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Stories from HART


Paula Yudelevit


Simon Pearce, located at 265 Glass Drive in Oakland, MD, is holding a very special fundraiser this Saturday for HART for Animals. If you are in need of a special gift to mark a special occasion or are just looking for a beautiful glass addition to your home, go to Simon Pearce on Saturday, August 18, starting at 10:00 AM, and 10% of all sales will be donated to HART for Animals. Thank you...and the adoptable animals thank you, too!

Deep Creek Lake Art, Wine & Beer Festival

Paula Yudelevit


14th Annual Deep Creek Lake Art, Wine & Beer Festival – September 8, 2018

Click here for festival website

The Deep Creek Lake Art, Wine & Beer Festival returns on Saturday, September 8 to McHenry, MD with two added features: a craft beer tent and a football lounge. The festival is from noon to 6:00 pm at the Garrett County Fairgrounds.

The festival, held as a benefit for HART for Animals and the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF), begins Friday, September 7, with pre-fix wine pairing dinners at local restaurants surrounding Deep Creek Lake and the nearby vicinity. The popular dinners pair appetizers, entrees, and desserts with wines from Maryland, as well as wines throughout the United States. Menus for the dinners are posted on the event’s website at

More than 200 Maryland and national wines and twenty craft beers will be available for tasting. In addition, a selection of premium wines will be available for tasting in the Premium Wine Tasting Area. For an additional cost, guests will enjoy highly rated and estate-bottled wines, along with hors d’oeuvres in a private area in the Exhibit Hall.

The new craft beer tent will be located in the parking lot adjacent to the Exhibit Hall. Local, regional and national small craft beers will be available for tasting. The beers may also be purchased in the Wine & Beer Store, located in the Exhibit Hall.

Guests can also watch the college game of the week on a big screen TV in the new Mountain State Brewing Company/The Stogie Company Football Lounge. Ice cold tap beer will be on sale in the lounge and the Stogie Company will be offering their cigars in the Cigar tent immediately outside the lounge area.

Guests will also enjoy works by 40 local and regional artisans.  Jewelry, pottery, oil paintings, hand crafted wood work and more will be featured. Food artisans include handcrafted cheeses, pasta, biscotti and other delectable food items.

“We are really excited about the newest additions to the festival” says co-chair Paula Yudelevit. “Now those that don’t drink wine can enjoy some great craft beers. And the new football lounge with beer and cigars is going to be a huge hit! Plus, the fairgrounds are a perfect location too – a very laid-back, grass-roots atmosphere.”

An online program for smart phones and other mobile devices allows patrons to view the wines and save their selections to a Favorite page will be available on Saturday at the event.

Advance tickets to the festival are $30 (which includes a service charge) online at, and $35 at the entrance to the festival on Saturday, September 8. The cost includes entry to the festival, unlimited wine tasting, beer tasting, and a commemorative glass. Under 21 and entry only is $12 per person. 12 and under are admitted free. The Premium Wine Tasting Area is $30 per person and includes ten wine tasting tickets. Guests may purchase the premium wines in the main wine store. Guests must have an adult festival wrist band for admittance.

Art & Wine Festival lodging packages are available at participating hotels, B&Bs and resort rental agencies. The package includes entrance to the festival, wine tastings, a commemorative wine glass and lodging.

“A special thank you needs to go to our amazing sponsors,” notes festival co-chair Mary Callis. Sponsors include McHenry Beverage, Taylor Made Vacations & Real Estate, Mountain State Brewing Company, The Stogie Company, Simon Pearce, Oakland Oil & Propane, Arrowhead Market, Taco Bell, My Bank! First United, Shop ‘n Save, Little Mountain Promotions, NuWay Interiors,, Piet & Rosie Versteegen, Lake-Front Magazine, BB&T, and Archie’s.

“The festival could not be successful without an amazing committee,” says Paula. Mary agrees. “These volunteers put hundreds of hours into this event; a few have even worked on this since its inception.” The 2018 committee includes Mary and Paula as co-chairs, Eric Robison, Andy McKenzie, Michael Pellet, Ken Carbone, Judy Carbone, Ken Korando, Betty Ellington, Erin Croake, Tom Hertz, Jan Russell, Sue Arnson, Jimmy Flanigan, Joe Refosco, Rachel Dudok, Kelli Palamar, Lilian Steele, and Debbie Archer.





