Working together with other organizations saves lives

Helping Hands and Paws:

It all started out with a phone call, as it usually does. An elderly woman in the hospital and all her cats being thrown outside by a family member. Cats everywhere. In trees. On the roof. In the garage. In the yard. In the street. Racing all around under foot. Well it turned out that the awesome folks at Mid Hudson Animal Aid had also received a call. We quickly touched base. How could we as TWO organizations better aid a situation where just one of us would be buried. Audrey, the shelter manager of Mid Hudson Animal Aid is a true pleasure to work with.

She compliments us well, because she always retains her cool and she can be polite to people even as we want to reach out and throttle them. In this case she immediately showed up with sidekick Arwen. At Pets Alive we just refer to them as the “Cat Ninja’s” because that is what they are. They are just super with cats…any kind. The terrified ones, the aggressive or feral ones, the young, the old – they are just really professionals and really know how to handle themselves and the cats.

So we met over at “the location” in Maybrook and it was quite a site. Best guess was 35-40 cats (as it turned out it was closer to 50!) Could we help?


When you get phone calls like this you immediately go into over drive – where can we house the cats? How bad a shape will they be in? Where do we find the money? How fast can we get fosters? How many traps do we have? Where can we get more traps? Luckily the cat ninjas from Mid Hudson Animal Aid are cool cookies under pressure and before we could even blink Audrey had a plan laid out where Pets Alive and MidHudson would work together to save all these cats. (Please also read their blog found here.)

Friday night with one last exchange we were ready for whatever Saturday morning would bring. All we knew was that by Saturday night we would be comforting and caring for some very scared and possibly sick and injured cats. How many was yet to be determined but with the help of our dedicated volunteers, we were all ready.


The first thing you learn when trapping cats is that hungry cats are easier to trap. The traps went down, and we were trapping cats as fast as we could set the traps. It really hits you – these cats are STARVING and desperate for food! Never in my wildest dreams would we imagine that by noon we would have trapped close to 35 cats!

These 35 innocent victims of a hoarding situation will be warm and have full bellies, will not have to compete for food, and will have medical attention sought for them. For some, it will be the first time in their lives.

That is when it hits you – when you see their scared, confused faces looking at you, and all you can do is keep saying “it will be okay, we got you, you’re safe”. Sometimes we wonder if we say it more for them or for ourselves. To reassure ourselves that for all the bad in the world there still is good.

And there IS good. Good is evidenced by the neighbors that come to offer support, allow us to set up feeding stations in their yards, that called out to us to come and help, for organizations that are all basically broke and financially struggling but still, we work together to reach out and help animals – together.

Part one of this rescue is done, we have the cats now. They are safe, they are warm, their bellies are full, their medical needs are being met and they will never have more litters of kittens. Now comes part two and sometimes the even harder part – healing them emotionally, teaching them that it’s okay, their struggles are behind them, that they will never go hungry again, they will never be cold and we will be there for them every step of the way as they learn to trust.

So far we have many of what we affectionately call “broken cats”. They need our help, and they need your help. So far two have had to have ruptured eyes removed. One had to have immediate medical care for an infected miscarriage issue. Others have injuries. Some had frostbite. Some had ring worm.

Many are semi feral or just plain terrified. All need to be altered, brought up to date on shots, seen by a vet, microchipped and provided some decent care and nutrition.

Please do not look the other way.
Please consider a donation to Pets Alive
or Mid Hudson Animal Aid.

It is because of YOU that we take these chances and risk these financial hits.
Because we hope that you will be there to have OUR backs, just as we are there to have the backs of these animals in need.
We never ever want to say no, or look the other way. We always need to be there to help those that can’t help themselves.


Please support us.

Abandoned but now safe:

In addition to working with MHAA to save all those cats this week, we also got a call from the Hudson Valley SPCA, Law Enforcement Division. They had a case over here in Middletown and were hoping we could help. Some people moved out of their apartment – OVER A MONTH AGO – and left their two dogs in the garage. Yes, you read that right. A month ago. Some good samaritan neighbors were feeding the dogs but had no idea what to do with them on a long term basis. Finally one of them called law enforcement. Eugene Hecht is an awesome L.E.O. and someone that really cares a GREAT DEAL about animals. He followed procedure, got a court order to seize the dogs, and was all set to take possession of them – but where would they go? Every place seemed to be full, especially for pit bulls, and especially for dogs that a rescue might not know anything about. To just say yes to taking in dogs that might have severe and expensive medical conditions, or might be aggressive, or might not be highly adoptable is risky at best. But how in the world could we say no? The story tore at our hearts and so we told Eugene “YES!” – get those poor dogs out of that horrible situation and we will welcome them to Pets Alive.

And welcome them we did. They arrived about 6:30 at night and as usual, our great staff and volunteers were there to greet them and welcome them and settle them in. Thank you to Eugene at the HVSPCA, to our staff, to our volunteers and to those kind neighbors that didn’t look the other way.

Working together saves lives! And lucky for us, these two dogs are pure sweethearts. They need to be altered and be seen by a vet, but they are happy and friendly and healthy! Please consider spreading the word about them, networking them and finding them a home! Mama (the b&w) is about 3 years old and Bengal is about 1.5 years old! Both are friendly and seem good with other dogs too!

How You Can Help too!
BE that person that we can reach out to when we have cases like this. Join our TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) team by emailing tnr@petsalive.com. Join our email mailing list and follow us on Twitter and FaceBook so when we reach out in need, you can step up and join us to help animals! Above all, consider a donation, or better yet – become a monthly sponsor. Financially things are always tight, and so many rescue groups are closing down and going under. Help us to survive. Help us to always be there to help when we are needed.

Filed in Animal Rescue by kerry on Mar 06, 2013.  There are 4 Comments

4 Responses to “Working together with other organizations saves lives”

  1. PJ McKosky, Empty Cages Collective Says:

    Audrey and Mid Hudson Animal Aid were the only organization that stepped up to take a cat when we were dealing with another hoarding situation a few months ago. Its always great when two good groups can get together and try to get the job done.

  2. Audrey Says:

    PJ, The kitty from that hoarder is doing great! We love her! She’s very bossy and rules the great room with an iron paw. I put up her silly petfinder video on the ECC page a while ago. I hope you got a chance to see it!

  3. Pets Alive Blog » The Journey of Links Says:

    […] In many cases the physical body is easier to heal then the emotional scars left behind on an animal rescued from a hoarding situation. Links was rescued along with 50 other cats from such a situation (to read about the rescue you can click here). […]

  4. Pets Alive Blog » They Still Need You! The “Broken Cats” One Year Later Says:

    […] 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/). […]

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