Archives for Featured Letters category

Crazy letters we get – Part DEUX

You may remember when I did the first CRAZY LETTERS WE GET BLOG, back in January.  Well, I saved a few of my favorites these past few weeks, and I feel it is time for Part 2.  So here you are: Crazy Letters We Get – Part Two.  Enjoy!  I know WE did.  (Please note that none of the pictures reflect the actual animals in the discussion.  Just some crazy looking pics that seemed appropriate).


This was an email I sent to Joy, the Director of Pets Alive Westchester:

We got a called in complaint today.
A woman adopted a dog from you yesterday and the paperwork says it is a basset hound but she is POSITIVE it is a Rottweiler.
She is very upset that you gave her a rottweiler instead of a basset hound so she wants to bring this one back and exchange it for a basset hound.
She doesn’t “want no wottweiler”.
So please stop giving away rottweilers and trying to dress them up as basset hounds.
It is very unseemly for our organization.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed in Featured Letters by kerry on Nov 17, 2011.  There are 6 comments.  

Crazy letters we get…

camhatThere is no end to the crazy emails and letters that we get. Some are so unreasonable and strange that we just shake our heads.  Others make us laugh.  Others are highly insulting. Many people give us their opinions or tell us how we could improve or do better, or how they would do it.   Many also tell us “thanks” or “great job” or “we’re glad you’re there”.  This blog is going to be about some of the crazies though. Come and take a dip with us into the twilight zone of unreasonableness.  Are you ready?  Are you wearing your crazy hat? You’re gonna need it.

Let’s call letter one “I don’t medically care for my animals, so I now realize you’re not going to adopt to me, so I am going to make that about YOU and not about me.  Hmm.  A little long for a title.  Maybe I need to wordsmith that a little?  OK, let’s go.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed in Featured Letters by kerry on Jan 10, 2011.  There are 14 comments.  

“Dear Cam….”

We recently received a letter in the mail. It was addressed to one of the dogs here.

Most of you know him.
Our Cam.

If you don’t know the story of Cam you can read my blogs about him here:

1st blog:
2nd blog:
3rd blog:

We talk about him a lot and he is really special to the staff here and to the volunteers. He has been a catalyst for many changes here and many policies and he is just an all around great guy. I love him. If he hadn’t bitten my husband, he’d be living at my house now. Sigh. Oh well. :)

Anyway, as you know Cam is definitely one of our favorites. Staff love to dress him up for …well…I was going to say for Halloween, but then, that’s not true. They dress him up for any occasion, or any non occasion and they paint his toenails, and he gets boxes in the mail specifically for him (he LOVES to play with basketballs and they will show up now and again in the mail for him). So it wasn’t really a surprise to see a letter come in addressed to him…but ah…the contents. The contents were. I was going to summarize it but I think it might be best to let you read it yourself.

jakeyDear Cam,

Woof! |
My name is Jake.
I’m a 1½ year old border collie.

You don’t know me, but you helped save my life, and I want to tell you about how you did that and send you something to say thank you.

After my forever family adopted me in April they quickly realized that I was really, really scared of like, everything. Somebody in my past did bad things to me and I was especially terrified of strangers and people I didn’t trust… but instead of running away I would try to protect myself… humans call it fear aggression, I called it self defense in a world that hurt me too many times.

One night my family was crying so hard because they had been given the option to bring me back to the shelter, where I would have been put to sleep. They loved me so much but people said that keeping me meant lots of scary risks and no guarantees. That night, one of my humans found your profile on the Pets Alive website. She started crying again when she read about you, because you were just like me and your story really touched her. Knowing that your friends at Pets Alive were able to save you and win over your trust made her believe that maybe I could be saved too. She told the rest of our family about you, and Cam, you were a glimmer of hope on the darkest night of our lives.