Paula Yudelevit


HART for Animals was awarded a 2018 grant by the Maryland Department of Agriculture as part of their Spay and Neuter Program designed to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs euthanized in shelters across the state. This is the fourth year in which HART has been awarded the grant and, to date has provided 1,618 no-cost spay/neuter surgeries to low-income Maryland residents in Garrett and Allegany Counties. This year’s grant will enable HART’s Lifesaver program to perform 150 dog spays, 150 cat spays, 100 dog neuters and 100 cat neuters. Residents who meet the income-eligibility requirements for Lifesaver can begin to schedule appointments now for 2018. To do so, please call 301.387.7729.

 The Maryland Spay/Neuter Program was conceived and initiated by Maryland Votes for Animals (MVFA), and implemented in accordance with the recommendations of a task force created by an act of the Maryland General Assembly in 2011. The task force’s report detailed that 50% of the cats and 33% of the dogs in Maryland’s shelter populations were being euthanized at a tremendous cost to Maryland taxpayers.

 The bill to develop the state Spay and Neuter Grants Program became law in 2013. The objective of the program was to provide affordable spay and neuter services throughout the state in order to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia rates. Funding for the program is provided from fees paid by the pet food industry. Currently, there are two other states implementing this program, Maine and HART’s sister state of West Virginia. New Mexico is currently working to implement a similar program.

“It’s important to understand why spaying and neutering your pet matters,” says Caroline Robison, HART’s Rescue and Adoption Manager. “Of course, the main reason is to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia rates. But, 18% of neutered dogs live longer than unneutered dogs, and spayed females live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs,” she adds. “Part of the reduced lifespan of unaltered pets can be attributed to their increased urge to roam, which exposes them to fights with other animals, getting struck by cars, and other calamities.”

 Dr. Vandevender, HART’s Bredel Clinic veterinarian, notes that altered pets also have a reduced risk of certain types of cancers. “An unspayed female dog or cat has a greater chance of developing pyometra (a potential fatal uterine infection), uterine cancer and other cancers of the reproductive system.” Male dogs have health issues as well. The doctor adds, “Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male dog helps prevent testicular cancer.”

 The effectiveness of HART’s Lifesaver program and its low-cost HARTHelp program has been very positive, says Paula Yudelevit, Executive Director of HART. “With the cooperation of the Garrett County Shelter, HART has been keeping rescue and intake statistics since 2003. In 2011, the shelter took in 1,684 animals – the highest number ever – but in 2017, that number dropped to 1,447. The difference lies in the 8,539 animals HART has spayed or neutered since 2009.”

 HART for Animals, Inc. is a charitable animal welfare organization founded in 2003 to improve the condition of homeless animals in the Western Maryland region. HART is a 501 (c) (3) corporation and all donations are tax-deductible. For additional information on HART, the HART Animal Center or any of its programs, or to donate, visit the HART web site at


HART Receives “Neil’s Helping Fund” Grant from the Banfield Foundation

Paula Yudelevit


HART for Animals has received a $5,000 grant from the Banfield Foundation that will be used for the emergency care of pets to owners who qualify, regardless of residency. “Neil’s Helping Fund” helps pet owners whose income exceeds the WIC guidelines by a maximum of $10,000 a year. The fund is named in honor of Neil, the clinic’s resident cat, who was a HART rescue.

“Neil’s Helping Fund” is available to any pet needing emergency care, up to $1,000, whose owner meets the eligibility requirements. Life threatening care such as an obstruction, broken bones, stitches, poison, Parvo, etc., will be treated and covered under the grant. Terminal illnesses, pre-existing conditions, and chronic ailments are not included. Other exclusions apply such as vaccines, flea/tick medications, preventative care, and refills on initial prescriptions. Follow-up appointments for the emergency are included.

 “Unlike ‘Mocha’s Fund,’ HART’s program that covers emergencies for rescued pets, ‘Neil’s Helping Fund’ is specifically for pets from families that may not have the money to pay when their beloved dog or cat is seriously injured or needs emergency care,” says HART’s Bredel Clinic veterinarian, Dr. Jessy Vandevender. “This grant gives us the resources we need to help more pet owners in our community.”

When an emergency does arise, pet owners are asked to call HART immediately at 301.387.7729. Once at the clinic, a written estimate will be provided for the client to review. The client will complete an application and will be required to show proof of income.

The Banfield Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and believes that all pets deserve access to veterinary care. In support of this belief, the foundation funds programs that enable veterinary care, elevate the power of the human-animal bond, provide disaster relief for pets, and advance the science of veterinary medicine through fostering innovation and education.

