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Fall 2009 Volume 1, Issue 1 P.O. Box A

East Smithfield, PA 18817


A Message From ACS By now you have noticed some changes here at Animal Care Sanctuary. We have changed our logo and there are new Directors. Your last letter probably looked a little different and our biggest change is our Adoption Program. You may be wondering about all the changes in the past months and wondering where we are going.

In This Issue ACS Staff Picnic


Project Updates


Rescue Update


Employee Introductions 5 Animal Interest Stories


ACS Visits Cornell


Employee Introductions 8

Many of you probably knew Lesley Sinclair or at least had been introduced to her at one time. You know she loved animals and believed in saving homeless and abandoned pets and keeping them safe and healthy. You know she put her heart and soul into this sanctuary. What hasn’t changed here at ACS is our commitment and dedication to continue to save animals. We are grateful to Lesley for beginning ACS so many years ago; we are proud and privileged to be a part of this mission that she began. The animals are and will remain our priority at ACS, and we would love to see each and every animal placed in a loving and happy home. We are realistic that many here will remain here, mainly due to age, but while they are here, we will provide loving care and give respect to each one. We will always look for ways to make them more comfortable, reduce stress, and give them the best possible life they can have in this situation. We have adopted the following mission and vision statements: Mission: To provide a safe haven for displaced, abused and abandoned animals until they transition into warm and loving homes. Vision: To be a leader in animal rescue by providing optimal care for animals, while providing education and resources for those who look after them. We sincerely hope you share in our mission and vision and will continue to support ACS with your gifts and prayers.

Meet Michelle Stymacks

Michelle Stymacks is the new Director of Operations at Animal Care Sanctuary. She started her career as a trauma nurse when she was just 17 years old. This experience not only provided her with a wealth of medical knowledge, but it also taught her the invaluable skill of keeping her head during emergency situations. Beyond her nursing career, Michelle has also spent time in the business world gaining experience in various areas. Always an animal lover, growing up in a family of animal lovers, she was involved in rescue her entire life. As an adult she expanded her rescue efforts beyond her family’s activities and her voice has become one that spreads not only information and awareness but it also serves as an inspiration that motivates others to take up a more active role in animal welfare issues. Approximately 5 years ago Michelle had her world forever changed when she happened to walk into a local shelter with a donation of cat supplies. She decided to donate not only what she’d brought with her, but also her time and energy. Unbeknownst to her, the decision to get involved would change the path of her life completely. Due to the departure of the individuals running the shelter, combined with an injury Michelle sustained, she initially took over comanagement of that shelter which evolved into her being the sole manager of the facility and all of its operations. Upon joining the Animal Care Sanctuary family in June, Michelle immediately jumped into every aspect of the ACS world. This enabled her to understand and evaluate not only the animal residents, but also the business aspect of the sanctuary as well. Over the past four months she has applied her knowledge and experience to initiate improvements where they could be most effective and she continues to look for ways to improve ACS’s environment on a daily basis. Michelle lives with her three cats; Mustachio, Corona and Muffin, her four dogs; Vincenza, Rags, Trixie and Bella, her Rooster, Ricky, and his chicklets and her cockatiel, Lola. She is located right in East Smithfield and is always on site, or so it seems, and spends her days balancing her office duties with lending her help and expertise to the staff as the need arises. Her tireless work and dedication to animal welfare is truly an inspiration and we look forward to her continued contributions to making ACS the number one animal sanctuary in Pennsylvania.



Annual ACS Staff Picnic Recently, at our company picnic, held at Round Top Park, six employees were recognized for their dedicated service. Eric Chase, our Board Treasurer, and Michelle Stymacks, Director of Operations, presented them with a certificate of appreciation and a gift card. We appreciate each employee at ACS and value their commitment and dedication to caring for the animals. Thank you!

Lesley Sinclair Fun Fact: Did you know that Lesley would always have Sesame Street on for the cats to watch?

Pictured is the Animal Care Sanctuary staff and board

She believed they enjoyed the show and would turn it on for them each day.

(Pictured left to right) Randy Conrad, Cat Area, 14+ years; Ed Roemmelt, Maintenance and Grounds Supervisor, 13 years; Cora Plouse (now retired), weekend Supervisor of the Cat Room, 20 years; Patricia Steves, Supervisor of the Cat Room, 12 years; Cheryl Patroskey, Cat Caregiver, 12 years; Cathy Corby, Cat Caregiver, 20 years Not pictured is Linda Grace, Laundry Attendant, 20 years and Sharon Slater (now retired), Caregiver, 6+ years.