You made them believe in me!! I guess it’s kind of obvious what they decided to do, since you know, I am typing this… well, sort of… I’m helping.  They promised me that success was the only solution and that they were going to learn how to help me become unbroken, no matter what.

My family says that I have completely changed their lives- that I’ve taught them how to love more than they ever thought was possible… that I’ve made them stronger and taught them so many things about life and love and never giving up. It’s been a lot of hard work for all of us, and we still have lots of work left to do, but I have learned how to trust my family completely and I’ve made so many new friends. And oh my goodness I LOVE life! I’m so happy now and I let my friends pet me and hug me and play with me and I’m so full of love that sometimes I give kisses! I even let them dress me up (shhhh don’t tell anybody, but I totally love it- I hear you like dressing up too! ). And I LOVE playing with basketballs, just like you! Basketballs are THE BEST TOYS EVER! The best.

Cam, you helped save my life and now I get to experience all of these wonderful things! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so brave and not giving up. You are one of my heroes. I’m so glad that you have such wonderful friends in your life and I hope that one day you’ll find the perfect forever home! Dogs like us are really special and have so much love to give to the people who understand us, and we have so many things to teach the world. We help make the world a better place through the lives we touch and ultimately change. You changed my life from miles and miles away without even knowing it- that’s pretty special!

You and your family at Pets Alive inspired my family to never give up on me and I hope you all have a very merry Christmas/ happy holiday. I wanted to send you some treats but I didn’t know if they’d make it over the border (I hear there’s dogs with good noses that work there), and I was gonna send you a Kong, but they’re kinda hard to mail. So instead I’m sending you a Petsmart gift card, and the next time one of your friends is at Petsmart, they can use it to buy you a Kong (or something else super fun) and some of your favourite treats as a Christmas and a thank you present from me and my family- because you totally deserve it!!

Sending you happy tail wags and kisses!
And my family sends you lots of love!
Your friend,

Filed in Featured Letters, Why we do this by kerry on Dec 27, 2010.  There are 14 comments.  

Letter of the Month – Louise

louise4Louise came to us from South Carolina, as a terrified and skittish dog.  She had spent her entire life in a kennel.
We worked with her and she improved but she was extremely shy and didn’t “show” very well to potential adopters. She was always so nervous and simple things terrified her.  We kept her in the office as the noise in the kennel just about did her in. Gradually she started to befriend the office staff but she was still reluctant to be friendly with anyone she didn’t know.

Enter Lori and her family, which included two other Airedales. We explained about Louise and how she was a bit needy at the moment and that she would take a lot of time to warm up.  Lori didn’t care. She packed up her family and her dogs and came down to meet Louise.  They adopted Louise, and they frequently post updates in our forum.  It has been amazing to watch, through pictures, the transformation in our girl.  I recently got this letter, with a donation check. We were very moved by it and I wanted to share it with you.  Thank you Lori for taking a chance with Louise and giving her the most wonderful home.


Dear Kerry, Matt and Everyone at Pets Alive,

This past year has brought many firsts for Louise and myself.
My mom passed away on August 14, 2009 and one month later a friend posted Louise’s Petfinder ad on her Facebook page.

I had been thinking that I would like to adopt another Airedale but hadn’t been seriously looking. When I saw and read of Louise I knew that I wanted HER.
I read the ad to my husband and he said “fill out the application!”

Then we waited.
Waited to hear hear that she had arrived safely at Pets Alive.
Waited to hear that we were to be her forever family.
waited to hear that we could come and meet her.
Crossed our fingers and our toes that Abby and Emma would accept her.

louise1Then it happened!
It just so happened to be the day before what would have been my mom’s 72nd birthday 10/5/09.

I was able to hold Louise in my arms and call her mine.

To have her with me throughout this  first year of birthday’s, holidays and Mother’s Day without my mom I have realized that I needed Louise just as much, if not more ,than she needed me.

My mom Pat, LOVED animals but especially cats and kittens. Please use this money in my mom’s memory toward something that is needed for them.

