Kerry’s Update – November 11th

Sanctuary animal updates:
Since my last update on October 6th we placed the following dogs: Blackjack, Olivia, Goldie, Lizzie, Jennie, Ashley, Kisska, Bones, Charlie, Kohli, Lenny, Autumn, Luka, Batman, Jolie, Bobo, Tinkerbell, Hannah, Posey, Abby, Zoe, Nana, Billy, King, Heaven, Deuce, Panda, Peanut, Rem, George, Shadow, Shayna, Kelsey, and Vaughn. We also adopted out the following cats: Charlie, Coal, Pixie, Serena, Petey, Patches, Oscar and Beebs.

Some adoptions to note is that Rem was finally adopted. It was the most amazing thing. Rem saw this new family and they saw him… and they all stopped and froze for a second and then Rem pulled across the parking lot and covered their faces with kisses. They loved him, he definitely loved them, and he jumped right in their car and they headed home. I sincerely hope this is his forever home as Rem never did well in the kennel, and he really needed a home and some people to love him again. Good luck Rem!

Another amazing adoption note is Peanut. We hold our breath now in regards to Peanut because he is such a difficult dog. Peanut suffers SEVERE separation anxiety- the most severe we have ever seen. Trust me, everyone about to write to me about suggestions in regards to it – we have tried EVERYTHING – truly. Talked to everyone, tried EVERYTHING. Peanut is a tough dog. He has been abandoned so often that every time you leave him I guess he thinks it will be forever. Linda F. had been taking him home every night and he had finally found some peace. Linda is a amazing and she is truly a GIFT to the dogs at Pets Alive. However things were very difficult for her as one of her dogs wasn’t crazy about having Peanut join them. With Peanut you can also NEVER leave him alone – so running to the store even for ten minutes is not possible. You may remember we found a place for him in a nursing home for him, but even THAT did not work out as it turns out while he needs to be around someone all the time, TOO MANY someone’s also stressed him out. Yet a few months ago someone had taken pity on Peanut and inquired about him. We told them EVERYTHING about him, we really made it clear that Peanut was a LOT of work.

Scott spent a lot of time thinking about it, he works from home and his parents live next door and he came to meet Peanut. As usual, Peanut was stressed, but they went out on a few walks and Peanut ultimately went home with him. We are hoping that peanut has FINALLY, at long last, found his forever home with Scott. Let’s really hope so. Special thanks to Linda for all she did with Peanut. Adopting him out broke her heart but she was selfless enough to be able to let him go in case this was a chance for him. Sometimes it is very difficult on us here to let our favorite dogs go, especially when they need so much. We all hope that this was the right solution for Peanut and that he will finally find peace and happiness. Initial checks (it’s been a week now) have Peanut doing just great.

A final mention in amazing adoptions this month is two cats – Serena and her son, Petey. They were brought to Pets Alive in 1999 and never got more than a casual look. Their new adopter saw them, fell in love with them both and took them home. Petey has NEVER had a home and Serena was surrendered as a stray. This is really wonderful news for these two and we’re really happy for them.

America's Favorite Animal Shelter Contest - help Pets Alive win $10,000 - vote today!General Updates:

OK, this is an entirely DIFFERENT CONTEST. You don’t have to vote EVERY SINGLE DAY like that other one. This one you only have to vote one time. ONCE. One time! PLEASE vote for Pets Alive. We can win $10,000 and we are already up to number 25. A hundred more votes and we’d be in the top ten. There are more than 10,000 people on this email list and twitter. If you all voted just once we’d have this thing LOCKED UP. PLEASE VOTE! Tell your friends, put it on your Facebook, your MySpace, your Twitter – ask your kids to spread to THEIR friends. This is important – please – please – just ONE VOTE (not every day like the other one, I promise). Cmon…PLEASE???

I also promise to not bother you for votes for a YEAR if you’ll do this for us.

