Building a humane community

Balchem Animal Nutrition & Health does a supply drive

For more than 30 years, Pets Alive’s mission has been to help animals in need: To improve the lives of companion animals everywhere by any means possible, including rescue, adoption, advocacy, collaboration, intervention, and education. Rest assured, those things are not changing. We are excited to announce that we are taking the lessons we learned during the COVID lockdown and our community during times of uncertainty to expand our mission.

Join us as we step out into the light of a new and different future, a world where we build a humane community together. A community that supports the human-animal bond and works to keep families together.

We have already started laying the foundation for that brighter future:

  • Our community donated dog and cat food to our Pet Chow Pantry, helping keep their neighbors’ families together when times got tough. More than 3,600 pounds of dog and cat food were distributed this past year to our neighbors in Orange and Sullivan Counties and helped keep pets with their families.
  • In the past year, 183 community cats were spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and returned to their homes through our TNR (Trap Neuter Return) Program. These community cats live and thrive in our neighborhoods and are loved by their caregivers.
  • Access to affordable routine veterinarian care is vital in keeping families together and supporting the human-animal bond. In just over a year, 400 pets received wellness exams and rabies vaccines at a reduced cost. Collaborating with Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC, and Besties Animal Rescue, we have been able to bring essential veterinarian services to our community.

Helping Hands Helping Paws provides low-cost wellness exams and vaccines

As the Hudson Valley opens up, we are now updating our mission:  To build a humane community supporting the human-animal bond by being a resource through rescue, adoption, intervention, education, and outreach.

To support this mission, we look forward to restarting, revamping, and launching new community programs and initiatives supporting and respecting the human-animal bond: our public TNR training and Trap Recovery Loaner Program, our Pets Alive Kids Team – Humane Education for all Ages, Head Start Puppy Classes, Basic Manners Canine Training, and Canine Good Citizen training and certification.

Thank you for your past support, and we invite you to continue to be part of this next phase in our history to help the animals and our community further.




Becky Tegze
Executive Director, Pets Alive

ps…I’m with Jaguar, available for adoption!

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Your gift TODAY will help Jake | Hudson Valley Gives

We invite you to join us TODAY in our Hudson Valley Gives campaign, a 24-hour day of giving!

We ask you to help us reach our goal to raise $10,000 in 24 hours for the animals from midnight to 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday, May 19.

Jake chained up in his prior life

Your donation helps pets like Jake. Tied up to a chain. Only a dog house for shelter from the hot, blazing sun. Dirt instead of green grass to lay on.

This was Jake’s life before he was rescued and then made the long trek from North Carolina to Pets Alive last week. This eighteen-month-old male dog is a sweetheart and will no longer need to worry about being chained up without access to a comfy bed to sleep on or a nice yard to play in.

Jake sniffs around in the play yard at Pets Alive

Given his prior living conditions, he’s healthy and so willing to be your best friend. Your gift today can help us care for Jake – and so many other animals – until they find their forever home. Check out Jake as he enjoys life at Pets Alive!

You can be part of this journey by donating today on our Hudson Valley Gives page!

Thank you for your generosity!


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An Unthinkable 7O Million

Seventy million. Let that number sink in. That is the number of community cats animal welfare experts estimate live in the United States alone. Seventy million living, breathing, and thriving cats in our urban, suburban, and rural communities, with an estimated 70,000 new kittens being born every year to unspayed community cats. What does this all mean? It means the Pets Alive TNR (trap neuter return) Team is a VITAL part of our humane community!


Our TNR Team is now facing what might be our largest and most challenging colony to date. A thriving unspayed and unneutered colony at a now-closed horse facility with five barns, multiple outer buildings, and what one could describe as a community cat nirvana — numerous freshwater sources and fantastic protection from the elements.

An estimated 75-100 unaltered cats need to be humanely trapped, spayed, neutered, and vaccinated just at this location! Think about that: 75-100 cats who will continue to reproduce if not spayed and neutered, which could result in a population explosion of 200-300 kittens in just ONE YEAR!

Our team has hit the ground running! Thirty-eight cats have been humanely trapped, spayed, neutered, and vaccinated. They are now at Pets Alive recovering from their surgeries. Those who are candidates will go up for adoption, and those who are not will be returned to their old stomping grounds to live out their days, with their kitten-making days behind them.

Since 2013 our all-volunteer TNR Team has humanely trapped, neutered, and vaccinated almost 1,200 local community cats! Out of those 1,200, more than 650 cats have come into our adoption program and have gone on to find loving families of their own.

Pets Alive is more than a great place to adopt from or to volunteer at. Pets Alive is and strives to be a part of and a resource for our local community, but we can’t do it alone! We need YOU, our community’s support, to continue.

