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Pets Alive $5 Feline Friday! Help Support Kitties in Need

TNR teamEvery Tuesday night you can find a group of women loading up a van with humane live traps, sardines, sheets, carriers and cat food.   They are the Pets Alive TNR (Trap Neuter Return) Team, a group dedicated to improving the lives of feral cats in our neighborhood by stopping the unwanted reproduction cycle and allowing these cats to live out their lives in peace.  The Pets Alive TNR program has successfully trapped hundreds of cats and kittens living in the city of Middletown and has provided food, shelter and medical attention for them all. Trap, Neuter and Return is just one part of the No Kill Equation and has been proven to have more successful results in reducing the stray/feral population and improving their quality of life then previous employed strategies. For years many believed that feral cats should be relocated or destroyed. Cats live in areas where they find resources in the form of food, water and shelter. When you relocate them, more take their place through “the vacuum effect”. Killing these feline populations is not only abhorrent, unethical and inhumane but often can result in loss of a service they provide in the form of rodent control in populated areas.

The Pets Alive TNR Team takes all of the cats and kittens that are trapped back to the sanctuary for evaluation. Each is provided with its medical needs. Those that are true ferals are returned to their habitats after recouping from their spay/neuter procedure. The cats and kittens that are deemed friendly are kept at the sanctuary until loving adoptive families can be found. Unfortunately, all too often these cats are suffering from a serious medical ailment that we feel is our duty to help heal. Below are a few of these stories.


Cupid 1Last month, we told you about Cupid, a poor little kitten who was found in a wood pile by a TNR team member.  He was rushed into surgery after his foster mom noticed he was not using the kitty litter pan and was diagnosed with imperforate anus.  Meaning, Cupid was born without a rectal opening and therefore, unable to move his bowls and underwent surgery.  Kittens with this rare birth defect have a very low survival rate and it was lucky we got him into surgery on time. Cupid has been recovering from his surgery but has been having some complications.

This week Cupid was taken to a specialist to determine what our options are in helping this boy live a normal life!  He’s a typical kitten, he has a sweet disposition, he is growing and gaining weight.  He’s alert, active and very playful even with all the discomfort we’re sure he’s experiencing.  The specialist diagnosed Cupid with “atresia ani”, a rare birth defect that seldom affects male cats.   This defect is usually accompanied by congenital megacolon, which is an abnormality in part of the large intestine.

Cupid babyCupid has been under the medical care of our Vet Tech Janet, who is also now his foster mom. She takes him with her everywhere she goes because Cupid requires constant attention.  He is on a special diet to help soften his stool and is administered enemas multiple times throughout the course of the day to help him move his bowels.It’s too early to tell what medical procedures, if any, will help Cupid live a life where he can move his bowels on his own. The specialists have advised we must wait until he is a few weeks older to reassess his condition and determine the best course of action.

The veterinary bills for this sweet angel are already in the several thousand and since Cupid’s future is unknown they could continue to increase over the next few weeks, but we will not give up on him! This boy is special. He’s a survivor, a fighter, he never lets you know that he is feeling down or when he is in pain.



Last Tuesday night started out no differently than any other night of trapping. The volunteers load up on supplies and head out to the colony location on the schedule and with any luck at the end of the night their traps will be filled. On this particular night an older feisty feral kitty with a white and orange coat found her way into the trap in search of food. As the traps filled up the team quickly moved in and at first sight of this scared girl they knew something wasn’t right. While her weight and general appearance seemed fine it became immediately apparent that there was something terribly wrong with her right eye.  She was quickly rushed to medical attention where it was determined that her right eye would need to be removed due to potential glaucoma and chronic inflammation. With all medical decisions we are forced to consider all of the variables as well as the advice from our veterinarians.

As a truly feral cat who would be returned to her colony we knew that in order for her to have any quality of life she would need to undergo this surgery. Martina is recovering and still needs daily medical care. She has had a reduced appetite and dehydration. It can be difficult for feral cats to recuperate as they are forced to be handled and held – but we at Pets Alive believe that they should all be provided every opportunity at a high quality, normal and healthy life and work very hard to minimize her stress while still providing her the top quality of care.


pebbles[1]Meet Pebbles. A few weeks ago, three young women came across two tiny kittens in a field. The kittens were flea infested, dehydrated and too young to be without their mama.  The women then heard the cry of another kitten who looked to be in the worst shape of the three.  They searched for more kittens and the mom but none were found.

