On January 8, 2014, Pets Alive Puerto Rico rescued the dog you see in these photos. Many times since then we wanted to share his story, but the words just would not come – until now. For the past 8 weeks, we’ve been watching a miracle unfold, and it is finally time to talk about the dog we named Phoenix…
THE PHOENIX RISES
If you are from Arecibo, you might know this dog – the locals called him “Rocky”. By all accounts, he was once someone’s pet – owned by somebody in the neighborhood who turned him out onto the streets.
For the past couple of years, Rocky was a regular at a busy gas station in Arecibo. With his good looks, gentle nature and a very sweet personality, Rocky was a charmer. People stopped by to pet him, and many people fed him and brought him treats. Rocky had a pretty good life for a street dog.
But when Rocky’s front leg was broken a few months ago, no one seemed to take any notice, even though he could no longer bend it or bear weight on it. At or around the same time, Rocky also suffered a painful injury to his hindquarters. The extreme pain of the combined injuries made it very difficult for him to walk and get around. Soon Rocky’s health and appearance began to deteriorate – in full view of the entire neighborhood and in full view of hundreds of people who buy gas every week at that busy station. Once handsome and robust, he grew skinnier and weaker, and when he lost much of his fur to mange, people began to shun him. Yes, it’s true… at the time Rocky needed their compassion most, an entire community turned away from him and closed their eyes to his suffering. Until finally, when Rocky was very near death, a woman who was new to the neighborhood saw him and called the authorities asking for help, and they in turn called Pets Alive Puerto Rico, and we set out to help this dog.
Those of you who follow us on Facebook know that we’ve rescued many dogs in very bad condition, but nothing in our previous experience prepared us for what we saw when we arrived. Rocky’s lifeless body was lying on the ground. Someone had put a leash on him in anticipation of our arrival so he wouldn’t wander off, but it was completely unnecessary – he was too weak even to get himself out of the tropical midday sun. As we bent to examine him he didn’t open his eyes – we thought for sure he was already dead – but he wasn’t, not yet. As we rushed him to the hospital, we prayed that it was not too late to save him.
The dog they called Rocky spent five weeks in the hospital fighting for his life while Dr. Luis T. Ramos and his staff of angels at Hospital Veterinario San Francisco de Asis in Hatillo tended to him lovingly. Rocky was treated for malnutrition, parasites, mange, and Ehrlichiosis (a ticke-borne disease) . Sadly, the injury to his front leg was too old and too severe to make saving the leg a possibility, so it was amputated to free him from the excruciating pain. As you can see from the photos that follow, he is healing beautifully from that surgery!
Rocky emerged from the hospital a new dog, and we gave him a fitting, new name - the dog they once called “Rocky” is now known as “Phoenix”, and just like the mythical bird, our Phoenix has risen from the flames of his old life – he is reborn and renewed, and his new life is just beginning!
Phoenix is adapting to life with three legs, but he still has one more hurdle to get over. He is suffering from a severe hip luxation,which is making it very painful for him to bear weight on his left rear leg. Phoenix will undergo the surgery (called FHO) just as soon as he is a little stronger. After the FHO surgery, it is expected that Phoenix will walk and run PAIN FREE on 3 good legs!
In the meantime, the sparkle in his eyes and the smile on his face reveal no hint of the misery that Phoenix endured in his past life. His transformation has been a miracle, and it is not over yet – we expect that by mid-April this adorable, handsome, and VERY charming gentleman will be ready to fly to Pets Alive in NY for adoption, and then he will really start living the life he has ALWAYS deserved! We can’t wait. XO
PETS ALIVE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT NOW MORE THAN EVER!
We’ve seen a lot of miracles take place at Pets Alive Puerto Rico, but the volunteers and staff here are NOT miracle workers. We can’t do anything without the love and support of people who believe as we do that every life is precious, and that dogs like Phoenix – who need extraordinary medical care – ARE worth saving. If you believe this too, and if you believe in the work that Pets Alive is doing in Puerto Rico, we are asking for your help.