Thank you.
Thank ALL of you!

Lori, Louise, & Family

Filed in Featured Letters by kerry on Oct 05, 2010.  There are 3 comments.  

Letters of the Month – Special Kids

So in the midst of everything else going on, all the battles, and wars, and adoptions, and conferences, and life in general, I opened the mail this month to two really great letters. Oddly enough they were both from kids. Kids. Our future. The next generation. The ones that may be able to accomplish what we are struggling for – A No Kill Nation. And I think they can do it. I think they just might be able to do it based on letters like these.

The first is from Evan W. I thought about re-typing it but I think other than removing his last name and address, I am posting the letter in entirety. Attached was a $500 check.


The second letter is from a person that mailed us last year too on her birthday. That is Lily Palmieri. Every year she has a birthday and asks all her friends to donate money to Pets Alive instead of giving her gifts. She collects them all, takes a picture of everyone and sends it to us. I’m always touched and honored that she chooses us and always very choked up when I read her sweet letter. You can click here to see her letter and picture from last year.

So this year she writes:

Dear Pets Alive,
Hi, It is Lily Palmieri again and I just turned 11. Last year when I turned 10, I had a birthday party and I had everyone donate money to Pets Alive instead of getting gifts. Last year I made $250 and this year I made $350. My friends kept giving me more money because they knew I was donating to Pets Alive again. I even told my parents about the Fur Ball on May 22 and they bought tickets because they knew it would give Pets Alive more money.

I wrote an essay about animal abuse and I was surprised of how many animals get abused a year. I am so glad there is a no-kill shelter like Pets Alive. Keep up the good work. I will be donating money to Pets Alive every year. I will be coming up to Pets Alive in the summer with my friends.

P.S. Here’s a picture of all my friends who helped out by donating money to Pets Alive.


All I can say is I’m so glad there are kids like you Lily and like you Evan. YOU keep up the good work. And stay with it. We need you for our future and it’s looking bright with kids like you at the helm.

Filed in Featured Letters by kerry on Aug 03, 2010.  There are 1 comments.  

Letter of the Month – The Lemonade Stand

We got the greatest letter in the mail this week with about $17 in cash and change.  It was from a group of young girls that decided to have a Lemonade Stand to benefit Pets Alive.  Here is the letter that went with it. You’ll die it is just so cute:



I received your letter last week and read about your current project – Pets Alive. A few weeks ago my daughter and a neighbor had a lemonade stand. They had decided that they wanted to donate their funds to help animals. After I received your letter I told the girls about your animal sanctuary .  They decided that this is where they wanted their funds donated.  So please accept the enclosed donation. Although it is a small sum of mone, they hope it can help.

Melissa H.

Funds raised by Casey H., Haley H., and Callie K.


Since then the girls have been collecting empty bottles and cans and returning them, collecting all the money for Pets Alive as well.  While we don’t have a picture of the lemonade stand, we DO have a picture of the can collection in progress!  Thank you so much Casey, Haley and Callie!  It definitely HELPS!


Filed in Featured Letters by kerry on Dec 04, 2009.  There are 1 comments.  

Featured Letter – Today’s Youth

OK, so today I want to tell you about Tess and Liam.   They come down here a few days a week with their mom, Honor, to volunteer and walk the dogs, hand out toys or treats, or whatever else needs some doing around here.  They also adopted TWO dogs from us (one CRAZY one, and one INSANE barker so really we should be going to THEIR house and working for THEM, rather than the other way around).

They are REALLY great kids.  A few times I’ve mentioned special children that we have down here that have really impressed me.  These two fit into that category.  They are polite, courteous, sweet, generous, good natured and just a pleasure to be around.

You all know we’ve been trying to raise money for our fencing project – WHICH WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED FINALLY thanks to all of you (and should be starting that soon)….

Well I received the following letters from Liam and Tess along with a donation.  Money they had earned or saved up on their own.