As good Samaritans, they brought the kittens to our sanctuary to see if we could be of assistance.  Instantly, our staff began to rid the kittens of their fleas and ear mites. You could see relief on the faces of these precious little babies.   But the smallest of the bunch, the last one found, was in bad shape! Her eye was severely infected.  We were unsure if she could even see out of it.  The young women were kind enough to foster two of the kittens but we knew the one with eye infection needed immediate attention and she was rushed to the vet. Pebbles was diagnosed with a severe advanced eye infection that resulted in the membranes to actually adhere to the eye.  It is likely that she will not regain vision in that eye but the vet has advised us that otherwise she is in perfect health and is a very cute and feisty little thing. She is a friendly, happy and playful kitten who loves to climb!

These are only just some of the cases we encounter during kitten season. Pets Alive commits to each and every animal and will continue to provide all with the highest quality of care and love that they need to recover and live normal, happy, healthy lives. Unfortunately – like so many other aspects of life – it often takes a large financial commitment as well. WE NEED YOUR HELP to continue to rescue all of the Cupid’s, Pebbles and Martina’s out there that NEED US TO SAVE THEM. Please join us in our first ever $5 Friday Campaign. YOU can help provide medical care to a sweet kitten in need. YOU can save a life. YOU can make a difference for just $5!!!

Filed in Uncategorized by Jenessa Cutler on Jul 25, 2014.  There are 0 comments.  

Vote for the Pets Alive King and Queen of the Senior Prom!


We love our seniors and we know you love them too!  So to celebrate all things senior we are having our first ever Senior Prom at Pets Alive and no Prom is complete without a King and Queen.  The nominees are in and its time for you to cast your vote for this year’s King and Queen of the Pets Alive Senior Prom!  After all the votes are counted we will crown our winners.  We all have our favorites and are hoping they win the crown but what we are really are hoping is that they find their FOREVER HOMES.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we will be featuring all our wonderful seniors here at Pets Alive.


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Cam the senior boy with a love of basketballs, treats and showing off new squeaky toys. He has been known to strut his stuff down the dog trail showing off his new toys.


Click here to see our adoptable critters!

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Filed in Uncategorized by Pets Alive Blogger on Jun 17, 2014.  There are 0 comments.  

Cupid’s Story– UPDATE!!!

cupid momAs many of you know Pets Alive currently operates the only formal Trap, Neuter and Release program in the community. As part of our commitment to the Middletown area and the feral colony population we have also committed to evaluating all of the cats trapped for their medical needs as well as adoptability. Only truly feral cats are then released back into the colony after their vetting and vaccinations.

Managed and maintained solely by volunteers the Pets Alive team successfully trapped 200 cats in 2013. 99 of these kittens and cats were brought into the adoption program and all found loving homes. This year the Pets Alive TNR program set out to reevaluate existing colonies as well as identify any new ones previously not serviced.

Recently the 2014 TNR program launched and in one weekend trapped dozens of kittens. Following up on one of these areas the team descended on their designated trap site and heard tiny cries coming from a wood pile nearby. Upon looking more closely they saw what they thought was a tuft of fur.  And quickly reached in to see what was hiding beneath all of the brush. What they found was a beautiful momma cat they named Mae and her 4 tiny, hungry and scared babies. Thankfully all were unharmed but in desperate need of love and attention. They immediately went into foster home and have been lovingly cared for but their foster mommy noticed something was seriously wrong with one of the kittens….

Cupid 1This is Cupid. He is an adorable baby at just 4 weeks old. His foster mom noticed that while he went to the litter box it seemed that he strained profusely and was unable to produce. She quickly called the Cat Manager Becky who rushed into action. Fearing anything from minor constipation to severe impaction she immediately got an appointment at the vet. It was there we learned this precious baby was born with a rare condition called imperforate anus. This means he does not have an opening of the anus thereby making it  impossible to pass stool. Depending on the defect present, how the colon has developed and the actual status of the anal sphincter, it is possible to surgically open the anus and if needed, connect the colon to the opening. As most kittens are young, their risk of anesthesia may be the bigger problem, but as all kittens with this defect will die without surgery it seems to be the only best option.

We can only imagine the level of pain and discomfort this tiny angel has been experiencing but we are thankful that he was found in time. The likelihood of a kitten surviving this birth defect on his own is zero. He is currently at the vet undergoing surgery and we do not know what he will need in the coming hours or days in order to fully recover but we will do everything we can to make sure he gets all the care he needs and give him a chance at a long and happy life.


We hope to update you more in the morning on this little guy. Please keep him in your thoughts and your prayers.Cupid 3

Please consider a donation to the critical care medical fund so that we can continue to treat baby Cupid as well as all of the beautiful animals that need us.



Thank you all so much for your love and support!




We just received word that Cupid is recovering just perfectly this morning and should be released sometime soon! He will most likely need to go back for some followup exams but he is resting comfortably and very much relieved!




Filed in Uncategorized by Jenessa Cutler on Jun 16, 2014.  There are 1 comments.  

