Friday, October 28, 2011

Animal Friends' Home-To-Home Adoption Program Presents... Jasmine!

Lovable Labradoodle needs a home! Her name is Jasmine and she has beautiful black, wavy hair. She has papers and she is 6-years-old. Jasmine is spayed and house-broken.

She can sit, stay, lie down, fetch, drop the ball in your hand, and knows the hand signals to the first three commands. She is very graceful and delicate in the house and around children. She likes other dogs. She is very loving and loves a good pet. She likes to chase the ball and bring it back to you. She enjoys playing basketball and chewing on rawhides. Jasmine learned to ring a bell to let us know she needed to go outside.

She is very intelligent and learns well with positive encouragement. She loves to please so by ignorning unwanted behavior and praising the good behavior, she learns very quickly. She is easy to groom: just bathe and trim hair with scissors. Occassionally, we pay to have her groomed so her undercoat can be thinned. She does shed and this is a problem with our second child who has some respiratory issues, which is why we need to find a new home for her.

If you are interested in adopting Jasmine, please contact Rachel at 724-733-7437.

Keep your pet safe this Halloween!

Between ringing doorbells, scary disguises and easy access to candy, Halloween can be a scary and dangerous time for pets. Animal Friends offers tips to keep pets safe and healthy during the Halloween season:

  • During the trick-or-treat hours, safely confine your companion animal in a room of your house away from the front door. The constant opening of the door provides easy opportunities for a quick escapes outside. Be sure your pet’s identification tags and microchip are up-to-date just in case she ever does escape and become lost.

  • Keep all candy and wrappers out of your pet’s reach. Chocolate and sweeteners like xylitol are poisonous to pets. Some pets like to tear open crinkly wrappers and may ingest foil or paper as a result. If your companion animal does eat a significant amount of candy, call your veterinarian immediately or contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1.888.426.4435.

  • Understand that costumes can be quite scary to your pet. Pets are often suspicious of new things—which is an important instinct that helped their ancestors survive. Never tease or try to scare a pet while you’re in costume, because even a friendly pet may feel threatened by and scratch or bite.

  • Keep jack-o-lanterns and other flammable d├ęcor safely out of your pet’s reach.

  • Black cats are not evil nor do they hold any special powers, but at this time of year they can fall victim to pranks and cruelty. It is always safer for cats to be kept indoors. However, if your cat does go outside, be sure to keep him in the house several days before and after Halloween, especially if he is a black cat.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy NEUTER Year! Animal Friends Offers $5 Cat Neuters in December

Make it a happy new year for your cat. Neuter him!

In a continued effort to end pet overpopulation and unnecessary euthanasia, Animal Friends is offering a $5 special on cat neuter surgeries throughout December.

Appointments are required, and spaces are limited. Pet owners must apply for an appointment by clicking here. Cats will be neutered and vaccinated against rabies for $5. Other services are available for an additional charge. Surgeries will take place at Animal Friends on Camp Horne Road in the North Hills.

A neuter surgery is performed on a male cat to prevent him from breeding and producing litters of kittens. The surgery is performed by an experienced, licensed veterinarian while the cat is under anesthesia. In addition to preventing the births of unwanted litters, neutering:

  • reduces a pet’s risk of cancer and infection, such as prostate and testicular cancers

  • eliminates the mating drive, making pets more relaxed companions

  • makes pets less likely to run away

  • helps curb unwanted behaviors such as urine marking territories, roaming, fighting and howling

Spaying and neutering is also critical to ending pet overpopulation. Over 20,000 unwanted pets are euthanized every year in Allegheny County alone. A single neuter surgery can save 55 unwanted animals from being born. The only proactive way to reduce and eliminate pet overpopulation is through spay and neuter.

While Animal Friends is offering $5 neuter surgeries for a limited time, pet owners can take advantage of low-cost spay (for females) and neuter (for males) surgeries all year long. Apply online by clicking here.

Animal Friends’ Low-Cost Spay Neuter program is made possible through donations from the community. If you have already spayed or neutered your pet, spay it forward! Sponsor a surgery by clicking here!

Celebrate a Happy New Year with a neuter this year!

Dapple needs a home!

Meet Dapple, a gorgeous short-haired white cat with beautiful blue eyes.

