Friday, July 22, 2016

Beat the Heat, Keep Your Pet Safe and Healthy


Summer is the perfect time to experience the outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather, but the heat can take a serious toll on your four-legged companion. Animal Friends has a few helpful tips to help you beat the heat and keep your furry friend safe, healthy and cool during the dog (and cat and rabbit!) days of summer.
 

Practice vehicle safety.

Your pet should never be left in a parked car. Even with the windows slightly open, a car can quickly reach an internal temperature in excess of 120 degrees. This is enough to cause animals to suffer severe heat stroke or even death. Your pet is much safer at home on warm days, especially if your destination is not a pet-friendly one. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, call 9-1-1 immediately.
 

Drink up.

As the temperature rises, animals need to drink much more water to stay hydrated. Be sure your pet has plenty of cool, clean water to drink, especially if they’re spending time outside on warm days. Check water dishes frequently and be sure they are placed out of the sun’s reach in shady areas. Drinking dishes should be secured to avoid accidental spills.
 

Protect outdoor animals.

While we encourage all pet owners to bring their pets indoors to live, we understand that’s not always feasible. Animals that live or spend long periods of time outdoors must have shelter from the sun. A doghouse should be placed in an area of your yard that is shaded by trees or other buildings. Just like a vehicle, the interior of a doghouse can reach unsafe temperatures if it is in direct sunlight.
Pennsylvania state law requires a doghouse be made from materials other than metal and have four sturdy walls, a roof and a floor. The area around your doghouse should be kept clean and sanitary. Remove waste daily to reduce odor and flies.
 

Beat the heat.

Heat stress and heat stroke pose serious summer threats to pets, in particular those that are very young, elderly or overweight. Animals can have trouble maintaining their normal body heat, especially when outdoor temperatures and humidity levels are higher than normal.
Signs of severe heat stress include heavy panting, increased heart rate, glassy eyes, staggering, vomiting and diarrhea. If your pet is overheated, move them out of the sun immediately and immerse them in cool water. Apply ice packs to the head, neck and chest and provide cool water for them to drink. If you are concerned about your pet’s health, contact your veterinarian immediately.
 
Animal Friends wants you and your pet to have a happy and healthy summer together! To learn about fun summertime activities for you and your pet, visit ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.
 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Meet Doc Watson!



Meet Doc Watson! He came to us as a stray through one of our community clinics to be altered. But, our veterinarian quickly realized he was in need of much more than that.

Doc Watson had two badly injured eyes and a severe infection setting in he made it to us just in time. Not only was he neutered and vaccinated but both of his eyes were removed. Our compassionate team saved Doc Watson's life. And now he's happily and healthily living out his days ... in a loving home!

Animal Friends has been committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for the pets of our region starting with a gender neutral pet community where every pet is spayed or neutered.

But there are still so many pets out there that need these lifesaving services ...

Now is the time to help keep Animal Friends gender neutral by supporting spay/neuter! An anonymous donor will match your gift 50 cents on the dollar, but only if you act now!

https://www.crowdrise.com/animal-friends-sp2016/fundraiser/animalfriendsinc

Friday, July 1, 2016

Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Many of us are looking forward to Fourth of July weekend this year. Families will be gathering for outdoor barbeques, friends will be enjoying the warm summer weather by the pool and what Independence Day celebration would be complete without fireworks?
 
Unfortunately, in the flurry of patriotic parties that are planned for the long holiday weekend, pets can unintentionally be put at risk. Many of the activities that humans see as fun and games can be dangerous and frightening for our pets. Knowing how to keep your pets safe and happy during the festivities could quite literally save their life.


Proper Identification

Be sure that your pet is wearing a collar with legible and up-to-date contact information at all times. In the event that your furry friend escapes from the safety of your home, proper identification will allow neighbors, animal control and law enforcement agencies to contact you if your pet is found. Microchipping your pet is an easy and inexpensive way to implant them with a permanent form of identification. Most animal shelters, police departments and veterinarians are equipped with scanners that can read microchips and access the contact information they contain.