Every community cat we provide TNR services for costs an average of $55-$75. This includes spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, food during the recovery period, microchips for any cat we take into our adoption program, staff time, and in some cases, additional medical expenses for any cat that is injured or requires medical attention.

We are facing a colony of what could be 100 cats — these are cats in OUR community, and together as a community, we ALL need to do our part.

This effort could cost us upwards of $7,500 – or more. As we were planning for this mass rescue, we applied for and received a generous $2,700 grant from the Cleopatra Fund of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley to help fund the effort. We are incredibly thankful for this aid which will save many cats!

We still need to raise at least another $5,000. Won’t you help us be part of our humane solution and make a donation now?

Prefer to send a check? Mail it to us at Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940. Please write “TNR” on the check.

Prefer to send supplies directly to our TNR Team? They have their very own wish list:

Want to learn more about TNR or join our TNR Volunteer Team email us at

Posted in Animal Rescue, Call to Action, Cats, Why We Do This | Leave a comment

Town approves Site Plan!

Dear Partner in Rescue,

We are very excited to tell you that we have reached another significant milestone in our progress of a new kennel building – we just obtained site plan approval from the town of Wallkill Planning Board to move forward with the project! This has been a long time coming with starts and stops because of COVID-19, but we now have a clear path forward to create a new healthy, safe and exciting environment for our dogs, staff members, volunteers, adopters, and visitors!

Here are highlights of our progress.

In late 2019, we worked on developing a detailed site plan to go forward to the town of Wallkill Planning Board for site approval. We submitted our final site plan to the town board in early February 2020, and on March 9, 2020, we met with a subcommittee of the planning board to begin discussions about our plans.

After the March meeting, we were invited to attend the March 18, 2020, formal Wallkill Planning Board meeting to present our case to the entire board. Unfortunately, the meeting was in parallel to the shutdowns due to COVID-19; therefore, the planning board had to cancel that meeting.

Once the planning board moved to Zoom meetings, we were scheduled for April 15, 2020, when we first presented our plan. We had multiple requirements that the board needed us to complete from the building’s size, creating a lighting plan, doing a perc test, finalizing a septic plan – and other tasks. This took us a lengthy period of time to complete.

The final step, once we met those requirements, was a public hearing. On the evening of March 17, 2021, we attended our public hearing at the town Planning Board meeting. We invited neighbors based on a list that the town of Wallkill provided us who live within a certain perimeter of the shelter to participate in the meeting and offer any feedback or concerns. The meeting went well – and the town approved our site plan!

This approval means that we can now move forward with the project! We have many steps to go before we break ground, but this was a critical step to obtain. We thank the town of Wallkill Planning board and others who helped us at the town to achieve this accomplishment.

You can check out our conceptual design of the building’s layout and site plan, which details where we will situate the new building on our property on our website. Once we complete the new building, we will remove the current building.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at Thank you for following us on our journey and being a part of it! We will continue to keep you updated as the project progresses.

Thank you for your patience and your support!

From the Pets Alive Board of Directors


Fancy Fajita, available for adoption, is very excited about the new building!

Hercules, available for adoption, is also very excited about the new building!

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Saving Lives – Working Together

“I hate to do this, but I have an urgent dog for you to consider…” is how the email started. “She’s around eight years old and has spent her entire life on a chain. The girls and officers at the shelter have had to endure seeing this dog out on a chain for years and years, and just finally a few weeks ago were able to get the owner to surrender Belinda. Belinda is completely behaviorally perfect; she has medical that this shelter cannot afford. She will need to have a mass removed.” And so began Belinda’s journey from rural western North Carolina to Pets Alive.

Fatty tissue or cancer? Belinda will get a full workup by our vet, Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC, next week to put a medical game plan into place. Join us in fighting for Belinda’s life and thanking our North Carolina rescue partners for reaching out and fighting for her and all the homeless pets like her.

Then there was the call from Best Friends Animal Society. Help was needed from their Northern Network Partners – of which Pets Alive is a member –  to help one of their Network Partners in Florida. The shelter is doing everything it can to improve its live release rate (currently they have one of the worst in Florida and the country).

Of course, we said yes! Please give a big welcome to the Florida Four –  Vern, Victor, Vincent, and Veronica to the Pets Alive family. They are all beyond sweet and loving, and once they are spayed and neutered, they will be up for adoption. We know they will find loving homes quickly. Interested in adopting one of the Florida Four felines? Get your application in now!

A total of five local NY rescues and shelters came together and, thanks to Best Friends Animal Society’s networking of partners and transport, many lives were saved. The Florida Four and all their felines friends who made the long journey north will soon get a fresh start on life with families of their own.

