Kerry Clair announces retirement from Pets Alive

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 61 Comments

61 Responses to “Kerry Clair announces retirement from Pets Alive”

  1. Diane Bruner Says:

    Words cannot express my admiration for Kerry & Pets Alive. We adopted Higgins from Pets Alive 4+ years ago. I have the highest respect for what Pets Alive has done and is doing.

    Kerry has been there for me thru adopting Higgins to finding a sanctuary for a duck.

    You will be missed and hard to replace but you deserve some nice rest.

    All the best Kerry.

  2. Bonnie Johnson Says:

    Thank you for posting her picture.
    I never knew what gender Kerry is.
    We adopted Coco, a gorgeous mixed pit, almost 2 years ago. One fateful night shortly after adoption, when Coco did what she was hard wired to do i.e. kill feral critters, we considered returning Coco.
    It was Kerry who through many emails patiently explained how this is normal behavior is some dogs. It took us a minute but we are over it now. And while we work hard to keep the critters out of the yard and limit Coco’s “successes”, we see it differently now: and as of 2 days ago, there is one less skunk in the neighborhood.
    We love this dog so much. She is the sweetest most obedient dog ever.
    Pets Alive did a great job with her. Thank you Kerry.

  3. carol johnsen Says:

    To Kerry,
    We will always think fondly of you.You made it possible for us to have a very special addition to our family NOVA.Andrew has found himself due largely to Pets Alive and everyone there.Good luck and Thank you
    Carol Johnsen,David and ANDREW Solimeno ,and NOVA

  4. carol johnsen Says:

    Kerry, Good luck and we thank you for making it possible to have Nova.we will always think fondly of you.You will be missed.

  5. Annette Barletta Says:

    Kerry, you have made such a difference in the lives of the animals in Elmsford. I had just adopted Sebastian, my big kitty, from the old Elmsford Humane Society when you folks took it over in 2008. He was in such awful condition when I adopted him because of lack of care and the poor conditions at the shelter. My vet said I saved his life by days.

    I could not believe the difference you made in so short a time. Visiting the shelter is no longer like visiting Bedlam. It is no longer a depressing experience. I always leave with a happy heart knowing the critters there are being well taken care of.

    Thank you for all you have done. There is a star shining brightly in the sky with your name on it!

    All the best,

    Annette Barletta

  6. felice Says:

    I adopted my precious Diamond at Pets Alive about 4 1/2 years ago…
    She is my angel dog.
    Thank you Kerry, for loving and doing such amazingly wonderful work with all our animals.
    I pray you have an awesome retirement from PetsAlive.

  7. Liz Geyer Gottlieb Says:

    You made a phenomenal difference for hundreds (thousands?) of animals and people – you will be missed. I doubt you can be adequately replaced. Best of luck in your new life. Thank you for all you have done.

  8. Anita Sweitzer Says:

    Hello Miss Kerry Clair,
    There really is no way to put it in words how to say thank you or what a difference you’ve made in the lives of these voiceless creatures, but thank you for doing it all:)
    Anita Sweitzer

  9. Claudia Nowacoski Says:

    Best wish to Kerry on her next phase of her life. She is an amazing force and an advocate for the animals who have no voice! I hope whomever fills her shoes is as dedicated as she! Love you Kerry Clair!

  10. Joan Miller Says:

    “Gracie” (now known as Casey) and I wish you all the best. You have filled so many lives with love – may all that return to you a thousand fold.

  11. Justine Riseley Says:

    I dont think you will ever realise how critical your commitment and love of animals has helped us and our little rescue over the last 2 years. You have directly saved the lives of over 140 of our beloved dogs and found them new homes. You will be sorely missed but wish you all the luck in the world in your new life.

  12. Suzanne Says:

    I thank God for Kerry Clair. Her live of animals and her compassion and kindness to them is so very uplifting and inspiring. Thanks to her, countless animals are alive and well today and are enjoying life.
    I pray she continues to be a voice for those who oftentimes have no one to speak for them.
    God bless you, Kerry and thank you!!!