Prevent Escape Artists

In all the commotion of a family picnic, your pet could easily slip through an open door or window unnoticed. By the time your family becomes aware of its missing member, they could be miles away, lost and disoriented. To prevent any curious escape artists, ensure that your pets are contained to areas where they will be safe and unable to wander out of your home or yard unsupervised. Your guests should also be aware of the presence of pets and will help you to keep an eye out for their security. In situations when your guests may not be pet-savvy, it may be best to board your pet or keep them separated in another room for the evening.

Food Safety

A favorite part of any holiday celebration is the delicious food. Our pets share this sentiment and would happily rummage through a wastebasket to sample the chargrilled goodness. Styrofoam trays, aluminum foil, paper products, plastic bags and other food containers can pose a safety hazard if consumed by a hungry pet. It is also essential to keep in mind that certain foods that are safe for humans can be harmful to pets. Ribs, chicken and other meats on the bone, corn on the cob, hot dogs, fruit salad and desserts are among the barbecue foods that could be potentially dangerous for pets.

Action Plan

In the event that your pet becomes lost, it is important to have a plan. Be familiar with animal care facilities in your area and have your local law enforcement’s contact information handy. If your pet does run away, enlist the help of your family, friends and neighbors to hang fliers and post photos and information on online message boards. Social media is a particularly powerful tool to reach a large number of people and quickly locate a lost pet. Be sure to send a photo of your pet along with your contact information to local animal shelters so that you can be notified if your pet is brought in.

Fireworks

Humans love the booming, crackling and pretty colors of fireworks in the night sky. Pets, however don’t share our love of pyrotechnics. The loud bangs, potent smell and bright flashes can cause pets to panic and flee in search of a quiet place. While you’ll want to end the holiday surrounded by your loved ones enjoying a firework display, do your pet a favor and leave them in a calm place where they won’t be exposed to the fear and anxiety that come with a pyrotechnic presentation.

Although it may be difficult to feel as though you are excluding your pets from all the fun this holiday weekend, the most important thing is their security and well-being. You will be at ease knowing that your their safety has been carefully considered and your pets will certainly thank you for keeping them well-protected!

In the event that your pet becomes lost or if you have found a lost pet, visit Animal Friends online for valuable tips and resources at ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org/LostAndFound.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

How a Microchip Can Keep Your Pet Safe this Summer


July’s warm weather is upon us and people and their pets are beginning to spend more time outdoors enjoying the summer. With all of this outdoor fun, it’s important for pet owners to keep their furry family members safe, especially in the unfortunate event of a lost pet.

What is microchipping?


A microchip is a tiny device–about the size of a grain of rice–that is implanted beneath your pet’s skin, typically in the shoulder blade. The procedure is simple and virtually painless for the patient. The small chip contains a unique identification number and can be scanned in the event that the pet is found and brought to a veterinarian, clinic or shelter.

Why is this important for my pet?


Approximately one in three pets will get lost in its lifetime. Even pets whose owners have taken extra precautions can become separated from their families, whether curiosity leads them under a fence or a startling noise causes them to dart out an open door or window. Having a microchip significantly increases the likelihood of a pet and owner being reunited.

According to Found Animals Registry, shelters report that microchipped dogs are 2.4 times more likely to be reunited with their families while microchipped cats are reunited 21.4 times more often! When a microchipped pet is found, most veterinarians, shelters, animal control agencies and police departments can read the chip for easy access to the pet owner’s information. If a pet is found and does not have a microchip, locating the owner becomes a much more difficult task, especially if the animal’s collar and identification tags have been removed or have fallen off.

How can I get my pet microchipped?


Animal Friends offers low-cost vaccine and microchipping clinics during the year where pet owners can easily access the services they need while receiving information from educated animal care professionals. Here, a microchip will be implanted by a licensed veterinarian and the pet owner’s contact information will be uploaded to a national registry. Microchips are low risk, with less than .01 percent of animals implanted experiencing any negative reactions as a result.

