Pets Alive Westchester Protects, Nurtures Adoptable Pets

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Dogs, cats, rabbits and other adoptable pets are waiting for new homes at Pets Alive.
Dogs, cats, rabbits and other adoptable pets are waiting for new homes at Pets Alive. Photo Credit: Pets Alive
Four-year old "Trouble' is looking for an owner.
Four-year old "Trouble' is looking for an owner. Photo Credit: Pets Alive

ELMSFORD, N.Y. - There is an owner for every pet and Pets Alive Westchester's no-kill animal sanctuary has made the work of matching adoptable animals of all kinds with loving owners.

Staffed by a caring and experienced staff of volunteers, Pets Alive gas worked to extend the lives of animals and find each of them since taking over the old Elmsford Animal Shelter.

"I have have often been struck by the close bonds forged by the animals and volunteers," volunteer Melissa Share said. "I have walked most of the dogs there and found them to be utterly appealing- loving, affectionate, and strong despite their difficult situations."

Before Pets Alive took over, the Elmsford shelter housed more than 500 dogs, many of whom were cramped five to an enclosure, according to Share. The other side of the shelter houses dogs rescued from High-Kill animal shelters in the south or as far as Puerto Rico. 

Pets Alive Westchester (or PAW) regularly sends staff to an airport to pick up cages of animals who have left very precarious positions in other shelters.

"Cats were housed in carriers Tokyo apartment-style, one on top of the other," Share said. "Now, there are rarely more than two dogs per enclosure; usually there is only one and if there are two, the dogs have proven to be old friends or at least on the way to being so. There are now only 100 of these "Legacy" dogs who range in age from adult to seniors. These animals hold the greatest appeal for me personally- some have been in the shelter for 10 years."

Prospective owners interested in adoption go through a process designed to find an animal best suited to their lifestyle. The staff will introduce owners to an animal that interests them and will even do a canine or feline meet-and-greet if the prospective owner has another pet.

"People are provided plenty of time to get to know the dog/cat/rabbit that has captured their attention," Share said. "Prospective owners fill out a form  indicating whether they will adopt or opt to "forever foster" the animal. PAW provides medical care and free boarding to animals that have been forever fostered. This is a terrific program."

Pets Alive is a non-profit 501 c3 organization operating solely on donations, receiving no funding from city or state.

For more information, log on to the Pets Alive website or contact PAW at

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Comments (6)

I almost forgot, the animals ALL have kuranda beds and water on the inside of the kennels. Every kennel is an indoor/outdoor run with heat/ac on the inside. They have free access in and out all day. Please make sure you understand a situation before blasting it, it's only the animals you hurt.

I hope everyone can disregard the above two comments. Until you spend every day around these loving creatures, and understand how valuable their lives are then please don't comment. As a volunteer at this sanctuary and many others, I have never been so pleased with the level of work and effort done here. The article states there are only 100 of the 500 remaining, meaning about 400 are now in homes. I would say that's better than euthanizing? Each and every one of these dogs gets love and attention every day from staff and volunteers. There is not a single day I have been there that I am the only volunteer. And yes there may be poop sometimes but there is not enough staff to follow every dog around until they poop. One last thing, Pets alive adopts out over 80 animals a month, meaning that many more get to be saved each month. So even if you choose to listen to the negativity don't take it out on the animals and say they don't deserve their chance at a loving home, even if it may take longer than others.

I took a tour of their "sanctuary" not too long ago...almost every dog had urine and feces in their kennel run. The dogs didn't have blankets or kuranda beds or anything else to block the cold of the concrete. I was told that not all of the dogs get a chance to be out if their kennel runs each day.

Regarding the comment above: Perhaps you were there before kennels were cleaned? They are cleaned regularly. Each dog has a karunda and blankets- although there are some dogs who tear blankets to shreds so they may have fewer blankets than other dogs. Pets Alive West volunteers are the most dedicated human beings I have ever met. I would suggest that you might get a better picture if you visited more than once. Maybe you could even volunteer.

Sadly , their" no kill" policy has resulted in much suffering and unhappy lives of pets forced to live out their lives in crowded conditions, an un-natural existence, and often devoid of social contact. If one looks closely at so called " no kill" shelters it would seem on the surface that it is a noble undertaking.But it is misguided and mostly results in unhappy lives. While the article mentions 500 dogs under the former management, no mention is made has to just how many pets are currently housed at the shelter. Why? I've seen sick animals at this place.There comes a time when responsible pet owners need to make the humane descion... which to end suffering.There are just far too may pets and too few homes. That is the reality. No kill= increased suffering. There are too many other Shelters with a more compassionate approach. Adopt elsewhere.

Correction: There were 500 dogs in the shelter when Pets Alive took over. There are now fewer that 200 of those dogs remaining in the shelter. The staff and volunteers bend over backwards to care for any sick animals they have. Of the dogs who remain, there are always those who fall prey to the decline of health in old age. Talk to the staff and volunteers about how they rally around their beloved animals and you may get a brighter picture that you have painted here.