The Voice

A few months ago, two auctions were held with the winners having the opportunity to spend a day at Pets Alive with Linda. The first auction took place on June 1, 2013 at the Pets Alive Fur Ball Gala Fundraiser, and the winners were Frank Accosta and Stuart Fish. The second auction was held right here on and there were three winners: Lynn Adler, Trish Burns and Regan Van Dunk. The generosity of these five individuals has helped to make a big difference in the lives of the animals being cared for at Pets Alive. Together they contributed well over $1,000 and the company of one winner matched her donation to increase the total.

A great day at Pets Alive!

(At left: from left to right) Trish Burns, Regan Van Dunk, Linda Eder, Ellen Jacobs, Stuart Fish, Frank Accosta, and Lynn Adler.

(Above) Linda and the volunteers meet with Murphy, the fan-sponsored retired NYC carriage horse who lives at Pets Alive.

On September 28, 2013, Frank, Lynn, Trish, Stuart, and Regan made their way to Pets Alive in Middletown, New York to begin their day with Linda. It was one of those perfect autumn days with a crystal clear blue sky and comfortable temperatures… a day when it is so wonderful to spend quality time outside enjoying Mother Nature. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. We hope you enjoy reading about the experience of spending the day at Pets Alive with Linda in the words of those who were there.

Frank Accosta and Linda Eder
Stuart Fish and Linda Eder

Frank Accosta from New York writes…

It is always a pleasure to be at Pets Alive and truly feel the love that the volunteers and staff have for the magnificent creatures they care for. But on this beautiful day, the sunshine was even brighter as actress, singer and songwriter Linda Eder gave of herself to share the day with us. Stuart and I were thrilled to be part of it.

Having had pets most of my life, I was accustomed to visiting with the cats and dogs (which I will come back to later), but a true treat of this visit was the time spent with the pot belly pigs, the miniature horses and, of course, the famous Mr. Murphy. I have never had the opportunity to feed a horse or rub the coarse hair of the pigs (and yes, it's so easy to squeal along with them). 

At lunch we had an opportunity to chat about how we got involved with Pets Alive and although all of our paths were different, we arrived at the same vital sanctuary. During lunch we also met two recent rescues, elderly dogs who were uncared for when their owner passed away. They were in such bad shape and had severe health issues but yet, with sweet compassion, the staff pleaded with us to help find these guys a forever home. No animal is too old or unwanted to have a good home, and the staff works really hard to make sure that happens.

Thanks Linda for a great day.... A little song would have made it perfect!





Lynn Adler from New York writes…

As a long-time quarter-tosser and Pets Alive supporter and even longer-time Linda Eder fan, the prospect of spending an afternoon at the sanctuary with Linda was both thrilling and a bit daunting.

Lynn Adler and Linda Eder

Linda’s great quarter story – trying mid-performance to pick up a quarter that turned out to be nailed down intentionally to mark center stage – has made many of us aware of Pets Alive, the recipient of all of the quarters that fans have since tossed intentionally on Linda's stages. And I was grateful for the chance to help Linda raise more money for the sanctuary as well as get to spend a crisp fall day with her and Trish, Regan, Stuart, Frank and Ellen, learning about the Pets Alive mission and petting everything from potbelly pigs to kittens and horses.

The multi-acre, no-kill shelter has an amazing back-story. Sarah Whalen, its founder, was not much of a pet lover until her very young son was saved in the woods by a neighboring golden retriever named Brandy that was homeless after her elderly owner passed away. She then rescued the rescuer, and any other kind of animal that needed help.

Many years later, when Sarah met with friends that I had sent from Long Island to see about adopting a dog, she was still teary talking about this golden that opened her heart so widely to all animals. Before Brandy, Sarah had said she followed her mother’s motto of loving animals from afar: the farther the better.

Pets Alive has survived a near foreclosure and other financial setbacks over the years, as well as Sarah’s passing. But the shelter has found angels in critical moments, saving Pets Alive and its animals from the brink of extinction.     

(photo by Lynn Adler)

Now, there are horses being held while an abuse case plays out; rescued potbelly pigs that Linda fed popcorn; Murphy, the long-time resident who is a retired NY carriage horse and recipient of many Linda-inspired quarters; a miniature horse; a mass of dogs in a maze of large outdoor crates; an entire house filled solely with cats and kittens.

We all got an extensive tour by the great staff and met many volunteers, learned some dog clicker training, and I got to take a very eager dog for a walk on a beautiful and rocky path.  

There was much to absorb. 