 

What next?


Once your pet is microchipped, you will be given all of the information about the chip including how to access your personal information and make necessary updates such as your family’s veterinary, emergency contact information and even a current photograph of your pet.

A microchip is not a GPS tracking device; it is a permanent form of identification. It is important to remember that while a microchip significantly increases your pet’s chances of being safely returned, every possible precaution should be taken to keep them safe at home this summer.

To learn more about how Animal Friends can help you keep your pet happy, healthy and safe this summer, and to print a money-saving coupon to use toward your pet’s microchip, visit ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Adopting Two Cats from Animal Friends is Twice as Nice!

During an extremely active kitten season, Animal Friends has been working diligently to admit as many cats and kittens as possible from a variety of sources. In an effort to do all that can be done, Animal Friends is filled to capacity.

That's why we are sharing the many, many benefits of adopting two cats - it's "Twice as Nice!" But we're not stopping there. When you adopt one cat between now and June 30, your donation will cover two feline adoptions!
 
Here are just a few of the reasons to consider adopting two cats:
  • Having a constant playmate to chase and wrestle with helps keep cats lively, well-exercised and healthy.
  • Often, destructive behavior in pets can be traced to boredom. The stimulation of a companion can help to ward off inappropriate feline behaviors and scratching.
  • Two cats will keep you laughing with their antics.
  • Many cats are social creatures, and will happily groom one another and sleep cuddled together.
  • People who work long hours, travel overnight or spend frequent evenings away from home will find a warm greeting upon returning, but without the guilt of leaving a beloved pet all alone.
  • Two cats will bring their humans double the love. The only thing more heartwarming than the love of a pet is the love of two.
  • They make great lap warmers in winter and will offer an endless supply of purrs and head butts.
  • Adopting two cats actually saves four lives - the two you're adopting, and the two that will take their places on Animal Friends’ adoption floor who are then given a priceless second chance thanks to your adoption.
Having two cats doesn't require much additional effort. An extra food and water dish and litter box is worth the joy your instant family will bring. Animal Friends' Adoption Counselors will work with you to find exactly the right cats – two that are compatible with you as well as each other.
Click here to view our adoptable cats right now, or stop by our resource center to meet them today and take two of our furry felines home for the cost of one adoption donation!

http://www.thinkingoutsidethecage.org/site/c.elKWIeOUIhJ6H/b.8540959/k.90CC/Animals_Cats.htm

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Guest Post: Dede Rittman, Author of Grady Gets Glasses

Who doesn’t love dogs, and cats, and bunnies?
Animal Friends employees and volunteers do an extraordinary job of caring for furry friends in need, as I have seen firsthand.  I visit Animal Friends on a regular basis, recycling my newspapers, cardboard egg cartons, towels, and blankets (and they always need more- plus pet food donations!) I was very fortunate to “book” a book reading and signing for my new children’s book “Grady Gets Glasses” at Animal Friends- with new children friends and all of the bunny friends!  What an exciting afternoon!
The volunteers brought all of the bunnies into the room- with pens set up around them to keep them safe.  I read “Grady Gets Glasses” to the kids- while wearing bunny ears, of course!  The kids were very responsive to the rhymes and the rabbits- so, of course, I had to hand out Grady stickers!  And then, all of us went inside the penned areas to pet the bunnies!
What a fun afternoon!  The Animal Friends employees and volunteers kept a watchful eye on the small children, educating them about the care and petting of bunnies.  It was so sweet!  And the children truly enjoyed the book reading and their new (pretend) rabbit friend Grady, and their new real rabbit friends at the shelter.
Please invite us back for another reading!  Grady and I had a wonderful time!
“Grady Gets Glasses” coloring books are also available, and a new toy Grady is coming soon!

