idea of a cat room because then if a cat got sick how could you tell which one it was that was vomiting or had diarrhea? Well, on the surface that does seem to be a valid point, but in reality that doesn’t make that much sense. First, cats that are happy and socialized get sick LESS often…cutting down on your medical bills (cats in cages can often be stressed and this can cause them to have chronic upper respiratory issues). Also, if that is the belief than how do you validate adopting out a cat to anyone that already HAS a cat or two at home? How would THEY tell which of their OWN cats were sick?
The answer in all the catteries I have know of or have visited, ours, Best Friends, Karma Cats, Mid Hudson animal Aid – is that you KNOW your cats. You pay attention to things like who isn’t as active today or who is laying in a spot that is not their “normal” spot, and you spend extra time in that room watching for a cough, or a litter box visit. We will actually send volunteers into our cat rooms and say – “hey watch for a while and let us know”. The major organizations that have cat rooms don’t have an unnecessary issue with this at all. So it shouldn’t be a reason to stop any caged cat shelter from considering a cat room. We hope that PJHS will continue to consider an open cat room, and I do believe that they are leaning this way. But in the meantime the cats appeared to be well cared for and segregated properly.
I reiterate that there is no place for a cat volunteer to really spend time cuddling, grooming or playing with a cat though and if that was possible, it might also result in increased adoptions. One thing at a time though!
We then went to check out the dogs. The dog kennels are old and outdated, and unfortunately there is nothing any of us can do about this without spending a lot of money. At Pets Alive we lasted five years with absolutely deplorable kennels and we had dogs injured or fighting through them before we raised enough to redo them. It was horrible and every day we came in, in fear that dogs had broken through and killed one another. That didn’t happen, but still it was a fear and we hated our kennels. When we finally raised enough to redo them (thank you SideWalk Angel’s Foundation!) we could only afford to redo the INSIDE kennels – the outside are still horrible and need to be replaced. Again…one step at a time, for us too!
It is the same thing at the PJHS. The kennels are old and wearing down and need to be replaced for the safety of the dogs but that isn’t going to be something that can happen quickly or easily. In the meantime the dogs seemd to be in clean environments and all had clean water. Most seemed to be in good health but the stress of the kennels was also apparent for some for the dogs. Again, this is a tough situation with the old kennels and something we had issues with too (and STILL do in the outside part of the runs).
The answer? More volunteers to get these dogs OUT and walked and some time spent with them. They need more volunteers to help with the dog socialization and they especially need these volunteers DURING the week. If you can help and live nearby, consider giving some of your time to these dogs.
I was disappointed to see that only one dog in the kennel had anything to lay on. No bedding or blankets or Kuranda beds for them. Just the cement floor and in some cases they had smaller dogs in some LARGE kennels and some very large dogs in some narrow kennels. Not sure why that was. This week we did drop off a bunch of hospital pads that we had an excess of, so maybe they can lay something down for the dogs…or maybe people can donate items that work for the dogs to lay on. Laundry is a HUGE ordeal at our shelter and it is overwhelming. Katrina did mention that people donate HUGE comforters to them sometimes and they can NOT wash them in their smaller washing machine, hence they can not use them. So maybe that is why the dogs don’t have anything to lay on but the concrete floor. The massive amount of laundry it generates every day, and the fact that many items won’t fit in the washer. Kuranda beds would be the answer but admittedly they are costly.
They had a mama dog that had just given birth there. She was very comfy with lots of bedding for her and the pups to lay on, and had been moved to a quiet room away from the noise and bustle of the kennel. THAT alone was a great sign to me. I hate going into shelters and seeing puppies just born laying in kennels with their moms and all the other dogs barking and the daily work just going on around them. I was really thrilled to see that this dog had been moved to a bathroom inside a much quieter area at the shelter.
The tour continued to seeing the drop off room where Animal Control officers leave animals overnight, and the medical room and medical ward for the sick cats. There is also a separate area for the court ordered dangerous dogs. They also have an outdoor farm animal area. While they do not currently have any farm animals they do have a few nice barns with decent enclosures for farm animals.
We discussed a lot of things. You’ve all read Dr. Roeder’s (their veterinarian’s) letter by now. Katrina had some things to say about that. I won’t address ALL of the charges that Dr. Roeder made, but I do feel that since I put her letter out there, that PJHS deserves equal time in regards to their side of it. Let me first say that Dr. Roeder is a very well respected veterinarian in this area. She was their vet on record for 30+ years….but according to Katrina, she didn’t go there to the shelter. Ever. That struck me as a little odd – if you are the veterinarian on record for 30+ years, why haven’t you regularly give a look-see to the facility and the care that is being given to the animals? Is that her job to come onsite? No. She isn’t their STAFF veterinarian, but in my world, it seems to make sense that she would come down to look things over now and again. As a vet, if she had been onsite regularly, could she have stopped the conditions and treatment that some of the animals were subjected to, much earlier?
