Jen’s Latest Update – Pets Alive Westchester

End of Year Update
It’s so hard to believe that the year is coming to an end. We have seen our ups and downs, some really great moments and some rough times. Through it all YOU have all continued to stand by our side. YOU have supported our mission, YOU have loved all of our animals, YOU have allowed us to rescue more animals than ever!

When we were asked to assist a no-kill rescue in Arkansas when they were closing their doors, we did not hesitate to commit to each and every dog. When we found out that 30 of the 132 dogs located there had tested positive for heartworm, we still held to our commitment and treated each one at our Elmsford facility with a 100% success rate. We could not have saved them all without YOU!

When we heard about the feline slaughter taking place at the New York City Animal Care and Control facilities- that on Mother’s Day there was one of the largest lists of “at risk” animals (just a nicer way of saying KILL LIST) mother cats with their kittens, orphaned kittens and young adult cats- Pets Alive never hesitated to reach out and commit to saving as many of those lives as we could. It did not matter that our facilities were near capacity. It did not matter that our staff was already over worked and underpaid. It was not the decision of just the directors or the management. Those same tireless and dedicated staff members were the first to step up and say they would find the room, they would volunteer their off time, they would do whatever it took for us to pull as many of those “at risk” cats to safety.

In two weeks we were able to save 108 kittens, mother cats, and young adults! And when we realized the condition of so many of those kitties, the dangerously ill, the kittens with such bad eye infections that they needed immediate surgery, the moms who were too sick to feed their young- it was all of YOU who helped us nurse them all back to health and find them forever loving homes.

When we were contacted by the ASPCA in need of assistance to place hundreds of dogs located at a shelter in Baton Rouge, Lousianna, thanks to YOU we did not hesitate to offer that help. The facility was going through a change in management and was over capacity by hundreds of animals. They were desperately seeking any and every alternative to euthanizing healthy and adoptable animals. At Pets Alive we will work with any organization that makes that choice. We will offer our assistance to any organization that believes, as we do, that killing is NOT the answer. Because of all of YOUR support we were able to welcome 160 dogs (in two trips) to both the Elmsford and Middletown locations. Because of YOU we were able to save every one of them and every one of them has been placed in a home. Even when we discovered that one of the pups was critically ill, and it would take some extraordinary measures to save his life – we chose life and so did all of YOU. Today that same puppy, Mike, is happy, healthy and loved in his very own home!

And when one of the most catastrophic storms to ever hit New York City, Hurricane Sandy, once again the animals of the city Animal Care and Control centers needed our help. In the wake of such a terrible storm the city shelters were fearful of a massive influx of stray and abandoned animals entering their doors. Again – Pets Alive did not hesitate to step up and pull as many animals to safety that we could. Amidst our own fears of winter-related decreased adoptions and donations, coupled with rising costs to operate, we sent our trusted rescue transporter to the facilities with very simple instructions. Fill your vehicle with as many as you can. In one day we were able to pull over 30 kittens and cats as well as 2 dogs from an almost certain death sentence. We then took an additional 10 dogs from other local shelters to help them make room, as well. Once again all of YOU responded with overwhelming support, which allowed us to get them the medical care and the LOVE they all so desperately needed.

Intakes and Adoptions:

The results of all of YOUR support these past few months? In October we took in 50 animals, and adopted out 64 and found forever fosters for 5 more animals here! That is 69 animals that went home in October!

In November we took in 72 animals, and adopted out 68 and found forever fosters for 9 more! That is 77 animals that went home in November!

In December we took in 61 animals, and adopted out 80 and found forever fosters for 2 more animals here! That is 82 animals that went home in December!

Featured Adoption: Monkey Man:

It took me some time to choose a featured adoption for the end of the year. In 2012 we have had so many amazing adoption stories and have shed so many happy tears. Of course we are excited for each and every happy ending, but we would be lying if we said there weren’t some special adoptions that truly just touch your heart. That special feeling of happiness that occurs when one of those treasured “favorites” finally finds their forever home. I usually use this opportunity to feature one of the legacy animals, and while they are all deserving, this dog really stood out and I wanted to take a moment to recognize that.

Monkey Man was an absolute favorite here amongst staff and volunteers. He arrived at Pets Alive Westchester with the large group of dogs from the Arkansas mass rescue. Unfortunately he was one of the 30 who had tested positive for heartworm and would need to remain in quiet quarantine until his treatment was complete. All of the environmental changes and then being in quarantine for such a long period of time really took it’s toll on Monkey Man and he became a bit introverted. Very sweet and lovable – but he would definitely take his time to warm up before feeling comfortable with new people and new places.