Dede Rittman
Author, Speaker, Teacher

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Animal Friends' Home-to-Home Adoption Program Presents Jake!

 
Jake is an 8-year-old Black Lab/Australian Heeler mix who is in search of a full-time home with lots of love to give! He is neutered and up to date with all of his vaccines. Jake is very well trained, house broken and loves to play with the other dogs and cats in his home. He is also great with kids and loves to run around and play fetch.
 
This handsome guy was taken into his current home when his previous owners were moving and were unable to take him with them. Instead of surrendering him to a shelter, family friends offered to take him in. Unfortunately they do not have the space to keep Jake. He is a wonderful dog and they would love to find him a great full-time home!
 
Jake would make a perfect companion for someone who wouldn't mind throwing a ball about a thousand times (although Jake is a good sport when it's quitting time). This dog is a professional when it comes to a good game of fetch. He will always drop the ball in your hand when he brings it back. Jake is always looking to please, he listens to commands very well and is just a big sweetheart.
 
UPDATE: Jake was adopted and has started his new life with a loving, new family!
 
 
 
 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Why 'Kitten Season' is Much More Serious than It Sounds


At Animal Friends, each spring marks the beginning of what is known by many as ‘kitten season.’ And it’s not as fun as it sounds.

Between late spring and early fall, thousands of kittens are born in our region to stray and feral cats that are becoming active after a long winter. From April through August of 2015 alone, Animal Friends brought in 385 kittens.

With such an influx in cats in need of immediate help and a limited amount of space, volunteers and resources, kitten season can be a difficult time for any shelter.

The sudden spike in the cat population this spring means many residents will likely encounter a litter of kittens in a window well, in a bush or in a garden. When this happens, there are several important things to bear in mind.

Do not attempt to pick up or move a litter of kittens.
Mother cats can often leave their kittens alone for up to three or four hours while they are out finding food or searching for a new location. If you’ve been watching a group of kittens and are not sure if the mother is returning, try sprinkling baby powder in the area and looking for footprints. Kittens should never be taken away from their mother.


If you're certain a litter is abandoned, know what to do.
While the best-case scenario is always to bring a mother and her kittens to the shelter together, this is not always possible with stray litters. Keep in mind that kittens require a constant source of heat and must eat every two to four hours. They cannot drink dairy milk or water so it is always important to have a plan before taking in a litter of kittens. When in doubt, always contact a shelter to ask for instructions.

Once the kittens are in our care, the fight is just beginning.
Many stray kittens are often exposed to fleas, upper respiratory problems and countless other medical complications. With very fragile immune systems, kittens under four weeks old require 24-hour supervision and must receive deworming and flea treatments every two weeks. When they reach two pounds, they are spayed or neutered, helping to proactively decrease the number of stray and unwanted animals in the area. Once they reach a weight of 2-1/2 pounds and are given a clean bill of health, kittens are ready to be adopted.

The road to adoption for a stray kitten is certainly not an easy one and without aggressive spay/neuter programs combatting overpopulation, this journey will only become more difficult. By continuing to provide education and valuable resources to pet owners, Animal Friends is helping to end kitten season once and for all.

You can get involved with Animal Friends this June by 
sponsoring a spay/neuter, attending some cat-themed June events, or donating an item on Animal Friends’ Amazon Wish List. And remember, June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month so stop by Animal Friends and you just might find the perfect furry friend!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Message from our President & CEO



Dear Friends,

From the steadfast dedication of our staff and volunteers to the unwavering support from caring, generous people (like you!) it’s clear how deep the compassion runs at Animal Friends.

And, if we could run on compassion alone, Animal Friends would forever be without want or need. But, this is not the case … and is my reason for writing you today.

We have not yet maximized our 50-cents-on-the-dollar, up to $40,000, match for 31 Days of Compassion. We still need to raise approximately $10,000 to take full advantage of the challenge!

With that in mind, I am thrilled to announce that we are extending 31 Days of Compassion through Fri., June 10. In doing so, I know every dollar of this generous challenge will be successfully matched. But we can’t do it without you.