Our Greatest Challenge

By Erin Guilshan, Executive Director, Pets Alive Westchester

1975269_620144908055668_1266341788_nOn March 14th we faced what would begin our greatest challenge in the history of Pets Alive Westchester. What started off as small cracks in our building grew to be so large that you could see through them to the outside of the building. The floors were beginning to sink in some areas, new cracks were rapidly forming, and the first floor door frames began to buckle as the second floor started to show signs of a possible collapse. We worked with a group of engineers to evaluate the issues and they determined that we had no other choice but to evacuate immediately.

The magnitude of this hit each one of us – staff, volunteers and supporters – like ton of bricks. This is our “other” home. This is a place that has a heartbeat – a love that never ends. This is what makes up the Pets Alive family and it is the bond that has been created that will not be broken. We had nearly 200 animals that we had to find placement for that day, whether it was homes, other rescues or boarding facilities, we had to get them out as soon as possible. Our needs were great and time was of the essence to get our animals out of the building safely.

By 9am our lobby was flooded with adopters, fosters, media, volunteers and concerned members of the community. We reached out to our foster network, set up teams of people to help with adoptions and to get our equipment and supplies out of the building. There had to be hundreds of people there that day that were all there to lend a hand, work together and help us in any way possible. We were grateful to have had so many caring people by our side during our darkest hours. Pets Alive is supported by many people that would do anything for the animals. This same passion we share, for helping animals, is what generated the resilient force that was needed not just on that day but in the days and weeks to follow.

There are nearly 40 Legacy dogs who were from the Elmsford Animal Shelter that became part of the PAW family and still live with us, to move them somewhere else was rascal and rosieheartbreaking. We knew it would cause them confusion and stress. We feared they would not feel the security of the only place they ever knew to be their home. As the day progressed though, we were able to find boarding for our dogs at Northwind Kennels where they are able to be walked and loved by the same staff and volunteers who have taken care of them for years.

Our cats were also of great concern as were our bunnies. Both are easily stressed which we feared could have an impact on their immune systems and their health. They need a life that is peaceful and to be uprooted like this could be very difficult on them. In a matter of a couple of hours all of our bunnies were fostered and we had many of our cats placed in rescues. Mid-Hudson Animal Aid rushed to pick up 30 cats that they brought back to their rescue. Our sister location, Pets Alive Middletown committed to 13 cats and Pibbles and Kits committed to 4 cats. There are twelve cats that are still waiting for forever homes at both Mid-Hudson Animal Aid and Pets Alive Middletown. Pibbles & Kits has 3 remaining of the 4 they took; those 3 are doing well but do have special medical needs.

Half of our animals went to homes that day. Many people came to adopt and foster giving them the best gift ever, a home. We are so grateful for all of the support our fellow rescuers, the community and volunteers have given to us. We could not have faced this without all of you.

Here is what our love looks like

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So where do we go from here?

The answer is simply that we do not have all the answers yet. The team of engineers drilled two weeks ago. They are waiting on lab results of the soil tests which are expected soon.

Our insurance is covering the drilling and testing but they have not committed to help cover the costs we are enduring at this time to continue operations including 3 storagevania units, 2 office trailers, winterizing the facility, the cost of a generator and the cost to board our dogs. Northwind Kennels kindly gave us a discount on boarding fees, but with 40 dogs living at the facility the cost has been huge at $11,000 per month ($10 per dog, per day) which at this time is an expense that we certainly are not prepared for in our already tight budgets.

We aren’t sure which direction this path is leading us quite yet but we know one thing for certain – this will not stop us from saving animals and assuring they are given the best lives possible. We will continue to save lives as we try to expand our foster network. We have wonderful volunteers and supporters who will follow our animals to the ends of the earth to make sure they are safe and loved. Our staff has shown great strength during this time while creatively thinking of new ways to handle our situation ensuring the animals are given the greatest opportunity for happiness. I am so proud to be a part of this amazing team and to be a part of the Pets Alive organization!

While we work on determining what the future of Pets Alive Westchester building will be, we really need your continued love and support. You have heard us say before that “we cannot do this alone” and that is the truth. We are incredibly grateful for the amazing outpouring of love you continue to show us and the animals.

Although we are amidst the greatest challenge in our history, together we are going to get through this and come out of it stronger and prouder than ever. We won’t give up.

Filed in Animal Rescue, Uncategorized, Updates, Why we do this by Erin Guilshan on May 07, 2014.  There are 0 comments.  

New Beginnings with Old Ideas

by Jenessa Cutler, CEO


It is with great pride and happiness that I announce I have accepted the position of the very first CEO of Pets Alive. For those that might not know me, I have most recently been employed as the Business Office Manager for all three Pets Alive locations focusing on streamlining our operational processes. Prior to that I served as the Executive Director at Pets Alive Westchester. And before all of that I was the Executive Administrator and Shelter Manager at Pets Alive in Middletown.