Dapple was confiscated by Animal Friends' Humane Officers due to neglect in a hoarding situation. In spite of the challenges in her life, Dapple is a happy, healthy and very playful girl!

Once she knows that she can trust you, Dapple is a perfect mix of playful and affectionate. She loves to be scratched under her chin, on her neck, and sometimes rolls over for belly scratches!

Dapple loves people, dogs, and other cats (especially Damsel, Dainty, and Dervish who she lived with). She loves playing with all cat toys, especially wand toys, toy balls, catnip, scratching posts, and laser pointers.

Please give Dapple a second look today. She has been waiting her whole life for you! Please ask one of the wonderful adoption counselors about beautiful and playful Dapple!

Dapple is spayed, microchipped and current on vaccines! If you have questions or can help, contact:

Animal Friends' Adoption Department412.847.7002 ext. 1

562 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Hours: Monday-Friday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00 pm

Or, apply for adoption online now!

To give a donation in honor of Dapple, visit:

Friday, October 21, 2011

It’s a Fiesta! Priceless Senior and Senior-ita Pet Adoptions

It’s a fiesta! Animal Friends is celebrating November, National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, with priceless pet adoptions for seniors and senior-itas!

Animal Friends is waiving adoption donations for all pets age 5 and up, Monday-Friday, November 1-30.

Animal Friends typically requests a $75 donation for dogs and cats and $60 for rabbits. But this November, we’re throwing a party for the grown-ups and offering priceless adoptions. It’s time to celebrate the adult animals and their fabulous qualities:

  • Mature pets are more likely to be housebroken and less likely to chew.

  • Adult pets are less demanding than puppies and kittens, and are better at letting you sleep through the night.

  • What you see is what you get! Adopting an adult pet takes the guesswork out of predicting a pet’s size, personality and energy level.

  • Adult pets can have great experience! Animal Friends can match you with a pet who has lived with kids, working parents or other pets.

  • Adult pets are the most grateful, appreciative companions.

Despite the benefits of adopting an adult pet, they still tend to wait in cages while adopters clamor for puppies and kittens.

We hope that by waiving our requested adoption donations, more adopters will consider shelter adoption – especially those adult pets who have been waiting for a second chance.

As always, adoptions are thoroughly screened to ensure appropriate, loving and lifelong adoptions. All pets are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

Come to Animal Friends this November for priceless adoptions for seniors and senior-itas, age 5 and up!

Animal Friends is located at 562 Camp Horne Road in Ohio township. For more information or to view adoptable dogs, cats and rabbits, visit

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Our Challenge: Animal Admissions vs. the Crisis of Pet Overpopulation

On any given day, it’s the biggest challenge we face.

But we do see it, each and every day…when someone needs to surrender a pet, and they can not wait.

When it comes to the heartbreaking situation of surrendering a pet to a shelter, everyone wants the same thing: a promise that the animal will receive a second chance. And since residents can live at Animal Friends for as long as it takes to find them a new home, pet owners rest a bit easier when they leave an animal in our care.

So, we at Animals Friends work tirelessly to place our animals into homes. We know that it’s a matter of life and death: every emptied cage empowers us to offer a lifeline to another pet in need.

But the sad reality is: our resources are not infinite. And the crisis of pet overpopulation is so much bigger than any one shelter. More than 20,000 homeless pets are euthanized every single year in this very community. Most of those pets are healthy, lovable animals who simply had nowhere to turn.

That’s why we’re doing everything we possibly can. Nearly 20 years ago, Animal Friends launched a low-cost spay/neuter program to help prevent the births of unwanted pets. Five years ago, we built a bigger facility that would shelter more homeless animals. Three years ago, we put a mobile spay/neuter clinic on the road to double our efforts. Today, every cage and foster home was already filled…when our Humane Officer hit the road to bring in more pets in need of immediate rescue.

And don’t forget kitten season! That’s the time of year when our phones start ringing off the hook, with calls from neighbors who have found entire litters in their yards. It’s simply overwhelming.

Doing everything we can means that Animal Friends is constantly operating at maximum capacity. So, when someone needs to surrender a pet to Animal Friends, so often, we need to ask them to wait.

