Friday, September 28, 2018

A Buddy for Life

Cheerio’s journey brought him to Animal Friends after he was transferred to Animal Friends from another organization. Originally found as a stray, he had contracted a serious disease that left him blind. To alleviate his pain, our Medical team made the decision to remove his eyes. Once he recovered, Cheerio quickly became a favorite among staff and volunteers, cuddling and giving lots of kisses to everyone he met. But, as Cheerio waited to find his new home, it was clear that he would need a family as special and loving as he was.

That’s when Rose and John came to visit. After spending some time getting to know the dogs on our website, Rose remembers thinking that she wanted to get another dog, but thought she would wait a few years. But then she saw Cheerio. “I thought he looked adorable but was uncertain about adopting a blind dog. Then my daughter saw the video about Cheerio on Facebook and called me saying, ‘You've got to go get this little fellow!’ I had my doubts, but after watching the very moving video and hearing Cheerio's story, I knew I had to go take a look.” As soon as Rose and her husband John met Cheerio, it was love at first sight – and the feeling was mutual!

After a successful meet-and-greet, Cheerio – who has since been appropriately renamed Buddy – began life with his new family. “Buddy's transition went better than expected,” says Rose. “We marked different rooms with different scents so he would know where he was in the house. We don't need to do that anymore as he knows his way around fairly well.” Buddy loves his daily routine of napping, playing, and (of course!) cuddling with his family. “From my 93-year-old mother to my 5-year-old grandson, everyone loves Buddy. He is our own little rock star,” says Rose.

Buddy’s transition to his new family is a great reminder that disabled dogs make wonderful pets. While there are some changes a family has to make when adopting an animal with special needs, Rose agrees, “The love and devotion you get in return from your new pet is beyond wonderful!”

Friday, August 24, 2018

Fluffy: Animal Friends Home to Home Adoption Program

Fluffy is an 11-year-old sweetheart who is ready to cuddle up and find a family to shower her with the love she deserves. Her current family had been caring for her as a stray when they noticed Fluffy beginning to limp. So, they brought her into their home and got her the veterinary care she so desperately needed.

Now, Fluffy is ready to relax and enjoy her golden years in a home that can give her love, attention and her three favorite things: her blanket, catnip and soft food.

Although she is deaf, Fluffy lives her life to the fullest and melts the hearts of everyone she meets. She can be a bit shy at first, but with a little patience and head scratches, she is sure to be a loyal companion. If you are in need of a calm and relaxing friend, Fluffy could be the cat for you!

Does Fluffy sound like the missing piece to your home? Contact Melissa at

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Jewel: Animal Friends' Home to Home Adoption Program

Jewel is a sweet girl who is in search of her perfect family. Her current family made the difficult decision to begin looking for a new home for this her after a recent change to their living situation . Just shy of 2 years old, this gorgeous Siberian Husky loves life and is full of energy.

Jewel’s favorite things in life are long walks, playing with other dogs and squeaky tennis balls. She would do best in a home with a fenced-in yard where people are home often – she loves company! This pup also enjoys riding in the car and is housebroken. Jewel may also enjoy a canine companion as a new sibling. If you are looking for a new and energetic best friend, Jewel just might be the girl for you.

If you would like to meet Jewel, contact Ben at or 412.527.1510.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Thor: Animal Friends' Home to Home Adoption Program

Thor is a 3-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier who was adopted about a year ago. He is a lovable and cuddly boy who sometimes does not realize how big he really is! Thor loves to lay on laps and is always ready to snuggle. He is neutered, up to date on all vaccines, microchipped and is also house trained. Thor loves to go for walks with his people and absolutlely adores playtime!

His current family has three young children. Although he does well with them, they feel he would be a better fit for a family with dog-savvy children who are 10 years or older. Thor would do best as the only pet in his new home to make sure he receives all the attention he deserves. He wants all your love to himself!

Does Thor sound like the missing piece to your home? Contact Kelly at to learn how you can meet him. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Maya: Animal Friends' Home to Home Adoption Program

Maya is an 11-year-old Golden Retriever with a very kind heart.  Although she is a senior girl, she is still in great health and has a lot of energy to share. She would happily go for a couple walks each day and then sit and enjoy some cuddles with her people. Maya has done very well sharing a home with cats and small children for years –  even sharing her bed with a feline sibling from time to time!