Pleasing Projects Since Michelle began in mid-June, she identified some wasted space that could be utilized to help keep the animals happy. The photos show the work in progress and we hope by our next newsletter we will have a finished product for you to see. First, we are building a doggy playland that will be completely fenced. It encompasses about an acre and will allow dogs to romp and play off leash in a safe, secure but sizable area. Adopters and volunteers can throw balls and play Frisbee with dogs and bond with them. We look forward to also having more than one dog out at a time so they can socialize and play together to create needed stimuli and fulfill natural instincts.

Our second project is exciting, as well, and we are seeing the progress which is getting everyone excited. Our new Communal Cat Room is turning out better than we imagined. As you can see it went from an empty and rundown space to a kitty playroom. Dave Stymacks volunteered to make the cat ledges and walkways and has done the painting, as well. Many of the ledges were made with wood found at ACS and not being used so we took advantage of the supplies we could find here to make this room happen. The cats are going to love it. This will also be a room where potential adopters can go to sit with the cats and interact with them . If you would like to donate cat toys , cat scratch pads or donate towards carpeted kitty jungle gyms and houses please note “kitty room” on your donation. We chose blue and yellow for our colors to keep the room cheerful and uplifting. We know the cats will love being in there and as each one gets adopted we can let another one in to live.

Our third project is a new reception area and adoption center. Our plan is for our Adoption Coordinator to be accessible when people come in the door. Because winter will be here before we know it, we are constructing two adoption rooms so people aren’t hurried in the cold while meeting a dog. We can bring the dog inside where it is warm and adopters can sit and spend time with the dog with less distractions and feeling rushed. We will have a room for large dogs and one for small dogs. This new area will be utilizing the space that we now all call our office area which is wide open and in desperate need of new flooring. This project, in part, is being funded by the Ethel Perkins estate and the rooms will be named after her once complete. While we are making many changes here at ACS, please be assured what remains the same is Lesley Sinclair’s crusade to help unwanted and abandoned animals. Everyone here wants what is best for the animals and because of your generosity, we continue to follow the amazing legacy that Lesley left behind. Our vision is to continue to help the animals here and reach out to others to give them the chance they so deserve- to find someone to love and cherish them.



Rescued & Ready for Love ! Our adoption program has proved a huge success! We are pleased to announce that since the inception of our adoption program two months ago, we’ve had over 40 dogs and 10 cats find new and happy homes! And we are just getting started! Please be assured that all of us involved in the adoption program, from drawing up applications and agreements to recommending animals for a love match, are committed to finding responsible and loving homes for the animals. Our application asks for a vet reference and if they haven’t had a pet in the past, we ask for three personal references. We know the questions to ask and aren’t afraid to deny an applicant. Gail spends time with each adopter to see how they interact with the pet and also to see how the pet interacts with them. If someone is adopting a dog and they own a dog already, they are required to bring the dog here for introductions between the two. We know it’s stressful for animals to leave a shelter then go to a home, try to learn new rules and a new environment and then be returned to the shelter. When the animal leaves here , we want to ensure it’s the right home that will have patience as the animal transitions. Often the adopters are sending us photos and updates of how things are going. We are thrilled to see the pets in people’s arms and notes of how much they love them . We stress to people that there is a commitment involved and should things not work the pet must be returned to ACS. A contract must be signed by the adopters and witnessed by an ACS representative. We are very happy that the adoptions are proving successful. We hope you will share in our excitement knowing these animals are now in homes with someone to love and call their own.

GIVE THE GIFT OF HOPE Animal Care relies on your generous donations to house, care for, and find loving homes for our animals. We currently have over 600 cats, over 130 dogs, a horse, and two pigs. At Animal Care, we provide food, veterinary care, shelter, exercise, interaction and love for every one of our animal residents. At the same time we are increasing our community outreach to build awareness of our many adoptable, loving animals looking for permanent homes. All this requires your support. Donations of all levels are appreciated. We receive no government funding for the care of our animals, so we must rely completely on the generosity of caring animal lovers like you. Without your support, we simply could not continue to provide the shelter, care, and love these animals deserve. Please consider giving $20, $50, $100, or more. You can donate in a lump sum payment or in monthly installments. All donors receive our newsletter, which contains updates on improvements to Animal Care, events, and profiles of animals and employees.