The PJHS advised me that as to her comment that she had revoked Katrina’s license to perform euthanasia’s – they say she had no power to do that. Only the licensing board can revoke a license. She COULD and DID revoke her “recommendation” for Katrina, but she couldn’t take away the license itself, so Katrina did nothing wrong by continuing to do euthanasia’s after Dr. Roeder’s removal of her recommendation.
In regards to selling illegal drugs on their website and at the shelter, Katrina advised that this was flea and tick medication. She admitted that they DID do this, but when their drug rep advised they could not do so, they removed it.
In regards to using drugs they were not legally permitted to use without a veterinarian, they admit that they did do that on one occasion and the story they told me had me wondering if I wouldn’t do the exact same thing. Their version of that story is that a dog came in that was picked up by a police officer. The back of the officer’s car was saturated with blood and the dog was bouncing around like crazy. Repeatedly they tried to calm him enough to see where the blood was coming from so they could wrap it and get him to an emergency vet, but they say he was rapidly losing blood and was too hyper for them to get calmed down. So they sedated him with a drug they weren’t supposed to use, and they were able to staunch the blood flow, wrap the wound and get him to Dr. Roeder’s for exam and repair.
At this point, I am not saying what is true or what isn’t…but both sides tell a compelling tale and both sides are still battling it out. I’m going to move on from that but I felt since I posted Dr. Roeder’s letter, that it was only fair to also post their side of the issues discussed in that letter.
Some of the positive changes? We are working quite well together now. We held a seminar together on feeding bottle babies and trying to get some additional fosters to step up and help these orphaned or abandoned baby kittens who previously were killed. We have taken in an animal or two that they needed help with. We are sharing our donations with them if we have things they can use there, and we are communicating and working together on a regular basis.
We are even working together in regards to some pet shops in Port Jervis that sell dogs – and are developing a plan for a way to try to work with them to make sure these animals are cared for properly, or at least altered prior to “sale” (we are still working on that – more to come soon in regards to that incident), and we share texts and emails on a wide variety of things.
Other improvements in the past months?
- Katrina advised they have a regular volunteer program now. Orientation is the first Sunday of every month from 12-1.
- They offer a constant Adopt-One-Get-One free for all cats (ongoing special).
- They are doing offsite adoption events every week.
- They are developing their board again with responsible, animal-loving people.
- Staff moral is much improved
- The overall health of the animals has improved.
- Relationships with volunteers have improved.
- Dog training classes have started. Similar to our “Improving Adoptability” classes they recently held a seven week class with volunteers geared at helping shelter dogs.
- Katrina is attending seminars in shelter enrichment programs.
- They are working on building relationships with rescues to pull animals from them.
- They recently signed up for the ASPCA M.A.P. program (which helps shelters connect with each other).
- They created a catio for cats to spend some time in our of cages and with access to the fresh air.
- Nursing moms and babies are NO LONGER euthanized – they are fostered out!
- They are starting a TNR program for feral cats
- They have not euthanized any dogs for space since Katrina has taken over.
- They are trying to get the dogs more Kong toys
- Trying to get donations of Feliway for cats
- Working on a stereo/music system for the animals to decrease stress
- They are doing a T.A.R.A spay/neuter clinic for the public on August 1.
Goals for the future include not killing feral cats. Feral cats that come in are still being killed but they are developing programs to talk to the public and do TNR for these cats instead of killing them. They are encouraging the public to re-release them if they (PJHS) take care of the altering.
Some other positive things to mention – they will always take their animals back. Recently they drove all the way to Maryland to pick up a dog that had been adopted from them years before and picked up as a stray. They are committing to their dogs for life, even when this is inconvenient.
While I was there a litter of bottle baby kittens came in. The staff immediately sprang into action heating water bottles, getting bottles ready and reaching out to find a foster to bottle feed. If none could be found they were not going to kill them – instead a staff member would take them home for the night.
What they need now is mostly donations and volunteers. We beat them up when they were doing it wrong, now let’s get out there and support them for doing it right. They especially need dog walkers. They especially need volunteers during the week.