Click here for application



Paula Yudelevit

J. Vandevender.jpg

The Bredel Veterinary Clinic will now offer PennHip testing at the HART Animal Center. PennHip is an advanced hip-screening process that can help prevent or lessen the severity of hip dysplasia in dogs. The procedure is performed by Jessy Vandevender, DVM, who is PennHIP certified. The screening tool measures joint laxity (looseness) of the hips through a series of three radiographs.

The PennHIP method has strong scientific foundation as the most effective hip-screening tool available for all dogs. For pet dogs found to be at risk, early intervention can help make a difference in their long-term health. For working or service dogs, identifying healthy hips can extend their working life. For breeding dogs, early detection of at-risk hips can allow the breeder to make early, informed decisions as to which dogs to keep in breeding programs. Unlike the standard Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) hip-joint scoring system, which is diagnostic, PennHIP is predictive and can be done as early as 16 weeks.

For more information on PennHIP procedures or to schedule an evaluation, please call the HART Animal Center at 301-387-7729.


Thirteen Years of Art & Wine: The History of the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival

Paula Yudelevit

2017 art.jpg

Thirteen years ago, the newly formed Marketing Roundtable for the Garrett County Chamber, was given the task of developing an attraction that would increase county visitation, sales and accommodations after Labor Day.  After debating several possibilities, the committee began researching wine festivals as a vehicle to achieve our mission of putting “heads on beds.”  Because of the success of these events in other regions, the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival was born. Volunteers and resources were needed to execute an event of this magnitude, so the Marketing Roundtable solicited nonprofit organizations to act as the beneficiary and provide support where needed.

The Marketing Roundtable formed a second committee specifically for the purpose of managing and coordinating the Art & Wine Festival. In its first two years, the Chamber was instrumental in providing monetary and marketing support to the event. After the second year, the committee became self-supporting by retaining a small amount of the profits before presenting the beneficiary with their donation. 

The first year was challenging. The location of the festival was originally planned on the grounds of Fantasy Valley, a restaurant leased at the time by Ruth & Wendell Beitzel. “After submitting our application for the one Wine Festival license granted each year in Garrett County, a group of us from the committee went to the liquor board hearing ready to receive the license,” says Paula Yudelevit, co-founder and co-chair of the festival. “We anticipated a 30 minute conversation at the maximum – it turned out to be almost 2 hours!”  What the festival committee didn’t know was that, while the applicant must have a liquor license, the actual event cannot be held on their property. After months of planning, and with the advertising materials ready to print, the committee stood outside the courthouse to find a new venue. “I remember one of our members calling a person on the Fair board to see is the Garrett County fairground was available. It was.”

The next question was if the festival could serve and sell alcohol. Fortunately, that was a yes too.

With a committee of business leaders, and a group of volunteers, the Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival gates opened as scheduled in September of 2005.

“We had hoped for 500 people the first year,” says co-founder and co-chair, Vianne Bell. “We ended up with 800! There was so much we didn’t anticipate or even think of! Wine buckets had to be emptied, water pitchers constantly refilled, crackers replenished. We had to leave the event to buy more crackers. And beg for ice from Wisp and Burger King!”

Today, wine is conveniently sold in the wine store, located in the Exhibit Hall. The first year, the wine was sold out of the window of the fair board’s original office. “We had wine stacked around us, with a cash box and an old-fashioned credit card machine,” Vianne continues. “Paula and I swore we wouldn’t do it again.” The event netted $11,000 and was such a success that Vianne went on for another 9 years. Paula, Executive Director of HART for Animals is still co-chairing, along with Mary Callis, Executive Director of Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF).

“For the first eight years, the beneficiary of the festival was a national nonprofit organization,” says Mary Callis. “In its ninth year, the committee opted to change the beneficiary due to a major reorganization of the original charity.” When the opportunity came along, HART and GLAF submitted a joint proposal to become the beneficiaries. “As two local nonprofits, the proceeds now stay in the county,” continues Mary. “We also have booths available for five or six local nonprofits so they too have the opportunity to benefit from the large crowds.” Over the past four years, the festival has raised more than $200,000 for the two organizations.

The Deep Creek Lake Art & Wine Festival has come a long way in the last 12 years. It is one of the top events in the county. With consistent growth, approximately 2,800 people come each year to taste over 200 regional, national and international wines, peruse the 40-plus artisan booths, listen to live entertainment, purchase wines to take home, bid on silent auction items, and have a fun time with friends. “More people mean more volunteers,” says volunteer chair, Judy Carbone. “In addition to Garrett College’s 80-plus athletes, we have about 70 guest pourers and another 50 or so at the front gate, as cashiers, and general helpers.”

