Monday, January 4, 2016

Animal Friends' Home-to-Home program presents: Puss!






I am a mature female calico house cat in need of a loving home.  I yearn to be the apple of your eye and hope that you will let me exude my diva like qualities.   I am looking for a stress free environment without competition for my owner’s attention.  In return I can offer lots of affection in the form evening snuggles on the couch and as a loyal and devoted companion.  Don’t let my age fool you.  



 I am a spunky 11-year-old with the mind and energy of a 4-year-old.  I love to run and play – honestly, I think this is why my brother can’t wait for me to move out! Truth be told, I can’t wait to get the treats all to myself and not have to fight for warmest spot in the house.

 If you can help Puss find a forever home, please contact Leighanna at leighanna.miller@yahoo.com.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


On the 10th (11th, 12th and one for good measure!) day of Christmas, Animal Friends gave to Icarus, Igor, Idris and Irina four spay/neuter surgeries!

These young cats were brought to Animal Friends through our Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) Program. The TNR Program is a means of humanely controlling cat populations. Feral cats are trapped using humane box traps, brought back to Animal Friends to be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and ear-tipped by our vet. After they've recovered, the cats are then returned to their colony for continued care by the caretaker. This is the most humane way to control the problem of cat overpopulation. 


Icarus, Igor, Idris and Irina were part of a colony of feral cats and trapped as kittens. They could not have been more lucky! Instead of being returned to their colony, these four got a new lease on life! They instead were admitted by Animal Friends and became four adoptable kittens.


Not all feral cats are as lucky as Icarus, Igor, Idris and Irina. Most feral cats are forced to live on the streets. Rummaging for food each day. Living a hard life. But Animal Friends will be there for them.


We'll be there for them, to ensure they're spayed/neutered. To ensure they won't contribute more litters of unwanted kittens. To ensure they won't contribute more statistics to the cold, harsh reality of pet overpopulation. 


Right now, you can ensure that more animals – like Icarus, Igor, Idris and Irina – have access to critical spay/neuter surgeries.



Thanks to a very generous donor, there is no better time to give! Now through Dec. 31, every donation given to our Year-End Campaign will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000.

Right now your support can go twice as far – helping twice as many animals.

Please click here to maximize this very generous challenge.


And if you donate at least $20 from now until Sat., Dec. 26 at 11:59 p.m. ESTyou'll be entered to win a pair of tickets to our series of 2016 W(h)ine events (held in Feb., March, June, Aug. and Oct.) that you can attend with your pooch!

Click here to enter now! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The 12 Spays (and Neuters) of Christmas: Verdana and Tahoma!

http://www.thinkingoutsidethecage.org/donatenow

On the eighth (and ninth!) day of Christmas, Animal Friends gave to Verdana and Tahoma two spay/neuter surgeries!

Verdana and Tahoma made their way to Animal Friends through a Humane Investigations case. Their former owners had released these two baby rabbits into the wild to fend for themselves. On that winter night they were rescued, their lives would be forever changed. Not only would these two kits be given a second chance to find a loving, forever home but they’d be given a longer, healthier life because they would be spayed/neutered.


Each pet brought into Animal Friends is spayed/neutered before being cleared for adoption. We know spaying/neutering is not only necessary for each pet’s health and well-being but it’s the compassionate, proactive way to combat the pet overpopulation crisis in our region

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And, we won't stop with the animals in our care. For more than 20 years, we’ve been committed to ensuring that affordable spay/neuter services are available to every pet owner – especially those struggling to make ends meet. This year alone our Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program has completed an amazing 9,000 spay/neuter surgeries and every day we receive dozens of new calls from pet owners desperate for our high-quality, low-cost services.


Right now, you can ensure that more pets have access to a critical – and affordable – spay/neuter surgery.


Thanks to a very generous donor, there is no better time to give! Now through Dec. 31, every donation given to our Year-End Campaign will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000.


Right now your support can go twice as far – helping twice as many animals.


Please click here to maximize this very generous challenge.

Sunday, December 20, 2015



On the sixth and seventh days of Christmas Animal Friends gave to Pixel and Honey two spay/neuter surgeries!

The need for accessible and affordable spay/neuter programming comes in all shapes and sizes. But one particularly heartwarming story comes to mind. It’s about a client of our community outreach program and her two dogs, Honey and Pixel. But we’ll let the staff member who experienced it firsthand tell you about it …

I headed out to a client’s home to pick up a little Chihuahua, Honey, to be brought back to Animal Friends for her spay. As I’m putting Honey into a carrier, I see a small Shih Tzu, Pixel, out of the corner of my eye. The poor guy was covered in mats from nose to tail.

It turns out someone had left him on my client’s front porch and tied it to her door. She couldn’t turn her back on Pixel so she took him. She knew he needed help. But no matter how many times she tried to take him to a groomer she couldn’t get him into a carrier. You see little Pixel was in so much pain from the severe matting that he couldn’t endure any type of handling.