I can still remember first joining Pets Alive. Overwhelmed and excited, I was completely in awe of the staff and the volunteers who were here all day and sometimes long into the evening. They gave up time with their families, their own animals, their own lives just to make sure each and every animal was loved each and every single day. In those days we only had the one facility in Middletown and maybe seven full time staff members. I was so honored to join them. Today, I am even more honored and humbled to be a part of this growing team who have a shared passion and commitment to animal welfare. Pets Alive is not about any one person, it is the result of a collective group of people that believe in the same idea-life is precious and it is sacred. That we must end the killing of animals in our nations shelters. That it is not enough to simply pull an animal to safety but that we commit to the health and well-being of that animal for life!

Over my years with Pets Alive I have been blessed to work with some truly powerful and inspiring animal welfare advocates who provided lessons that have guided me: to never be afraid to stand up and be loud for the things I know are right; to do my homework, research and reach out to others-not just assume I know the answer but to make it my job to find the answer; that in this field there are many crucial decisions to be made and many times there isn’t just one right answer but it’s up to you to make sure that each and every decision made is always based on what is best for the animals; and most of all that even when it seems like everything is stacked against you and you just have nowhere else to turn-believe in the people around you-the strength, love and passion within this amazing organization will always pull us through.

Alongside all of these people I have had the opportunity to gain the experience and knowledge of both success and failure. I firmly believe that an organization can only learn, grow and flourish when it is willing to seek out its’ flaws and do whatever is necessary to correct those issues. We cannot fear change but rather embrace it with honesty and integrity. We need to honor our roots and at the same time make the changes that will help solidify the future of Pets Alive. The Pets Alive we all know and love so much. The Pets Alive that found new life with renewed passion in the wake of the loss of its dedicated founder. And The Pets Alive that has and will continue to save thousands of lives.

The new structure here at Pets Alive is crucial to our survival and our ability to continue to further our mission. As CEO I will oversee the overall operations of our facilities and provide support to our Executive Directors and Board of Directors. We will work as a cohesive team in order to set and achieve our goals. Pets Alive is fortunate to have amazing people who serve as staff and volunteers and each one has something unique to bring to the table. We will continue to identify these strengths and utilize them to benefit the entire organization. Each facility will continue to operate under their Executive Directors just as they do now. They will continue to follow the same policies, procedures, mission and values. We will strive to be bigger, better and stronger-to save more animals each year than the last. We will continue to be a resource for any organization that will choose life over death by pulling animals on kill lists and assist in mass rescues due to hoarding, abuse or puppy mills. We will continue to provide the utmost quality of care, treating each animal, no matter their background, with the same care and kindness.

 2014 has so many exciting things already developing. We cannot thank you all enough for your continued support. Each and every one of you IS Pets Alive. We understand sometimes change is scary, or hard, or just plain confusing and we try not to overwhelm you all with a lot of this type of stuff. Please know that my door is always open-well, OK not technically open, I have several feline office mates who would love to sneak out and roam the hallways-but I’m more than happy to answer any questions, address concerns, or anything in between.

Jen and Lincoln



Our mission is to improve the lives of companion animals everywhere by any means possible, including rescue, adoption, advocacy, collaboration, intervention and education.


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Filed in Uncategorized by Jenessa Cutler on Apr 21, 2014.  There are 1 comments.  


They have lost the only home they’ve ever known.

They are the Pets Alive Westchester (PAW) Legacy Cats – Colonel Mustard, Tasha, Jilly, Isis, Twinkie, Precious, Larry, Dipps, Ralphie, Concetta, Dottie, Meeshu and Donner.  The Final 13 resident cats from the old Elmsford Shelter from when Pets Alive took over in 2010.

As many of you are aware, our sister sanctuary had to emergency evacuate their facility recently when it was deemed unsafe (  Staff at both facilities immediately sprang into action planning, coordinating and implementing our emergency evacuation.

I knew immediately the Pets Alive Westchester Legacy Cats needed to come to us, at Pets Alive Middletown.  I knew this would be very hard on them.  PAW was the only home these Legacy Cats have known.  They were snatched up in the middle of controlled chaos, put in a carrier, went on a two hour car ride and arrived at a new place with new smells, new sounds, new people….This was going to hit them hard.

As hard as we try, how do you comfort a cat that has lived for 10-12 years at a shelter and reassure them that it will be okay, we love you, you’re safe!

Once our new residents were settled in it was time to get to know them better, their histories, their likes, any special needs – knowledge is power in my book.   I pride myself on knowing our cats inside and out and love to tell their stories to anyone who will listen.  Our cats have stories to tell.  Some have been with us for years while some for just a very short time but each and every one of them has a story. We are their voices.  We are their story tellers.