Local news – Hunter: As one of the largest animal rescues on the East Coast we have been getting a lot of emails about the Hunter dog case at the Orange County Sheriffs Office, asking us to get involved and get YOU involved. I spoke with Carl Dubois this week (the Orange County Sheriff) and I wanted to pass on to you that although I know him personally and I know him to be a good guy and an advocate for animals, that isn’t going to affect how I feel about animals (and if they are being mistreated) – ever. It is my understanding from some of the coverage that there is a police bomb-sniffing dog that is being utilized past where the vet feels he should be and when he should be retired. The retiring officer wants to provide a home for the dog and have him retired. While I am completely on the side of the emotional aspect of this (anyone who has had a dog would be hard pressed to give it up unwillingly), the truth of the matter seems to be more blurred.

The officer is not retiring – he is moving to another police department. He agreed to a four year term with the dog, and the dog would have been retired with him after his term was up (he is abandoning that agreement after less than two years) and that the dog has been given a clean bill of health from the vets at Flannery Animal Hospital, who advise there is nothing that should prevent the dog from working. I believe that Sheriff Carl feels that a dog should have ideally ONE handler its entire life and then retire with that handler at the end of eight or so years. The most is that the dog would have TWO handlers – each for a four year term, but ideally just the one. What can be done if a handler abandons the agreement and the department doesn’t have another dog trained yet? Therein lies the issue. So Sheriff Dubois has written up something to explain their side of this and you are free of course to make a judgment where you feel it should lie, but I will say that sometimes there are more to stories than are covered in the media. For the other side you can read here and decide for yourself.

Dogs offsite: We invite our regular volunteers to please feel free to take dogs off the property if you like. We just need you to check in with us when you leave and when you come back, but lots of our volunteers have taken the dogs for ice cream and day trips. Please don’t pepper me with emails about how ice cream is bad for dogs and such. Sure, it COULD be, but once in a while it won’t kill anyone and the benefit of being with volunteers that love them and are spending time with them offsite far outweighs any issues ice cream can cause! Some volunteers are also taking the dogs on overnights. This has been hugely successful as they can come back and tell us how they did, which helps us when we update PetFinder with their info. So if you’d like to take a dog home for an overnight, go jogging with one of the dogs on your daily run, or take them out for a day trip – then please feel free to ask! (Special thanks to Jan who has been doing this every week and giving us great feedback!)

Training the dogs at Pets Alive: Nancy Parker, a very experienced dog trainer, is offering her services to Pets Alive. She is going to help some of the dogs here get over minor behavior issues and help YOU learn how to help them as well. We have started a worksheet that you can find hanging in the volunteer lounge. If you are aware of a dog that needs some work on perhaps jumping, walking nicely on a lead, mouthing, basic obedience (sit, stay, etc), we ask you to put that dog’s name on the list and what behaviors could use some work. At this point we ask that you NOT include serious issues such as aggression or problems getting along with cats, etc. Nancy is then willing to come down here once or twice a month and not only work with the dogs but host a quick class to teach YOU how to deal with these issues. This is by no means mandatory. Those that want to just come here and walk dogs and enjoy them, we are absolutely fine with that, but those of you that would like to walk dogs and work on some little things at the same time to help make them more adoptable, we’d love to have your help! We will let you know (watch Twitter or our website) when the first class will be scheduled but in the meantime please write down the dogs and issues on the worksheet at the kennel! Thanks very much to all of you and especially to Nancy from 5 Star Dog Training. If you want to contact her to hire her to work with you and your dogs she can be reached at:
845-248-1370 or


This month we took three local dogs from euthanasia lists, 14 from South Carolina euthanasia lists, two pitties that were abandoned at a firehouse in the City, five pitties we boarded for another rescue (four of them were adopted), 7 dogs from Ohio, 5 dogs from North Carolina, and two dogs we took in from a local veterinarian who called us when the owners wanted to put the dogs down (for issues we could easily deal with here). Additionally we took in three cats this month (local surrenders).

Animal Updates:
I don’t know how many of you remember little Toby The Pineapple. He was possibly one of the most vicious dogs we ever had here and he was about 6 pounds. Tiny little mini beagle that had been at Pets Alive for years until Ann came along. It was love at first site, for BOTH of them. She adopted him and took him home. Toby passed away in her arms this month at the ripe old age of 16. He will be sorely missed, he was practically a Pets Alive mascot. R.I.P. Toby.

Marisol and Rob Thomas, also lost the dog that they adopted from Pets Alive many years ago. Their sweet Tyler succumbed to cancer after getting the best care possible. I wrote a blog about Tyler and the meaning that his life has had. You can find that blog here.