I asked her permission to take the little dog to the shelter, and give him a haircut and neuter him. She jumped with joy and accepted my offer. So with much luck and finesse I was able to get him back to Animal Friends.

And so we shaved Pixel down. Once the mats were gone, he immediately kissed and hugged our vet techs. The little guy felt so much better and was no longer in any pain!

Upon the return home, the woman cried and held me for a moment as she continuously thanked me for saving her dogs life. I left her home with tears in my eyes and joy in my heart. It was an incredible feeling to know we made a difference in more than one life that day.


It’s the moments like these that we at Animal Friends strive for – helping those who need it most. But to keep these services available through the end of the year we need you.

You can help pets – just like Pixel and Honey. Click here to donate now.


And thanks to an incredibly generous challenge from an anonymous donor your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000 through Dec. 31.

Click here to make your donation go further today.

Friday, December 18, 2015



On the second (third, fourth and fifth!) day of Christmas Animal Friends gave to Jackie and her kittens four spay/neuter surgeries!

This is Cavatelli, Jackie, Rigatoni and Penne. A pregnant Jackie was rescued by a Good Samaritan, Rebecca. Rebecca found Jackie as a pregnant stray and brought her into her home so she could have a safe place to nurse and care for her kittens.

Rebecca brought Jackie to Animal Friends to be spayed through our Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program. As a result, Jackie got us to our goal to spay/neuter at least 10,000 animals in 2013! Not only that, Jackie’s three kittens were our 10,001st, 10,002nd and 10,003rd surgeries of the year!

Animal Friends knows that low-cost spay/neuter programming is the only way to proactively relieve the pet overpopulation problem in our region. Jackie and her kittens were lucky to have been found by Rebecca. But not all pets are as fortunate to escape from the abuse, neglect and unwarranted euthanasia of pet overpopulation.

But we can’t fight the pet overpopulation crisis alone. To be a true resource to pet owners and communities, we need you.

Click here to make a difference in the lives of pets and people – like Rebecca, Jackie and her kittens.


And thanks to an incredibly generous challenge from an anonymous donor your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000 through Dec. 31.

Click here to make your donation go further today.

Monday, December 14, 2015

 

On the first day of Christmas Animal Friends gave to Sugar a spay surgery!

Sugar was rescued her from the house next to her current home. Her family noticed their neighbors had moved away but they didn’t take Sugar along. Upon investigating, they found that Sugar was indeed abandoned. She was found tied to a bedpost in the empty house. So they brought her home and intended to find a family for her. But, Sugar quickly worked her way into their hearts and has been with them ever since.

So her family brought her to Animal Friends to be spayed through our Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program. As a result, Sugar got us to our goal to spay/neuter at least 10,000 animals in 2014!

Not only did Sugar’s family spay her to give her a longer, healthier life but they also compassionately and proactively ensured Sugar would never contribute a litter or pups to the cold statistics of pet overpopulation. You can provide affordable, high-quality surgeries to those who need them most.

Click here to donate now to help more pets like Sugar. 


And, thanks to a very generous donor, there is no better time to give! Now through Dec. 31, every donation given to our Year-End Campaign will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000.

Right now you can ensure that more pets have access to a critical – and affordable – spay/neuter surgery.

Right now you can click here to make your support go twice as far – helping twice as many animals.

Right now we need you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thanksgiving Enriched Environment Trail and Activities



Since it was such a hit at Halloween, Animal Enrichment Specialist Suzanne was at it again for Thanksgiving with another great set of activities and opportunities to explore for our animals. 



First up were our feline residents!  Alphonso decided to go sailing in the Mayflower, finally realizing his dream of being a pilgrim. The Mayflower was a repurposed cardboard box with some catnip sprinkled in the bottom to entice the kitties to explore.



Alphonso then spent some quiet time in a teepee. We don’t think he learned how to grow maize but he certainly enjoyed his time relaxing.

Our bunny residents got cornhusk leaf piles and lettuce cornucopias to chew and play with over the holiday weekend. Trust us, they were extra thankful!

Our shelter dogs moved the activities outdoors, despite a wet weekend.  Dogs like discovering new things and using their noses. Adding something unexpected to their routine mentally stimulates them and builds a more confident pup. 




Pools full of colorful toy balls and hay were available for the dogs to roll and sniff around in. Buck and Cooper found these two activities to be quite fun!  (Fun fact: Buck found his forever home shortly after these photos were taken!)




Ringo took part in our version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Passing the erratic, floating balloons builds confidence and provides an unusual visual experience for Ringo.
Daisy sniffs our gourd garland on the trail. She had a great time exploring and taking in all the sights and sniffs! 