What I found in their files was heart wrenching and made me more determined than ever to be their voice. They are Legacy Cats, their stories must be told.

  • Colonel Mustard – 2009 came in as a 6 week old kitten
  • Ralphie – 2006 came in as a kitten
  • Larry – 2001 kitten, never adopted
  • Jilly –2004 left abandoned in a car in a parking lot with nothing more than a note
  • Donner – 2003 adopted as kitten, 2009 returned to shelter family had a baby, adopted 2010 returned 2011 no reason given
  • Dipps – 2004 originally adopted from NYC Animal Care and Control, 2006 surrendered to Elmsford Shelter reason given moving.
  • Meeshu –  2007 found on the road to the shelter with a note
larry3Larry – 2001 kitten, never adopted.
dipps3250Dipps – 2004 originally adopted from NYC Animal Care and Control, 2006 surrendered to Elmsford Shelter reason given, moving.
Donner – 2003 adopted as kitten, 2009 returned to shelter family had a baby, adopted 2010 returned 2011 no reason given.
colonel_mustard_3250Colonel Mustard – 2009 came in as a 6 week old kitten
Jilly – 2004 left abandoned in a car in a parking lot with nothing more than a note
Ralphie2250Ralphie – 2006 came in as a kitten

Larry came in as a kitten 13 years ago!  To our legacy cats I’m sorry you were failed by the people you were entrusted to all those years ago, but no more I will fight till there is no fight left in me to find you your forever home.

They are all seniors now and just looking for a warm sunbeam, a soft breeze and someone to love them unconditionally, to understand them, to give them patience and time, to give them a retirement home in their golden years.

Colonel Mustard, Tasha and Meeshu and crew are being well cared for and all their needs tended to but what they really need are REAL HOMES!  Please open your hearts and home to our legacy animals.  They have been waiting so long, too long….

To adopt

Both Pets Alive Middletown and Westchester have legacy animals – animals that have been with our organizations since before our current management took over.  Please consider opening your hearts and homes to one of these very special animals – they are so deserving and have lots of love to give.



Written by Becky Lyn Tegze, Pets Alive Cat Manager.  Becky has years of experience in socializing and assisting feral, semi feral or frightened felines.

Filed in Uncategorized by Pets Alive Blogger on Mar 21, 2014.  There are 2 comments.  

Pets Alive Westchester Update

First and foremost all of our animals are safe tonight! Thank you all for your tremendous support. Every day at Pets Alive is amazing but its days like this that leave us all down right speechless with appreciation. We are floored by the number of supporters, community members, fellow rescues, veterinarians and local businesses that reached out to help us during a time when we needed you the most. We will forever be grateful to each and every one of you who have dropped everything and came to our aid. Today we saw the amount of caring, love and compassion that all of you have for Pets Alive. The heart of Pets Alive lives within not just our staff and volunteers but within the entire community. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping ensure that our animals are safe!

At the request of PAW’s Executive Director, Erin Guilshan, and our Board of Directors, an engineer was brought in last Friday to inspect cracks in our building that had seemed to be growing at an accelerated rate. After the first inspection the engineer expressed concern but did not think the building was in immediate jeopardy. We again asked the engineer to visit yesterday when noticing that there was one particular area that was advancing at a rapid rate. We received a report last night recommending that we evacuate the building immediately and based on this we made the tough decision to address the situation as soon as possible even though we still had more to learn about the situation.

Today we had 15 dogs adopted, 22 welcomed into foster homes and the rest of the pups were taken to a boarding kennel facility; 11 cat adoptions, 3 welcomed into foster homes and 49 cats were brought to our partner sites Pets Alive Middletown, Mid-Hudson Animal Aid and Pibbles and Kits; and all 5 rabbits fostered. There is no way we could have done this without your support!

There is still further testing that will need to be done to determine the status of our structure and what will need to be done to fix it. We will continue to post updates about the situation and how you can continue to help our animals.

If you are interested in adopting or fostering one of our animals please fill out an on-line application – you can see the list of available dogs here. We no longer have phone lines. We are receiving thousands of emails and it will take us some time to get to them all, please be patient with us.

Pets Alive, Inc. is accepting monetary donations to meet the massive financial need facing our shelter. At this time, we do not need donations of materials at the shelter as there are no longer animals in residence. We are down but not out – our animals are safe and we have your support behind us. We will rebuild, and we will rebuild better than ever. To make a tax-deductible donation to Pets Alive, Inc. to help with our financial need, please click the donate button below. Thank you so much for your consideration, your help, and your love.


Filed in Uncategorized by Erin Guilshan on Mar 14, 2014.  There are 0 comments.  