We also welcomed Toothless Ace this week. His journey wasn’t quite as long as Belinda’s or the Florida Four; he just had to make a quick trip from Animal Care Centers of NYC. Toothless Ace is just that: toothless! This head-butting, purr machine was found emaciated in Brooklyn. Toothless is estimated to be around seven years old and he has tested positive for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), but that won’t slow him down! We know once we fatten him up, he will be a fantastic addition to someone’s family. Could it be you?

Working together, pooling resources, communicating and asking for help is how we save more lives. Join us, help us and be part of these life-saving moments.

Prefer to send a check? Mail it Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940.

If you’d like to become a Monthly Sponsor, you can donate a certain amount each month as a recurring donation – and save lives like Toothless Ace, the Florida Four and Belinda all year round!  Monthly Sponsorships start at $5.00 a month – and up.

Posted in Animal Rescue, Cats, Dogs, Medical Cases, Why We Do This | Leave a comment

Ms Paws earned her angels wings this morning

Our hearts were shattered into a million pieces this morning.

Ms Paws earned her angel wings in the early morning hours today. As hard as she tried, her little body could no longer continue the medical challenges she faced. She was surrounded by love right up until the end.

We want to thank the amazing teams of veterinarians and support staff at Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC, and the Cornell University Companion Animal Hospital for loving and taking such amazing care of our little angel.

A special thank you to her foster mom for showing Ms Paws what it meant to be loved unconditionally in her all too short life. Thank you to everyone who donated to her medical care, sent food, toys, and healing thoughts.

If comfort can be found, she was loved by so many near and far, and she passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early morning hours. Run free our precious Ms Paws. You touched the hearts and lives of so many – you will never be forgotten. Fly high among the stars till we meet again.

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Dear Santa

Let me introduce myself. My name is Fancy Fajita, but all my friends here at Pets Alive call me Fancy! They always tell me what a good girl I am. I know how to sit, take treats gently and walk like a lady, and my friends say I have the best smile and biggest heart.  My smile was even bigger when Ms. Becky told me I was the lucky doggie who got to write to you with my three Christmas wishes!

I’ve thought long and hard, as I don’t want to waste a single wish, so my first Christmas wish is for my friend Cow. Just like me, Cow can be shy and unsure when she is around new people.  But don’t blame her; she came from a really bad place five years ago. You see, she came from a hoarder’s house where she didn’t get any attention, it wasn’t clean, and a lot of times she went hungry. Please, Santa, can you send a family to take Cow home to cherish and love her just the way she is?

My second Christmas wish is for my friend Ginger. Ginger had a loving and doting father for the first five years of her life.  She and her dad did everything together — long walks, movie nights, long car rides, cuddles on the couch — that is until her dad passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. I’ve never had a dad, but the way Ginger talks about hers, they sound pretty awesome! You see, when her dad passed away, she was brought back to Pets Alive. The staff saw right away that Ginger’s heart was broken.  Ginger has told me for so long she was afraid to open up her heart again; she never wanted to feel that pain and loneliness. Over the years, the staff and amazing volunteers here at Pets Alive have broken down the wall Ginger built to protect her heart. Santa, Ginger is so ready for a new dad. Can you please send her one?

Santa, my third and last wish is for Ms. Becky and Pets Alive. You see, Ms. Becky doesn’t worry about herself. She worries about me, Cow, Ginger and all of us here at Pets Alive, from Viper and Challenger, two of the sheep, to all the goats and others that came in from a cruelty case, to the baby kittens that need round-the-clock care, to the stray dog that just came in scared and confused. She worries about making sure we are all warm and cozy. She worries about us all having full bellies and lots of yummy treats. She worries if one of us gets sick and the vet bills pile up too high. She knows Pets Alive is our home and wants us to be comfortable and happy until our forever families come for us. So please, Santa, please send Ms. Becky monthly sponsors so she maybe won’t worry so much.

Thank you, Santa. I truly believe and I know you will work your Christmas magic.

Love, Fancy

Prefer to send a check? Mail it to us at Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940. Please write “Dear Santa” on the check.

P.S. Thank you so much for helping to make my wishes come true!


Posted in Animal Rescue, Updates, Why We Do This | Leave a comment

Ms Paws undergoes surgery today

Ms Paws, the critically ill puppy we took in this past week, needs your good thoughts and vibes.

The veterinarians at Cornell University Companion Animal Hospital have been unable to place a traditional feeding tube even with a lighted scope due to the stricture’s tightness.

Ms Paws has been receiving amino acid therapy and handling it well, along with IV hydration with dextrose.

The anesthesiology department feels she is stable enough for general anesthesia, so the surgeons will be operating today to place a PEG Tube which will allow her to receive the nutrients she needs to grow bigger and stronger for the PRAA surgery. To read more about Ms Paws’ journey, please go here.

Please keep this little fighter in your thoughts today and send lots of positive vibes while we await word that she has made it through surgery. To donate towards her mounting medical costs:

Prefer to send a check? Mail it to us at Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940. Please write “Ms Paws” on the check.