“The festival could not be successful without an amazing committee,” says Paula. Mary agrees. “These volunteers put hundreds of hours into this event; a few have worked on this since its inception.” The 2017 committee includes Mary and Paula as co-chairs, Sam Housley, Andy McKenzie, Michael Pellet, Ken Carbone, Judy Carbone, Ken Korando, Betty Ellington, Erin Croake, Tom Hertz, Lori Zagola, Sue Arnson, Jimmy Flanigan, Joe Refosco, Lilian Steele, and Debbie Archer.

A few changes have occurred over the years, keeping the festival fun and appealing to the wine-lovers. A Premium Wine area was added several years ago to accommodate those looking for high-end varieties. The wine tasting glasses have taken a colorful twist, with the stem color changing year-to-year, making them a “must-have” collectible. The Friday night wine pairing dinners at local restaurants have evolved to include winery representatives introducing wines paired with specially prepared dinner courses.

The 13th annual Art & Wine Festival takes place Saturday, September 9, from noon to 6 pm (wine store remains open until 7 pm). Tickets for the festival are $35 (buy online in advance at and receive $5 off each ticket) for adults 21 and over and include entry fee, commemorative wine glass and unlimited wine tasting. Admittance only is $12 and children 12 and under are free. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. Please call 866.635.3560 for prices.

Festival lodging packages are available at participating resort rental agencies, including Taylor Made Vacation Rentals, Coldwell Banker Resort Rentals, and Railey Mountain Lake Vacations.

This year’s festival is sponsored in part by local and regional businesses that include McHenry Beverage Shop, Taylor Made Vacations and Real Estate, BB&T, Taco Bell, Arrowhead Deli, Mountain State Brewing Co., Vacation Surfing, Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, Shop 'N Save, Schoolhouse Earth, My Bank! First United, RBC Wealth Management, Pepsi Cola, American Metro, Little Mountain Promotions,, NuWay Interiors, Piet & Rosie Versteegen, Lake-Front Magazine, and Archies.


Paula Yudelevit

 Frank Montgomery with his rescued Jack Russell Terrier, Bentley

Frank Montgomery with his rescued Jack Russell Terrier, Bentley

The “Skyhoundz” Classic World Canine Disc Championship Series, which is the largest disc-dog series in the world, returns on Saturday and Sunday, July 29th and 30th at the Lions Club Ball Park, adjacent to the HART Animal Center, on Bumble Bee Road, in Accident, Maryland. The two-day event will feature approximately 45-50 teams competing in various qualifying events. The proceeds of the event will benefit HART for Animals.  

The “Skyhoundz” Series consists of Distance and Accuracy disc competition, using one disc; freestyle choreographed routines set to music, using up to five discs, performing a variety of tricks and maneuvers; and pairs freestyle, choreographed routines set to music and using up to ten discs, performing a variety of tricks and maneuvers.

Competitors may register for six classes of events, from youth and novice to master and expert. Registration forms are available online at Registration at the event begins at 8:30 am on Saturday. The competition begins immediately after registration.

MAD Dogs (The Mid-Atlantic Disc Dog Club), is hosting the “Skyhoundz” Classic. The regional club supports all K9 Disc Enthusiasts and Spectators alike. Their focus is competitive fun, welcoming all new members, both human and canine, at all competition levels.

MAD Dogs encourages all canine lovers and their furry friends, through hosting events that are fun, well run, competitive, varied, and promote good sportsmanship. The year 2017 marks the 43rd consecutive year of competitive canine disc sports.

HART Receives “Dutch’s Gift” Grant for Dog Spay/Neuters

Paula Yudelevit

Meagan Till, General Manager of Dutch’s at Silver Tree, and the Gideon family, owners of Dutch’s Restaurants, announced today that the restaurant will award a $10,000 grant to HART for Animals to encourage dog owners to spay/neuter their pets. The program, called “Dutch’s Gift,” will provide free surgeries, rabies vaccines (if needed) and pain medications to dogs of owners who qualify, regardless of residency. “Dutch’s Gift” helps pet owners who do not qualify for HART’s low-cost and no-cost programs because their annual income exceeds the WIC guidelines by a maximum of $10,000 a year.

“Dutch’s Gift” surgeries will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis on the first Monday of each month beginning in August. Proof of income is required for all dogs, with the exception of Stafford Terriers, Pitbulls and Pitbull Mixes (these breeds are eligible but do not require any income qualifications under this program). The program does not cover any other medications or procedures, such as dogs in heat, pregnancy, blood work for dogs aged seven or older, or any other special circumstances.

