Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Flounder found his way to Animal Friends a little over a year ago with his brother Sebastian. We knew immediately that these lovable boys were inseparable. Despite being infested with parasites and suffering from severe dental disease, these amazing kitties never lost their sweet, friendly personalities. Even after they developed IBD, a disease that attacks the digestive system, Flounder and Sebastian leaned on each other and relied on the love and care of our compassionate staff and volunteers.
Sadly, at the beginning of the New Year, Flounder and Sebastian were separated in the worst way imaginable. Sebastian developed Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), an incurable and fatal disease and passed away. Being that FIP, although not contagious, has a genetic component, Flounder is potentially at risk of developing the disease.
Despite Flounder's health concerns we are dedicated to finding him a loving home. Nothing would make Flounder happier than a cozy lap next to a warm fire. It could be a few weeks or several years, but this sweet and affectionate boy deserves the best life possible for the rest of his days.
If you can give Flounder the gift of a loving home, contact Animal Friends' Adoption team today at 412.847.7002 or AdoptionInfo@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Toby is a 9-year-old Shepherd mix who was rescued by an older woman from an abandoned litter of puppies. Sadly, Toby's rescuer passed away about a year ago and he has been living with a foster family since.
He can be a little anxious at times, particularly when interacting with men. While he has been working hard to overcome his shyness and is happy and comfortable when the whole family is home, he is still a little uneasy when he's home alone with his foster dad.
Typically, Toby is a well-behaved, social and playful guy! Although he has had limited experience with children, Toby has lived well with cats and other dogs.
Toby's favorite activities are chewing his squeaky toys, enjoying a quiet night in with his most trusted human (and animal!) friends, and having his ears gently scratched. This handsome boy absolutely loves going for walks and despite his uneasiness, will even go for a stroll with his foster dad.
Toby is a low-maintenance pup who is content and well-behaved when left home alone during the work day. This lovable boy is really the best of both worlds, loving his playtime with both people and pets, but also appreciating the art of relaxation!
While he has made some significant improvements in trusting his foster dad, his current family doesn't want to continue to push him. Toby does have male human friends that he is quite comfortable with, but to help him thrive, his family wants him to find a loving home where he will be as comfortable as possible.
If you think your home would be a good fit for Toby, please contact Clinton at 412.345.3284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, February 13, 2017
Now, you can help more animals just like Barney receive the lifesaving support they desperately need by purchasing Sarris Candy. Click here and use Group ID# 10-0375 and designate Animal Friends as your organization when placing your candy order and you'll be supporting Animal Friends in the sweetest way possible!
Don't delay! The deadline to place your online order is April 7.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Dogs are great at detecting smells and their superior sniffers are a great way to help them have some fun when it’s too cold outside for their typical activities.
Bottles in a Box
A large box filled with empty water bottles can really put your pup’s brain to work. Drop in a few treats and let your dog sniff, search and dig for them. Since the bottles make lots of noise, try crumbled newspaper for fearful dogs to help them build confidence.
Take a page out of Hansel and Gretel’s book and lay out a trail of tiny treats. This game can be played inside in any amount of space – use your imagination! After leading your pooch through the kitchen, around the couch and up the stairs, leave a jackpot (a small pile of treats) at the end of the trail as a reward for your little explorer!
A rabbit in the wild must search for his food. By creating a foraging game you can easily encourage your indoor rabbit to get some exercise while searching, sniffing and thinking to find a treat.
Friday, January 6, 2017
If you would like to give Baby Girl a loving home, contact her foster mom today!
724.591.2293 | email@example.com
Monday, January 2, 2017
Toby is a 2-year-old boy who was found by his current family as a stray. This handsome boy has long black, brown and white fur. Toby likes to play quietly with his toys and loves to use his scratching post! He also enjoys passing the time giving himself a nice grooming!
He hasn't had an opportunity to interact with cats, but gets along very well with the Rottweiler that currently shares his home. Although he is a little skittish, Toby is slowly but surely learning to be more confident. This docile kitty doesn't mind being handled and is a great sport about ear cleaning, medication and nail trimming. Toby is also a true gentleman about using his litterbox!
Though he's not quite a lap cat, he is very affectionate on his own terms and follows his foster family around like a shadow! If you're looking to give a fun cat with just the right amount of energy a home, contact Toby's foster to meet him today.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
The holidays are a great time of year for many reasons. Visiting with friends and family, time off of work and school and, of course, those shiny packages wrapped up with colorful bows! It’s also the perfect time of year to give a home to a shelter pet because you and your family will be spending more time at home with the newest addition to your family.