The Phoenix Rises

On January 8, 2014, Pets Alive Puerto Rico rescued the dog you see in these photos. Many times since then we wanted to share his story, but the words just would not come – until now.  For the past 8 weeks, we’ve been watching a miracle unfold, and it is finally time to talk about the dog we named Phoenix…

photo 5


If you are from Arecibo, you might know this dog – the locals called him “Rocky”.  By all accounts, he was once someone’s pet – owned by somebody in the neighborhood who turned him out onto the streets.

For the past couple of years, Rocky was a regular at a busy gas station in Arecibo. With his good looks, gentle nature and a very sweet personality, Rocky was a charmer. People stopped by to pet him, and many people fed him and brought him treats.  Rocky had a pretty good life for a street dog.

But when Rocky’s front leg was broken a few months ago, no one seemed to take any notice, even though he could no longer bend it or bear weight on it.  At or around the same time, Rocky also suffered a painful injury to his hindquarters.  The extreme pain of the combined injuries made it very difficult for him to walk and get around.  Soon Rocky’s health and appearance began to deteriorate – in full view of the entire neighborhood and in full view of hundreds of people who buy gas every week at that busy station. Once handsome and robust, he grew skinnier and weaker, and when he lost much of his fur to mange, people began to shun him.  Yes, it’s true… at the time Rocky needed their compassion most, an entire community turned away from him and closed their eyes to his suffering.  Until finally, when Rocky was very near death, a woman who was new to the neighborhood saw him and called the authorities asking for help, and they in turn called Pets Alive Puerto Rico, and we set out to help this dog.

Those of you who follow us on Facebook know that we’ve rescued many dogs in very bad condition, but nothing in our previous experience prepared us for what we saw when we arrived.  Rocky’s lifeless body was lying on the ground.  Someone had put a leash on him in anticipation of our arrival so he wouldn’t wander off, but it was completely unnecessary – he was too weak even to get himself out of the tropical midday sun.  As we bent to examine him he didn’t open his eyes – we thought for sure he was already dead – but he wasn’t, not yet. As we rushed him to the hospital, we prayed that it was not too late to save him.

photo 1-1

The dog they called Rocky spent five weeks in the hospital fighting for his life while Dr. Luis T. Ramos and his staff of angels at Hospital Veterinario San Francisco de Asis in Hatillo tended to him lovingly.  Rocky was treated for malnutrition, parasites, mange, and Ehrlichiosis (a ticke-borne disease) .  Sadly, the injury to his front leg was too old and too severe to make saving the leg a possibility, so it was amputated to free him from the excruciating pain.  As you can see from the photos that follow, he is healing beautifully from that surgery!

Rocky emerged from the hospital a new dog, and we gave him a fitting, new name –  the dog they once called “Rocky” is now known as “Phoenix”, and  just like the mythical bird, our Phoenix has risen from the flames of his old life –  he is reborn and renewed, and his new life is just beginning!


photo 4

at pickup in hosp

Phoenix is adapting to life with three legs, but he still has one more hurdle to get over.  He is suffering from a severe hip luxation,which is making it very painful for him to bear weight on his left rear leg.  Phoenix will undergo the surgery (called FHO) just as soon as he is a little stronger.  After the FHO surgery, it is expected that Phoenix will walk and run PAIN FREE on 3 good legs!

In the meantime, the sparkle in his eyes and the smile on his face reveal no hint of  the misery that Phoenix endured in his past life.  His transformation has been a miracle, and it is not over yet – we expect that by mid-April this adorable, handsome, and VERY charming gentleman will be ready to fly to Pets Alive in NY for adoption, and then he will really start living the life he has ALWAYS deserved!   We can’t wait. XO

photo 1


We’ve seen a lot of  miracles take place at Pets Alive Puerto Rico, but the volunteers and staff here are NOT miracle workers. We can’t do anything without the love and support of people who believe as we do that every life is precious, and that dogs like Phoenix – who need extraordinary medical care – ARE worth saving.   If you believe this too, and if you believe in the work that Pets Alive is doing in Puerto Rico, we are asking for your help.



THE CRITICAL CARE FUND –  BECAUSE EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS! Your gift in any amount to will make it possible to continue to help dogs like Phoenix who need extra medical care.  No amount is too small to make a difference.


7 weeks later

Phoenix Today – 8 weeks after his rescue!

Thankfully for Phoenix, someone finally picked up the phone and made a call that saved his life.  But the sad fact is, that call won’t always be answered.  With an estimated 100,000 or more unwanted stray dogs on the street, it just isn’t possible for Pets Alive to rescue every dog in need.  We help as many dogs as possible whenever possible – but with so many in need, we are often out of space, short on volunteers and short on the funds needed to give these dogs the care they need and deserve.  But with your help, they CAN all be saved, and together we CAN put an end to the suffering of street dogs and the killing of healthy, adoptable animals in the shelters of Puerto Rico.