They clearly wanted it to go toward the fencing project.

Take a look – I scanned their letters because they were just too cute and too sweet for me to try to explain or retype.  You need to see these for yourselves.


Is that not the sweetest letters?

And below are the envelopes they came in:




Thanks Honor for raising such wonderful, empathic kids….

The world needs more of them!
Just got this great email from Honor (Liam and Tess’ mom):

Hi folks: I’ve been meaning to write to thank you all for making Liam (and Tess) feel so special. Liam was very proud of himself the day Matt offered to “hire” him (when he ran to close the gate of the dog yard after Mama foolishly let Sparky and Peanut loose–does anyone think that those two “wild men” were really going to go anywhere, by the way? Trying to save face for Mama…). And the applause for him that followed from the picnic table area thanks to Kerry sent him over the moon.

And now both Liam and Tess are extremely proud to be featured on the Pets Alive blog—they are now “famous”.

Pets Alive has been a wonderful resource for us all since we moved to Derby Road last December. Our first walks up the street to meet Logan were very special, particularly because he is such a personable kind of horse. Then adopting Kip fulfilled a very long-standing wish to have a dog of our own.

When we found out that the kids could volunteer at Pets Alive they were both very, very excited. I was hoping the experience would help teach them both to be more responsible, especially the safety precautions (making sure doors were shut, checking dots on pens, the rules on the trail etcetera). Liam and Tess have both benefited very much from the volunteer experience.

And then we adopted Henry (Fresco). Thanks a lot. Actually, Kip loves Henry, and Henry was a pet for Kip. Henry loves Kip. The kids understand that Henry is a bit different (He is a raving maniac, though a very sweet one). They (the kids) unfortunately have learned the words “shut up” thanks to Henry’s barking (though we TRY to say hush). And Henry is definitely part of the family–fits in well with the rest of us. We all get a bit agitated and noisy at times.

The children both love their time volunteering. They tell everyone of their times up the road. They wear their Pets Alive sweatshirts to school and out and about. They’ve made a lot of canine friends, as well as new human ones. And they are very happy about the goats too.

So a long overdue thank you to you both and to everyone else at Pets Alive (human, canine, feline, equine and GOATS!) You are not only helping the animals you are helping the kids and me. Pets Alive a wonderful facility for families too!


Filed in Featured Letters by kerry on Oct 05, 2009.  There are 1 comments.  

Featured Letter – The Kittens

So Kerry is on vacation, freezing her butt off on her motorcycle in Canada or some such thing, and I’m trying to relax a little in my hammock at home by reading a book.  I get a frantic call from Janet.  It seems there are some kittens that were on a transport, headed for another shelter after dropping off some dogs to ours.  Janet was afraid that these skinny, flea-invested kittens would all die if we didn’t take them.  I told her that if she felt strongly about it she should take them.  She did, and so far all of them are still alive except the poor little one who passed away on the trip up.  Here’s a letter we got the next day (note: pictures are of OTHER kittens at Pets Alive and not the ones described below as those were too graphic to post here):


kitties.jpgI am writing to you on concerns of the transport that came up to Pets Alive on Saturday from Kentucky. A very thin mother cat with baby kittens coming from that shelter were supposed to come into our rescue but due to the very poor condition of the cat and the babies she was offered to stay there at Pets Alive because of her condition and fear of the babies passing due to being anemic because of the overwhelming amount of fleas. I am very upset of the condition the mother cat and kittens were in, and the other kitties we took into our rescue were nothing but skin and bones and of course flea ridden, thank goodness they all tested negative for fiv/felv but the condition of them other wise was appalling.

I am writing to you to let you know that I cannot express my appreciation on all what you do for all of these wonderful creatures, so many are in danger all over and it is you that give these poor creatures a second chance. I cannot express the wonderful experience all the staff showed us with this poor kitty, we just didnt know what to do, and all of your wonderful staff and volunteers all worked together on helping this mother cat with babies, I wish I could remember all of the names that were involved with this, because I would write each one a big thank you from us.