Maya tends to get nervous during thunderstorms, but as long as she has a trusted human companion nearby, she does much better. And, as is common with her breed, it's important to keep her ears clean. Although she isn't much for runs anymore, Maya enjoys playing fetch or splashing around in the water. Her current family is hoping to find her a home where she will get all the love and attention she deserves.

Update: Maya has found a new family to call her own!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Sam: Animal Friends' Home to Home Adoption Program

Sam is a handsome 7-year-old American Bulldog who is looking to share his sweet personality and affection with a new family. After a recent change in their living situation, Sam’s current family has made the difficult decision to begin searching for a new home that can give this sweet pup the attention and love that he deserves.

While Sam is a bit of a couch potato and enjoys a nice relaxing day, he also enjoys playing with humans and other canine companions. Simply put, Sam can give you the best of both worlds! And, this smart pup knows sit, stay, paw and come and is eager to learn more.

When it comes to manners, Sam is quite the gentleman, although he will occasionally bark when meeting new friends. And, with a little time to warm up (and a few treats!) Sam melts the heart of everyone he meets. Whether it is a neighbor, friend or family member, this pooch is sure to make a positive impression wherever he goes.

If you are seeking a cuddly, fun loving, four-legged family member, Sam could be the perfect fit for you!

To set up a meet and greet with Sam you can contact his current family at

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Double Trouble? Think Again!: Benefits of Adopting a Pair

Warm weather marks the beginning of kitten season at Animal Friends. This is the time of year that cats give birth, often beginning as early as March and lasting into October. At Animal Friends, we're  feeling the effects of kitten season as we work tirelessly to accommodate the overwhelming needs of kittens who come through our doors. With so many homeless kittens waiting to find loving families, right now is the perfect time to adopt a sweet kitten … or two! At Animal Friends, we know it’s twice as nice to adopt two kittens at once.

Not to mention, when you adopt two animals from Animal Friends, you get twice the amount of love for one adoption donation!

There are many benefits to adding two kittens to your family at once.
  • They will always have a playmate to chase, wrestle and keep them active, well-exercised and healthy.
  • Many cats are social and will love having a sibling to groom and cuddle with during nap time.
  • Kittens learn from each other! If one is a little shy, socializing with an outgoing sibling can show them how to interact with humans.
  • Usually, negative behaviors in pets can be because of boredom. Having a companion will help to keep them mentally stimulated and out of trouble!
  • We all have to leave home from time to time. Having a kitten sibling can alleviate separation anxiety for your kitten and can prevent you from feeling guilty for being away.
  • Two cats will bring your family double the love. They make great lap warmers during the winter months and offer twice as many purrs and cheek rubs. The only thing more heartwarming than the love of a pet is the love of two!
  • Adopting two cats actually saves four lives  the two you're adopting, and the two that will take their open spots at Animal Friends, given a priceless second chance thanks to your adoption.

Having two kittens doesn't require much additional effort, either. An extra food and water dish and litterbox is well worth the joy your newest additions will bring to the family. Plus, if you adopt from Animal Friends, your newest family members will be spayed/neutered, microchipped and up to date on all vaccinations. 

Often, Animal Friends has pairs of cats who have come in together and need to find a home with room for two. We'll help you introduce your new cats to your home and give them the time and space they need to bond. 

It’s the perfect time to bring home two homeless cats! How can you resist? Two-step to Animal Friends at double speed – after all, two cats certainly are twice as nice!

So, come to Animal Friends or visit to meet our adoptable cats today!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Bonded Pairs: The Importance of Bunny Relationships

The companionship of a rabbit can bring lots of fun and happiness into the home. From their sweet demeanor to their exceptional intelligence, rabbits can add a unique and playful presence to any family. But, what you may not realize about rabbits is their capacity for friendship and its importance in their lives. Bonded rabbits, or two rabbits who are emotionally connected, help each other navigate their world – physically and emotionally – making them the perfect adoptable duo! And, by adopting a bonded pair, not only are you maintaining the special connection between two bunnies, but you are saving two lives.