Echo’s Story Echo is one of four kittens that arrived at ACS at the age of three weeks old. A kind person brought them to us after finding they were without a mother. Our caregivers provided the tender loving care they required, but Echo has had chronic ear problems her whole life. Recently a tumor was found in her ear and she will need extensive surgery to remove the tumor. If you would like to support Echo’s operation, please put “Echo” in your check memo or attach a note when sending your donation to Animal Care Sanctuary.

An Important Message To Our Donors In the interest of ensuring that as much money as possible goes directly to the care of the animals, ACS will no longer be sending out individual thank you letters for your donations. Instead, we will send out a year end letter to each donor detailing that year's contributions that you can use for tax deduction purposes. Please know that we still greatly appreciate your donations and are doing this to increase the impact your donations have on the animals care. We think you'll enjoy our quarterly and holiday newsletters in place of the individual thank you.


Kate’s Story Kate had a great life. She spent her first 7 years with a family that completely adored her. Then tragedy struck. As a result of recent economic changes, Kate’s family had to move. Sadly, they had to relocate to a place that did not allow pets as large as Kate. After a happy family life, Kate was surrendered to a large municipal high-kill impoundment facility. ACS has a strong working relationship with this facility, and took Kate just hours before she was to be euthanized. Kate came to us a bit scared and nervous from all the recent life changes. But, our diligent kennel staff began working with her right away to help her through this tough time. In just a few days Kate was social and happy and we thought, ready to find a new home. But things aren’t so easy for Kate. Evan, our assistant kennel manager, noticed Kate’s front right elbow was a bit swollen. We had the leg examined by a veterinarian. After some x-rays were taken, it was determined that Kate has osteosarcoma, bone cancer. Fortunately, after bloodwork and additional chest and abdominal x-rays, the cancer has not spread beyond that bone.

Lady Needs Your Help

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone tumor in dogs, usually occurring in middle age or elderly large dogs. It develops deep within the bone and becomes more painful as it extends outward, usually over 1-3 months, as normal bone tissue is replaced with cancerous tissue. Cancerous bone is not as strong as normal bone tissue, and normal activity can result in bone breakage. The most effective treatment for osteosarcoma is amputation of the affected leg. While loss of a limb is extremely disabling in humans, dogs are not restricted in activity by the loss of one limb out of four. After the surgical recovery period is over, dogs fully regain the ability to run and play as before. The recuperative and compensative abilities of dogs far surpasses that of humans. Dogs do not feel self conscious about their image or disfigured by the loss of a limb. Removal of the affected limb is 100% effective. Not treating the limb results in spreading of the cancer throughout the body, significant pain, and death. Kate will have her leg amputated, at a total cost of treatment of approximately $1000.00. After she has recovered, we hope to find Kate a wonderful home where she can live out the rest of her life without the pain of this cancer, and the heartache of losing her first home. If you would like to donate towards Kate’s surgery, please notate “Kate’s Cancer Surgery” on your check or donation.

Introducing Patricia Steves Patricia Steves is the Manager of the Cat Caregivers at ACS. She resides with her spouse Scott, dog, Lexi, two birds and fish, in Sayre,PA. Tricia enjoys camping and spends her days off at their camper at Pine Cradle Lake in the spring and summer months. She is known here as “Tricia” and has worked for Animal Care Sanctuary for twelve years. When asked what she likes most about working here, Tricia responded with “making a difference in the lives of animals.” Tricia is pictured here with one of her favorite cats, Jasmine, who is a Siamese mix and likes to be pet on her terms only. We value Tricia’s experience, knowledge and willingness to help with anything. Thank you Tricia, for your commitment and service to ACS!

Lady came to ACS with a past injury. She apparently had had a broken leg at some point and it was never repaired, so it didn’t heal correctly. Our veterinarian examined Lady and has determined that Lady needs her leg amputated. Lady had a rough beginning and it seems that she is still down on her luck; in spite of all the love and attention she receives here. If you would like to help Lady, please reference Lady with your gift.