PLEASE CONSIDER A DONATION TODAY
TO HELP US CONTINUE THE VERY IMPORTANT WORK OF SAVING LIVES.
THE CRITICAL CARE FUND - BECAUSE EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS! Your gift in any amount to will make it possible to continue to help dogs like Phoenix who need extra medical care. No amount is too small to make a difference.
Thankfully for Phoenix, someone finally picked up the phone and made a call that saved his life. But the sad fact is, that call won’t always be answered. With an estimated 100,000 or more unwanted stray dogs on the street, it just isn’t possible for Pets Alive to rescue every dog in need. We help as many dogs as possible whenever possible – but with so many in need, we are often out of space, short on volunteers and short on the funds needed to give these dogs the care they need and deserve. But with your help, they CAN all be saved, and together we CAN put an end to the suffering of street dogs and the killing of healthy, adoptable animals in the shelters of Puerto Rico.
HOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
“ADOPT” ONE STREET DOG. You don’t need to actually take the dog into your home – you can care for the dog on the street. Put a collar and ID Tag on “your” dog to prevent the dog from being picked up by the authorities. Make sure “your” street dog is spayed/neutered and vaccinated. Feed “your” dog regularly. If “your” dog is injured or becomes ill, care for the dog to the best of your ability, just as you would do for a pet living in your home. If EVERY animal lover cared for just ONE street dog in this way, the problem would be solved!
ADOPT A DOG FROM YOUR LOCAL SHELTER instead of buying a purebred dog. Villa Michelle in Mayaguez (www.villamichelle.org) is a high-kill shelter that is making amazing efforts to increase adoptions and reduce the killing of healthy adoptable animals – but they cannot do it without you, so please visit them when you are ready to find your next new furry family member. Don’t buy a dog or cat while wonderful and amazing dogs and cats suffer and die in shelters.
SPAY/NEUTER YOUR OWN DOGS. It is the single most important thing YOU can do to help solve the problem of unwanted dogs on the street. And not just the female dogs! If your male dogs are not neutered, YOU are directly responsible for adding to the population of unwanted dogs on the street.
SPAY/NEUTER A STRAY DOG. One unspayed/unneutered dog and its offspring can produce THOUSANDS of unwanted dogs. By spaying/neutering just one stray, you prevent the suffering of countless dogs - and you prevent them from producing unwanted puppies in your neighborhood.
ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS TO SPAY/NEUTER THEIR DOGS, and if it is within your means, please consider helping them if they are not able to afford it or if they need help getting to the veterinarian.
TALK OPENLY ABOUT YOUR LOVE FOR ANIMALS, let everyone know that you care about the strays you see on the street and that you are helping them. Encourage others to join you. Animal lovers are the MAJORITY in Puerto Rico, so please don’t be silent – YOU are their voice.
MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION to help PAPR continue to help animals. If everyone donated just a small amount each month, it would make a big difference. Please consider helping the animals this way.
IF YOU CAN’T DONATE, YOU CAN STILL HELP! Hold a car wash, a dog wash, or a bake sale. At your next birthday party, ask for gifts for the dogs instead of gifts for yourself. Organize a food, toy and supply drive at your school or place of business, and invite PAPR to come and talk about our work – we’ll even bring along one of the dogs you are helping to save! Put your imagination to work, the list of ways to help is endless.
PROVIDE TEMPORARY FOSTER CARE for dogs in need. Pets Alive Puerto Rico is always looking for experienced foster homes that are willing and able to provide a safe and nurturing environment until we are able to take the dog into the sanctuary. (email email@example.com to offer your services)
VOLUNTEER at your local shelter once a week or once a month – the staff and the animals need you!