Please, click here to donate generously today.

In appreciation,

David J. Swisher

President & Chief Executive Officer
Animal Friends

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Rygar


Before his first birthday, Rygar had suffered through more hardships than any dog should in a lifetime.
Rygar was one of seven puppies that came to Animal Friends after being confiscated by our Humane Investigations team. He, along with four of his littermates, was found to have parvovirus, a potentially life-threatening virus. At such a young age, Rygar was already being forced to fight for his life.
Thankfully, Rygar was treated and made a full recovery. He received all of his vaccinations, was neutered and became an Animal Friends’ summer camp puppy where he helped to show the young campers about the importance of responsible pet ownership. Rygar worked with the students to learn manners and basic commands while teaching them about the important relationship people can have with their pets. Educating the next generation about how to treat their pets is a vital part of allowing Animal Friends’ lifesaving mission to continue for years to come.
After summer camp, Rygar was quickly adopted. Buta few months later, he was back at Animal Friends. His family was moving and couldn’t take him.
As tiny Rygar grew, he developed an extremely painful condition which caused his kneecaps to roll inward. Rygar’s case was severe and affected both of his hind legs. We set up a consultation and scheduled the surgery that would rebuild his knees.

After a successful surgery, Rygar went into foster care. His road to recovery promised to be a long one, but with the help of his foster parents, Rygar was well on his way to leading a normal life.
Several weeks into his recovery we received a call from Rygar’s foster family … they had quickly fallen in love with him and his foster home became his new permanent home! We weren't surprised, but we weren't any less thrilled for the little guy.
Rygar’s miraculous story is one that shows in so many ways the amount of compassion that goes into what we do at Animal Friends. Over the past month for 31 Days of Compassion, we’ve enjoyed sharing stories that may have brought a tear to your eye, but have no doubt warmed your heart. These stories show what is possible with the love, dedication, determination (and of course, compassion!) of our staff, volunteers and supporters like you.
You can ensure that the next animal in need will receive the same compassionate care as Rygar. Donate now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Why we do what we do ...

https://www.kintera.org/site/c.elKWIeOUIhJ6H/b.9392785/k.EF43/Michael_and_Gabriel/apps/ka/sd/donor.asp?c=elKWIeOUIhJ6H&b=9392785&en=ajKJJXNDL9KSL7MGJ8LPI3OQLtLWL3OKIcJSL7NOLnKZJeOXJxF
May is 31 Days of Compassion at Animal Friends! To celebrate this very special month honoring our animal friends, we wanted to share a story that shows the passion – and compassion – that drives our staff and volunteers. We knew it couldn’t be told by just anyone. That’s why we’ve asked one of our staff Animal Caregivers, Becki, to take it from here ...


"I’ve thought a lot about that day in mid-September when the medical staff came asking for my help with two animals that had just been brought in. Whether it was a miracle or just another day at Animal Friends, I’m still not quite sure. I’m starting to think they are simply one in the same.
They looked like two sheep that hadn’t been sheared in years. At closer look, I realized they were dogs. Layers upon layers of matted, dirty, stinking fur entombed them from the tops of their heads to the tips of their tails.
Walking was painful. Turning their heads impossible. To ease them from their obvious discomfort one of our vet techs carefully injected them with a twilight sedation to calm them.And, then we went to work. For five hours we clipped and trimmed and shaved and cut. Around their muzzles. Under their bellies. Even in between the pads of their paws.
When all was said and done, 32 pounds of urine and feces infested fur lay piled on the floor. And from it two young Old English Sheepdogs emerged. As they lay on the floor – freshly shorn and looking angelic – they became our Michael and Gabriel.
The next day, I saw them out on a walk. I just stopped and stared … and cried. Such beautiful, silly creatures had emerged from a cocoon of filth and neglect. One of them – I don’t know which one – walked up to me and simply leaned his body into mine.
With big, soulful eyes, he looked up at me and I am certain he was saying thank you.It is because of that one look that I will be here tomorrow and the next day and the next ... ready for that opportunity to change another life."