A Special Bond

Since they are very social animals, rabbits who are bonded have a deep and lasting relationship. Many of these pairs do almost everything together. Whether it is eating, sleeping, grooming or simply exploring their surroundings, bonded pairs make everything a group activity. Physically, these bonded bunnies spend hours cuddling and sleeping together, ensuring the other is safe and comfortable.

Twice the Love

Many people don't fully understand the connection between bonded rabbits, so they often have to wait longer to be adopted. And, while it may seem that adopting two rabbits is twice the work, bonded rabbits are no more work than one – they love to share. With one litterbox, one set of water and food bowls and one living space, you get twice the amount love!

Bonding Made Easy

Although bunnies can love their companions, introducing two new bunnies to one another can be a stressful and lengthy process (from weeks to even years). By adopting a pair, the bonding process is already complete. The contrasting personalities and temperaments of two bunnies can create an unwelcome and even unsafe environment for bonding. For many experienced bunny owners who have gone through the bonding process themselves, the ease of adopting an already bonded pair is the best option.

While some bonded pairs are very close, each pair is different. While they may not be joined at the hip, they still share an important connection.

Open Your Heart and Your Home

At Animal Friends, we often meet families who adopt a rabbit and soon realize they're ready to add a second floppy-eared member to the family. With so many bonded pairs of rabbits searching for loving homes where they can stay together, we encourage you to consider adding one of these lovable duos to your family.

Click here to meet the adoptable rabbits at Animal Friends. Who knows, maybe two will hop into your heart!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Beat the Heat

Summer Safety Tips for Your Pets

Summer is the perfect time of year 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 tips to help you beat the heat and keep your pets safe, healthy and cool during the warm months ahead.

Visit your veterinarian.

A checkup for your pet is in order this time of year. In the warmer months, your companion is at a high risk of contracting parasites, fleas and ticks, which can cause much bigger problems down the road. Preventative treatments are much easier (and less expensive!) than an emergency visit to the vet.

Practice parking lot and vehicle safety.

When the weather starts heating up, protect those paws from the hot asphalt and pavement by walking on grassy areas whenever possible. Paw pads can burn easily, especially since pets do not usually wear shoes outdoors like we do!
Your pet should never be left in a parked car. Even with the windows down, a car can quickly reach an internal temperature of more than 120 degrees, which is enough to cause severe heat stroke or worse. 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 some 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.

Know the symptoms of overheating in pets.

Heat stress and heat stroke can be serious threats to animals – especially those who are very young, old or overweight. Pets with flat faces such as Pugs or Persian cats are at unique risk for overheating because their faces do not allow them to pant effectively. Animals can have trouble maintaining their body temperature, especially when outdoor temperatures and humidity levels are high.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, drooling, mild weakness, increased heart and respiratory rate, stupor and collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, along with an elevated body temperature of more than 104 degrees.

Beat the heat.

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
If it's simply too hot to safely enjoy the weather together, try some of these enrichment activities you can enjoy inside with your pets. And, be sure to join us at Animal Friends this summer for plenty of fun classes and events (indoors and outdoors!) for you and your pets.

Misty: Animal Friends' Home to Home Adoption Program

Misty is a 1-year-old Yellow Lab who is full of love and energy that she cannot wait to share with her new family. While she is very loved and well cared for by her current family, they are searching for a home where Misty can get all of the exercise and physical activities that are so important for young dogs. Whether it is taking a walk around the neighborhood, playing fetch or simply running around a fenced-in yard, this pup loves to stretch her legs and burn off some energy.

Misty is housebroken and crate trained – although she can get a bit anxious if she is crated for an extended period. Misty has also visited the vet regularly and is in great health. This sweet pup already knows a few basic commands and has attended puppy obedience class. She is always excited to meet people and loves to give kisses and play with new friends. She is such a gentle and loving dog who would make a perfect addition to any family willing to give her the attention and affection that she deserves.
To set up a meet and greet with Misty, contact her current family at

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Happy Birthday to Us | Saving Lives for 75 Years

Today marks exactly 75 years since Animal Friends began serving the pets and people of the Pittsburgh region!