TOGETHER WE ARE CHANGING THE WORLD FOR THE DOGS OF PUERTO RICO
PLEASE DONATE TO THE CRITICAL CARE FUND - BECAUSE EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS! Your gift in any amount to will make it possible to continue to help dogs like Phoenix who need extra medical care. No amount is too small to make a difference.
SPONSOR THE SPAY/NEUTER OF A STRAY DOG. Your gift of $75 will provide a street dog with spay/neuter, 2 vaccinations, medication for internal parasites, common skin ailments and flea/tick preventative, plus a collar & ID Tag .
To learn more about Pets Alive Puerto Rico:
“Like” us on Facebook www.facebook.com/petsalivepuertorico
“Follow” us on Twitter www.twitter.com/petsalivepr
Visit our web page: www.petsalivepr.org
Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us at 787-228-9639
Filed in Uncategorized
by Joy Carson on Mar 07, 2014. There are comments.
“I’m ready for this winter to end.” “It’s been brutal this year.” “Polar Vortex, that’s a new one, never heard of that before!” “When did they start naming winter snow storms anyway?”
All of us who live in upstate New York know that this year has been freezing cold, snowy and seemingly never ending. Now imagine being outside, injured, hungry and alone during those bitter snowy days. Cold, wet, injured, starving and alone – that is exactly how Sarah was found on a frigid February day, sitting on the porch of an abandoned house. Had she wandered to this home looking for help and shelter? Had her people abandoned her here to fend for herself through the cold, harsh winter? Had she accidentally slipped out from a loving home and lost her way?
We will never know how Sarah ended up on that abandoned porch, but as fate would have it, this was her lucky day. Two cat loving people passing by just happened to spot her and knew immediately that this little girl needed help and needed it quickly. Leaping into action, they scooped up a scared and bleeding Sarah and rushed her to an emergency veterinarian where it was determined that her tail would need to be amputated. Our best guess is that Sarah must have sustained her injury because she climbed up into a car engine to try and warm herself. Sadly – or perhaps luckily – her tail took most of the trauma, which is a part she can live without.
Our good Samaritans were now facing the scary fact of how to afford helping Sarah in her time of need. They did the right thing. They didn’t turn their backs on Sarah’s meows for help. They didn’t leave her behind to suffer alone. But now what were they to do? With four pets plus a senior hospice foster already residing in their own home, how could they possibly help Sarah? That is when I received their email: was there anything Pets Alive could do to help them save Sarah? They couldn’t bear to see her suffer, but they couldn’t take on the responsibility of a very large and growing vet bill added to their already extensive responsibilities to their existing family. But could we? Winter months are always the hardest on rescues and sanctuaries. But how could we turn our backs on Sarah?
WE COULDN’T! That isn’t who we are. We quickly arranged for Sarah to be brought straight to our vet where she could get more essential medical attention she so desperately required. We would figure out the rest later. The important thing here and now was that Sarah was getting the help she needed.
Sarah is now at the Pets Alive Middletown recovering from her surgeries and available for adoption. It’s easy to see how grateful she is for being saved by the way she greets everyone as they enter her room. She’s always ready with a meow of thanks, a leg rub of gratitude, a purr of love. She has a full belly for the first time in who knows how long, and we’re happy to report we can no longer feel every bone in her body! She is warm and safe, with a place to sleep and rest her body as she heals. SARAH HAS BEEN SAVED.
Please always remember to bang on your hood of your car before you start it, it could save an animal from injury or even worse! And please consider making a donation to help offset the expense of Saving Sarah and every other Sarah that cries out to us for help.
To Adopt Sarah
Filed in Uncategorized
by Pets Alive Blogger on Feb 16, 2014. There are comments.
Pancake, Syrup, Pop Tart, Links, Marmalade, and Smuckers: Their names read like an iHop’s breakfast menu.