Valentino has hit the jackpot. Carmine and Lucia, two of our regular volunteers took pity on our little guy. They have always had a tremendous soft spot for this tiny little vicious chow mix. OK, vicious is relative. He has a bite history a mile long but only on people he didn’t like, or people that annoy him. Shouldn’t we ALL have such a bite history? Well, he happens to LOVE Carmine and Lucia and they love him back. With winter coming, and Valentino’s health failing we were at odds as to what to do with him. Normally with an elderly dog, we make them “office dogs” and they live in an office rather than the kennel. Valentino HATES the kennel too, so that added to the issue. We had talked about heating an outdoor run, but it wasn’t truly feasible for the worst of the winter. We couldn’t really make him an office dog because many people are in and out of an office every day and Valentino might not “like” them all or some might “annoy” him. Carmine raised the issue, in advance to us, and we took it seriously. It really was a problem. Where could he safely and comfortably go – both for him AND the unsuspecting public? Finally I think Carmine got tired of the delays and the solutions weren’t really perfect and so he created an environment in his own home and Valentino has been there ever since. I can’t tell you how happy we are about this. While not officially adopted, we know that this little guy, who is elderly and not in the best of health will have constant monitoring and care. Thank you both so much, we really love you and love how much you love the dogs here.

There is also a GREAT update on sweet Darla (in the forum). This is a dog that never had a real home. She lived tied outside year round to a doghouse (if you could call it that). Darla, even though she has had a difficult time making the adjustment to a home, has been fully committed to and has finally found a loving forever home. You can read more here.

Animal Medical Issues: (written by Janet)

As the old adage goes, no good deed goes unpunished. This was definitely the case this month at Pets Alive. After rescuing three dogs who were slated for euthanasia from a local shelter, we ran into huge medical issues with ALL three.

Autumn, the adorable yellow lab puppy came to us when her owners disposed of her due to the incidence of seizures. A history of seizures in dogs may not be very life altering depending on the cause of the seizure and obviously their potential response to treatment. With that being said, some animals may NOT respond to treatment and their quality of life may be in question depending on the severity and frequency of the seizures. Autumn luckily seems to have sporadic occurrence yet we decided to bring her to Oradell animal Hospital (a specialty practice in New Jersey) where she saw a neurologist. They felt confident with Autumn’s health overall and since her return we were able to quickly place her with a wonderful family, of which the youngest child also suffers from epilepsy. We knew it was fate after the first phone call! And we all hope that Autumn’s (now Abby) seizures continue to be rare.

Deuce is an immense male rotti mix. When we rescued him, we were astounded by his horrendously deep cough. It occurred mainly while pulling on a leash and with full excitement (and for those of you that have had the privilege of meeting Deuce—EXCITED is an understatement). We initially wanted to rule out kennel cough and other infectious upper respiratory components. We nebulized him and gave him fluids, none of which seemed to treat his cough. We then weaned him off the meds he was on, and tried a steroid to hopefully decrease any inflammation to his trachea. It hasn’t been long enough to say for certain that he’s completely cured, but he has been doing great. His new owners in fact just took him home AND they have an American bulldog who also has trachea issues. So now both dogs are being walked on a harness!

Lizzie was a gorgeous three month old Chihuahua puppy who had a similar seizure history when arriving. But very different from Autumn, Lizzie’s seizures were grand scale and numerous. After staying with our regular vet through the night, her seizures were not responding well to any medical attempts. She was rushed to the neurologist where she spent several days under constant supervision. Not only was Lizzie suffering from bouts of blindness and incoherence from her episodes, but there was also a threat that she could be infectious to other dogs (the exact cause of her condition was not known, BUT several infectious components were possibilities). We had an MRI, ultrasound, and spinal tap performed in addition to specialized bloodwork. After all her testing, we were no closer to a diagnosis, and Lizzie’s condition was worsening. After much turmoil and deliberation, and her condition continuing to get worse every day, we decided it was time to end her suffering. Lizzie is in all our hearts, and has been laid to rest in our pet cemetery. This was definitely a difficult loss.