“Dutch’s Gift” does not apply to persons who qualify for HART’s no-cost “Lifesaver” program, or low-cost “HARTHelp.”  “Dutch’s Gift” will continue until the grant funds are depleted. For more information, or to make an appointment, please call 301.387.7729.

HART for Animals, Inc. is a charitable animal welfare organization founded in 2003 to improve the condition of homeless animals in the Western Maryland region. HART is a 501 (c) (3) corporation and all donations are tax-deductible. For additional information on HART, the HART Animal Center or any of its programs, or to donate, visit the HART web site at This organization is an equal opportunity provider. This project was conducted in cooperation with USDA Rural Development.

 Meagan Till, GM of Dutch's at Silver Tree, with her rescue, China.

Meagan Till, GM of Dutch's at Silver Tree, with her rescue, China.


Mercedes Pellet

HART for Animals is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jessy Vandevender, DVM, to the Bredel Veterinary Care Center at the HART Animal Center. Dr. “Jessy” joins the HART team on March 18, and will be responsible for the health and wellbeing of dogs, cats and pocket pets. In addition, Dr. Jessy will be managing the health of the adoptable animals in the HART Adoption Wing, including the spay/neuter surgeries prior to adoption.

A native of Tucker County, WV, Dr. Jessy holds a B.S. in Biology from Davis and Elkins College, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Mississippi State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. She has practiced veterinary medicine and surgery, both as an associate and as an emergency vet, for the past four years in Elkins, West Virginia.

The Bredel Veterinary Clinic is a full-service veterinary center providing consultations, examinations, surgeries, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries, dentals, radiographs, and lab tests for dogs, cats and pocket pets. The Bredel Clinic at the HART Animal Center will continue to offer the Lifesaver program no-cost spay/neuters for qualifying families through their Maryland Spay/Neuter grant. Low-cost spay/neuters are also available for residents in states outside of Maryland.

In announcing the new veterinarian, HART’s Executive Director, Paula Yudelevit, noted that 93% of HART’s total revenue goes directly into the care of the animals. She added, “In addition to our excellent service, our clinic and boarding clients have the satisfaction of knowing that their fees go to save the lives of homeless animals in our region.”

HART for Animals, Inc. is a charitable animal welfare organization founded in 2003 to improve the condition of homeless animals in the Western Maryland region. HART is a 501 (c) (3) corporation and all donations are tax-deductible. For additional information on HART, the HART Animal Center or any of its programs, or to donate, visit the HART web site at

HART Animal Center to Host “Adopt a Senior” Event for Pets In conjunction with the ASPCA & Subaru “Share the Love” Event

Mercedes Pellet

Thomas Cumberland Subaru Hyundai is partnering with HART for Animals to host a senior pet adoption event on Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the HART Animal Center, located at 1265 Bumble Bee Road in Accident, MD. Adoption fees for dogs and cats 5 years or older will be reduced to 50% of the facility’s normal fees during the event. The “Share the Love” adoption fee includes pet spay/neuter, micro chipping, and vaccinations.


In addition to the senior adoption discounts, Thomas Cumberland will be providing free personalized pet ID dog tags, Subaru dog toys, and doggie bags.


The HART Adoption Wing can house 60 cats and 60 dogs, and multiple litters of kittens and puppies. The common areas include an exercise room to help socialize animals prior to adoption and the “Meet and Greet” rooms for adopters to play and interact with potential pets.

“Black Tie & Tails” Gala Benefits HART for Animals

Mercedes Pellet

HART for Animals, along with Honorary Chairs, Dr. William “Brit” Kirwan and Mrs. Patricia Kirwan, will be hosting “Black Tie & Tails” gala, to benefit the HART Adoption Wing. The inaugural event will take place on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at the Lodge at Wisp Resort.  The gala will feature a sit-down dinner, dancing and a silent auction. Proceeds from the gala will provide funds to keep once-homeless pets in a safe place while waiting for their forever homes.

 “Thanks to the hard work, dedication, and the generosity of hundreds of volunteers, government agencies, and our supporters, we opened the HART Adoption Wing to the public in April of this year,” says Mercedes Pellet, Development Director. “This fundraising gala will be instrumental in raising much-need money for the work we do at the Adoption Wing, which has already found homes for 120 animals. We are very excited to have Brit and Patty as our honorary chairs!”