When bringing your new pet home, you’ll want to make the transition as pleasant and stress-free as possible. Whether you’re considering adding a cat, dog or rabbit to your family, keep these helpful tips in mind.
If you’re adopting a cat, the first recommendation each of our Adoption Counselors will make is to separate your cat in one room of your home until they’re acclimated to their new environment. This should be the smallest room in your home with the least amount of clutter. Cats can be overwhelmed easily, so it’s best to take your time building a relationship. Spend some time in the room with your new cat each and every day. When he or she greets you at the door and is no longer hiding, it’s probably time for more space and freedom!
Dogs are a constant source of fun and entertainment, but you’ll need to take steps to keep your new canine family member (and your house!) out of trouble. Your dog will need a dog-proof space to rest and chew appropriate items when you’re not around – a crate or small room is ideal. From day one, start teaching your pooch the rules of the house through positive reinforcement. Eventually, he’ll learn to be trustworthy in your absence and will excel at following the rules of his new home.
Bringing home a rabbit is a wonderful experience. Rabbits are social creatures who want companionship just as much as you do. Using an exercise pen is the best option as opposed to a cage or hutch because it gives you the option of making your rabbit’s area any size you’d like. A rabbit’s area should be at least four times the length of the rabbit or large enough for him or her to stretch out comfortably – while fitting a litterbox and food and water bowls.
Follow these tips and you and your new family will be well on your way to happily ever after. Patience is the key to building a strong relationship with your pet, it’s always better to take your time and be sure than to rush it!
We know that the greatest gift you can give to a shelter pet is a home. To make this wish come true for as many of our residents as possible this holiday season, we’re offering priceless* adoptions for each cat, dog and rabbit at Animal Friends through Dec. 31 thanks to the entire Fragasso family. Come to Animal Friends or click here to get started now!
*Standard adoption application procedures apply.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
As the excitement died down, the dogs settled into their kennels. Those who needed around-the-clock attention were placed into foster homes. Including a pregnant mom, Betsy, so she could safely give birth to small litter of puppies.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
To prepare for falling temperatures, we're hosting our annual Straw Drop. Free bags of straw are offered to anyone who owns or cares for outdoor animals – including feral and community cats.
While Animal Friends encourages pet owners to make pets part of the family and keep them inside the home, we recognize that this is not always possible. Animal Friends urges those caretakers to obey the law by ensuring that outdoor animals have access to proper food and warm, dry shelters. Blankets, towels and pillows can retain moisture and freeze, which is why straw is the best insulation against the cold and wet weather conditions.
In addition to keeping outdoor animals’ living spaces insulated, there are other best practices pet owners should abide by, including:
• Using a car mat or rug as a flap over a doghouse door to keep the inside free of wind, snow and rain.
• Examining shelters carefully – and often – to ensure that there are no cracks or holes that will prevent the structure from keeping the animal safe.
• Taking extra care to provide adequate amounts of drinkable water and food at all times during freezing temperatures.
• Inspecting your pet's paws, ears and tail frequently for signs of frostbite – a very common occurrence. If you suspect frostbite, your pet will need to see a veterinarian immediately.
• Monitoring your dog's tether to ensure it is not frozen to the ground or tangled. A tangled, too-short chain can cost your pet his or her life in bad weather.
Animal Friends is located at 562 Camp Horne Rd. in the North Hills – just a half of a mile west of Exit 8 off of Interstate 279.
Free bags of straw can be picked up at Animal Friends seven days a week. On a limited basis, straw delivery may be available for those without transportation.
For more information, call Animal Friends at 412.847.7000 or visit ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
By the staff at Petagogy
‘Tis the season for decorations, parties and food galore! It is a festive time with lots to smile about, but as you prepare your home for your holiday festivities keep in mind some simple safety measures to help keep your four-legged family members safe.
Christmas Trees and Holiday Plants
Cats and dogs may be (very) interested in the tree, and why not—it’s a little bit of the outdoors inside on those cold winter days. If your furry family member is interested in the pine tree in the corner make sure it is secured. A hefty cat on a branch or an excited jump by a pooch could topple the tree on to more than just the neatly wrapped boxes underneath. Also keep holiday plants off the ground as many seasonal plants, including holly, mistletoe, poinsettia, lilies, as well as Christmas tree water, can be toxic if ingested by your pets.
Be mindful of low hanging decorations. Jingle bells, tinsel, lights and ribbon might look like toys to your pets. A gentle swat with a paw could lead to chewing and swallowing, which could lead to an emergency trip to the vet.