As always, Animal Friends strives to take care of the whole animal – body and soul – while they are here with us. Enrichment activities that engage all of the animals’ senses are beneficial to their physical and behavioral health. The activities provide opportunities to think and to explore space – therefore providing a sense of control to shelter animals. More importantly, stimulating their brains reduces stress and is fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

10 Reasons to Adopt a Black Cat on Black Cat Day!

Adoptable black cat Felix


We know that black cats make wonderful pets. Read on for some serious (and not-so serious) reasons to adopt a black cat today!

1. You can't tell if they're dirty and their teeth always look white.
2. A black cat is a great accessory to any outfit - they go with everything!
3. Black is very slimming - holding your cat will make you look extra slender (important with the holidays coming up!)
4. Save time on date night!  You won't need the lint brush on your little black dress.
5. Black cats are the most fun to play hide and seek with. The difficultly gets turned up to 11.
6. They have a "black belt" in cuddling.
7. In most cultures, a black cat in your home brings good luck!
8. They always win for best dressed.
9. They make you look beyond the surface to find true love and beauty.

but most importantly...

10. They are the least likely to be adopted and need your love the most!


Celebrate Black Cat Day today and every day and adopt a black cat today. Check out all of our adoptable black cats on our website then come to visit them.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Animal Friends' Year-End Campaign




Dear Friend,

If you know Animal Friends, you know that spaying/neutering pets is at the heart of our organization. For more than 20 years, we’ve been compassionately and proactively fighting pet overpopulation. For far too long, too many pets have been unnecessarily euthanized in our region. At Animal Friends, we still firmly believe that euthanizing pets is never the solution to pet overpopulation.

To truly stem the tide of pet overpopulation, spay/neuter services need to be accessible and affordable to everyone – no matter their level of income. But that’s only part of combatting this crisis in our region. We need to ensure these services are accessible to the communities that need them most.

Our Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program is making incredible strides in many of Pittsburgh’s underserved communities. Our staff has been hitting the ground, knocking on doors and getting to know the residents of these neighborhoods to better understand what they need and how we can help.

I’d like to share a story with you that was passed along by our Director of Clinic Services, Carol …

“Earlier this fall, we were visiting a neighborhood east of the city. We got wind that this neighborhood needed help caring for the area feral cats. They were reproducing at an alarming rate and some were even being hit on the road by cars. They didn’t know what to do, so they turned to Animal Friends.

When we visited the neighborhood we immediately saw what they meant – nearly two dozen filthy, starved cats and kittens roamed the street. It was overwhelming. And, it seemed that all of these felines were visiting one specific house – Miss Sylvia’s.

Miss Sylvia is an elderly widow, perhaps in her 80s. She lives alone and suffers from Alzheimer’s. She is a mother to children that have grown and moved away. And more recently, Miss Sylvia became a caregiver to more than two dozen cats.

To Miss Sylvia, these cats are so much more than just animals that need food and shelter.Several times a day, neighbors spot her padding onto her porch in her slippers to feed them.

There on her porch is where Miss Sylvia spends her waking hours. Through snowfalls and thunderstorms, she’s there cooing and talking with her animal friends. It’s clear these cats are the reason for her to get up in the morning.

And if that isn’t sweet enough, Miss Sylvia also selflessly shares the food from her own plate.Some days the cats get spaghetti and meatballs, other times, chicken. But never cat food,she couldn’t afford it.

We ventured to Miss Sylvia’s house. With pink plastic curlers in her hair, she answered the door. We tried to find out how much food she needed to care for the cats but she politely refused and humbly wouldn’t admit to feeding the cats. So we did what we could and left some cat food with her.

Not only did we need to get the colony’s population under control, we needed to help Miss Sylvia. So we started by successfully trapping the 20 cats from her yard who were then spayed/neutered and vaccinated at Animal Friends. After they recovered, they were returned to their home. To Miss Sylvia.

But it won’t stop there. She still needs our help. Miss Sylvia needs the proper tools and resources to better care for her beloved cats. So we’ll keep trying, and eventually, we’ll get her everything she needs.”

The Animal Friends’ staff left with a full vehicle – and even fuller hearts. It’s from hearing stories like these that make me so proud and so thankful for them. At Animal Friends, it’s this compassion that truly sets us apart.

Animal Friends commits nearly $1 million of our annual budget to keep spay/neuter affordable and accessible to low-income families – like Miss Sylvia. But we can’t fight the pet overpopulation crisis alone. To be a true resource to pet owners and communities, we need your help.

There is no better time than now to invest in spay/neuter. To keep our clinics running through the end of the year, we need to raise $250,000. Together, with you, we can make a difference in the lives of pets and people in our region. Together, we can end pet overpopulation.

Kind supporters, like you, are our reasons to be thankful this holiday season. 


In appreciation,

David J. Swisher
President & Chief Executive Officer
AnimalFriends Resource Center
562 Camp Horne Road | Pittsburgh, PA 15237
412.847.7000 | ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org