 Brit and Patty Kirwan have been helping HART for Animals for many years. Their support of Garrett County and their love for animals is recognized on the HART building: the “Patricia H. Kirwan Center.” The special bond with animals led Patty to become an active supporter of the HART Animal Center. Brit Kirwan, who recently retired as the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, and Patty have owned a home in Garrett County since 1994, which has become a family retreat for their two children and five grandchildren.

 The “Black Tie & Tails” planning committee is going all-out for this first-time gala. “Thanks to the generosity and creativity of Leigh Clarke’s team at Farmhouse Fete, and HART volunteer, Meg Collins, the décor of the evening is going to be amazing,” says Paula Yudelevit, Executive Director. “We are so fortunate to have these two planning the evening’s atmosphere!”  

 Bill Grant, past president of My Bank! First United heads the fundraising and sponsorship committee, and Debbie Beitzel, Realtor for Taylor Made Real Estate is heading the silent auction committee.

“I would like to extend a very special thank you to our sponsors to-date, the Squires Group, John and Susan Pucciano, Wisp Resort, Taylor Made, Nicole Christian, Steve and Amy Bortz, John and Shelia McCracken, and Railey Real Estate and Rentals,” says Kelli Palamar, President of the HART Executive Committee.

 HART’s charitable programs are: animal rescue, adoption and sheltering, low-cost, and no-cost spay/neutering, veterinary care, and behavior modification. The monthly cost to HART for 40 plus cats and dogs awaiting adoption is $20,000. The adoption fees cover only a portion of the veterinary care. It is through donations, sponsorships, grants, and fundraising opportunities that HART can keep the Adoption Wing operating.

 Tickets to the “Black Tie & Tails” gala are available online at, at the HART Animal Center, or by phone at 301.387.7729.

For more information on a sponsorship opportunity to help support the gala and HART, please call or email Paula Yudelevit, at 301.387.7729 or


Paula Yudelevit

Originally built in 1884, the restored “Cleveland Cottage” will open to the public on Saturday, June 25, from 10 am to 4 pm, to benefit HART for Animals. The historic cottage was, for five days in June of 1886, the most famous house in America. It was where Grover Cleveland, the 49 year-old U.S. President honeymooned with his 21 year-old bride, Frances (Frank) Folsom. Cottage Number 2 was part of the famous Deer Park Hotel, a one-time luxury retreat built in 1872 by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The hotel and some of the cottages were later demolished after the Great Depression. Cleveland Cottage and a few other cottages were boarded up and later converted to civilian housing after World War II.

In 1994, the dilapidated cottage was purchased by Mary Brown and Roger McClung, who spent fifteen years restoring it back to its original Victorian grandeur, while updating for modern times. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to view all of the rooms in the house, as well as the owners’ collection of President Cleveland memorabilia and souvenirs.

The cottage tour is an added event to the “Secret Country Gardens” tour, presented by the Mountain Laurel Garden Club. The cost of the Cleveland Cottage self-guided tour is $5 for those who have purchased a ticket to the Secret Garden tour, or $10 without a garden tour ticket. Tickets for the cottage tour are available at the door. Proceeds of the Cleveland Cottage tour benefit HART for Animals new Adoption Wing.

HART Animal Center Adoption Wing Open House Scheduled for June 18

Paula Yudelevit

An Open House of the new Adoption Wing will take place on Saturday, June 18, from noon to 5:00 PM at the HART Animal Center in Accident, Maryland. The afternoon will feature pets available for adoption, as well as activities for adults and children of all ages.

Activities will include face painting, a coloring contest, a raffle, a silent auction, and treats for pets and people. “This is a wonderful opportunity for families to visit our new adoption wing and really see what HART is all about,” says Debbie Beitzel, HART Board member and chair of the event. “We encourage people to bring their own pets – and maybe adopt a new one!”

The Adoption Wing officially opened in April and is the final phase of the 12,000 square foot facility. The Adoption Wing can house 60 cats and 60 dogs, and multiple litters of kittens and puppies. The common areas include an exercise room to help socialize animals prior to adoption and the “Meet and Greet” rooms for adopters to play and interact with potential pets.

HART for Animals Pledges to Help Save One Million Cats

Paula Yudelevit

The HART Animal Center is joining animal shelters across North America to save the lives of one million more cats in the next five years. It's part of a joint campaign of the Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida and the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program.

The Million Cat Challenge is based on five key initiatives that offer every shelter, in every community, practical choices to reduce euthanasia and increase live outcomes for shelter cats.

HART is kicking off the challenge with their “National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month” promotion.  During the month of June, HART is offering cat adoptions (6 months and older) for a fee of $25. The normal fee is $85. The $25 fee includes spay/neuter, vaccines, micro-chip, and FIV-test. 