A highlight of the holiday season is the food. Serving sweets to your guests? Keep them up high out of your pooch’s reach. Chocolate and artificial sweetener (xylitol) are very bad for your pet. Although a few bites of plain turkey or vegetables are fine, the spices, sauces and butter used to make the turkey and sides delicious for your guests are not, so keep leftovers out of the dog bowl and encourage guests not to feed pets from their plate. No turkey or ham bones either—once the bones have been cooked they pose a serious hazard for your pets. Raw, uncooked bones are often safe, but when they are cooked they become hard and can crack, splinter or be come lodged in the throat. Still want to give your pet a holiday treat? Some high-quality food companies make special foods that you can give your pets around the holidays—try Merrick’s Venison Holiday Stew or Christmas Day Dinner for your pup.
Family and friends may be coming to visit over the holidays or perhaps you are planning a holiday party. Guests may enjoy a holiday libation and can become lax about making sure doors and gates are closed, or may leave their adult beverage within your pet’s reach--both can be dangerous to your furry friends. In situations where your guests may not be pet savvy or they may not make the “best” decisions, it might be best to board your pet, or keep them separated in another room for the evening. Also make sure they are wearing current ID tags and are micro-chipped in case they escape during the flow of guests in and out of your house.
Gifts for Your Pet
People love to spoil other people’s pets and may want to buy something tasty for your furkids. Be cautious; not everyone reads FDA warnings and may be unaware that certain chicken jerky and other treats made in China have been making pets sick. If you don’t trust the brand or know where the ingredients are sourced from, be gracious but don’t risk giving it to your pet just to be polite to the gift-giver. I promise your pet won’t rat you out.
Petagogy (pronounced pet-uh-go-jee) specializes in premium and natural pet foods, treats and supplies. Petagogy is located at 5880 Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Learn more at www.petagogypgh.com
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Now that the holiday season is in full swing, here are the top 10 reasons why #GivingTuesday is better than Black Friday!
10. #GivingTuesday is much safer than Black Friday! You won't have to wait in long lines with freezing temperatures only to be trampled by your fellow shoppers looking for the best deal on a flat-screen TV!
9. You don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn. You can donate at any point during the day, whenever is most convenient for you.
8. You can participate from the warmth and comfort of your home, so keep those PJs on!
7. You can eat ice cream and watch Netflix while donating. That's always a bonus.
6. You don’t have to break the bank to make a donation, even the smallest gift can have an amazing impact!
5. You can feel good about the money you gave, rather than regret the money you spent shopping.
4. Giving a gift on #GivingTuesday takes only a few seconds. You could spend hours standing in Black Friday lines!
3. Giving to charity gives you serious karma points.
2. Lower your tax bill with these charitable contributions!
1. Most importantly, your gift will make a difference in the lives of our region's homeless pets right now. What's even better ... if you donate $100 or more today, you'll receive a limited edition keepsake ornament to show your support of Animal Friends for years to come!
Head over to ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org/GivingTuesday to join us and kick off the holiday season on a positive note. And remember, each and every dollar will help more animals in need!
|Chow Wagon Volunteer Jim Stocker loads his van full of donated pet food to deliver to food pantries with the help of his dog, an Animal Friends alumni!|
Jim is from the South Hills and has been volunteering at Animal Friends for almost five years. As the Chow Wagon program expanded to serve more food pantries, he happily stepped in to lend a hand. Though he started out as substitute delivery driver, Jim has increased the number of locations to which he regularly delivers. Now he is able to deliver to not one, not two, but three food pantries!
In addition to making regular deliveries, Jim also picks up Petco Foundation pet supply donations from multiple Petco stores. Whenever the donation bin at the store is full, Jim is there to deliver it to Animal Friends.
We at Animal Friends are grateful to all of our wonderful volunteers, like Jim, who are committed to improving the lives of all pets. If you’d like to help with our Chow Wagon program, contact Rachel at RMartone@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org for more information.
Friday, November 18, 2016
With the holiday season quickly approaching, the dogs, cats and rabbits at Animal Friends are getting excited for Thanksgiving! We encourage you to include your pets at home to join in the festivities, but what's most important is keeping them safe and healthy. Here are some helpful tips from the experts at the ASPCA to help your pets enjoy a safe Thanksgiving!
If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer them raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delicous, but just like many other herbs, it can contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal problems and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.
Don't spoil your pet's holiday by giving them raw bread dough. According to the ASPCA, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in their stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become life-threatening and require surgery.
There's Not Always Room for Cake
If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs – they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
Too Much of a Good Thing
A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with an upset stomach, diarrhea or even worse – pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best to keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.
A Feast Fit for a Kong
While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner – perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy – inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for a while, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.