Of course we dream of a day when there can be a safe place, and ultimately a home, for every abandoned animal. But while we work towards that goal, we…and the pets in our region…need your help.

How you can make an impact:

Adopt one, save two. Adopt a pet from Animal Friends so that another pet in need will have somewhere to go.

Spay or neuter your pet. Even if you find homes for your pet’s litter, there are other pets, waiting in shelters, who won’t be so lucky.

Sponsor a spay. Underwrite a surgery for a pet who otherwise would not be altered. Visit to make your donation.

If you must surrender a pet:

Plan ahead. Pittsburgh has three shelters and many rescue groups who can assist you when you must give up your pet. Not all shelters can guarantee that your pet will be adopted. If you would like to surrender a pet to Animal Friends, understand that your admissions application will be placed on file and processed as we find homes for previously admitted animals.

Consider placing your pet through our Home-to-Home Adoption program, in which you can reach out to potential adopters who can then contact you directly about adopting your pet from your home. Visit the Home-to-Home page of for more information.

If you find a stray pet:

Call your local animal control agency. Animal control agencies will pick up dogs and sometimes cats. But, they are not adoption agencies. Sometimes, good Samaritans find that they are able to safely care for a stray pet while they seek his or her original owner, a new home, or admit the pet to a shelter. Visit the Lost and Found page of for more information and a list of animal control agencies.

If you are caring for feral cats:

We can help. Call our Lost-Cost Spay/Neuter office to learn more about humane Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) practices. You can reach a counselor by calling 1.800.SPAY.PGH.
Pet overpopulation is a problem that is heartbreaking yet preventable. With your support, we can spay and neuter more animals and find homes for those in need. To learn more about donating, adopting or getting involved, visit

Monday, October 17, 2011

Franny needs a home!

I’m Franny, and I am a 4-year-old short-haired Tabby cat.

I came to Animal Friends because my owner had too many cats to care for. I am on the shy side, so please do not waste your breath trying to call me. However, I thoroughly enjoy being petted and will reward you with massive purrs in return for the affection.

I love to play with toys and can amuse myself for quite a while doing so. My foster family says that if I’m upstairs and you are downstairs, you will hear me running across the floor as I bat a small ball or toy mouse. I also enjoy climbing up a cat tree and relaxing on the very top.

At other times I’ll amuse myself by just looking out a convenient window and watching as the world goes by. So if you are looking for a cat who is affectionate but independent, I’m your gal.

Unfortunately my self-reliance does not extend to the adoption process, so you are the one who has to fill out the application and talk with the adoption counselor. Now would be good!

Franny is spayed, microchipped and current on vaccines! If you have questions or can help, contact:

Animal Friends' Adoption Department

412.847.7002 ext. 1

562 Camp Horne Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Hours: Monday-Friday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00 pm

Or, apply for adoption online now!

To give a donation in honor of Franny, visit:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Animal Friends' Home-To-Home Adoption Program Presents... Maple!

Maple is a sweet 4 year old purebred, spayed American Chocolate Lab. She thrives on regular exercise and attention. She weighs 78 pounds and is quite tall for a Lab but very fit.

Maple is looking for a home that can give her about 30 minutes of walking or running a day, plus plenty of play time. She heels well and is a great running partner. She is dog-friendly and loves the dog park. She loves kids and currently lives in a house with a baby. She is not
food aggressive, is fully house and crate trained, and knows her basic commands.

Maple would do best in a house that has kids or adults that can give her a lot of attention. She is currently not allowed on the furniture but would love to sleep in your bed if you let her. Owners that work part time or at home would be ideal for her.

She has an allergy to wheat and corn (so her food costs a little more but is available at Petco, Petsmart and Feed stores), but other than that is quite healthy.

She would come with crate, beds, toys, and other necessary items. A trial period of 2 weeks is recommended.

If you can help, please contact:

Hilary Meurer

Animal Friends' Home-To-Home Adoption Program Presents... Marvin!

