When I was first started in animal rescue many years ago, I watched what was going on at Pets Alive on social media and here on the blog – the mass rescues, the amazing number of adoptions, the advocacy on behalf of the animals that were being mistreated in our area. I often thought “I want to rescue animals like that. I want to work someplace where saving lives is always the priority.” I took what I learned from watching Pets Alive and brought it back in my volunteer work, and then to my position as Shelter Manager at Mid Hudson Animal Aid in Beacon, NY. Before long, MHAA was working with Pets Alive to do those same kinds of rescues I had admired from afar. And from there I learned to manage them on my own – and we did them.
It’s more than fair to say that even though I’m new to the organization, Pets Alive has had a place in my heart for many, many years. When I think about the vision I have for the future of Pets Alive, I think about those times when I admired the work Pets Alive was doing. That’s the organization I want us to continue to be. The one that other groups can look up to, or ask for help, or learn from. I’m so happy to be able to provide my very first official update as your Executive Director.
Since the beginning of 2015, we’ve adopted out 65 cats and 51 dogs. We’ve rescued 56 dogs and 92 cats, — we’ve had a few rescues and adoptions that have been quite notable too. One of my favorite adoptions was Wanda, a 10-year-old senior cat with a cleft palate saved from a high kill shelter. I love this story, not because it’s such an incredible rescue but because it epitomizes what we do every day. Wanda was a cat with very little chance to make it out alive from a shelter system where 90% of cats are killed. Wanda’s cleft palate caused her to have some facial disfiguration and to drool. She was an older girl. She looked a little funny. She SOUNDED terrible when she breathed – like something might be very wrong with her. But our Cat Manager, Becky saw her potential when no one else did, and scooped Wanda up from a high kill facility. We took her in, made her safe, got her well and then got her what she deserved the entire time – a home. Doing things like saving Wanda makes Pets Alive what it is – the place that will try when no one else will.
Cat adoptions in general are doing amazing this year. The cat team has doubled their goal three months in a row and we’re so proud of them. A lot of this has to do with adding some dedicated cat staff to our team and expanding our payroll in the cat department. We’re definitely saving more cats with these new additions!
On the dog side of things, adoptions have been a little slower. Many of our current dogs have some behavioral issues and it’s taking a little longer to place these dogs in the perfect home. To showcase some of our harder to place dogs, we’ve started “The Pets Alive Daily News” on Facebook. Each night, one of our dogs tells our followers about what’s going on at the sanctuary and they also talk a little about what kind of home they’d like. This program has been very popular. The Pets Alive Daily News gets shared all over the world.
Our first “News Dog” was Peyton, who had come in as a pregnant mom found on the streets in New Jersey. She had her puppies in her foster home, and one by one they got adopted, leaving Peyton behind. Peyton wasn’t getting a lot of attention until we suddenly made her famous. When she got adopted, it was one of the best days in a long time. Finding the perfect home is challenging, but we won’t accept anything else. Our dog adoption team continues to get creative and works hard each day to make matches that will last a lifetime.
We’ve also done a lot of repair work in the past six months. Things that, quite frankly, couldn’t wait any longer. One major project we did was a renovation of the laundry room. Done almost completely by volunteers and staff and funded by your generous donations we were able to get the ENTIRE PROJECT done for just 300 dollars more than we raised. This makes such a huge difference in the quality of life of the animals here. It means that each dog gets to snuggle in a warm blanket on cold nights . Pets Alive cares a lot about the quality of life of the dogs in our care, and although it’s not glamorous, a new laundry room can mean a lot.
We also painted our lobby and got a generous donation of a TV that shows photos and videos of adoptable animals to people who are waiting. It’s a little thing, but it’s made the sanctuary feel much more welcoming.
Financially, things remain difficult as we head further into the new year. As always, we will never compromise on the care we provide our animals and those costs add up. Right now, we’re working to expand our monthly sponsorship program. It’s very easy to sign up and your continued support is what makes saving lives possible for us. You can donate any amount you’re comfortable with and cancel your sponsorship at any time. It’s easy to sign up. Just click HERE.
I’m looking forward to all of the great things coming up for Pets Alive this year. We’ve stacked our calendar full of adoption events and fundraisers and I hope to see you all at some of them. Check out our events by visiting our website or our Facebook events page. You can also stop by the sanctuary to find out what’s going on.
Don’t forget that volunteer orientation is every Saturday at noon. We can’t do what we do without your help!
Filed in Uncategorized by Audrey Lodato on Apr 13, 2015. There are 1 Comment