We hope you and your pets have a very happy Thanksgiving! Take it easy on the turkey and please, be tasteful with the pilgrim costumes.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Pop Tart is a gorgeous tabby who is about 8 years old. She was adopted as a stray by Sushi and her family when she was just a kitten. She is a little shy but absolutely adores attention once she gets to know you. This kitty is a mile-a-minute and loves to chase anything, especially a laser pointer! Pop Tart has never been a big fan of dogs and would be happiest in a home where she won't have any canine brothers or sisters. This sweet girl isn't much of a lap cat, but every once in a while will jump up onto the lap of her favorite person ... those are the moments her family will treasure!
Sushi is about 10 years old and is a total sweetheart! She is as pleasant as any cat you'll meet and quickly becomes a curious and outgoing girl when meeting new people. While her friend Pop Tart prefers a dog-free home, Sushi doesn't mind canine companions. Sushi has a very nurturing, motherly personality and takes the lead when she and Pop Tart are together. This girl loves her cat nip and enjoys spending time as a lap cat – as long as it's on her terms!
If you can give these sweet girls a loving home, please contact Charles at 412.600.6603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Don and Louie are the first of what are sure to be many successful matches made through the Pets for Vets Pittsburgh Chapter at Animal Friends, but to connect more vets with pets, we need trainers! If you’re interested in becoming a Pets for Vets trainer who can help us tell more Happy Tails like Don and Louie’s, contact Kellie at KRoberts@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Among the most unique residents at Animal Friends are the cats that have feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Cats with FIV cope with a slightly weakened immune system and because of this, can be more susceptible to certain illnesses and infections—many of which are very treatable. Although these cats require a little more care from time to time, they’re just like any other cat; they simply need some extra help finding a good home.
Here’s a letter that was written by Carol, a cat lover who has adopted numerous FIV cats from Animal Friends over the years.
“Sadly, in April and May of this year I lost two dear friends, Andy and Sully. They had lived long, relatively healthy lives, which was especially wonderful because they were each affected with FIV. After Andy and Sully had passed away, I found myself with my one remaining cat, Little Bear, who also has FIV. Since he is a very social cat, I was worried about Little Bear being alone. Fortunately, the Saturday after we said goodbye to Sully was a gloomy, rainy day – perfect for finding a new feline companion to adopt. I visited Animal Friends and met with two adoption counselors and let them know that I was looking for another FIV cat that would get along with Little Bear. We spent some time getting to know some of the cats in the free-roam room where the FIV+ residents live and I fell in love with a pretty black and tan tabby. I adopted her and she is now known as Desi.
“For Little Bear and me, good fortune had struck. Not only has Desi’s integration into our home been seamless, but she and Little Bear have quickly become best friends. To Little Bear, the best bed is one with another cat in it and lucky for him, she has the same sentiment. Now, Desi livens up my days with her beautiful soprano voice, chirping and trilling when she has something to say. She’s fascinated by TV, and like me, enjoys binge-watching sci-fi shows. As I write this, Little Bear is snoozing on the desk and Desi is inspecting my office supplies – yes, as a matter of fact, I do store my pens on the floor.
“So why do I adopt cats who have FIV? Because for the most part they’re perfectly normal cats and with proper care, they can lead happy, healthy lives. These cats are often overlooked by adopters, because of health concerns. But I’ve learned from working with them (and adopting four of my own) that outwardly, FIV+ cats are really no different than any other cat – and they have just as much love (maybe even more!) to give.”
Right now, there are more than a dozen sweet and wonderful cats with FIV waiting at Animal Friends for the right family to come and scoop them up. While they cannot go to homes with other cats who are not FIV+ because of the possible risk of spreading the virus, there is no risk of them transmitting it to humans or other pets. If you have the right type of home for one of these special cats and have plenty of room in your heart, go to ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org/Cats or stop by Animal Friends to learn more about how you change the life of an animal that needs it the most.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
Doyle is a sweet little mutt who has been with the same family for the past 12 years since being adopted from a shelter. Unfortunately, due to a change in lifestyle for his family, they are in search of a loving new family that will welcome Doyle with open arms.
This Chow/Lab/Beagle mix is about 50 pounds and has a whole lot of love to give. He's very well behaved around children and adults alike. Doyle is never happier than when he's getting a nice belly rub or laying at your feet basking in the sun.
Doyle is alright to hold down the fort while you're away and is perfectly content to lay and listen to the radio. He also doubles as a great watch dog, barking when someone comes to the door but instantly becoming their best friend once they're inside.