How is the mother with the babies doing, were they able to survive? The veterinarian care we paid for down there  was very substandard to say the least and we are so distraught over this but we feel our calling is to help this shelter.

Can you please keep me posted on them as I cannot sleep or rest knowing what happened to them, and we have to do some serious thinking of what to do with what shelters we can help with from now on, I know unfortunately none of us can save them all, but these poor helpless creatures need more people like all of us who care to speak up for the many in need. I hope like you all see one day that it takes a long time for anyone to find a animal in need of a home, and that no animals have to suffer and die needless deaths because of the ignorance of humans. I myself sometimes hate to call my self a human because of what goes on with the poor defenseless animals.

I am going to send you down a care package for kitties – they are my passion- and please keep us informed on the kitties mentioned above. We had no intentions of leaving a momma cat with babies behind on you, but the staff was so nice about the whole thing and offered to keep her due to her condition and her babies. I really want to know they made out and if any survived and how the remaining are doing, please if any survived can you keep me posted and please give them extra kiss and hugs from me, and tell them i did care for them as we did want to try to help them.

I am going to see what our rescue can do to support Pets Alive, if it is a care package once a month for kitties or something, I know it is a small thing we can do and nothing compares to what you and all your wonderful staff do everyday.

May God Bless You All,

Much appreciation always,
Saving Purrs One At A Time

Filed in Featured Letters by Admnistrator on Sep 01, 2009.  There are 1 comments.  

Letter of the Month – Dear Houma

houmasleep.jpgWe received this letter in the mail this week along with a bunch of donations. It was too precious not to share.  Houma is a dog that had battery acid poured all over him.  He was also tied to a pickup truck and left to die during Hurricane Gustav.   Rescuers got him to us where he recovered but then became seriously ill again and we almost lost him – twice.  He goes home with Janet every night because he has been through so much, she can’t bear to leave him here, alone.  He is special needs and has a special diet due to some stomach issues…but he is healthy and happy and great with cats…and SOME other dogs. Although Janet loves him dearly, he is not an ideal mix in her household with multiple dogs and other assorted animals.  We are still looking for a forever home for Houma. Here is the letter we received:


Dear Houma,

Today we celebrated  my 4th birthday with hats and cake!  My how my life suddenly changed.  Last year at this time I was sitting in a cage at the APL – a scary place.  As a “bully” breed some shelters won’t even put us up for adoption and we are euthanized before we are given a chance – even the pit puppies.  My mom helped with the Vick investigation and she saw firsthand the pain, torture and suffering the dogs endured at the hands of the ignorant, and irresponsible people.  After almost giving up on ever leaving the shelter – SHE PICKED ME!  I got to work with her and visit Veterans in the hospital while I work on my therapy certification.  Life at home is hte best! I sleep on the be, chew on toys, and have fields and pastures to play in.

houma.jpgThe reason I am writing is that we don’t want you to give up.  it makes my mom sad to see you’re still waiting for a home. She does not understand why people keep passing you up and not giving you a chance.  If they only knew how kind and gentle we pits are.  If there wasn’t already five of us and no more room on the bed, you would be here celebrating with us.

Houma, we don’t want you to give up, so I am sending you my birthday money to buy bones and toys to cheer you up while you wait for your forever home.


Your friend, Neela.

Filed in Featured Letters by kerry on Aug 21, 2009.  There are 0 comments.  