  13. Kim McCabe Says:

    With Much Love & Admiration to you Kerry. Wishing you all the very best. Hugs from Australia xx

  14. Phil Says:

    Hi Kerry

    As PAW’s longest volunteer (been there since 98), I have seen everyone come and go, and I mean everyone. Under your stewardship I have seen by far the most meaningful changes. The place has a new focus and meaning which is directly related to your commitment to PAW and the animals. Best of luck in your latest endeavor.


  15. Linda Ellis from Delaware Says:

    Dear Kerry,
    Congratulations on your retirement!

    You have done so much for dogs that there are no words that can adequately thank you. Please know that you are admired and respected always.

    If you are ever in Delaware I hope that you will contact me.

    God Bless you.

  16. Nan Hayworth Says:

    Kerry, bless you, and thank you so very much, for all you’ve done–for our precious animal companions and for the people who love and care for them–, and may life hold many joys and triumphs for you in the years to come!

  17. Jill Muller Says:

    Thank you, Kerry, on behalf of many,many rescue animals, and the people they love and rescue in their turn, for your vision, courage, and hard work! I wish you, and Pets AAlive all the best in the future.

  18. Richard Mercado Says:

    I have been a contributor for many years moving to Florida less than a year ago. I met Kerry only once but that was enough to convince me that Pets Alive was in good hands. Although she cannot be replaced my hope is that they can find someone as dedicated to animals as she was. Thank you Kerry for your love and dedication and the personal sacrifices you made over the years. I hope that you have a long and healthy life.

  19. Stacy Sorensen Says:

    If it were not for the incredible passage she wrote about “Buddy” 3 1/2 years ago we would not have the BEST DOG EVER!!!!!!!! She said that Buddy needed a home w/26 kids and needed to run and play and that he was dying inside. I must have reveiwed 100 dogs and kept coming back to him b/c I knew he needed us. Here we are 3 1/2 years later w/ our fabulous dog “Buddy”. We may have saved his life but…..he changed ours.
    Thank you Kerry for knowing your animals so well and knowing a great match when you saw one!!!!!!!!

  20. Perry Says:

    “If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”
    ? Thích Nh?t H?nh
    I salute your past work and your future projects….. 😉

  21. Gina Moore Says:

    Thank you for all you have done for the animals. I am so glad that I had the privilege to meet you in 2008 while vacationing in my hometown in Dutchess County. May God bless you in all your future endeavors.

  22. mj goff Says:

    We only worked together on a few projects, but your dedication to the pets at Pets Alive was remarkable. I’ll never forget the time you calmed one of the dogs during the opening of the new play spot…one of the big dogs was suddenly bothered by the crowds, and you immediately walked up to him, picked him up and carried him into the gated park. Best of luck to you in your next venture. Thank you for all you’ve done for our animals!

  23. Cecelia Fortune Says:

    Kerry thanks for your caring and love you have given over the years. May you be blessed always. Thanks again to you and all the wonderful people at Pets Alive.
    May God go before you and all at Pets Alive and prepare the way with happiness and success.

  24. Linda Lewis Says:

    Wishing you the very best! Thank you for all you do for the animals… God Bless You!!!

  25. Nancy and Dick Waddell Says:

    Kerry, you and Matt and then just you greeted us with such great warmth and enthusiasm that as far as we’re concerned, Kerry Clair and Pets Alive are synonymous. Wishing you peace and success in your life. You have put peace and success into so many other lives.

  26. Zulma Says:

    Good luck Kerry in all your future endeavors!! Thank you for all you have done to help these beautiful homeless babies in need of homes! I adopted Angel ( Amore) in December 2012 and she’s my love! I cant imagine not having her in my home, shes just so sweet! Thank you !!

  27. Stephanie Frye Says:

    For all you have done for the animals, God Bless You! Thank you!

  28. Caroline Youmans Says:

    Wow – I just got home from an adoptathon here in Canada and opened my email to find this. Talk about shocked and well, disappointed to hear Kerry is leaving. I have followed this organization since the time before she took over and quite frankly she did not just take over but brought this organization out of the red and into the light of day – the things she has accomplished are phenomenal and she did it with such grace and excellence and well just a class act. Sorry to hear she is leaving but know she will continue to help animals for the rest of her life. Thank you for all you have done sincerely Kerry. You lady are a class act…leaving big shoes to fill.