In 1943, a small group of citizens made it their mission to find homes for soldiers’ pets when they left to serve in the war.

Our founders took a name that clearly articulated their mission: to serve as friends to unwanted animals.

And three quarters of a century later, it’s truly been an incredible journey.

Starting in a rented out room in the bottom of the William Penn Hotel, our organization has grown into a bustling, 75-acre campus.

Although Animal Friends has accomplished feats in the last 75 years that were nothing short of incredible, we never realized that it would grow into such a visionary, progressive organization that is never satisfied with the status quo.

Before no-kill became a movement, our founders had a vision that no animal would ever be unnecessarily euthanized at Animal Friends. And, we remain committed to that premise to this day. We’re constantly striving to save the lives of more pets of our region.

It’s not just the pets – it’s also about the people of our community. In 2006, we were able to better serve our region’s pet-owning families by opening the Caryl Gates Gluck Resource Center.

And, this past summer we took that one step further by opening our Howard Ash Animal Wellness Center to ensure that all pet owners – regardless of income – can afford the critical wellness care that their pets need … and deserve.

We are so proud that for 75 years we have remained committed to serving our animal friends and those who love them. But we simply cannot wait to see what the next 75 years (and beyond!) will bring.

We'd love to hear your memories! So, as special birthday present to us, please share your favorite photos and stories from every decade of our 75 years on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or send us an email.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Silver Lining

Before making her way to Animal Friends, a very pregnant Janis narrowly made it out of a small shelter in Kentucky.

Because they were at capacity, they made temporary outdoor kennels for their resident dogs, including Janis.
But just as quickly as the shelter had creatively made more space, a forthcoming winter storm was all it took to undo their hard work.

And then, it went from bad to worse. Janis had given birth … growing their problem 11-fold.

They needed help – and fast.
The shelter reached out to a rescue group in our region that transports animals in crisis to partner organizations. That organization then contacted us to see if we could take in Janis and her puppies. We, of course, agreed.

And so, Janis with her 11 puppies in tow came to Animal Friends.
They immediately went into a loving foster home.
Janis was the perfect pet. Her foster family quickly decided that she would become a permanent member of theirs, once her puppies were ready to find homes.

But sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned …

Lethargy set in. Janis wasn’t acting like herself. Then the vomiting started and a fever set in. It was mastitis, and she needed surgery.

Despite her weariness, she continued to provide for her puppies. She simply wouldn’t give up on them.

After her surgery, Janis stayed at Animal Friends to recover. She continued to decline. We would do anything to get Janis healthy … but we couldn’t even get her to stand, let alone eat.

Then finally, we caught a break when her foster mom stopped by. Had we known what was about to transpire, well, we would have arranged it much sooner.

As soon as Janis spotted her foster mom, it was like her every ailment fell away. She rose from her bed and exuberantly went to her. In that moment, she was back to acting like the Janis we all knew and loved – even ate for the first time in days for her foster mom.
Their bond was remarkable. Truly undeniable.

We were hopeful that sending Janis home would speed up her recovery but the very next day proved otherwise. Janis couldn’t keep any food or medication down.
Strictures were found in Janis’s throat that made even swallowing painful. So to give her esophagus time to heal, a feeding tube was placed.

There wasn’t anything we weren’t willing to do for sweet Janis.

As the weeks continued, there were good days and bad. Despite all Janis’s pain and misery, Janis remained devoted to her pups … just as her family remained devoted to her.

We wouldn’t give up. We simply couldn’t. However, there are times when loving and letting go is the best thing you can do.

“I’ll never forget that day. It was like everything aligned so that we could all be with her until the very end. A school cancellation kept the boys at home, and the weather was bad early in the day so my husband couldn’t make it into work. Somewhat serendipitous even …”

Janis had pulled out her feeding tube. Her pain was too great. It was clear that there was no real chance for recovery. We were forced to make the heart-wrenching decision to say goodbye.

Surrounded by those who loved her most, Janis was sent off with the utmost dignity, respect and compassion.