Linda taught us how to tell by a line across a horse's hoof where his healthy nutrition at Pets Alive took over from poor prior treatment. And there was dog dropped off by one of his divorcing "parents" who said their new home lacked enough running space. How could this loving pet understand being suddenly left alongside so many other dogs but without his family?

Then Dottsie Perez, the new executive director, told us she really needed help in getting the word out about two small dogs rescued after their owner was found deceased. Both small dogs had come a long way after a seemingly long period of neglect, but faced costly medical requirements.

At this point, if I were still a bit nervous or wondering if this experience might be like what Linda would feel hanging for an afternoon with Judy Garland, Linda reinforced how warm, down-to-earth and generous she appears during and after every performance. Linda got down on the ground and separately held each dog, making videos to post on Facebook and seeking any support possible from her fans for these two vulnerable and adorable senior pets.

In the days and weeks since, I have been thrilled to see Pets Alive reporting a steady stream of adoptions of animals of all types. I only wish I lived closer to be able to regularly volunteer.

All around, this was an amazing opportunity and unforgettable day. Thank you so much, Linda, for everything.


Trish Burns from New York writes…

Trish Burns and Linda Eder

Several years ago, Linda Eder held an online auction to benefit her pet charity (pun intended) Pets Alive. The grand prize of this auction was 3 spots to spend a day with Linda herself doing some volunteer work at Pets Alive. I was very excited when I saw those, but quickly realized they were not to be mine. The winners had a wonderful time, and a lot of money was raised for a very worthy animal sanctuary, thanks to Linda's generosity. (I got a hat....!)  

Well, this summer, Linda again generously offered to donate her time and auctioned off 3 more spots on her website plus 2 more at the annual Pets Alive Fur Ball, where she was the headliner. This time around (pun again intended), I was not to be deterred!! I didn't know how I would arrange the time off for an unknown date, but I was determined to figure out some way to get there! My friend Regan won Auction #1, and the heat was on! I managed to win Auction # 2 (I have not spent a fortune on Ebay without learning SOMETHING...!), and then I sat back to worry about whether I would be free on Linda's chosen date. I was, and I thought... this was too easy! Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans...! That date was not good for others, so Ellen diligently resumed correspondence with us all, including poor Linda, and finally September 28th was named THE DAY!

September 28, 2013 dawned gloomy and foggy where I am from, and the fog and clouds intensified during my early morning drive. I kept waiting for the rain and a text from Ellen telling me we couldn't do this, but once I passed Schenectady, the sun came out and “Blue Skies” prevailed. 

I arrived just ahead of Linda, dressed to do some serious work. Instead, we were given a lovely tour of the facility with Linda, and were thrilled to meet many of the lucky animals who have been given a second chance at life at Pets Alive. The staff was all very gracious. We met Norman and his fellow pot-bellied pig cronies, who decided that a mud bath was in order while we were with them! They were really sweet and loved the attention. Then it was on to the horses. They are really such beautiful animals... it is not hard to see why Linda loves them. 

We spent some quality time with “our” horse, Murphy, the retired NYC carriage horse. Some other “Eder friends” had recently paid a visit to Pets Alive. They told of how Murphy was a bit aloof and really did not interact with them, so I kind of expected the same. Well, this day he obviously KNEW he was in the company of greatness!! He came over to see us with no fuss at all and simply LOVED the attention he garnered from Linda! Obviously, he is a HUGE fan and a horse of discriminating taste!! And, he knows an animal lover from across the fence! He even posed gladly for pictures! All of Murphy's horse friends were equally as charming - we enjoyed them all.

From there it was on to the dogs - my favorites! We met so many, including Precious, a senior sweetheart. It's really amazing that I got out of there without adopting a few - if I could, I would bring them all home with me! Robin, the behavioral therapist (for the animals, not us!), was kind enough to spend time with us and teach us “clicker therapy.” You give the dog a command, click the clicker, then immediately reward them as they comply, like Pavlov in reverse. Linda and I came away from that smelling like liverwurst, but it is effective! We met a beautiful boy who had just been dropped off at Pets Alive that morning. My heart broke to think that he had woken up with a home and a family and by lunchtime was in a strange place in a cage with no idea why. But, thank God that a wonderful place like Pets Alive exists to take these babies in, to try to find them new loving homes, or to allow them to remain there happily in case that is not to be. We also met Pooh Bear and Eeyore, two other newbies who had been abused and neglected. Linda, in her always generous fashion, offered to film a video spot with these two senior dogs, hoping to find them “furever” homes for their remaining years! It turned out great!