  29. Billie Says:

    Good luck in all you do in the future. You deserve it. Please send any contact info I need to continue posting to Pets Alive to save even more! Blessings, Billie in IL

  30. Kathy Medici Says:

    Much love & health & happiness to you in the future. PA IS what it is because of you! Not only have you changed the lives of all the animals you have saved but also changed the lives of the families who have adopted them. Our family was changed for the better when Woody came into our lives…that’s why I am and will continue to be a supporter of Pets Alive!!

  31. Fran Miller Says:

    My thanks to you dear Kerry Clair for all your years of service to Pets Alive and the animal community. I thank you for being who you are and for your help in so many cases where we had zero options for an animal in need. You will be missed!

  32. Allan Prescott Says:

    After the passing of Sarah Whalen, Pets Alive was on the “brink” and then it was saved. I hope that all of the efforts to get it to where it is now have not gone in vain and that someone strong and able takes the torch and brings Pets Alive to a level of even more greatness. Good luck to all as the transition takes place; keep up the necessary and important work!!

  33. Randy Says:

    We adopted our Niki (adopted as Pea) 2 1/2 years ago and we love her so much. We have been so inspired and impressed at the wonderful work that Pets Alive does that we quickly became monthly supporters. Wishing Kerry all the best. What a truly special person she is. Thank you for all that you do.

  34. Debbie Rinaldi Says:

    Well done, Kerry! Thanks for all you have done for the helpless animals. Enjoy your well earned retirement!

  35. Roe and Marissa Says:

    Congrats and best of luck, Kerry! You did an awesome job there and I doubt anyone will ever forget that! My fondest memory will always be the beagle rescue!We wish you all the best!

  36. Barbara Fuller Says:


    Your name, and that of Pets Alive, are forever etched in the hearts of animal lovers all over the world. May you find joy and fulfillment in your new endeavors.

    barbara fuller

  37. Honor Says:

    Thank you, Kerry, for all you did to turn Pets Alive Middletown/PAW/PAPR into the wonderful, special sanctuaries they are today. When we adopted our first dog from PAM we found a wonderful community of human and animal friends who helped so much in our children’s transition from city life to country life. The adoption of that first dog and the opportunity to volunteer at the sanctuary helped our kids get over so many difficulties in that adjustment and your personal attention to our children will never be forgotten. You made them feel that their volunteering was important. We’ve witnessed the changes that you, the staff, volunteers and donors have made in these last few years and those changes have been incredible. We’re so proud of the work that you all have done. Thank you so much for your leadership in turning the Pets Alive organization into the special place it is today.

  38. Elaine Caraballo Says:

    Your position will be difficult to fill!!! I wish you luck in future endeavors and am hopeful that PETS ALIVE finds a leader that will continue the journey to a NO KILL world for animals.

    Thank you, Kerry, for your obvious skills, loyalty and devotion to animals. Be blessed always.

  39. Ella Vickers Says:

    I don’t know if you remember me from the Ella Vickers Recycled Sailcloth Collection store on Greenwich Ave, but I will never forget you! You made a great impression and helped the lives of so many.
    With love and admiration, Ella

  40. Gerry C. Says:

    You’ve done an amazing job during your time at PA.
    I’m so blessed to have met you and to see first hand what you’ve accomplished.
    Good luck in whatever you in the future.

  41. Jacqueline Daly Says:

    THANK YOU for saving so many little lives. The world’s a better place with people like you here. Would that you could be cloned! Best wishes in your new enterprises!

  42. Robert McConnell Says:

    Dear Kerry,

    Thank you for everything that you have done to make Pets Alive
    what it is today.
    Thanks to you, and everyone else at Pets Alive – two years ago I found my best friend Maggie(formerly Minnie Me)!

    Enjoy your retirement, and best of luck in your future endeavors.