Who says that old dogs are not much fun? Well, when Gypsy the old beagle arrived, she truly was not any. She looked miserable, from her inflamed eyelids, to the poor condition of her coat. She needed a good dental, but she was in no condition to undergo anesthesia. So for the last couple weeks, the dog staff has been trying ALL attempts to coax this dog to take her meds, and for goodness sakes…to EAT a meal!!!! And IF you were lucky enough to get Gypsy to eat some boar’s head turkey today, don’t count on her liking it the next day. She surely kept us on our toes. After finding some ulcers in her mouth, and believing they were possibly caused by her tartar-ridden teeth, we decided it was necessary go through with the dental (even if she wasn’t completely healthy). She just went this past Wednesday and VIOLA a brand new dog came back. She is spry, energetic, HUNGRY, and acting like a puppy! She even currently has a doggie friend.

We also lost our sweet, big old Mush. It was a real heartbreaker for us all. He was fine that morning and went downhill quickly. He was rushed to the emergency room but he died shortly after arriving. The vets diagnosed it as bloat, but we were disturbed that there were no symptoms. Vet advised that bloat is still a very misunderstood illness and they don’t know what causes it, and that sometimes it does present this way (with no symptoms). They used to feel wetting food down, raising food off the floor, multiple feedings (instead of one a day), no exercise after eating, and so on, but they say now that studies have shown none of those things will prevent bloat. They explained that this is still a disease that is terribly difficult to understand and on rare occasions does present as it did in Mush, with no warning. We are really upset over the loss of our big guy. He was truly a Mush and definitely a staff and volunteer favorite.

The cats are busy with their own medical issues as well. Morgan the beautiful orange tabby had been thin for many years. As much testing as we had done, we still couldn’t figure out exactly what was wrong, everything came back negative. Morgan never ACTED sick, she was just very thin. Several weeks ago though, Morgan wasn’t acting herself. She had extremely loose diarrhea and was vomiting. Our vet drew blood and kept her overnight on IV fluids. By that next morning he was suspicious of something very bad occurring in her abdomen. He performed an exploratory surgery where he discovered a large mass which had ruptured. Morgan’s prognosis was poor. She was bleeding into her abdomen and we had no other choice but to put her down. Morgan is missed by all the staff at Pets Alive and especially by her feline companion Pumpkin, and her favorite volunteer, Liz.

All of our kittens have been having reoccurring bouts of diarrhea. Diarrhea is a fairly typical issue in a cattery or kennel environment but unfortunately with these guys, they are not responding to the normal treatments. They were all moved back into isolation….are on strict diet regulations and are undergoing different courses of medication. We have also sent out bloodwork to the lab to make sure we are not dealing with any larger underlying problems.

Charlie the cat and Spazzy are also ill at the moment. Charlie was acting lethargic about 2 weeks ago. When his bloodwork returned, the vet was very alarmed by the results. In fact a second vet at the same practice was also equally alarmed. But when we brought Charlie in, they were in disbelief that that bloodwork could have come from that cat. He did not look nearly as bad as did his bloodwork results. So we sent out MORE blood for additional testing. He did test positive for a particular infection which we are currently treating with specific antibiotics and steroids. He is also getting vitamin B injections. Charlie is doing pretty well, his appetite is good and he will be returning to the vet for a recheck in two weeks. Spazzy was found open-mouth breathing earlier this week. He turned out to also be febrile. Luckily it appears to just be an upper respiratory infection. He is back from the vet and taking his medications well. Hopefully it will not be long before he joins his friends back in the wood room.

Horse Updates:

Francis and Mary are doing just great. Francis has had some continuing foot problems but they are in a great place and Cindy has been taking very good care of them. Here is her latest update. Glen is also doing really well. The two new goats live with him now. At first he was terrified of them but now they are all good friends and hang out together. It is nice for Glen and his leg is doing much better and he moves around a lot more, walking with the goats, which is good for him.

Cat Update:
We moved the FIV cat room this month. We needed another office for a future employee position we are hoping to create and more importantly we needed a larger room for the FIV cats. The three kittens in there romping around make the room look a LOT smaller. The “skylight” room and adjoining bathroom has now been set up to be the FIV room. Dale was concerned that they wouldn’t have enough windows to lay in, and under, and so John Heads came to the rescue and built a whole bunch of shelves and boxes for the cats to be able to sun themselves. It is REALLY awesome.