Marvin is a 22-month old Male Tabby with a big bushy tail. I got Marvin form a farm in Ligonier when he was six weeks old. He has been neutered, feline leukemia tested and vaccinated. He is house broken and uses only one litter box. He likes Purina Cat chow and eats half a can of wet food twice a week. He is friendly and playful. He is good with children and never has bitten or clawed anyone. He greets you at the door and likes his belly rubbed when I get home. He has his claws and likes to go outside in the evening. He needs a nice yard or farm to roam. He is a good mouser. He will come in when called most of the time. He is a great cat with a good personality. I would like to keep him but, am unable to do so. I want very much to find him a good home. I would like to see him continue to be able to go outdoors. 

If interested, please contact John at 412.370.7342 or

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Johnny needs a home!

Johnny is quite a lover boy around Animal Friends. Graceful, gentle and sweet, this beautiful white cat with soulful blue eyes will lavish you with attention.

Mature cats make wonderful companions, as they have put those rambunctious behaviors of their youth behind them. Very content with lounging around, and accepting of cuddling and grooming, 13-year-old Johnny will provide a sense of comfort to your life. He's alert, curious and playful, and Johnny will even join you in a game of "hot potato." He will bat around his toy mouse on a cat-teaser toy, then quickly remove his paw as if not quite knowing what that mouse will do in return. It's a delightful game to share with him.

Johnny may have diminished hearing. Please discuss this possibility with an adoption counselor so you know how to help Johnny.

Seniors of all kinds deserve our love and respect. In Japanese society, they are recognized as "National Treasures." Let's adopt this noble philosophy! Don't let this marvelous cat live out his golden years in a cage. Come in and meet Johnny today!

Johnny is neutered, microchipped and current on vaccines! If you have questions or can help, contact:
Animal Friends' Adoption Department
412.847.7002 ext. 1

562 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Hours: Monday-Friday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00 pm

Or, apply for adoption online now!

To give a donation in honor of Johnny, visit:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Calypso needs a home!

Calypso is a very timid little girl, but with the help of her foster family, she grows a little more courageous every day. This 2-year-old petite Mini-Lop with a luxurious black coat is looking for someone who will help her feel safe and loved.

Recently, she has shown an aptitude for learning new things, like walking across a training ramp! Now, her foster family is working to see if she if Calypso would like to be clicker trained. She'd love to explore new talents with you!

Calypso is spayed, microchipped and current on vaccines! If you have questions or can help, contact:

Animal Friends' Adoption Department
412.847.7002 ext. 1

562 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Monday-Friday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00 pm

Or, apply for adoption online now!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Tail Adoption Story: Fiona Espy

By Siri Espy, Communications Team

I can only write this because cats can’t read. You see, I tell my four felines that I love them all the same, but like many parents, I have a confession to make: there’s a special place in my heart for one of them – my Fiona.

Three years ago, Fiona was living in an unsheltered cage in a back yard. The yard belonged to a woman who may have thought she was being kind by capturing and feeding stray cats. When the woman passed away, Animal Friends’ humane officers discovered a dozen cats in cages, many loaded with fleas and lice. All of the cats were confiscated and underwent medical evaluation and treatment before being cleared and placed on Animal Friends’ adoption floor.

As a volunteer at Animal Friends, I have the privilege of meeting and befriending many felines as they pass through on their way to loving homes. Having recently lost a 17-year old cat, there was a vacancy in our home to be filled with just the right one. As I arrived for an evening of cat-petting, I was drawn to a blue cream Tortie with gorgeous green eyes. Thus began my love for Fiona. Fiona and I chatted several times, and her eagerness to be petted and loved won me over. Soon, she was on her way home with me.

he first few days were challenging, as Fiona struggled to adjust. Initially fearful, she scratched at a bathroom throw rug and mistook it for a litter box at night. I began scooping her up and carrying her to the basement to visit the box at bedtime, and put a water dish in the spot she was misusing, hoping she would not want to befoul a watering hole. She soon cleaned up her act, and has since been a model citizen.

Fiona is our “Velcro cat” – it’s sometimes necessary to peel her off in order to move around, although a lapful of Fiona is a wonderful excuse not to get up. She lives for love, with a firm and convincing head butt to the chin as a reminder. I have rarely witnessed the total bliss she exhibits during a chin scratch or ear rub, closing her eyes and positioning herself for more, more, more, more. As she’s curled up, safe and warm, it breaks my heart to think of her confined to an outdoor cage all alone, braving the elements. She seems so grateful for a loving home, and I’m grateful that we can provide her with the warmth and security she deserves.