"The shelters who have taken the Challenge are leading the way in finding and implementing new approaches to saving cats' lives," said Dr. Kate Hurley, director of the UC Davis program.

“The new HART Adoption Wing holds up-to 40 cats and multiple litters of kittens, which greatly helps reduce the population at the Garrett County shelter,” says Caroline Robison, adoption wing and rescue manager. “Our goal is to save the lives of 574 cats as part of the Million Cat initiative.”

The Million Cat Challenge is a shelter-based campaign to save the lives of one million cats in North America over the next five years. The core strategy of the campaign will focus on five key initiatives that offer every shelter, in every community, practical choices to reduce euthanasia and increase live outcomes for shelter cats. Drs. Levy and Hurley are available for interviews. For more information, visit


HART Animal Center Adoption Wing Officially Opens with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Paula Yudelevit

The HART Animal Adoption Wing was officially opened on Friday, April 15, in the presence of representatives from federal, state, and local government, volunteers, supporters and staff. When the ribbon was cut, the audience’s spontaneous applause affirmed the words that inspired the people behind HART: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” After ten years, HART’s dream of a place for homeless animals was now a beautiful reality.  

 The Adoption Wing is the final phase of the 12,000 square foot facility. Construction of the Adoption Wing began in April 2015 and was completed in March 2016. Phase 1 of the Center opened in February 2014 and includes the Bredel Veterinary Clinic, the Bed ‘n Bark Inn pet hotel, MuttWorks grooming, and the HART Shoppe.

 Dr. Bill McGowan, USDA Rural Development Director for Maryland and Delaware, opened the ceremony commenting on their relationship with HART. “USDA Rural Development has been a partner with HART since 2012 when we began working with them on Phase 1 to build a new animal center,” says Dr. McGowan. “It’s been two years since I was here last for the Grand Opening of the Animal Center and today we are celebrating the completion of Phase 2 – the Adoption Wing.” Dr. McGowan noted that the HART Animal Center is an example of what can be accomplished in a small community when volunteers, organizations, and government join together.

 In addition to Dr. McGowan, other speakers included Julianna Albowicz, representing Senator Mikulski; Robin Summerfield, representing Senator Cardin; Joseph Montano, representing Congressman Delaney; Senator George Edwards; Delegate Wendell Beitzel; Garrett County Commissioner Paul Edwards; HART President Kelli Palamar; past President and Construction Chair Michael Pellet; and Executive Director Paula Yudelevit.

 The ribbon cutting ceremony signified the importance of the Adoption Wing to the community. “The Adoption Wing is the reason for the HART Animal Center,” said Kelli Palamar, President. “Because the Adoption Wing does not generate revenue to support itself, there had to be a reliable way to create revenue to pay for the operational expenses.  The animal-related services in Phase 1 of the Center serves the general public and funds the operations of the Center.”


The HART Adoption Wing will house 60 cats and 60 dogs, and multiple litters of kittens and puppies. The common areas include an exercise room to help socialize animals prior to adoption, separate food preparation areas for cats and dogs, and a laundry area. “Meet and Greet” rooms are available for potential adopters to play and interact with potential pets.

 “The operation of the Adoption Wing is completely dependent on donations and grants,” explains Mercedes Pellet, Treasurer and Development Director. “We built the HART Center with money we raised ourselves, thanks to the generosity of many people, the USDA and the ARC grant. We will always need the public’s help in the form of donations of money, items and volunteering. Currently, we are completing our building campaign to raise $150,000 by offering commemorative plaques and pavers honoring individuals or beloved pets.”

 In keeping with its mission to improve the condition of animals in Western Maryland, HART works closely with the Garrett County Animal Shelter to rescue homeless animals and find them permanent homes. Since it began in 2003, HART has worked with larger rescue groups to save the lives of 7,096 animals, and has provided low-cost and no-cost spay/neuters for 6,748 dogs and cats.

 Ms. Pellet continued, “These statistics are important, but beyond that, there is something that deeply matters to the people who founded HART and support its animal activities. This is the concept that it is not possible to help the animals without helping the people who own or love those animals.” 

HART has created 30 permanent jobs in the county and works closely with the Garrett College veterinary assistant training program. More than 150 volunteers also assist with the care of the animals in the Adoption Wing.

 “HART has become a very popular educational field trip destination,” remarks Paula Yudelevit, Executive Director. “We host school groups from as young as kindergarteners to teens in high school. While the younger ones watch our veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Barnard, ‘operate’ on a stuffed animal, the teens have the opportunity to watch actual spay/neuter surgeries. They all learn the importance of animal care.”