  43. Lisa GB Says:

    Although I have only had the honor of speaking with you on a few occasions, one of those occasions was on our first trip to Pets Alive, from CT. My husband and I, along with my parents, brought a carfull of donations and you took the time to show us around. Since then, my husband and I have become volunteers in the cat house, and help with events when we can get down there. Pets Alive is an amazing place, and I know it is in big part to things that you have put into place. What an inspiration you are, to so many! We wish you the absolute best of everything over the coming years, and you will be missed by everyone, whether they have 2 or 4 legs. Bless you.

  44. Paul Gordon Says:

    Kerry, Thank you for all you have done and we are sorry to see you go. I hope you all the best in your future and you are truly a special person that is brand and not generic. I wish you the best.

  45. Jeanette Donato Says:

    Good luck Kerry!!

    I was there when it all began, I remember so many good people helping. So much to be done! And you all made it come true plus more with Westchester and Puerto Rico.
    I am proud to have known you ( I massage horses, remember, lol) and enjoy your retirement, you earned it.

  46. Diane C. Says:

    Best wishes, Kerry. I’ve never had the chance to meet or work with you as I am on the west coast but I feel I know PA through your wonderful blog updates. I first heard about PA during the fight to prevent Oreo’s sacrifice. When I didn’t know who to believe your no bs style of writing won me over. Your response to PETA? Pure classic Firecracker Kerry. Have I mentioned how much I’ll miss your updates? *sigh*

    Thank you.

  47. Nancy Crom Says:

    Thanks so much for running such a wonderful shelter! I got my 2 moth old part Maine Coon kitten there 2 years ago in October, and when I took her in immediately for my vet to check her out, she said that it was amazing that she didn’t have fleas. She also said most shelter cats do. Her name is Tiger Lily, and we love her so much! Thanks so much for all that you have given to this shelter!

  48. Vicki B Says:

    Just wanted to wish Kerry the very best in any new endeavours and to thank her for her dedication to Pets Alive. So many animals are in her debt and so many people have found their furry loved ones. Best wishes Kerry and thank you.

  49. Peg Kraemer Says:

    We met in 2007. I was charmed when I adopted my dog Charmer and in awe and inspired when I met to you. As previous folks have said, big shoes to fill, VERY big shoes, my friend! Thank you for all you have done. Enjoy your retirement.

    Peg from Mystic

  50. Lori Capobianco and Larry Butler Says:

    Kerry, we adopted Brandi approx 4 years ago (her name while there was Lucille)she is an adorable black and white Border collie/beagle mix who is the love of our entire family. We are so thankful for your efforts in putting this facility and mission in front of your own life. It is probably time for you to spend some relaxing time with your family and friends. I am sure this was a tough decision. We wish you all the best.
    Larry, Lori and Brandi

  51. Linda Lee Balkin Says:

    Kerry, you made the difference. You really worked hard and the animals have benefitted thru your devotion and insight. You will be missed but you have stabilized this rescue and it will continue because of your vision to move it forward.
    Thank you so much!!

  52. Stephanie Etherton Says:


    I wish you all of the best and much happiness in your well-deserved retirement! As a longtime supporter of Pets Alive and a strong advocate of no kill shelters, I have been amazed and inspired by what you’ve accomplished at Pets Alive in such a short time. You were pivotal in bringing the shelter back from the brink of bankruptcy and dissolution and making it one of the top no kill shelters in the U.S.. Your genuine love and concern for the animals as well as your constant, tireless dedication and determination to help and do what is best for every animal has always shone through in everything you have done for Pets Alive. A thousand thank yous!!

  53. Kathy Staples Says:

    I first learned about PA when BF became involved after Sarah’s passing. As I read the blogs, I am always amazed at the progress that has occurred in those years under your leadership. When Matt left, you remained steadfast in seeing the vision through. Your dedication and success is AMAZING. My only regret is that I never did make the trip from Mass to meet you in person; but because of you, I have continued to donate to PA each month. I wish I could do more, but you taught me (through actions) that if every person does what they can, however small it may be in the big scheme of things, the combined effect is something HUGE/POWERFUL.You leave a legacy of love, devotion to the animals, and dedication to the No Kill movement. With people such as yourself, I truly believe that one day, it is truly possible that we will see an end to shelters that are forced to euthanize animals who are unable to speak on their behalf. Thank you for EVERYTHING that you have sacrificed to care for the animals. Your love of them shines strongly. I wish PA success in finding the right person to carry on what you have begun and for you, I wish you a happy and healthy life and a chance to heal the wounds on your heart that has been battered by emotion and challenge for a very long time. You are one special lady!

  54. Katye Barbehenn Says:

    Thank you Kerry for all you’ve done. In November of 2008 we adopted Dante, a shepard/rotweiler mix who had been rescued from a horder in Tennesee. He had been so badly starved that his rescuer thought he would have to be put down. That starving (about 15 lbs. at rescue)puppy is now a 90lb. full grown duffus. Our vet tells us he’s slightly overweight, but who could deny him a snack? Without Pets Alive or you, Kerry, there would be no place for dogs like Dante, and our lives would be all the poorer for it. Thank you and God bless!!

  55. Leila Gastil Says:

    Keri transformed Pets Alive. Her work was tireless, passionate and 24/7. The animals could not have had a better guardian. I’m sure the team is sad to see you go and I wish you great luck on whatever your next calling may be.

  56. Janice Bernard Says:

    Thank you, Keri, for all the work you have done for animals and Pets Alive. I hope you enjoy your retirement and enjoy the love of all the animals you come in contact with.

  57. Ellen G. Says:

    Kerry, you have done a magnificent job at Pets Alive. I am sorry to see you go, but have a feeling you will always have your hands in it somewhere. It would be great if you could let some of us know where you are going and your next endeavors.

    I hope the next admin is as open-minded and professional as you are, but unfortunately, I’ve already encountered a less-than-pleasant reception from them concerning new ideas, or just opinions in general. It’s too bad since that’s usually the beginning of a backslide in credibility and participation.

    I was blocked from further commenting on your FB page since I disagreed with the early age at which the animals are spayed and neutered. I offered new age suggestions, such as Zinc Neutering, but was met with a rude remark that I could do what I wanted when I opened and ran my own sanctuary. Not a good start.

    This same admin, while offering up medical advice for everyone to get Lyme vaccinations was not thrilled when I offered the advice with published professional evidence of its inefficacy so that folks can make an educated choice concerning their pets’ health.

    Perhaps you could coach this new admin on how to respond politely to well-meaning people instead of shunning them and turning a blind eye. It would behoove them to listen to you – a successful director for a well-known and well-loved sanctuary.

    Take care and much luck in all you decide to do on your journey known as the rest of your life. You will be sorely missed. <3

  58. Carol MacNamara Says:

    Kerry, thank you for all your years of hard work and dedication to Pets Alive and all the animals you have helped over the years. It will be a real challenge to replace you. I hope in your future you consider becoming a writer….. you’ ve always had such a great talent in writing all the news, blogs, etc, keeping people informed of important PA events, Ernie stories, etc…. I will really miss that. I hope you continue to use your God-given talents, and enlighten the world!! You’ve always been nothing but nice to me….you will be missed!!!

  59. Marion Kaselle Says:

    Kerry, you have done such an amazing, tireless job at Pets Alive. It is hard to imagine it without your leadership, but you have been an inspiration, and gathered like souls around you, to insure that it will go onwards and upwards! You are an inspiration to me, with your tireless, unrelenting work for the animals. My beloved Deva (aka Devil) and I thank you, and wish you all wonderful things in your future.

  60. Carol Coddington Says:

    We crossed paths when I looked for help in getting Gracie, a greyhound, I saved from another animal shelter but could not give her a home with us a place to wait for a forever home. I will always be grateful for that and knowing such a warmhearted person who truly loves animals and worked so hard for their benefits.

  61. Greg Smalley Says:

    Kerry, best of luck in whatever you chose as a future path. You will be hard to replace, apparently, as it is now November 10 and I cannot find any posting about who has been appointed as the new ED of Pets Alive.

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