Animal Friends is blessed. Our staff and volunteers are simply amazing. Becki is just one example. It is because of them that we are able to make such a difference and to be able to do what we do.
And it is because of you, too. Your generosity makes transformations like Michael and Gabriel’s possible. And now, through our 31 Days of Compassion, your gift can go even further.
Give now (before May 31) and an anonymous donor will match your gift 50 cents on the dollar up to $40,000. Every donation – regardless of the size – matters.

Click here to give generously.


Top 10 Reasons to Attend Bark in the Park 2016

thinkingoutsidethecage.org/bark2016

Memorial Day means many different things to us: remembering those who have served our country, spending time with family and friends, attending picnics and celebrating the unofficial beginning of summer! With everything going on this Memorial Day weekend, you may be looking for a good reason to attend Bark in the Park 2016. Not to worry, we have 10 for you! What better way to start your holiday weekend than a beautiful walk in the park with your furry best friend?

10. Starting Strong – We’ll be kicking off the festivities as Mr. Jeff Jimerson sings the national anthem while members of the North Allegheny Color Guard present our nation’s flag.
9. Jim Krenn – Our lead walker and hometown funny guy Jim Krenn from the Q92 Morning Show will be leading the festivities and is always good for plenty of laughs!
8. Food Trucks – Come hungry and leave the potato salad at home, we’ll be joined by some of Pittsburgh’s best food trucks.
7. Patriotic Pup Parade – You’ll have the opportunity to show off your dog’s patriotic Memorial Day themed outfit. (Don’t hold back!)
6. Honest Abe – How many people can say that their dog has met Abe Lincoln? Rub elbows with our country’s 16th president and pose for a great photo op!
5. Live Music – Enjoy the sounds of Americana as The Chiodi Trio performs for your listening pleasure.
4. Beautiful Weather -- Have you seen the forecast for Saturday?! It’s going to be mostly sunny with 100% chance of fun! So get out and enjoy the fun-filled activities on a beautiful morning.
3. Make Your Pooch a Star – The top fundraiser will make their dog a “pup star” as the participant who raises the most money for Animal Friends will have their furry friend featured as the face of next year’s Bark in the Park!
2. Animal Friends for Veterans - We’ll be officially launching a series of adoption programs to thank and support our nation’s veterans and active duty military members who could benefit from the companionship a pet can offer.
1. A Walk in the Park - There’s no better way to kick off your Memorial Day weekend than a going on a walk and spending time with your best four-legged family member and supporting a great organization! After all, we couldn’t do it without you!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Change of Heart


The busy life of a therapy rabbit leads to many places. From visiting preschools, high schools and college campuses to providing comfort at hospitals, whether to a pediatric cancer patient or an elderly veteran suffering with dementia, therapy rabbits provide compassionate support to those who need it most. Our Therapets animals and the dedicated volunteers who work with them are always on the move providing pet therapy sessions wherever they are needed.
A recent visit to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in the Hill District left two Therapets volunteers with a heartwarming story and an experience they won’t soon forget.
A group of 20-25 children were enjoying the company of three therapy rabbits, reading to them and getting in some quality one-on-one time when three young boys came in and began poking fun at the group, laughing, taunting and name-calling. After being reprimanded the three left the library, but a short time later one of the boys returned.
He wasn’t there to tease though. Instead, he asked for a book so he could read to one of the rabbits. Touched by the boy’s change of heart, the volunteers helped him pick out a book and the young boy began reading to one of the therapy rabbits.
No sooner than he had turned the first page, the two other boys returned, this time mocking their friend for doing “kid stuff” and being a “baby.” The boy just kept reading as his friends were again asked to leave. But just a few minutes later they returned for a third time. The volunteers and library staff perked up as they walked through the doors and over to the Therapets area. But just like the first boy, they had had a change of heart.
By the end of the day, the three boys sat there, reading to the rabbits and enjoying the healing company a therapy animal can provide.
Last year more than 45,000 lives were positively impacted by visits from Animal Friends’ Therapets. With no shortage of a need for pet-therapy certified companion animals, we are thrilled to watch our program continue to grow. But this growth can’t continue without you.
And, there is no better time than now to give. An anonymous donor has set forth an incredibly generous challenge and will match every donation 50 cents on the dollar, up to $40,000!
Please donate today.


ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org/31Days

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sadie's Third Chance

thinkingoutsidethecage.org/31days


“Something’s wrong. She’s not breathing,” one of the vet techs called to the staff veterinarian.

The tiny kitten had been born just a couple months prior at Animal Friends. Her pregnant mother Sonnet, and nearly three dozen other cats, had come to Animal Friends after being rescued from a severe hoarding situation. Sadie had just escaped being born into an unspeakable life in a now-condemned house.

But now, Sadie was on the verge of losing the second chance she had just been given. She was nearing the day where she was ready to find a loving home, but first had to be spayed. She was a strong, healthy kitten. And, there was no reason to expect that Sadie would have a life-threatening reaction to anesthesia during a routine procedure. But there she was … not breathing … and her heart had stopped.

As quickly as the 2-pound kitten’s breath had stopped, our skilled medical staff jumped into action, performing lifesaving CPR. After a few tense moments, little Sadie was back.

Every day, Animal Friends gives second chances to pets who have found their way through our doors. And sometimes, these animals are in need of a third, or fourth, chance at the life they deserve.

Sadie was given her second and third chances at Animal Friends even before she was old enough to be adopted. She made a full recovery, was safely spayed and found a loving family.

It’s not just the extra special animals, like Sadie, who receive this level of attention and care at Animal Friends. We work tirelessly on behalf of each and every one of our shelter dogs, cats and rabbits.

But without compassionate supporters like you, it simply would not be possible.

You can help more animals, just like Sadie, get another chance at a healthy, happy life. During 31 Days of Compassion at Animal Friends, your donation will be matched! Right now, you can help even more animals.

Click here to make your lifesaving donation today.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Yuengling's Story

Yuengling is a big, handsome guy with a playful personality and soft eyes that will melt your heart instantly. But like too many of the residents at Animal Friends, Yuengling’s story didn’t start out on a happy note.

In December, local police executed a search warrant while responding to a call of suspected animal cruelty. What they found was a German Shepherd that had been mistreated and neglected. Sweet Yuengling was also in immediate need of medical attention. In cooperation with police, Animal Friends’ Humane Investigations team brought Yuengling back to Animal Friends. Upon receiving a full physical exam, our veterinary staff found a cancerous skin tumor on his chest. Yuengling needed a lifesaving surgery.

Fortunately, Yuengling made it to Animal Friends just in time.

After his tumor was successfully removed he could start his second chance.

Since his surgery, Yuengling continues to recover at Animal Friends. As he continues to progress, his endearing personality (and love for tennis balls!) shines through … something that may not have happened if it wasn’t for our Humane Police Officers.

Animal Friends’ Humane Investigations Department serves as an invaluable resource to all of Allegheny County. While it’s hard to imagine, Animal Friends receives dozens of calls each and every day regarding abused and neglected animals.

Sadly, there are more animals, just like Yuengling, that need your help. There is no better time to give than right now!

Your donation will be matched!
Click here to have your $50 donation turn into $75!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Waiting Far Too Long


When you meet Marie for the first time, you’ll probably think what everyone else does… that she’s a happy and energetic puppy, no older than a year-and-a-half, two at the most. That’s probably because, while she is actually about four years old, we're not sure if she ever had the opportunity to be a puppy. Marie is making up for lost time now because the first couple years of her young life were unimaginable. She was rescued by our Humane Investigations Department and brought to Animal Friends after she was found abandoned outside without food or water.