“ADOPT” ONE STREET DOG.  You don’t need to actually take the dog into your home – you can care for the dog on the street.  Put a collar and ID Tag on “your” dog to prevent the dog from being picked up by the authorities.  Make sure “your” street dog is spayed/neutered and vaccinated.  Feed “your” dog regularly.  If “your” dog is injured or becomes ill, care for the dog to the best of your ability, just as you would do for a pet living in your home.  If EVERY animal lover cared for just ONE street dog in this way, the problem would be solved!  

ADOPT A DOG FROM YOUR LOCAL SHELTER instead of buying a purebred dog.  Villa Michelle in Mayaguez ( is a high-kill shelter that is making amazing efforts to increase adoptions and reduce the killing of healthy adoptable animals – but they cannot do it without you, so please visit them when you are ready to find your next new furry family member. Don’t buy a dog or cat while wonderful and amazing dogs and cats suffer and die in shelters.  

SPAY/NEUTER YOUR OWN DOGS.  It is the single most important thing YOU can do to help solve the problem of unwanted dogs on the street.  And not just the female dogs! If your male dogs are not neutered, YOU are directly responsible for adding to the population of unwanted dogs on the street.

SPAY/NEUTER A STRAY DOG.  One unspayed/unneutered dog and its offspring can produce THOUSANDS of unwanted dogs.   By spaying/neutering just one stray, you prevent the suffering of countless dogs –  and you prevent them from producing unwanted puppies in your neighborhood.

ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS TO SPAY/NEUTER THEIR DOGS, and if it is within your means, please consider helping them if they are not able to afford it or if they need help getting to the veterinarian.

TALK OPENLY ABOUT YOUR LOVE FOR ANIMALS, let everyone know that you care about the strays you see on the street and that you are helping them.  Encourage others to join you.  Animal lovers are the MAJORITY in Puerto Rico, so please don’t be silent – YOU are their voice.

MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION to help PAPR continue to help animals.  If everyone donated just a small amount each month, it would make a big difference.  Please consider helping the animals this way.

IF YOU CAN’T DONATE, YOU CAN STILL HELP!  Hold a car wash, a dog wash, or a bake sale.  At your next birthday party, ask for gifts for the dogs instead of gifts for yourself.  Organize a food, toy and supply drive at your school or place of business, and invite PAPR to come and talk about our work – we’ll even bring along one of the dogs you are helping to save!  Put your imagination to work, the list of ways to help is endless.

PROVIDE TEMPORARY FOSTER CARE for dogs in need.   Pets Alive Puerto Rico is always looking for experienced foster homes that are willing and able to  provide a safe and nurturing environment until we are able to take the dog into the sanctuary.  (email to offer your services)

VOLUNTEER at your local shelter once a week or once a month – the staff and the animals need you!


PLEASE DONATE TO THE CRITICAL CARE FUND –  BECAUSE EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS! Your gift in any amount to will make it possible to continue to help dogs like Phoenix who need extra medical care.  No amount is too small to make a difference.




SPONSOR THE SPAY/NEUTER OF A STRAY DOG.  Your gift of $75 will provide a street dog with spay/neuter, 2 vaccinations, medication for internal parasites, common skin ailments and flea/tick preventative, plus a collar & ID Tag .


To learn more about Pets Alive Puerto Rico:

“Like” us on Facebook

“Follow” us on Twitter

Visit our web page:

Contact us via email at

Call us at 787-228-9639

Filed in Uncategorized by Admnistrator on Mar 07, 2014.  There are 0 comments.  