It’s been almost a year since we got the phone call about 50+ cats thrown out into the cold from a hoarding situation. We partnered with MidHudson Animal Aide to save them all! (You can read the first part of their story at http://petsalive.com/blog/2013/03/06/working-together-with-other-organizations-saves-lives/).
We have nursed them all back to health and mended their physical wounds. But like many survivors of hoarding situations the physical wounds heal faster than the emotional ones. Learning to trust is full of baby steps forward and many steps back. We are all so proud of the “broken cats” who have been adopted this past year: Links, whose owner looked past the scared, shy boy and took a chance on him. They saw not the fear in his eyes but the glimmer of hope in his eye wanting to trust and love but afraid and unsure of how to. For Pancake who won the hearts of his adopters, it was love at first sight. McMuffin, whose adopter found him and just knew that this little boy needed her love and patience. Syrup, who waited almost a year for the perfect family to overlook his physical imperfections and see nothing but a perfect, beautiful boy.
While we are so proud and happy for those who have been adopted we continue to fight for and work with so many others. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of our “broken cats” and where they are today.
Welcome Marmalade to center stage. This tiny beauty is warming up for her first big performance. In the time she has been with us she has come so far. From the scared little girl who spent her days hiding and peeking around and out of cubbies to the girl you see now, out and about in her room. You see we found the way to Marmalade’s heart – Temptation treats! This little girl will do just about anything for a few. While she still won’t allow us to pet her she will nudge your hand if you stand very still and hold out treats for her. She does love other cats and is often found snuggled up with her roommates.
The boy in the corner, Smuckers, whose main way of communicating with us has been to hiss whenever we got to close, (Who are we kidding? Anytime we walked into his room!) Well he has had a major breakthrough in the last month! He now allows some of us to pet him! While he still may hiss from time to time he is slowly learning hissing just doesn’t work with us as we always come back. We are hopeful that one day soon he will purr out loud in enjoyment of his daily petting sessions.
Then there is little Oatmeal. This girl has been through so much in her short life. Oatmeal came to us pregnant but suffered a miscarriage due to a severe infection. We have mended her body and are working hard to mend her spirit. Oatmeal has been putting her brave paw forward lately and instead of hiding and watching from a far she has taken to staying out in the room when staff and volunteers are near. We haven’t figured out her “weakness” yet but we are trying because really how many kitties can resist tuna?
These “broken cats” need you! Adopt – open your heart and home to one of these very special angels and give them your time and the patience they need to blossom and be whole again. Foster – not able to adopt today? Maybe you have the time to work one on one with one of these special cats for a few months and help them on their road to recovery. Volunteer – maybe you are not able to bring one of our “broken cats” into your home but you can still make a difference! You can commit to coming in and working with them on a one on one basis. We will gladly teach you everything you need to know. It’s not hard – it just takes love, time and patience. Donate/Sponsor – help us continue our work. We can’t do this without your continued support.
Written by Becky Tegze the Pets Alive Cat Manager. Becky has years of experience in socializing and assisting feral, semi feral or frightened felines.
Filed in Uncategorized
by Pets Alive Blogger on Jan 26, 2014. There are comments.
By Erin Guilshan, Executive Director, Pets Alive Westchester
Boomer arrived at Elmsford Animal Shelter in 2008. The two year old Boomer was one of 600 dogs that would only know life in a kennel with staff and volunteers to offer a walk or some love occasionally.
Pets Alive took over the Elmsford Animal Shelter in 2010 and acquired all 600 dogs and 500 cats. Boomer was one of many dogs listed as dog aggressive. Sadly many of the dogs were crated, stacked on one another through the hallways of this very large facility and you can imagine the pent up energy they all had being in crates most of the 24 hours a day. There were also multiple dogs chained to the walls of the kennel runs and once Pets Alive took over we were able to help with making their lives much easier in many ways. Not many dogs or cats were adopted out by the previous shelter and Boomer was one of them. He was one of many dogs that didn’t have the opportunity to get adopted at the young age of 2 when he arrived (a highly adoptable age by any standard). But, instead he lived there for 5 years. He went from a 2 year old boy that could have had a great chance at being adopted on age alone to a 7 year old and considered not a highly adoptable dog any longer.
Pets Alive took over the Elmsford Shelter in 2010 and about the same time that Pets Alive took over a woman named Leslie began to volunteer there. She was introduced to Boomer and quickly fell in love with him. Boomer was one happy boy despite all he had been through. He loved to go on walks, play and snuggle. Leslie found a boy that she would consider her dog at PAW for the next few years. Leslie’s words to the staff again and again have been “if I ever see the day that Boomer got into a home that would be one of the happiest days of my life”. She had hope that this day would come but it wasn’t likely as his chances of being adopted over many other “highly adoptable” dogs (we all know this means young and not a pit bull) was not good. But, there is always hope and she did not give up on hope that some day it could happen.
Sometimes we just need to have a little hope and know that as a new day comes for us all, a new page turns in not only our lives but that of the animals at PAW too. New doors can open and have opened. Over this past year 30 Legacy Dogs went into homes. Many senior dogs and cats were adopted and we HOPE that in 2014 we will see many more go into great homes.
At a recent event Pets Alive Westchester had on October 26th Leslie was speaking to staff and volunteers about Boomer. She was saying how she wished she could do something to help Boomer find a home. In our conversation she was told to do all she could through social media to build awareness about him. Do a write up about him and see where it will go. We discussed doing a blog to help this great boy find a home. At that moment Boomer climbed up onto Leslie’s lap – we laughed and called him a “lap dog”. Then I snapped a picture and posted it to Facebook.
The next day I received this email:
My name is Nicole and I’m pretty sure I know Boomer. I know this might sound weird. Back around Oct 2006 I found a pit roaming the streets and I took her in. To my surprise she was pregnant. We named her Nala. She needed an emergency C-section on December 6, 2006 or she and the puppies wouldn’t survive. Good thing I worked and still currently do at an animal hospital as a vet tech. We did the c-section. Nala and only 4 puppies survived. I think Boomer is one of her puppies. Nala passed away last year of a hemangiosarcoma. It broke our hearts because she was always our baby. WE kept 1 of her puppies, Lila and still have her. 3 years ago we acquired her sister Drea back into our lives as we were her 5th owners and her only choice other than a shelter. They are both happy and healthy. So back to Boomer. One of my husband’s friends took Boomer who lived in Ossining, NY. He promised to give him a good home. His name was Danny R. (Last name withheld for privacy.) We lost contact with Danny and Boomer over the years. A couple of years later we heard he didn’t have Boomer anymore. This left me very upset and not knowing what happened to him. We didn’t know if he got into a good home or fell into the wrong hands. I told everyone who got a puppy, if you could not keep them to please contact me and I would help re-home the puppies. Now after years of wondering I saw a picture you posted on Facebook of a brindle pit named Boomer who resembles his sister Drea. My heart dropped. I attached baby pics of Boomer so you know I am not fooling you or making this story up. This is some type of fate or something to be crossing paths with him again. (Just so you don’t think I have bad intentions I have saved a dog who was adopted from Pets Alive – his name was Blizzard in your records and needed a foreign body surgery. I think it was a guy named John who I spoke to and came to pick up the dog from our hospital. )
All I would like to do is meet Boomer and try to help him find a special home. I really hope you are able to help me with this request. I have not been able to stop thinking about him since I saw the picture last night.
Thank you for your time.
I read it again, as I had to take in what she was telling me. I initially thought that there was no way that this could be possible, but once I pulled out Boomers file I saw that the person who had surrendered Boomer to the shelter in 2008 was indeed the same person who she had adopted him out to. After all this time, she had finally found him. It was unbelievable and I shared the information with staff and volunteers in the office. We were all floored. What were the chances?
