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Joshua Thomas
One of Pack Ethic Rescue's horses, Ghost.

Joshua Thomas
A Pack Ethic Rescue horse, Dee Dee.

Joshua Thomas
A Pack Ethic Rescue dog, Tofu, is blind and sweet-as-can-be.

Joshua Thomas
Pack Ethic Rescue operator Eric Bellows pets Tofu, a blind rescue dog.


Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc. helps animals in need with donor and volunteer help

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - Updated: 9:43 AM


C-S-E Editor

SPRAKERS -- Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc., Sprakers, has been awarded a grant from, a charitable organization devoted to improving the health and well being of people, pets and the planet, as part of the Animal Rescue Site's 2014 Shelter Challenge.

The $1,000 will pay for half of a walk in area at the 25-acre Sprakers facility, aimed at benefitting Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc.'s farm animals, which Owner Eric Bellows said arrived unexpectedly, requiring the sudden construction of two enclosures for winter.

"The $1,000 grant was a big help," said Bellows, noting that the rest of the project was funded by donations from supporters, as is all of Pack Ethic Rescue's operations. Bellows explained that Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc. is not your average rescue, as he and his wife Kari Whitfield, rescue not only one type of animal -- the rescue all animals.

"We try to be there for any animal in need," said Bellows, explaining that the 60 animals currently on his property include dogs, four cows, 30 chickens, three goats, and seven horses (including two that Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc. has housed throughout the winter, as they were embroiled in a legal dispute, but will soon be returned to their owner).

Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc. has been in operation for ten years, starting relatively small,  the first four years spent on a 3/4 acre property in CT. The goal, Bellows noted, aside from bettering the lives of animals in need, is to expand annually, which includes spring projects targeted at "bettering the lives of all the animals out here." Walk in areas and fencing projects will soon be completed, and Bellows said that there are more projects that will immediately follow.

The feed and electricity required for all the animals on the property requires substantial donations, and Bellows stated, "there are times when we don't get enough donations, but we will do anything to make sure that we run," which sometimes includes working on local farms to supplement donated income.

At Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc., "the animals are what counts, and that's the bottom line."

That statement sums up Bellows' life ethic. Raised on a 150 acre farm in CT, his father was a dog warden who was always active in animal rescue. Bellows explained that as dog warden, his father was only supposed to keep animals for 8 or 9 days before putting them down, but instead of killing the creatures when their time ran out, he'd take them home, then returning them a month or so later so that their pictures could again be placed in papers, giving each animal another chance.

The first animal Bellows rescued, he explained, was a thoroughbred Philly horse -- a jumper who had broke her ankle. Back then, horses with broken bones would've immediately been put down, but because a local veterinarian knew of Eric's father's passion for saving animals, he contacted him and she was given a second chance. Bellows explained, "they said she'd never jump again, but she used to jump my fences to get to the apple orchard."

It was from these experiences, Bellows said, that he learned patience, which is a virtue that's necessary at Pack Ethic Rescue, as he and Whitfield believe in taking their time to rehabilitate animals. "We use all positive training, no force training," he said. Each animal's situation is different, and the fact that 24 hours, seven days a week is devoted to their care -- with all the dogs on the property living inside the house -- ensures that each animal is given the detailed care and time to follow the rehabilitative steps required to truly bring them to their utmost health and potential.

Bellows said it's important to get to know each animal, because to adopt them out, it's necessary to find the perfect home for them, taking their history into consideration. Some animals need space to run free, for instance, and require a relaxed country setting as opposed to fast-moving city life. "We don't want to set up a family to fail with a dog that might get uncomfortable in a certain situation," Bellows explained, noting that Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc., has a 95 percent placement success rate.

There are many animals on the property who have been given a second chance, and will live on the property for the rest of their lives, such as the majestic, white 24-year-old horse Bullvye, a former Amish horse that was worked his whole life pulling sheds and farm implements, always hooked to a harness, a permanent mark on his nose issuing a reminder of his past.

Now, Bullvye "never has to worry about working again," said Bellows, explaining that the horse, who came to live with them nearly crippled and extremely downtrodden, "has freedom and friends, and he'll get to live out the rest of his days here."

Because they love to share their work with people, Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc., operates a website, at:; a Facebook, under "Eric Pack Ethic Bellows", that supplies daily photos and updates, along with a Youtube page.

There will also be two open houses held on the property this summer where people will be able to meet adoptable dogs, along with the rest of Pack Ethic Rescue's animals. Young people, such as local girl scouts, are also frequently welcomed to the property to interact with animals, which gives them exposure to more kind, loving interaction.

A fundraising bake sale will be held Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 230 Amsterdam Commons (Kohl's Plaza) with tons of pies and cakes to bring in money for the animals' continued care.

To contact Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc., to report animal abuse, to adopt an animal, to volunteer, or to provide donations, follow the links at the website.

Joshua Thomas - Bullvye is a rescued, former-Amish work horse, that, at 24-years-old, will now live out the rest of his life with complete freedom.

Joshua Thomas - The horses (including former circus horse Red, at right) and cows at Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc., feed.

Joshua Thomas - Thor, part of Pack Ethic Rescue's "core pack", which helps new rescue dogs come out of their shells, playfully squeezes his nose through a fence Monday.

Joshua Thomas - Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc. operator Eric Bellows pets Thor.

Joshua Thomas - Rudd, Grady and Mabel, three goats who were rescued from a local barn fire.

Joshua Thomas - Hera, one of the rescue dogs at Pack Ethic Rescue, Inc.


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