My final appeal is for you all to look at this cat, Morris, they have there. (I am sorry I took such a bad picture!) Morris is a beautiful guy that wanders free at the shelter. He is SUPER friendly and always wants to be wherever you are following you all over the place and trying to insinuate himself in whatever you are doing. He was returned to the shelter for being “too needy”.
I hope that someone who reads this blog will go and adopt Morris today. Tell them you read the blog, you support all the positive changes and you want to help give a needy cat as wonderful as this guy a home. You’ll be glad you did.
Filed in No-kill
by kerry on Jun 26, 2013. There are comments.
Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary in Middletown and Elmsford NY, with another facility in Puerto Rico, has just hired a full time veterinarian to join their staff.
Dr. Emerson’s time will be spent mostly at the Elmsford location which has a medical clinic but she will also be at Middletown once a week, and will be spending two weeks in August at their Bed & Breakfast Rescue Sanctuary in Puerto Rico.
Dr. Katie Emerson received a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. She has had an interest in shelter medicine ever since she volunteered for several rescue groups during her college years. Dr. Emerson’s specific veterinary interests include high-volume spay/neuter, trap-neuter-return for feral cats, population and infectious disease management, and feline medicine and behavior. She is a passionate member of the no-kill movement and is excited to be joining one of the leaders of that movement in Pets Alive. Dr. Emerson and her fiancé, Matt, share their home with four rescue pets: their dog, Raleigh, and their three cats, WallE, EvE, and Coconut.
“We are very excited to have Dr. Emerson as a member of our full time staff”, said Kerry Clair, Pets Alive President. “Financially this was the logical next step for our organization, but also the ability to have a veterinarian onsite five days a week will be a huge benefit to our animals.”
The veterinary clinic in Elmsford, NY currently assists low income families with their pets’ medical needs, and also offers low cost spay/neuter for the community. Pets Alive has plans to open up a medical clinic next year at their Middletown location, and a medical clinic is already underway in Puerto Rico.
“We believe that to help end the suffering, abandonment, and surrenders of animals, that it is important to offer these services in as many areas as possible”, said Kerry Clair. “We need to be able to help the community keep their pets in their homes and we want to be a resource to help low-income or senior citizens that may have trouble financially caring for their animals.
Filed in Press Releases
by kerry on Jun 18, 2013. There are comments.
ASPCA Gives 52 Dogs New “Leash” on Life in Collaboration With Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary, Great Plains SPCA
ASPCA transports dogs from Kansas and Missouri to Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary in New York’s Orange County
NEW YORK-In an effort to give dozens of dogs a new “leash” on life, the ASPCA(r) (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(r)) is funding the transport of 52 dogs from the Great Plains SPCA locations in Merriam, Kan. and Independence, Mo. to Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary in Middletown, N.Y. The transport offers the dogs relief from crowded conditions and gives the Great Plains SPCA the chance to take in more animals.
The dogs-mostly adults in a variety of sizes and breeds-will be placed up for adoption by the receiving Pets Alive shelters. The transport operation for the 52 dogs-which departs the Midwest Saturday morning-is scheduled to arrive in Orange County, N.Y. sometime on Sunday. To learn more about the dogs, or to inquire about adoption please visit www.petsalive.org.
“The ASPCA is working collaboratively with Great Plains SPCA and Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary to provide these dogs with a much-needed second chance at getting adopted,” said Kristen Limbert, director of animal relocation for the ASPCA. “The members of the ASPCA’s Relocation Team love being a part of this process, which works to move at-risk animals to locations where they have the best chance of getting out of shelters and finding permanent, loving homes.”
“We proudly welcome needy pets into our two shelters daily, yet our organization has experienced a dramatic influx of homeless animals. In only two months’ time, we have taken in more than 1,200 pets at our Independence, Mo. campus, a new shelter in an underserved community. We believe that collaborating with other life-saving organizations is the most effective way to save more lives, and we are honored and grateful to have such a relationship with the ASPCA,” said Great Plains SPCA President & CEO Courtney Thomas.
“Pets Alive is pleased to be working with the wonderful groups involved in this transport. Everyone is concerned about the dogs’ well-being, compassionate and eager to make a difference in their lives. We are thrilled that we are on the receiving end and able to provide a second chance for all these four-legged lives. We can’t wait to meet them all and find loving families to take them home,” said Kerry Clair, executive director of Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary.
“Our mission is to consistently provide a safe and affordable transport option for animals in need. P.E.T.S. LLC is honored to be a part of the rescue efforts of these great shelters and the ASPCA,” said Kyle Paterson, owner of P.E.T.S., LLC.