I wrote her back immediately:
Your email was so intriguing. I looked up the name of the person who surrendered Boomer and indeed it was Daniel R. Boomer came to us in 2008. The listed reason for surrender was because they had a baby coming and didn’t have enough time for him.
I would love to have you come meet Boomer. He is a wonderful dog that is still in need of a great home.
It’s an amazing story and yes, I do believe it could be fate that you saw my post about him on Facebook.
After that day, Boomer’s life changed forever. All it took was one person who loved him so much. Like many times in life, there are things that happen that trigger other things to happen. In this case if Leslie didn’t speak with us about what she could do to help Boomer find a home, Boomer climbing on her lap, us laughing and taking a picture to post to Facebook, Nikki would never have seen Boomer. Was it fate? Was it coincidence? I’m not sure what it was that made the stars align that day for Boomer and Nikki, but it happened and we are all grateful that it did. Nikki came to Pets Alive Westchester the next day with her family and Boomer never looked back. After 5 years, Boomer is now in the home he belongs in. The home where love lives for him. He will have this love the rest of his life. It’s times like these that we rejoice and know that miracles do happen.
Instead of writing a blog about Boomer in need of a home, I’m happy to announce that Boomer was adopted. Another Pets Alive Westchester miracle.
Filed in Animal Rescue
, Why we do this
by Erin Guilshan on Jan 26, 2014. There are comments.
By Erin Guilshan, Executive Director, Pets Alive Westchester
Asia is a beautiful 7 month old girl that came to us from a high kill shelter in South Carolina. This charming girl’s personality wins over everyone at the sanctuary. She is always so happy to see people. It’s as if she knows that she was put here on earth to bring out the best in people (and animals too) that she comes in contact with. You can’t help but smile when you see her. She will make a wonderful addition to any home.
But, there is one problem. Asia has something called a luxating patella, which means that her kneecap becomes dislocated to the point where it is dislocated all of the time. She is slated for a surgery that could cost up to $2,200 right after Christmas. She needs this surgery in order to have a normal life and so that this condition will not worsen in time. Her playful spirit and happy attitude tell us that she is not in any pain but without this surgery, this would be certain to grow to be a lot worse.
We asked Dr. Katie to weigh in on the details about this surgery as well as what an expected prognosis would be. Here is what she had to say about it:
“The luxating patella (aka kneecap dislocation or trick knee), is an extremely common problem in toy breed dogs. An owner typically notices a little skip in the dog’s step. The dog may even run on three legs, holding one hind leg up, and then miraculously be back on four legs as if nothing has happened. In fact, something has happened: the kneecap (patella) has slipped out of the smooth groove in which it normally rides up and down. With the patella dislocated (or luxated), the knee cannot extend properly and stays bent. Hopefully, the patient will be able to slip the kneecap back where it belongs and be back to normal in only a few steps. For some dogs, getting a kneecap back where it belongs and normal extension of the rear leg is only attainable with surgical correction. The severity of patellar luxation is graded on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the most severe. Grades 1 and 2 can be managed medically, with anti-inflammatories, glucosamine, and weight loss. Grades 3 and 4 require surgical correction. Asia has a grade 3 luxating patella – the patella is out of place all the time but can be manipulated back into its normal position manually (though it will not stay there). Without surgery, she can only maneuver on 3 legs. With surgery, she has a good prognosis of returning to full, normal function in her affected limb. Approximately 50% of affected dogs have both knees involved while the other 50% has only one knee involved. It is possible that Asia will develop patellar luxation in her other knee in the future, so it is important to address her current luxation as early as possible.”
We will keep you all posted about Asia and how she does after her surgery. She already has a foster lined up who happens to be a vet tech that will care for her during this time.
Please consider making a donation to the Critical Care Medical Fund today. It takes all of us to improve their lives and we cannot do this again and again without your support.
Filed in Animal Rescue
by Erin Guilshan on Dec 17, 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.