 For additional information on HART, the HART Animal Center or any of its programs, or to donate, visit the HART web site at or become part of the HART for Animals community on Facebook at


Pictured from left to right: HART co-founder, Caroline Robison; HART Secretary, Susan Hertz; Delegate Wendell Beitzel; HART Executive Director, Paula Yudelevit; HART President, Kelli Palamar; Joseph Montano; Julianna Albowicz; Robin Summerfield; HART Construction Chair, Michael Pellet; HART Development Director and Treasurer, Mercedes Pellet; USDA Rural Development State Director, Dr. Bill McGowan; HART Vice President, Shelia McCracken; USDA Loan Specialist, Brandi Burwell; and HART co-founder and Board member, Candy DeGiovanni.


Dog Files Producer Visits HART

Paula Yudelevit

 Dog Files producer, Kenn Bell, with Nikki and Chance.

Dog Files producer, Kenn Bell, with Nikki and Chance.

Kenn Bell, award-winning filmmaker and creator of “Dog Files,” spent a day last week shooting a video that tells the story of the HART Adoption Wing. Once produced, the video will appear on the HART website, as well as on social media outlets.

“Dog Files” ( is known for their award-winning videos showing why dogs deserve love, care and respect. Many of their documentaries are seen regularly on Animal Planet. In memory of his beloved dog, Max, Kenn offered his talent and skill to shelters, rescues and organizations promoting pet welfare throughout the USA. He chose HART as one of the organizations.


Paula Yudelevit


As part of its celebration of February as National Spay/Neuter Month, HART for Animals is announcing that it is scheduling appointments for their “Lifesaver” no-cost spay/neuter program. “Lifesaver” is funded through the MDA’s (Maryland Department of Agriculture) Spay and Neuter Grants Program. The program funded 764 no-cost spay/neuters in 2015.

The “Lifesaver” program entitles low-income pet owners who are Maryland residents to spay or neuter up to six pets (under 7 years of age) per household and vaccinate them against rabies at no cost to the owner. Eligibility is determined in accordance with Maryland WIC guidelines. Pet owners must show proof of income that is 10% below WIC guidelines.

“It’s heartwarming to know that HART was able to help so many people and their pets in our community by offering this program,” says Mercedes Pellet, Development Director at HART. “We are very happy to know that we will be helping many more responsible pet owners once again. We are very grateful to the MDA for having selected us once again in 2016.”

Applications and information are available on the HART website at, or by calling HART at 301.387.7729.   

HART for Animals, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization founded in 2003 to improve the condition of homeless animals in the Western Maryland region. HART is a 501(c)(3) corporation and all donations are tax-deductible. For additional information on HART or to donate to any of its programs, visit the HART web site at

Join Us On New Year's Eve for the Fur Ball Casino 2015!

Paula Yudelevit

Thursday, December 31   6:00 - 11:30 pmDutch's at Silver Tree Banquet Room

Hart's Fur Ball Casino is back at Dutch's the New Year's Eve. Come for the fun before or after dinner, or come for the entire evening.

The evening features hors d'ouevres, a silent auction, and casino with roulette, poker, black jack and more casino games. 

Please call 301.387.0525 to make your dinner reservations at Dutch's. The Fur Ball Casino is open to everyone, whether your planning a dinner at home, at an area restaurant, or just make this event your New Year's Eve fun!

Many Things To Be Thankful For This Year

Paula Yudelevit

As the year comes to an end, there are so much exciting news to be shared with you!

  • We are completing the Adoption Wing of the HART Animal Center - this is the place where homeless animals will stay while waiting to meet their permanent families. It will be completed by thebeginning of 2016.
  • The Patricia H. Kirwan Center has been in operation for nearly two years, with many people visiting the Bredel Veterinary Clinic, the Bed 'n Bark Inn, and MuttWorks. Visitors, clients, and staff continue to grow an involved animal community, where everyone plays an important part - and the connecting link are the animals.
  • We have been able to find loving homes for 123 animals, which were adopted from the Center in the past two years.
  •  In addition, we have rescued and transported 6,800 animals since 2003, thanks to the close cooperation with the Garrett County Animal Shelter, our staff, volunteers, and the many rescue groups that work with us.

The Center represents a true community facility in our county - and a haven for the many animals that come to its doors. HART is to the animals a place where everybody knows their name... just like the old Cheers song!

*To keep up with what is happening at the HART Animal Center, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, Tails Up!