Petco and Petsmart
We are doing adoption events at the local (Middletown) Petco and Petsmart every weekend (at one or the other). Stop in and say hello, lend us some support or bring your friends to meet some of the animals. Thanks to the volunteers that are helping with this – we know it is a lot of work and are very grateful – and thanks to these stores for NOT selling animals and allowing rescues to come in and adopt!

Events and Fundraisers
Local couture jewelry store Desires by Mikolay will be holding a charity event night on November 28, 2009, from 5:00 to 9:00 PM, to benefit Pets Alive. During this event, you will have the opportunity to purchase exquisite fine jewelry – including Mikolay’s own couture collection of hand-carved 18-karat gold designs – at a 15% discount. Desires will donate an additional 15% of all proceeds to Pets Alive. The night will close with a raffle, the entire proceeds of which will also benefit Pets Alive. The event is open to the public and we hope that you will attend! Animal welfare has been a personal priority for Tara and Scott ever since their adoption of two shelter dogs 5 years ago. “Anyone who has adopted an animal from a shelter knows the joy of bonding with the perfect animal companion – but also the heartbreak of knowing that the pets that were not chosen are likely to be euthanized,” says Tara. “It’s a pleasure to be able to support a no-kill shelter committed to the future of these animals. Our goal is to raise at least $20,000 for this cause.” The Saturday evening reception is a special occasion, offering hor d’oeuvres courtesy of Susan Lawrence ( and fine wines donated by The Wine Enthusiast ( Jeweler Scott Mikolay has designed jewelry especially for the benefit. These very special jewelry pieces are heavy, hand-crafted of pure sterling silver, hanging on ultra-hip, edgy bead chains. The women’s design features a disk necklace with a paw center, and the men’s design takes the form of a dog tag. Both are fashionable statement pieces that will stand the test of time! They will be available for purchase on the Desires website ( from November 1st to December 30th. Absolutely 100% of the proceeds from these pieces will be donated to Pets Alive. Desires by Mikolay is located at 55 King Street in the heart of Chappaqua. For more information and to RSVP, please contact the store at 914.238.2223.

We would like to thank the Authors After Dark event, which raised over $900 for Pets Alive. Gift bags, author signings and our own booth made the event a fun place to be for the weekend. Thank you especially to our gang of volunteers that manned our table and for the Authors After Dark team for putting together so many gift baskets that were raffled off to raise money for us. It was greatly appreciated.

A big Thank You to for making Pets Alive part of their great launch party on October 21st and an even bigger thank you for their generous donation to our cause (they raised $1500 for Pets Alive)! Manhattan’s 26th Street was filled with scores of dogs on Wednesday, October 21st in celebration of the launch for From malteses to mastiffs, each lucky pooch (alongside master) waited patiently to walk the red carpet entrance. The lavish event boasted complimentary cocktails, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, gift bags and – countless dogs! With almost 100 dogs mingling freely at the posh party venue, you’d think there would be the occasional yappy pup, disgruntled growl, or unexpected snap, but each pooch was on his/her best behavior. is a new and exclusive website dedicated to uncompromising dog parents and their on-the-go lifestyle. You must be invited to join and as Pets Alive supporters you are all welcome to do so.
CLICK HERE to request your official invite to

Linda Eder also invited us to her latest concert. She had raised $1500 for us (from quarters that fans leave on stage) and we were able to man a table and network with the crowd that night. We made a lot of new friends and really enjoyed the show. Linda has been a LONG time supporter of Pets Alive and we appreciate the love that she and her fans continue to show us.

Thank you’s

Thank you to Historic Hudson Valley for the donation of almost 100 bales of straw after their fabulous Blaze event. We contacted them when we saw all the straw at the Great Jack o Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor to ask what happened to it after the event. They could not have been nicer about it and this week we went and picked it all up. Thank you guys!

Thank you to all our twitter followers that step up and donate ANYTHING we need. From stamps, to sheet protectors, to walkie-talkies – you guys are the BEST. We’re ever so grateful.