Wish List Food Needs Baby Food Meat Varieties (Turkey, Chicken, Beef) *PLEASE BE SURE IT DOES NOT CONTAIN ONION POWDER* Low Sodium Chicken Broth Kitten Milk Replacer Dry Kitten Food Purina One Lamb & Rice Dry Dog Food Purina UR Canned & Dry Cat Foods (Special Needs) Purina OM Canned & Dry Cat Foods (Special Needs) Hills Prescription DD Canned & Dry Cat Foods (Special Needs) Dog Treats (All Kinds) Cat Treats (All Kinds) Canned Dog Food (Any Variety) Clinic Needs Betadine Isopropoyl Alcohol Glucosamine (Vitamin Section of Any Store) L-Lysine (Vitamin Section of Any Store) Dog Shampoo/Conditioner Animal Nursing Bottles Topical Flea Treatment General Needs Paper Towels Toilet Paper Liquid Dish Soap Hand Sanitizer Large Lawn Size Trash Bags Kitchen Size Trash Bags Small Paper Plates Towels/Blankets/Pet Bedding Creature Comfort Needs Cat Beds Dog Beds Cat Toys Equine Pine Pellet Animal Bedding Newspaper Pillow Cases Warm Blankets Gift Card Needs PetSmart or PetCo Tractor Supply WalMart KMart Target CVS Lowe's

A “Happily Ever After” Story In mid August, a woman saw a family of dogs running up the road in front of her around midnight. Not able to just pass them by, she picked up the mom and puppies and loaded them in her jeep. When she was just about to pull away, she heard a rustling in the weeds. She went to investigate and there saw a pitiful sight. A small dog, the father of the family she just loaded into the jeep, with a cable around his neck and so tightly wound around the bushes, he couldn’t move. After some trouble getting him untangled, this good Samaritan put him in the jeep as well. The next day she brought the family in to us. Skyler, as the “dad” was named, babysat his puppies and cared for them as if he were the mom. His puppies fell ill, but made it through it well thanks to our phenomenal kennel manager and veterinarian’s quick response and wonderful care. Skyler continued to care for his puppies through their illness. It was clear to us that this was a very special dog. After the puppies were out of the woods, a visitor came to ACS. Pam and Paul Rively drove more than 4 hours to see the dogs we had available for adoption. They saw little Skyler, and it was love at first sight – for all of them! Pam and Paul had been without a dog for 6 years. They’d lost their 2 dogs, Nick and Cassie, to old age and illness that they desperately tried to treat, and felt that no other dog could fill the void in their hearts that was left by their passing. But then they met Skyler… Skyler has been with the Rively family since early September. We receive frequent updates about Skyler, and they keep getting better and better. Skyler is “The love of their lives” He sleeps with them every night, he is such a love, and “everything they wanted and more” Skyler has more than filled the void left by Nick and Cassie, he’s filling a different place in their hearts as well, one they never knew was lacking. Skyler is wonderful with every person and dog he meets. He loves to go for walks and is always at Pam’s side – whether they’re out for a ride or just doing some housework. They are finding that he is especially good with disabled individuals, walking right next to a wheelchair as any good therapy dog would do. In a recent conversation with Pam about Skyler, she noted, “He is just what I needed in my life right now. Thank you for finding him for me” Skyler will be participating with Pam in an upcoming Cancer Walk. He’ll be sporting a custom made shirt telling everyone where he came from, and we’re sure he’ll bring much joy to both the participants and those who will be benefiting from the walk. Skyler, and the Rively family, certainly found their happily ever after.

Cats and Dogs and Squirrels? OH MY! A few weeks ago we received a call asking if we could save four baby squirrels whose mother had been killed. Without hesitation Michelle, our Director of Operations, told them we would take them in and immediately went to work researching how to care for them. They came in weak and scared and Michelle had to bottle feed them. They were about five weeks old when they arrived. She set up a cage here in our main office, complete with towels and a small box for them to hide in. Squirrels need to be kept warm so a few times a day Michelle would heat a plastic disc in the microwave and wrap it in a towel for them. Unfortunately two of the squirrels weren’t taking to bottle feeding very well and didn’t survive after the first week. The two that remain are Pistachio and Almond, and they are thriving at five months old. Their cage has a tree branch for them to climb on and towels to keep warm, along with some berries, fruit and nuts to eat. They are doing well and we are hoping to release them when they are ready. Saving and nursing these squirrels back to health is just yet another way Michelle continually demonstrates her selflessness, compassion and knowledge here at ACS.