Thank you so much for your help! We are truly grateful for your support.


On another topic, the animals really need your help. Today is the last day to vote in the Mid-Hudson Heroes Charitable Giving Campaign that we’ve been participating in. As of the time of this writing, we have slipped back to 2nd place – and the campaign ends tonight at 11:59pm ET. You can impact that by simply casting your final vote today! $2,500 is on the line for the animals.

The top “vote-getter” in each category will receive a $2,500 donation from the sponsor. Your vote is critical to getting us back into 1st place and over the finish line.

This funding will go directly to helping the animals this winter.

To help, cast your final vote today! If you voted yesterday, you have to wait 24 hours to vote again. Otherwise vote now:

  • Go to:
  • Scroll to categories and select: Animal Welfare
  • Scroll to Pets Alive
  • Click on the Vote icon
  • Use the “Share” button to ask your friends and family to join in via social channels or contact them directly via text for immediate impact!

THANK YOU so much for your dedication to helping us get this donation!

Note: You must have a Facebook account to participate.


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Ms Paws transferred to Cornell for treatment

She looks like a cuddly young pup on the outside, but inside, she’s hurting.

Ms Paws is a 3-pound German Shepherd puppy fighting for her life who came to use the other day. You can read her story here. We continue to thank you for your help and wanted to update you on her progress.

It is a matter of life and death that Ms Paws receives nutrients to stabilize her condition in order to have the life-saving surgery she needs. The only way for her to get those life-saving nutrients at this time is through a feeding tube.

Ms Paws makes the journey to Cornell

The tube that was originally placed became displaced when she started to regurgitate. The blood vessels are closing off her esophagus and trachea, so much so that it is making it impossible to get the feeding tube back in without advanced medical equipment.

Therefore, today we rushed Ms Paws to the Cornell University Companion Animal Hospital in Ithaca, NY.

There, with the assistance of a lighted endoscope, they will attempt to place a traditional feeding tube. Tomorrow, the anesthesiology department will evaluate her to see if she is stable enough to undergo anesthesia to have a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) tube placed. A PEG tube is designed for pets unable to swallow temporarily or permanently, providing them with a source of long-term nutrition.

It is a matter of life and death that we find a way to get nutrients into her tiny body. Only with these nutrients will she become stable and strong enough to undergo surgery to correct her PRAA, a type of vascular ring anomaly in dogs. (For more information about this condition, check out this article.)

This tiny girl is a fighter and together, we must fight for her. We are doing all we can for her, but we need your help! The estimate for this procedure is $3,000 – or more – in addition to what we’ve already spent at our local veterinarian. You can make a huge impact today by donating to Ms Paws’ fight for life. No gift is too small. Already donated to help her? Thank you so very much!

Prefer to send a check? Mail it to us at Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940. Please write “Ms Paws” on the check.

Check out Ms Paws’ arrival video at Cornell!

Thank you for helping Ms Paws. We’ll keep you updated on her condition.

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Ms Paws needs a Christmas Miracle!

She weighs just 3 pounds; she is dehydrated, she is anorexic, and she is only five weeks old! Instead of being a playful, active, “getting into trouble,” happy puppy, she is fighting for her life. And we are fighting for her Christmas Miracle.

Ms Paws, a German Shepherd puppy, should weigh closer to 12 pounds. She has what our vets, Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC, believe is a persistent right aortic arch (PRAA).

PRAA is the most common type of vascular ring anomaly in dogs. German Shepherds are often predisposed to this life-threatening condition. In the fetal stages of a pup’s development, there are aortic arches (blood vessels) that surround the esophagus and trachea. Sometimes, arches form abnormally, which results in pressure on the esophagus and trachea. This situation can cause a narrowing of the organs and subsequent regurgitation of solid food as a puppy is weaned.

Typically, the right aortic arch goes away after birth, but when it does not, it entraps the esophagus as the puppy matures, causing megaesophagus – meaning Ms. Paws is unable to drink or eat without regurgitating her food.

Our vets need to confirm this with a CT Scan, but Ms Paws is not medically stable enough to go under anesthesia. Our vets fear she wouldn’t make it through.

Ms Paws is hospitalized and our vets are working hard to stabilize her with IV Fluids and a feeding tube. Today they will attempt an awake swallow study in the CT Scan to help diagnose her condition.

All pets like Ms Paws want good health and a safe place to rest their head for the holidays. Can you make their wish come true? Donate today to our medical fund and be part of Ms Paws’ Christmas Miracle.

Prefer to send us a check? Mail it to Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940 and write “Ms Paws” on the check.

Thank you for helping Ms Paws. We’ll keep you updated on her recovery.

Posted in Call to Action, Dogs | 4 Comments