In addition to the funding provided by the ASPCA Animal Relocation Team for the transport of the animals, the operation is made possible thanks to the collaboration of the following groups:
* Great Plains SPCA of Merriam, Kan. and Independence, Mo. – for providing the medical care, examinations, up to date vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery for the majority of the dog prior to transport;
* P.E.T.S., LLC. of Cookeville, Tenn. – for safely and humanely transporting the dogs in their custom-made transport trailer; and
* Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary in Middletown, N.Y. – for accepting the 52 dogs into their facility in Middletown, providing spay/neuter surgery for the remainder of the dogs before adoption, and for finding them loving homes.
Alison Jimenez, ASPCA – firstname.lastname@example.org / (212) 876-7700 ext. 4568 Rachel Hodgson, Great Plains SPCA – email@example.com / (913) 515-6073 Kerry Clair, Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary – firstname.lastname@example.org / (845) 386-9738 Pam Paterson, P.E.T.S., LLC. – email@example.com / (615) 218-1589
About the ASPCA(r)
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA(r) (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(r)) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
About Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary
Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary is one of the oldest and largest no-kill organizations in the country with locations in Middletown, N.Y., Elmsford, N.Y. and Utuado, P.R. Their mission is to improve the lives of companion animals everywhere by any means possible, including rescue, adoption, advocacy, collaboration, intervention and education. The organization is recognized within the local community, nationwide and around the world as a leader in developing alliances to further the no-kill movement. Pets Alive is 100 percent privately funded, relying solely on the generosity of the community to meet their financial needs. To learn more please visit www.petsalive.org.
About Great Plains SPCA
Great Plains SPCA is the Kansas City Metro’s most comprehensive resource for pets and their human companions, serving more than 30,000 pets annually – more than any other animal welfare agency in the area. With paws on both sides of the state line in Merriam, KS and Independence, MO, the nonprofit is the region’s only bi-state animal welfare agency. A No Kill shelter, Great Plains SPCA works to save, protect and improve the lives of animals, while strengthening the relationship between pets and their human companions providing humane sheltering, adoptions, affordable spay/neuter, veterinary wellness services and more. Great Plains SPCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, please visit www.GreatPlainsSPCA.org.
About P.E.T.S., LLC
P.E.T.S., LLC (Peterson Express Transport Service) is owned and operated by Kyle and Pam Peterson. Being animal lovers, we started helping with volunteer animal transports in and around Tennessee. As we became more involved, our volunteer work developed into a full time job. We realized a need for safe, affordable transport for the many rescue animals being adopted to new homes up north from the kill shelters in the Southeast. For more information, please visit www.petsllc.net.
Filed in Animal Rescue
by kerry on Jun 15, 2013. There are comments.
Do you have an interest in providing hospice (end of life) care for dogs but aren’t sure how to get started, or what the experience is like? Are you interested in adopting a senior animal but you’re a little hesitant? Would you be interested in adopting a special needs dog who needs just a little extra help?
When Pets Alive took over the old Elmsford Animal Shelter, we found hundreds of dogs that were seniors. Some had even arrived ten or twelve years before – and no effort was made to ever get them a home. They have lived their entire lives in a cement run, and now some are at a very advanced age, and some have medical conditions that mean they would be so much better off in homes.
The staff at Pets Alive are desperate to get them into homes, and many of our volunteers have stepped up and provided hospice and senior care for the animals most in need. The experience has been very rewarding and very heart wrenching. There is no greater respect, nor admiration that we could have – than for our volunteers who do this for our dogs (and cats!).
This picture is Nyko, a litte angel of an 15 year old Shiba Inu. We are looking for a home for him, and we will continue to cover all his expenses including his medical expenses. What does that entail?
Come to Pets Alive Westchester on Friday, June 14 at 7pm for an introduction to the principles and practice of canine hospice, as well as senior and special needs care. Experienced practitioners will take you through the process, there will be a Q&A for questions, and Pets Alive Westchester staff will be on hand to explain how they can support your efforts.
There is no obligation.
No expectations of you.
Please just come and learn what it is all about.
This seminar is free!
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is not necessary to RSVP – if you find yourself free that night, please just come, but we are requesting RSVP’s to make sure we have enough bottled water and snacks for everyone, and that there is enough interest to host this seminar.
Pets Alive Westchester is located at:
100 Warehouse Lane South
Elmsford, NY 10523
Filed in No-kill
by john on Jun 06, 2013. There are comments.