ACS Visits Cornell On Sunday, August 2, 2009, Animal Care Givers from Animal Care Sanctuary attended a workshop on Shelter Medicine, held at the prestigious Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Speakers gave presentations on various topics such as the importance of keeping detailed data not only on the animals you accept, but those that you are requested to accept and don't. Emphasis was on tracking the pet overpopulation in certain areas . Another presenter discussed cat behavior and reducing stress in the cat areas. Simple changes such as cage locations, visual and verbal stimuli, noise reduction, and hammocks in the cages can greatly improve a cat’s security and mental state. While we provide high standards of care here at ACS, we still applied these new ideas and Patricia and Joan implemented them first thing Monday morning. Another speaker from the Tompkins County Department of Health discussed rabies, which included a detailed question and answer session. We were educated on symptoms, when quarantine is necessary and not necessary and what should be done if we suspect an animal is infected with rabies and has bitten or scratched someone. Because we are a large facility and receive many calls each day for animal surrenders, this topic was of vital interest and importance to all of us. Another veterinarian spoke about administering medicines in the shelter and discussed feline and canine upper respiratory infections. The all day seminar was informative and educational for all of us.

Pictured from left to right are: Gail Stymacks (Adoption Coordinator), Michelle Stymacks (Director of Operations), Joan Hilstolsky (Cat Area Assistant Manager) and Patricia Steves (Cat Area Manager).

Meet Matt Eggers Matthew Eggers, known as “Matt,” is the Manager of the Dog Caregivers. Matt resides in Waverly, and he and Amanda are expecting their first child! I have seen Matt with animals and he will be an amazing father. Matt and Amanda share their home with four dogs named Raz, Haley, Precious and Sadie, along with three cats, Tootsie, Hussy and Scooter. No doubt he is another animal lover sharing his love with animals at ACS. Matt has worked for ACS for a year and is never afraid to put in extra hours. When asked what he likes about working here, he replied : “ It’s fun and I get to work with animals, and have an impact on their lives every day of the week.” Matt is always willing to come in even on a day off if we need him and like so many at ACS, he is not afraid to pitch in and learn a new task. He is always looking for ways to improve the animals’ lives here. I chuckle when I see Matt with a small dog or even a kitten. I have observed him holding very small dogs, some old, and talking to them and putting a kiss on their heads before putting them down on the floor—and he didn’t know I saw him—now he does! The secret is out, Matt, you are a big softy!! Matt is pictured with Sam who is a rottwieler mix. Matt says about Sam, “ I love Sam because he has the best personality. He’s great with other dogs and walks very well on a leash. The reason I have taken to him so is because he reminds me of a dog my family had when I was young, named Gretchen.” We truly value Matt’s dedication and his overall work ethic at ACS.

In Our Next Newsletter: A look into Puppy Mills Puppy Mill Awareness Michelle and Gail will be attending this important annual event! ___________________ Charitable Giving ___________________ Completed Projects ___________________ New Projects ___________________ Open House Highlights ___________________ Upcoming Events



Animal Care Sanctuary P.O. Box A East Smithfield, PA 18817 Phone (570) 596-2200 Fax (570) 596-2210 E-mail

“Unless one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

Introducing Gail Stymacks Gail Stymacks, also referred to as “Mom” by many, has dove into her role here as Adoption Coordinator. Gail resides in East Smithfield, PA, with her husband, Dave. Gail has three children, including Michelle, our very own Director, and two dogs, Patches and Onyx, along with two cats, Shasta and Smoke. Gail loves dogs and cats and thinks nothing of picking up an older dog or sick cat and comforting it at her desk. She has a soft spot for the seniors and she can be seen holding and comforting them throughout the day. Gail has worked for ACS since the end of June. She began as a volunteer and became our Adoption Coordinator once we had our Adoption program functioning. Gail filled an important need as we have many people emailing and calling about our adoptable pets. Gail enjoys talking to people about our animals and always makes them feel special if they visit. She gives anyone who comes here special attention and helps them find a love connection. Gail is someone who is always willing to take on new tasks and isn’t afraid to help someone if she knows they are busy. Gail answers many emails and phone calls from potential adopters. Once she receives the adoption application, she begins to process it, which entails calling veterinarians or personal references and asking important questions about the adopter. Once approved, Gail advises the adopter and proceeds to facilitate the adoption. Gail keeps busy promoting adoptions and is willing to meet with people on evenings and even Sundays if they cannot visit during our normal adoption hours. Gail always seems to be doing extra things and never seems to mind helping anyone. She bakes lots of goodies for our staff meetings and really is a Mom to many of us. We are lucky to have Gail at ACS as our Adoption Coordinator. She loves the animals and wants the best homes for them. Gail is pictured with Crissy, one of our senior dogs in need of a loving home to live out her remaining years.

Animal Care Sanctuary P.O. Box A East Smithfield, PA 18817 NON-PROFIT MAILING

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Animal Care Sanctuary Fall 2009 Newsletter  

fall 2009 newsletter

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