Thanks to all the members of the Community Outreach Events Committee for all your time and effort. The committee, which meets once a month to set the calendar and plan events, will take a hiatus over the holidays. The next meeting will be held on January 22, 2010. Anyone who is interested in joining the committee should send email to

Thanks to the volunteers who helped staff the Pets Alive table at the Authors After Dark convention in Suffern, NY. Mimi, Brian, Elaine, Carmen, Debbie and Scott, as well as Hannah and Sandy, Pets Alive ambassador dogs, passed out brochures, sold merchandise and helped spread the word about Pets Alive.

Thank you AGAIN to John Heads for all the transports, pickups and also the building he did for the cats in the FIV room! Thanks also for fixing the Gumby-chewed up molding in our office!

Thanks to John Sibley for following through on your great idea and donating a supply of “Shelter Challenge Reminder Cards” to be handed out at events. These card remind people to vote for Pets Alive every day in the shelter challenge. Thanks to new volunteer Connie, who cleaned and organized “Oscar’s Room” in one afternoon! Thank you to Lisa Burger and her husband for fixing a monitor that we thought was DOA. Thank you to Mardi Gras Gourmet Foods in Verona NJ. Owner Jim Mohan (A Linda Eder fan) has been collecting donations for Pets Alive!

Thanks Nick for all you have been doing to help fix-up around here. We REALLY appreciate all your hard work. Nick is from Preventative Home Maintenance and you can reach him at 845-313-6556. Thanks to Ricki, who has been helping to greet the public and do orientations. This is an important role, and more people are needed to help. If you are interested, will you please email

Thank Lynne, who has returned to help out with adoption paperwork, to Matt M. for picking up a donation of fencing material, to Hailey, for coming every weekend and doing whatever needs to be done, to Vera, our media relations person, for getting our name out there, to Tom, for all your work behind the scenes and to everyone who signed-up to participate in adoption days at Petco and PetsMart. We are looking forward to much success with this program. Mimi, Wendy, Ken, Tricia, Connie, Al, Justine, Laurie, Jaime, Lisa, Kayla, Kim, Heather, Kayla, and Krysten handled the animals and staffed the tables for the first two adoption days, and many other volunteers are on the calendar for the upcoming weeks. Still more volunteers are needed. If you are interested in helping, especially through the holiday season and into 2010, please send email to

Thanks Jan for taking on yet another task and agreeing to return the used ink cartridges to Staples. (Pets Alive gets $3 for each cartridge, and we collect them in the kennel office). Special thanks to the dedicated volunteers who come to walk the dogs in all kinds of weather. The dogs are inside now because of the cold, and so they appreciate their walks more than ever!

Thank you to the Girl Scout troops that continue to visit and help Pets Alive. First they attended the Humane Education class, then they had lunch on the deck. After lunch they painted the entire interior fence of the paddock across the street from the brick house. Then they played with some dogs in the outside exercise areas. They were here all day, from the time PA opened until it closed at 4pm. Everyone had a great time and got a lot of work done!

Thank you to all the businesses that have supported Pets Alive. We have just started a Business Support page on our website. We ask that if you have work that needs to be done you please use the companies that help Pets Alive!

Current Needs:
Volunteers – please check your cars and your homes for our slip leads. They cost a great deal of money (almost $20 each) and they are disappearing at an alarming rate. We are in need of more slip leads and in need of the ones we had being returned. It is easy to walk off with one draped around your neck. Can you please check and if you have one bring it back to us? If you don’t have one, can you go buy one and bring it to us? (grin). Slip leads, kong toys for the dogs, dog treats (small or medium sized), Panacur dewormer (the big bottles of equine liquid has been working well for us!), Advantixx or Frontline for dogs, wet wipes, bleach, split keyrings, dog toys, paper towels, toilet bowl cleaner, Murphy’s Oil Soap, 3-lb paper trays, and Libman wonder mopheads, empty computer ink cartridges (Staples will give Pets Alive $3 each for the empties). Thank you for your kind consideration on these items!

Filed in Updates by kerry on Nov 11, 2009.  There are 2 Comments

2 Responses to “Kerry’s Update – November 11th”

  1. Jan Says:

    I love taking the doggies on sleepovers. Thanks so much for letting me, especially now that it’s cold. I need the extra warmth. ? Jan

  2. Jan Says:

    that question mark was supposed to be a HEART by the way. No question about it, I need the warmth. Love you guys!

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