Pets Alive
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About Pets Alive

Pets Alive is a no-kill animal rescue, located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, about 1 1/2 hours from New York City. Our mission is to improve the lives of companion animals everywhere by any means possible, including rescue, adoption, advocacy, collaboration, intervention and education.

Pets Alive is one of the oldest no-kill organizations in the United States. Animals at Pets Alive include dogs, cats and farm animals. Many of the animals at Pets Alive are older, have special needs or require special care.
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Pets Alive is recognized within the local community, nationwide and around the world, as a leader in developing alliances to end the killing of adoptable animals and promoting the humane treatment of animals.

Sara Whalen, who established Pets Alive, had been rescuing society's "throw aways" for over 35 years. She proved that it is worthwhile to save animals no matter what level of abuse they have suffered or what their special needs are. Sometimes all it takes is a bath and a little affection; but all too often it takes intensive surgical intervention, long-term care, or behavior modification.

Sara passed away in 2007, but as she wished, the care of the animals at Pets Alive continues in Middletown. Sara ran Pets Alive for 26 years with excellent results, but the last year of her life (the 27th at Pets Alive) was a disaster. She developed brain cancer and her reasoning and logic was VERY impaired in the end. She continued to take animals IN but was unable to continue adopting out any animals and she also stopped taking care of paperwork. We inherited a mess. 990's not filed, non profit paperwork not filled out annually, property tax exemption forms not filled out and so on. And the worst...animals in BAD conditions down here. It was truly a mess and took us years to get to be the sanctuary we are now. Best Friends came to New York and helped us for eight months. We thank them so much for helping us get back on our feet and teach us how to manage a sanctuary like this on our own. We'll forever be grateful to them for helping to save all the animals here. Pets Alive does NOT receive any funding from Best Friends, nor are we a part of their organization.

We are continuing Pets Alive's mission to rescue, rehabilitate and place animals in need.

Pets Alive is not a local SPCA or shelter. Our mission is not to provide local animal control. We respect the work that local shelters are already doing in this area (handling local animal control issues and working diligently to return lost and stray dogs to their owners). The main focus of Pets Alive, however, is to build, create and help sustain no-kill communities across the nation. To that end, we will try to help any organization that reaches out to us, and help any animal from any location, if shelters want help to stop killing the animals in their care.

You can read more about who we are and our policies by reading this blog.

As you know, more than 5 million animals a year are killed in shelters in the United States. But every year this number decreases, as the no-kill movement is rapidly growing across the country and being adopted in so many places across America. Because we are a leader in this movement, shelters all over the country are reaching out to us to help them become no kill. We teach them proven methods for increasing adoptions, how to implement successful education programs for the public, how to develop successful low cost spay/neuter programs, and we help them by taking in their overflow of animals so they do not have to resort to killing. It is truly a domino effect that is creating a no-kill nation – right here, right now, in OUR lifetime – because YOU care enough to help.

Read our newsletters and blogs. Join us on twitter or FaceBook. Come down and volunteer!

Your help is always welcome - and needed! Pets Alive welcomes the support of the community in caring for the animals. Volunteers, adopters, and donations are welcome. For more information on how you can help, call (845) 386-9738 or email us at!

If you need to contact the adoption coordinator contact:
If you need to surrender a pet, you must FIRST READ our surrender page and then you can email: or Each surrender request is evaluated on a case by case basis. If you do not use these email addresses, your email will NOT be responded to, so please help us to help you!

Sometimes we need help quickly, or specialized help. If you want to be on our volunteer "call to action" email list, please sign up here.