Saving Sarah


“I’m ready for this winter to end.” “It’s been brutal this year.” “Polar Vortex, that’s a new one, never heard of that before!” “When did they start naming winter snow storms anyway?”
All of us who live in upstate New York know that this year has been freezing cold, snowy and seemingly never ending. Now imagine being outside, injured, hungry and alone during those bitter snowy days. Cold, wet, injured, starving and alone – that is exactly how Sarah was found on a frigid February day, sitting on the porch of an abandoned house. Had she wandered to this home looking for help and shelter? Had her people abandoned her here to fend for herself through the cold, harsh winter? Had she accidentally slipped out from a loving home and lost her way?
SarahWe will never know how Sarah ended up on that abandoned porch, but as fate would have it, this was her lucky day. Two cat loving people passing by just happened to spot her and knew immediately that this little girl needed help and needed it quickly. Leaping into action, they scooped up a scared and bleeding Sarah and rushed her to an emergency veterinarian where it was determined that her tail would need to be amputated. Our best guess is that Sarah must have sustained her injury because she climbed up into a car engine to try and warm herself. Sadly – or perhaps luckily – her tail took most of the trauma, which is a part she can live without.
Our good Samaritans were now facing the scary fact of how to afford helping Sarah in her time of need. They did the right thing. They didn’t turn their backs on Sarah’s meows for help. They didn’t leave her behind to suffer sarah_buttalone. But now what were they to do? With four pets plus a senior hospice foster already residing in their own home, how could they possibly help Sarah? That is when I received their email: was there anything Pets Alive could do to help them save Sarah? They couldn’t bear to see her suffer, but they couldn’t take on the responsibility of a very large and growing vet bill added to their already extensive responsibilities to their existing family. But could we? Winter months are always the hardest on rescues and sanctuaries. But how could we turn our backs on Sarah?
WE COULDN’T! That isn’t who we are. We quickly arranged for Sarah to be brought straight to our vet where she could get more essential medical attention she so desperately required. We would figure out the rest later. The important thing here and now was that Sarah was getting the help she needed.
Sarah is now at the Pets Alive Middletown recovering from her surgeries and available for adoption. It’s easy to see how grateful she is for being saved by the way she greets everyone as they enter her room. She’s always ready with a meow of thanks, a leg rub of gratitude, a purr of love. She has a full belly for the first time in who knows how long, and we’re happy to report we can no longer feel every bone in her body! She is warm and safe, with a place to sleep and rest her body as she heals. SARAH HAS BEEN SAVED.


sarah2Please always remember to bang on your hood of your car before you start it, it could save an animal from injury or even worse! And please consider making a donation to help offset the expense of Saving Sarah and every other Sarah that cries out to us for help.


To Adopt Sarah


Filed in Uncategorized by Pets Alive Blogger on Feb 16, 2014.  There are 0 comments.  

They Still Need You! The “Broken Cats” One Year Later

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

We have nursed them all back to health and mended their physical wounds. But like many survivors of hoarding situations the physical wounds heal faster than the emotional ones. Learning to trust is full of baby steps forward and many steps back. We are all so proud of the “broken cats” who have been adopted this past year: Links, whose owner looked past the scared, shy boy and took a chance on him. They saw not the fear in his eyes but the glimmer of hope in his eye wanting to trust and love but afraid and unsure of how to. For Pancake who won the hearts of his adopters, it was love at first sight. McMuffin, whose adopter found him and just knew that this little boy needed her love and patience. Syrup, who waited almost a year for the perfect family to overlook his physical imperfections and see nothing but a perfect, beautiful boy.

While we are so proud and happy for those who have been adopted we continue to fight for and work with so many others. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of our “broken cats” and where they are today.

Welcome Marmalade to center stage. This tiny beauty is warming up for her first big performance. In the time she has been with us she has come so far. From the scared little girl who spent her days hiding and peeking around and out of cubbies to the girl you see now, out and about in her room. You see we found the way to Marmalade’s heart – Temptation treats! This little girl will do just about anything for a few. While she still won’t allow us to pet her she will nudge your hand if you stand very still and hold out treats for her. She does love other cats and is often found snuggled up with her roommates.

The boy in the corner, Smuckers, whose main way of communicating with us has been to hiss whenever we got to close, (Who are we kidding? Anytime we walked into his room!) Well he has had a major breakthrough in the last month! He now allows some of us to pet him! While he still may hiss from time to time he is slowly learning hissing just doesn’t work with us as we always come back. We are hopeful that one day soon he will purr out loud in enjoyment of his daily petting sessions.

Then there is little Oatmeal. This girl has been through so much in her short life. Oatmeal came to us pregnant but suffered a miscarriage due to a severe infection. We have mended her body and are working hard to mend her spirit. Oatmeal has been putting her brave paw forward lately and instead of hiding and watching from a far she has taken to staying out in the room when staff and volunteers are near. We haven’t figured out her “weakness” yet but we are trying because really how many kitties can resist tuna?

These “broken cats” need you! Adopt – open your heart and home to one of these very special angels and give them your time and the patience they need to blossom and be whole again. Foster – not able to adopt today? Maybe you have the time to work one on one with one of these special cats for a few months and help them on their road to recovery. Volunteer – maybe you are not able to bring one of our “broken cats” into your home but you can still make a difference! You can commit to coming in and working with them on a one on one basis. We will gladly teach you everything you need to know. It’s not hard – it just takes love, time and patience. Donate/Sponsor – help us continue our work. We can’t do this without your continued support.

Written by Becky Tegze the Pets Alive Cat Manager. Becky has years of experience in socializing and assisting feral, semi feral or frightened felines.

Filed in Uncategorized by Pets Alive Blogger on Jan 26, 2014.  There are 1 comments.