We then broke for lunch, which the kind Pets Alive staff generously provided for us. We enjoyed some yummy food, and pleasant conversation with Linda, and spent some time getting acquainted with each other and telling our “how we found Linda” stories! Isn't almost always the same? A man walks into a room and stops cold in his tracks to hear this glorious voice singing in one form or another. We're from such varied places, but amazingly so much alike in Ederville, are we not? It was lovely to have this time with Linda away from the concert venues, and to get acquainted or reacquainted with some new “Eder friends!”

(photo by Lynn Adler)

After our lovely lunch under the trees and walks down the trail with some pups, it was on to the cat house! Yes indeed, the lucky felines at Pets Alive actually have their own house!!! There were kittens and grown cats of all shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments to be snuggled and played with! Linda herself fell in love with a black and white boy named Noah, who reminded those of us of a certain age, (ahem!) of Felix the Cat. Can't believe she got out of there without him! Ellen, a kitty mommy in her own right, was also hard pressed to leave a few orange beauties behind.

Then, all too soon, our lovely day at Pets Alive came to an end. We reluctantly said goodbye to Linda and to each other. It was lovely to meet Lynn again, and Stuart and Frank, and to spend the day with my friend Regan, and. of course, with the wonderful and generous Linda herself. 

Watching Linda interact with those animals of every distinction was a great joy for me. The genuine love she has for them was immediately apparent - as much to them as it was to me, and it was beautiful to watch her with them. They are drawn to her - they sense her affection for them is natural and real. I was so very privileged to spend this time with Linda and to share that. Thank you does not begin to express how lucky I felt to be able to spend time with you, Linda. For lack of more eloquence, thank you so much for all that you do for all creatures, both 2 and 4 legged, with your music, your life, and just by being the beautiful soul that you are. 

Pets Alive is so lucky to have a gem like Linda in their corner, as are we all. Please continue to help her support their efforts and their good works to care for these beautiful animals with your contributions - your quarters go a long way in the life of these “furbabies” - a cause near and dear to Linda's heart. If you live nearby, volunteer! And, if an opportunity like this ever arises again, I say jump on it! You will help support Pets Alive, and you will enrich your own life and expand your own heart after a day such as we had! As I always say... Linda is THE BEST!


Regan Van Dunk from New York writes…

Regan Van Dunk and Linda Eder

After many emails being sent back and forth from Ellen and the other auction winners to choose a day that worked best, the final date was chosen for us to join Linda for a day at Pets Alive. September 28th it was! We couldn't have picked a more perfect day to visit with the animals of Pets Alive! The weather was beautiful with sunshine and perfect temperatures. We all arrived about the same time, which was 11 a.m.

Our first stop was to visit the pot belly pigs! They were adorable! A little shy at first but they warmed up quickly and allowed Linda to feed them popcorn. They apparently LOVE popcorn. We were told a few things about them like where they came from and how they make amazing indoor pets! They can be trained to use the litter box just like a cat. 

Next, we went to visit the horses. They are such beautiful animals. I had never fed a horse before but received a quick feeding lesson from Linda. She told me to hold my hand out with the food so they don't bite any fingers when they eat the grass. I never gave it a thought that they couldn't see past their noses. We also got the chance to finally meet Murphy, the retired  NYC carriage horse. He was even more beautiful in person and quite friendly. It was nice to see him happy and grazing in the pasture, right where he belongs. 

Our next stop was the dog compound. There are so many dogs of different breeds waiting to be adopted. It broke my heart to see them all. If I could have, I would have taken them all home with me! The dog cages are labeled with colored paper to inform people of which dogs you are able to approach. The green paper is for the well behaved dogs ready for adoption. The yellow paper is for dogs that are pretty well behaved but need more training. The red paper is for the dogs that have some issues which the wonderful people at Pets Alive work with to make them adoptable. They were all precious and quite the barkers.

Our last stop of the day was at the cat and kitten house. There are a lot of cats that need homes as well. They were all friendly, so friendly one of them bit me when I wasn't looking! The kittens were just as sweet. Some were a little shy, and then there were those that were all over everyone looking for some love. Every single one was purrfectly adorable!

It was a fun time had by all. I enjoyed my day with Linda and the sweet animals of Pets Alive. The staff really takes good care of each and every animal and loves them equally. It's an awesome organization. I hope that all the animals are able to find good homes soon. If you love animals, check them out… donate... adopt! :) 


The staff at Pets Alive is so grateful for your generosity and was thrilled to show off their facility and their precious animals. Thank you Frank, Lynn, Trish, Stuart, and Regan!


Fun with the animals at Pets Alive!

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(c)2013 Linda Eder