If you think that Doyle would be a good companion for you, contact his current family. This lovable little guy comes complete with his own "Doyle" bed to help him feel at home right away.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Halloween is just around the corner! While you’re gathering together your costume, stocking up on candy and transforming your yard into a graveyard, remember that holidays like Halloween can be stressful times for your pets. Pets don’t understand why their best two-legged pals are wearing funny masks, or why people keep ringing the doorbell over and over again.
To keep Halloween fun and safe for everyone in the family, consider the following pet safety tips:
• If you and your children are going to dress up in costume for Halloween, allow your dog and cat to see and sniff the costume before putting it on to prevent them from being frightened.
• Keep candy, especially chocolate and gum, away from your pets––chocolate, candies containing Xylitol (a sugar-alcohol sweetener), wrappers and other ingredients can be poisonous and even fatal for pets if they ingest it. According to Petplan, a leading pet insurance company, pets are 140% more likely to suffer from chocolate-related poisonings during the week of Halloween than any other time of year.
• Raisins are becoming a popular alternative for trick-or-treaters; however, raisins are just as bad as chocolate for pets—even in small doses, raisins can cause kidney-failure and should be kept far away from your four-legged friends.
• Don’t bring your dogs trick or treating––the costumes, noise, music, yelling kids, lights and decorations can be frightening and stressful for many dogs.
• Beware of outfitting your home or yard with decorations that can cause a hazard to your pets, such as corncobs and stalks, cobwebs, glowsticks and plastic decorations (which can look like toys but are a choking hazard). Also, be sure to cover and hide all electrical cords.
• If you are giving out candy on Halloween night, consider keeping your pets blocked off from the front door by either putting a pet gate in the doorway or sequestering them in another room of the house. The constant doorbell ringing and kids yelling in costume might be stressful and cause a dog or cat to escape out the front door. Also, fear may trigger your normally friendly dog’s instinct to bark, possible scaring your young Halloween visitors.
• Make sure your pets have proper identification, including tags and/or microchips, in case they do escape out of an open door so they can be safely returned home.
• If you dress your pet in costume make sure it fits well enough to allow for breathing room, visibility and does not restrict movement. Also, be aware of loose or hanging parts that your pet can reach, chew and possibly choke on, including fringe, feathers, buttons and stuffing. Costumes can cause undue stress for pets, so if you decide to dress up your pet make sure he likes it first. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, try something simple like a festive bandana instead.
• Keep candles (free standing and those in pumpkins or luminaries) away from pets to prevent them burning themselves and/or starting a fire.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Sugar Rae is a big sweetheart who will quickly become your shadow, following you everywhere you go. She is the perfect mix of sweet and sassy who isn't afraid to voice her opinions. If you let her in on the conversation, she'll happily talk your ear off! This affectionate girl also loves to play fetch with tennis balls and adores a nice long walk.
Brody is the gentler of the two. This sweet boy is a big baby who couldn't be friendlier! He loves kids and would love to have children to keep him busy with plenty of playtime. Much like his sister, Brody could spend hours playing ball outside and going for walks.
If you think this dynamic duo would be a good fit for your home, contact Michelle at 412.722.7370 or email@example.com.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
In honor of National Feral Cat Day Animal Friends will be hosting It's Hip to Be Tipped, an educational event for colony caregivers and those who want to learn more about community cats.
Animal Friends' Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Department is working to help the community manage community cat populations (can include feral, stray and barn cats) by practicing Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (TNVR).
We know we can peacefully coexist with community cats so we wanted to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about them.
Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return FAQsEar tips are a means for identifying spayed/neutered community cat from a distance. During surgery, the top o one ear is tipped (commonly the left ear, but sometimes the right instead).
What is the difference between feral and stray cats?
What is TNVR?
Why TNVR?Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return is the most humane way to deal with the problem of cat overpopulation. Euthanizing feral cat populations is not only inhumane but also ineffective.
Come to It's Hip to Be Tipped on Fri., Oct. 14 to learn how to make a feral cat house, speak with an expert, learn about Animal Friends’ services for community cats and have the first opportunity to make an appointment for our free spay/neuter clinic! You’ll also meet some adoptable kitties that were once part of a community cat colony. And, you won’t want to miss the launch of a new program for colony caregivers. A limited supply of free cat food and straw will be available.
Please RSVP to MLippert@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.
Monday, October 10, 2016
At Animal Friends, we're so excited to be counting down to the spookiest day of the year. To help you get into the spirit we're throwing a Howl-o-ween celebration you and your pup will be sure to enjoy ... the Muttster Mash! In case you're not sure if it's right for you, here are the top 10 reasons to lace up your sneakers, find the perfect costume for your furry buddy and meet us on Oct. 16 in South Park for the Muttster Mash!