She had finally found peace … and her home in the hearts of her foster family.

There truly is a silver lining in every tragedy.
In this case, it was Janis’s sacrifice to ensure her legacy of 11 puppies would go on to become beloved pets who will teach their families about companionship and love.

But, you see, it was also the sacrifice of our staff and volunteers who made sure that Janis and her puppies received the best quality of care we could provide.
At Animal Friends we have an unwavering commitment to give each and every one of our residents the individualized care they need – and deserve.
We’ll continue to work tirelessly for every animal who comes through our doors. We promise an unlimited number of hours and days – even years – of specialized attention.
But we cannot continue without you. Help us continue to find the silver lining.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Dangers of Declawing Cats

If you have a feline family member, you’ve probably experienced the many benefits that come from having a loving bond with your kitty companion. You’ve probably also seen (or felt!) the familiar prick of those pointy paws. But, before you declaw your cat, it’s important to know the downsides – and dangers – of declawing your beloved family cat.

Why Cats Have Claws

  • Claws help cats grip and enjoy stretches that engage and tone their backs and shoulders. 
  • While humans walk on the soles of their feet, cats walk on their toes. Because of this, they need their claws to help them balance properly. Without claws, your cat is forced to alter the way they walk which can result in discomfort, pain and joint damage. 
  • Cats scratch to release happiness – which is why you may witness your kitty joyfully scratching their scratching post when you return home or after a play session with you or your other felines.

Why You Shouldn’t Declaw

  • Declawing is a painful procedure that actually removes part of a cat’s toes, cutting through bones and nerves. For humans, this would be the equivalent of cutting off a finger at the first joint, nail and all.
  • The removal of the bone and claw also has unhealthy, harmful side effects for your feline. Declawing can cause infection, abnormal claw growth within the toe, inflammation, arthritis or behavioral changes such as increased aggression, biting, emotional trauma or litterbox avoidance issues.
  • Animal Friends and the ASPCA discourage declawing – it is considered inhumane and is already illegal in 28 countries. Although it is not yet prohibited in the United States, several cities have banned the practice.

Safe and Healthy Alternatives

  • Ensure that your cat has approved surfaces to scratch. Cardboard, carpet, rope or fabric scratchers can be purchased or made at home. With a variety of scratching options, you’re sure to find a surface your feline will enjoy scratching more than your sofa!
  • Trimming a cat’s claws every few weeks can drastically reduce damage from scratching.
    • TIP: Make trimming a pleasurable activity for your cat by offering some yummy treats as a reward!
  • Cats' claws grow continuously, just like human nails. The outer sheaths of the claws, which become dull over time, are shed when a cat scratches. As cats get older, they may not wear their claws down as fast, resulting in the need for more frequent claw trimmings.
With proper education, patience and a little positive reinforcement, your cat can continue to scratch happily without you or your home paying the price! Contact Animal Friends at 412.847.7000 or visit our website if you need help training your cat to scratch appropriately. Your kitty (and your furniture) will certainly thank you!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Home to Home Adoption Program: Calli

Calli is a very friendly 7-year-old domestic short hair. Her family brought her home about a year ago, but is no longer able to give her the attention that she adores and deserves. Because of this, Calli's temporary family is searching for a more permanent arrangement for her! 

Calli is microchipped and loves to be cuddled, petted and will even give little headbutts when she is craving some attention. She is a very sweet girl and can be vocal when she wants to be! Calli can live with dogs as long as they can respect her personal space. She takes some time to warm up to new people, but loves her humans once she gets to know them.

Does Calli sound like the perfect companion for you? If so, contact Kerri at to set up a time to meet her!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Home to Home Adoption Program: Vikki

Vikki is an incredibly friendly spayed black domestic shorthair who is about 1-2 years old. Vikki was found as a stray and taken into a home that she hoped was her perfect fit. Sadly, she has had a hard time getting along with her new feline housemate, so her temporary family is searching for a more permanent arrangement for her!
This lovely lady would be a great addition to a family looking to add an affectionate cat to their home. She has tested negative for both FIV and Feline Leukemia and is up to date on all vaccinations. Vikki even enthusiastically uses her scratching pads and litter box! Vikki is looking for a home to call her own that is ready to give her all the love and attention she deserves.

Does Vikki sound like the perfect companion for you? If so, contact Ed or Ruth at 412.512.7495 or email to set up a time to meet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

7 Household Dangers for Pets

As a pet owner, it’s likely that you use extra caution with certain chemicals and toxins in your home that can be harmful to your four-legged family members. But, things like insecticides and rodenticides are just scratching the surface. Keep an eye out for these everyday household items that may pose a threat to your pet’s well-being!

Human Food

Most of us like to show our pets how much we love them by slipping them some yummy table scraps. And, it’s not just chocolate, grapes and raisins that should stay out of your pet’s bowl. Foods like avocados, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, and foods containing xylitol such as gum and certain peanut butters are no good. You’ll also want to be sure your pet steers clear of coffee grounds, yeast and alcohol.

Cooked meats can pose a serious threat to your pet’s health, too. Bones can become brittle when cooked, increasing the chance of breaking or splintering which is a big issue when ingested by your animal companion.

Human Medications

We know to keep our medications out of the reach of children, but human medicine can be enticing for curious noses and paws, too! From prescription to over-the-counter, human medications are not safe for our four-legged friends. Even inhalers can pose a danger, so be sure to keep your medications out of reach of your kids (two- and four-legged alike).

House Plants

Many people know that poinsettias and lilies are toxic to cats, but plant varieties such as azalea, rhododendron and sago palm are some of the less commonly known hazards! Additionally, kalanchoe flowers and schefflera leaves are often found in homes and can be harmful to pets.

Household Cleaners

You may be aware that chemicals like bleach and detergents can pose a threat to your pet. If ingested (or even inhaled), other common substances such as disinfectants or antifreeze can also be harmful to your pet. Don’t forget about garden fertilizers or paint chips containing heavy metals, too!

Essential Oils

While essential oils might be helpful for treating human ailments, many of these substances are volatile compounds, which mean they can be toxic to your animal companion. Cats can be especially sensitive to the scents in essential oils. Keep in mind that what is safe for you to use isn’t necessarily safe to use with your pet nearby.

For Rabbits

In addition to the dangers listed above, Rabbits can face special risks when it comes to toxic substances. There can be traces of cyanide in almonds, cassava roots, mangoes and millet sprouts, so those are not safe foods to feed to your bunny! A substance called “psoralen,” found in Parsnips, is also poisonous! Growing your own veggies in a garden might be great for people, but not all veggies are safe for rabbits. Stay away from eggplants, potato plants, sweet potato plants, tomato plants and the root of mustard plants.

Odds and Ends

Poisons aren’t the only thing that can pose a threat to your four-legged family members! Keep an eye out for other dangers like loose strings (especially attached to blinds or dental floss!), rubber bands, treated toilet water and plastic bags. In the winter time, ice melt can get into paw pads and injure the skin. Coins and other small objects such as lip balm, batteries, socks and hair ties can look or smell appetizing to your pet, but could cause serious internal damage if ingested.

While accidents happen, the best way to keep your pet happy and healthy is to know what to look for and keep a close watch over potential hazards in the home. If your pet does consume something they shouldn’t or even if you suspect they may have gotten into something unsafe, take them to the nearest emergency veterinarian right away!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Jasmine and Iris: Animal Friends' Home to Home Adoption Program

Jasmine and Iris were rescued about 4 years ago when they were just kittens. As part of a litter of young kittens, they had nowhere else to go, so a Good Samaritan who fell in love with them stepped in and gave a home to these two adorable kitties.

Now 4 years old, Jasmine and Iris are in search of a new home because a new member of their family is severely allergic to cats. In their current home, they spend their days playing with each other and even get along great with a canine sibling! These wonderful, friendly and lovable kitties need a home where they will get all of the playtime, love and attention they’ve grown accustomed to.

If you think your family might be the right fit for these sweet girls, contact Debbie at

Monday, March 5, 2018

Wellness Wednesdays

The hallmark of our Howard Ash Animal Wellness Center is to provide affordable wellness services to financially struggling pet owners. At Animal Friends, we know that just because a family may have fallen on difficult economic times, doesn’t mean their pets don’t deserve high quality veterinary care. By giving our community access to low-cost, high-quality services, we can keep pets healthy and at home with caring families – where they belong.

Scheduling a yearly wellness visit is the best way to keep your pet healthy. Not only will it provide your pet with preventative care they may need – such as a heartworm test, general blood work and vaccinations – it is the perfect time to identify any number of potentially life threatening conditions and begin treatment. As your pet ages, their need for routine care may increase. We recommend that pets older than 7 years have a preventative care appointment twice each year.

To help low-income families keep their four-legged members feeling their best, Animal Friends is proud to introduce Wellness Wednesdays at our Howard Ash Animal Wellness Center.

Now, you can schedule a wellness visit that includes a physical exam by a licensed veterinarian. From there you can opt to get your pet routine vaccinations, flea and tick treatments and tests to detect conditions such as heartworm, Lyme disease, feline leukemia and FIV. You can also make appointments for routine illnesses, like ear and eye infections or sneezing and coughing. And, you’ll be provided with any necessary medication during your visit so you won’t need to make an extra trip to the pharmacy!

By offering low-cost wellness services with compassionate staff in a judgment-free zone, we know that we’ll be helping our clients and their pets – and we look forward to doing so.

Wellness visits are by appointment only. To schedule your visit, contact our Clinic Services team at 412.847.7004 or click here to learn more.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What to Know About Pet Dental Health

Did you know that February is Pet Dental Health Awareness Month? Because 70% of cats and dogs 4 years or older are affected by periodontal disease, we are committed to helping you keep your companions safe and healthy. 

Periodontal disease is preventable with proper attention and care. Below are some tips to provide the best oral care for your pet.

Cats and Dogs:

Take Note of Bad Breath:
Unusual scents coming from your pet's mouth could indicate that there is something wrong! Additional warnings of poor dental health are bleeding gums, yellow or brown teeth, pawing at the mouth and loose or missing teeth.

Brush Those Teeth!
Brushing your cat or dog's teeth may seem intimidating at first, but you can begin by letting your pet smell the toothbrush and pet toothpaste (human toothpaste is not safe for pets!) Over time, you can gradually ease into brushing on each side of the mouth for a few seconds.

Toys, Treats and More:
Consider toys, treats and food that are designed to improve oral health in pets by removing troublesome plaque. Before purchasing, look for the Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

The Scoop on Dental Exams:
A thorough dental appointment will include an exam of your companion's head and neck to check for abnormalities as well as the teeth and gums to look for redness, swelling or bleeding. To remove pesky plaque and clean your pet's teeth well, veterinarians recommend putting them under anesthesia.

And, we couldn't forget about those bunnies! 


Rabbit teeth differ from the teeth of cats and dogs because they continue to grow for their entire lives. This is a characteristic that can be found in animals who naturally eat tough, fibrous plants and vegetation. You can't brush rabbit teeth, but below are some tips to care for your bun's oral health!

80-90% of a rabbit's diet should consist of fibrous grass hay. Fed a low-fiber diet, the molars get too long, the upper molars curve sideways and form a sharp spike that cuts into the cheek, and the lower molars curve inward and form a spike that cuts into the tongue. To avoid these painful oral problems, it is vital to keep track of your rabbit's diet. 

Behavior Changes:
Monitor your rabbit for changes in behavior such as: if he stops eating hay and pellets, if he is eating less food overall, if he runs up to the food as if he’s hungry, sniffs it, then walks away without eating, if he has episodes of anorexia that recur every few months, if you find moisture around his mouth or on his chin, or a sour odor to his breath. If you notice these, there may be dental problems.

Dental Exams:
When you take your bun for their yearly exam, be sure the veterinarian checks their teeth. Most emergency vet trips are due to dental issues!

Toys for Healthy Teeth!
You may think rabbits only have the first two teeth you see in the front, but they really have 28! A good type of toy to offer your bun are wood-based toys to wear down the teeth similarly to how they are worn down in nature.

We hope these oral health tips are helpful in keeping your pet safe, healthy and happy for many years to come.