A Tale of Two Kitties – Featured Letters of the month

I would like to show you a sample of my mail.   We get a TON of mail here. We can’t take in every animal that we are asked to take in.  We do the absolute best we can, but every animal is considered on a case by case basis and every animal is considered special to us.  We agonize over the ones we can not take and lay sleepless at night, wondering what will become of them, what will happen to them and are they safe right now.  It is a terrible part of this job and one that torments those of us that are involved in these decisions.  I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it when these please actually follow up and let us know they were able to keep the pet, or they found good arrangements.  Below are two examples of people asking me to take in cats.  You will note the difference immediately.  Isn’t it interesting?  The first is from a volunteer that comes here every single week, a few times a week, with her two children.  They walk dogs and help out any way they can. They are gracious and loving and wonderful and also adopted two dogs from us.  Two “not so easy” dogs I might add.

kitty22.jpgHi folks: This is a long shot–I know you guys are always full up with cats, but…..
The kids and I were away in NYC for a week and my nephew stayed at the house with Kip and Henry (Note: those are the dogs they adopted from us). While we were gone Matt (nephew) was driving along Shoddy Hollow Road and came across a dead cat in the road–with a kitten sitting next to it. He got out and moved the kitten off the road, and of course it returned to what was left of Mom. So he brought it home with him.

I found out when we got back yesterday and told him to put up some signs in Otisville, though the kitten was full of fleas and the Mom had no tags–probably not a pair anyone was looking for, but who knows?

Matt has taken the kitten back to my sister’s house but is not allowed to keep it (they have a load of animals already so my sister doesn’t want anymore. We are trying to find a place for it. My husband, the kids and I are all very allergic so we can’t take it. I’m not big on outside cats—too many cars on Derby Road, too many other nasty things could happen.

If you guys could consider taking it in that would be terrific. My sister is willing to cover the surrender fee, I think between all of us we could cover the neutering.

It is a young kitten, very playful. Eats solid food. Classic grey tiger type. We don’t know anything else about it. It hasn’t been vetted at all as of now. It has been bathed.
If you guys can’t help out, we fully understand. (And we promise not to dump it on your doorstep!) If not, do you know of any other no-kill cat groups that are fairly local that might be able to help?
Thanks for your time– The kids and I will probably be up there walking dogs tomorrow if the weather cooperates.

I wrote back:
Of course! Bring the little guy in as soon as you like. Staff is onsite by 8am. Janet can take a look when she gets in to make sure all is ok!
…and no surrender fee. You do a lot for us. Just bring the little guy in.

…and then THEY wrote back:

Hi Kerry: Just checked my email…thanks so much. We’ll come up later today–we have to wait for my nephew to come over (he is 19 and as such is so not a morning person!). I passed the good news on to my sister and she is sending along a donation anyway because she is well aware of the costs involved in taking care of even one small kitten. We’ll hope to see you later today, and thank you so much again.

OK, so there you have an example of the kind way to get a dog or a cat into a facility – VOLUNTEER there or donate there! Offer to try to help with expenses! Be polite! Do what YOU can first to try to help the animal!   OK, so on to letter number 2 from this week:

Hi My name is xxxxx. I have a cat that I want to get rid of. The reason I need to give her up is that she is a horrible cat. I have tried breaking her bad habits but cant seem to do it . She goes in the garbage and she also steals food off the counter. She gets fed 3xs a day so there is no reason for this stupid behavior. When I origanally (sic) got her I was told she was a male. Next thing I know she is giving birth and spitting out kittens left and right.  No one wants her. I don’t blame them. She’s a pain in the ass and there is nothing good to say about her. I don’t feel it would be nice to lie about her bad habits. Let me know if you would be willing to take her. I can’t give any money for any fee though. She really isn’t worth it and I have other things I’d rather spend the money on anyway then this dumb cat. Also can you come and pick her up. It isn’t convenient for me to drive all the way over there, but let me know when you can come and I will make sure I am here to give her to you.


So there you have it.
Who do I feel worse for?
Who should we help?
Should the cat suffer because her owner is a piece of garbage?
How would YOU decide if you could only take in ONE?
Not too easy, is it?

Filed in Featured Letters by kerry on Aug 11, 2009.  There are 10 comments.