At only 2-3 years old Monkey Man had taken on the personality of a much older soul. Even as he began to overcome some of his fears he was one of those dogs that just didn’t “show well”. Potential adopters would comment that they didn’t think he liked them, or they didn’t feel that connection with him. And as the months ticked by we felt a sense of urgency to find him his forever home. Most of our incoming animals spend, on average, less than 30 days with us before being adopted. But as we always say there IS a home for ALL of them- sometimes it just takes some time to find it- and sure enough on a day in late November Monkey Man’s time had come. His new parents absolutely adore him and had this to say:

Meiko (…formerly Monkey Man..what a name..eek!) is settling great.
All he wants to do is cuddle and play.
We’re so happy to have him-he really is the best!
Monkey Man represents so much to all of us. Others may have saw him as “unsocialized” or “unpredictable” due to his overwhelming shyness – we saw a sweet little guy who just needed a little extra time and love. Some may have seen a small, nondescript, black dog over the age of one AND heartworm positive. We saw a lovable dog that would give two fold for everything he received. Monkey Man is like so many other dogs out there who truly just need a second look, a little time, and a little love. Together with our amazing staff, dedicated volunteers, and of course his new parents – our little Monkey Man, now known as Meiko- that shy, black dog that was overlooked so many times, that adorable little guy who began to love a gentle pat on the head and his afternoon walks, who waited nearly a year to find his forever home, is now happy and loved. He quickly settled into the comfortable routine of living in a home and being a beloved member of a family.

Sanctuary Update

This spring and summer we really started to focus more on the many updates and repairs needed around the facility. We are so thankful to all of you who have continued to step up and provide the funds we needed in order to start on so many of the items on our ever-growing and expanding projects list! The first project was to remodel all of the cat rooms. It truly has been an amazing transformation! Just a little fresh paint in pretty and engaging themes, more scratching posts and lots of toys have created a warmer, more loving environment for all of the kitties that stay at PAW while waiting for their forever family to find them. Since then we have begun to move on to other parts of the “cattery”- currently we are working on building the Catio area for all of the senior, longer term feline residents to enjoy the nice days, warm natural sunlight and fresh air.

We are also starting to find solutions for the kennels in winter. Thankfully we have a fully working heat system this year (thank you to all who contributed to last year’s heat fund!!) but we find that some nights it is still quite chilly in the kennel area. We will be wrapping the sides of each kennel as well as creating a layer of insulation to act as a roof on the outdoor sections. This will help to cut down on cold winds sneaking their way into the indoor kennel runs and keep out most of the nasty winter precipitation from the outside runs. Of course this is only a short term fix but anything we can do to keep all of our dogs, young and old, protected from the colder temperatures is worth it! We do need help in supplies and man power- please email if you think you can help us with this project. We would like to get started immediately – we just need that extra helping hand from YOU!

Biggest Needs

Pets Alive is currently seeking a full time Staff Veterinarian to join our team. Must be licensed in NYS and have MINIMUM of 3-5 years experience working as a veterinarian. If you would like to know more about the position please visit our open jobs page.

We could REALLY use an ATV (preferably with a plow already attached) to help clear snow from the grounds on those snowy wintery days. Currently the staff all pitches in and has to hand shovel the entire kennel and property- which you can imagine is extremely time consuming and takes away from the time spent with the animals!

2012 was an amazing year for Pets Alive Westchester. As a group we were able to overcome the toughest of times and have truly come together as a team. I am so grateful to all of our old friends and all of our new who have joined the PAW team as well. Together we will move forward in 2013 and save even more lives. We will continue to be the safe, warm and loving place for so many animals in need. From the bottom of my heart, on behalf of all of the staff and all of the animals- THANK YOU!!!

Our mission is to improve the lives of companion animals everywhere by any means possible, including rescue, adoption, advocacy, collaboration, intervention and education. Please consider making a donation to help us.



Filed in Updates by kerry on Jan 07, 2013.  There are 3 Comments

3 Responses to “Jen’s Latest Update – Pets Alive Westchester”

  1. Pat Williams Says:

    The story about Monkey Man is wonderful. His sibling, Nuisance, was on the AR transport, also. I think his name was changed to Justin, and he was adopted fairly quickly. Monkey was a very ACTIVE friendly guy and I can understand how the confinement was hard on him. But oh what a blessing for him! You were able and willing to treat him and find him a home. Monkey, Nuisance (I never liked that name either LOL), and two other puppies were abandoned and then brought to JP Ranch. They were born in ’07 or maybe ’08. Thank you for your perseverance and love for Monkey!

  2. T Says:

    I love the Pets Alive updates about how you’re doing on adoptions! (: I also have a request; I love how on the Pets Alive Middletown website, you can see who is adopted. I really wish Pets Alive West would put adopted next to dogs/cats names when they get their forever home, because I check the PAM website daily just to see that (I also check the facebook/twitter updates on adoptions but still, I always check the website first)! Would be nice if PAW could do that as well.

  3. Karyn Gallant Says:

    When we adopted Anna Beth (formerly Claudia) she was our first dog in about 30 years. The first few weeks were tough – she had been rescued from the streets of New Orleans and brought all of her ‘street smarts’ and constant energy with her. I had just three or four conversations with Pat – he “trained” both me and Anna Beth by phone, with his calm, wise advice and gentle spirit. Without Pat’s support and advice, we may not have gotten to today – a time of loving our dog and feeling like she adds warmth and deliciousness to our lives. I have been giving Anna Beth a lot of extra hugs in memory of that wonderful man. We are so sorry for your loss – it is a loss for a whole generation of animals and their families.

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