With such a sad beginning, Marie’s story has slowly turned for the better as she has flourished in her new environment, receiving proper training, a safe place to live and play, and lots and lots of love! She has come such a long way from the frightened, malnourished, filthy from head-to-tail pup that first came to the shelter, and has developed a superstar personality. With her high level of energy, Marie is a constant source of laughs and smiles for the staff and volunteers who have gotten to know her so well.

Marie’s story is far from complete as she impatiently waits for a loving home. She has been waiting, in fact, for much longer than any dog with such a positive and compassionate spirit should have to. Marie has lived at Animal Friends for nearly two years.

While she receives plenty of love and all the care she needs each day, this beautiful girl desperately needs to find a place to settle in with a loving family to call her own. Marie is an incredibly intelligent dog with an abundance of love and happiness to share, with just the right amount of pep to keep her lucky new family on the move.

No pet should have to wait as long as Marie, but because of support from compassionate, caring people like you Animal Friends is able to provide a comprehensive, individualized approach for each of our dogs, cats and rabbits until they find the right family.

You can ensure Animal Friends' commitment to the animals in our care continues Animal Friends’ 31 Days of Compassion!

Thanks to a challenge from an incredibly generous donor, each donation to Animal Friends during the month of May will be matched 50 cents on the dollar up to $40,000! You can improve the lives of the pets and people in our region this month. Give a gift today!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Animal Friends' 31 Days of Compassion presents Corina

 


“But ma’am, your kittens …” a voice insisted, “… they’re sick.” After some coaxing, the woman  reluctantly handed over four very sick, very young kittens to Animal Friends’ Humane Police Officer. Our officer took one look at the kittens and knew this wouldn’t be our last visit. 



Within the week, we returned with a warrant and support from social services. We were prepared to save lives but not for what was inside …


The house was in total disarray. Buckets of human and feline waste, disassembled plumbing and walls torn down to the studs. Amazingly dozens of cats and kittens were surviving in the filth and refuse.

We quickly got to work. And, over the course of the next few weeks four dozen cats were taken to Animal Friends.
 
All of these sweet kitties were in need of immediate medical attention. Each one was suffering from upper respiratory infection (URI).


And, the condition of one gray kitten in particular, Corina, was especially worrisome. She was suffering from ear mites, malnourishment, dehydration and bacterial and viral infections. This sweet girl should have never had to suffer from these compounding issues over the course of her lifetime … let alone at such a tender age.


After she was treated medically she was placed her into a foster home. There, Corina would be provided much-needed around-the-clock care ... and learn what it means to be loved. 


Soon enough, this tiny kitten’s personality began to shine.


What an adorable, imp-like kitten she is! Bounding and skidding across hardwood floors when singsongedly called. It’s no surprise Corina loves to play. She is frequently found clomping around, entertaining herself with her favorite mouse-teaser toy.


Unfortunately, this tiny kitty didn’t come away from her past with a clean bill of health. She constantly has the sniffles. With the proper treatment we thought they’d clear up but each time we weaned her off of medication, her symptoms would persist. It was then we realized this tiny gray Tabby will forever cope with chronic URI symptoms. 


To some, those sniffles may seem endearing. To us, it’s a reminder of the mistreatment Corina endured. Had she received proper medical care her condition would have been prevented. And now she’ll require an extra special family with the patience and understanding to give her a home. Until they come along,we remain committed to giving little Corina her second chance.




Sadly, our region is full of pets, just like Corina, that still need your help. 


But you can ensure the lives of more animals will be saved from abusive and neglectful situations. With your support medical, behavioral and holistic care will be provided to the animals in our care. With your support thousands of pets will be given another chance at a life.



And, right now through May 31 every dollar you give in support of 31 Days of Compassion will be matched 50 cents on the dollar up to $40,000. Click here to help more animals just like Corina.


Please give generously. They're depending on your compassion.