In the evening, she’s careful to give equal time to both my husband and me, visiting one of us and then the other as we relax in front of the TV. Even at night she makes her presence known, lying on the back or tummy of one of her sleeping humans, or jumping on the bed, then walking across one of us to spend time with the other. My grown daughter adores and has threatened to steal Fiona. Her lease, which prohibits pets, provides me with some comfort, but I still listen for meows when my daughter packs her car to return home. I’ve assured her that when she can have pets, I’ll help her find a kitty of her own, but we both know there’s only one Fiona.

Although she specializes in love, my Fiona is far from one-dimensional. She can often be seen chasing furiously through the house with one or more of her feline siblings in mad pursuit of…something or other. She holds her own in the nightly feather toy games my husband hosts, and is delighted when I wear dangly earrings that invite a paw swipe or two.

Fiona and I make an ideal pair, both enjoying a cuddle as she lets me know that I am a very special cat mommy indeed. As she flops down, head butts and looks up at me with those imploring green eyes, I understand what she’s saying: “Love me! Love me!” Happily, with yet another chin scratch underway, I know just how to tell her: “I do, Fiona. I really, really do.”

Animal Friends Offers Free Straw for Cold Outdoor Pets

In preparation for plummeting temperatures, Animal Friends is once again offering free bags of straw to anyone who cares for outdoor pets or feral cats.

Animal Friends urges pet owners to make their pets part of the family and keep them inside the home. Dogs, cats and domestic rabbits are social animals, and just like humans, they suffer without interaction and companionship. Animal Friends offers many programs, including low cost spay/neuter and behavior training, that may help overcome issues that sometimes prompt a pet owner’s decision to house a pet outside. Call 412.847.7000 to learn more about these options.

However, recognizing the reality that many pets do live outside, Animal Friends urges those pet owners to obey the law by ensuring that outdoor pets have access to proper food and warm, dry shelters. Because blankets, towels and pillows will only get wet and freeze, straw is the best insulation against the cold and wet winter. Free bags of straw can be picked up at Animal Friends, located at 562 Camp Horne Road in the North Hills, just 0.5 miles west of Exit 8 off I-279. Straw delivery is also available for those without transportation or are unable to pick up the straw from Animal Friends.

A car mat or rug should be used as a flap over a doghouse door to keep the inside free of wind, snow and rain. If you are in need of a dog house, please contact Animal Friends to inquire about availability.

Extra care must also be taken to provide drinkable water and extra food at all times during freezing temperatures.

Frequently check your pet's paws, ears and tail for signs of frostbite, a very common occurrence. If you suspect frostbite, your pet will need to see a veterinarian immediately. Check your dog's chain often to make sure 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' annual straw drop is also an important opportunity for feral cat caregivers to insulate feral cat shelters. In addition to the straw, Animal Friends also offers a low cost Spay/Neuter package for feral cats that includes the spay or neuter, a rabies vaccination, and an ear-tip all for just $30. Call 1.800.SPAY.PGH for more details or to schedule a surgery.

For more information, call Animal Friends at 412.847.7000 or visit

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alexandria the Lab needs a home!

This gorgeous, very smart black Lab is currently living in a foster home. She is 2 years old and has her basic skills down pat - she’s housebroken and crate trained. But her talents extend farther. She can squat and give you five on command. Very cool.

But what would you expect from such a sleek looking pooch? Now Alexandria does have her needs, like she wants to be an only dog and she’s not too keen on cats. But she LOVES people, especially to snuggle with.

If you love Labs, you’ll love her laidback demeanor, loyalty and zest for affection.

This October, we at Animal Friends are celebrating National Adopt-a-Dog Month with a very special promotion: Priceless Pooches! From October 1-31, we’re waiving our requested adoption donation for all dogs age 6 months and older, Monday through Friday. So please, if you’ve ever considered adopting a dog…or another dog!...come to Animal Friends this October.

Alexandria is spayed, microchipped and current on vaccines! If you have questions or can help, contact:

Animal Friends' Adoption Department
412.847.7002 ext. 1

562 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Hours:Monday-Friday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00 pm
Or, apply for adoption online now!

To give a donation in honor of Alexandria, visit: