Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Eve Rescue Saves 60 Pets' Lives!

By Siri Espy, Animal Friends' Communications Team

Many of us have cried happy tears at the endings of Disney movies. Today, those fairy-tale stories came. true for 60 animals that were part of Animal Friends’ New Year’s Eve rescue. Each year, animals slated for euthanasia in animal control facilities and overburdened shelters are brought to Animal Friends to experience happy new beginnings.

Part of the Rescue’s tradition is the selection of a theme for the animals’ new names; fittingly, this year’s rescues were named after Disney characters. The first group was welcomed shortly after 9:30 a.m., with a happy Chocolate Lab leading the way; he was of course named Mickey, followed by a sweet but unkempt poodle who became Donald. The first young lady to arrive, a tan and white Pit Bull mix, was instantly dubbed Minnie.

In an atmosphere of well-controlled chaos, 20 cats and 40 dogs were greeted by staff and volunteers and taken to waiting cages, crates and kennels, where the medical staff began a thorough evaluation of each animal. The next few days will be busy, with behavioral evaluations, spay and neuter surgeries, and any needed medical attention administered before the newcomers reach the adoption floor.

Tonight, 60 animals that would have been euthanized will be sleeping in a warm bed, well-fed and already given a healthy dose of love. We’ll be posting more about our new residents and the first group will be ready for adoption on January 2. By adopting or donating, you can help us continue to provide fairy tale endings in a place where wishes can come true.

Click here to see photos of today’s rescue.

Most importantly, CLICK HERE to donate! And support second chances in 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Missy's adoption is priceless!

My name is Missy. I came to Animal Friends because my former owner had a total of 10 kittens in her home, and that was about 8 too many for her. I know she loved all of us, and it was hard to surrender some, but now I have a great chance to live in a home where I won’t have to compete so much for food and attention!

I am 3 years old and all white! I got along well with all my siblings, so if you already have another cat, or want to bring someone else home with me, that will be OK. Like a lot of other cats, I enjoy being in a high place and being able to look out a window. You have to admit, in the grand scheme of needs, mine are pretty simple to meet.

People are fine with me too, and I enjoy attention from them. I’ll sit on your lap, I’ll chirp to you, and I’ll even extend a paw to you when I’m really happy. So, a room with a perch and a view, a lap and some pats, and I’ll take care of the rest. See you soon, I hope!

Missy is spayed, microchipped and current on vaccines! Through December 31, Animal Friends is waiving adoption donations for all pets age 2 and up.

If you have questions or can help, contact:

Animal Friends' Adoption Department412.847.7002 ext. 1

562 Camp Horne Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15237


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

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

To give a donation in honor of MIssy, visit:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Poetry by Young Animal Lovers

Young poets at Pine-Richland Middle School and Quaker Valley Middle School were inspired by Animal Friends' work. Read their poetry about Animal Friends below.

Thanks from an Alumni
By Julia Herrle, age 12

Worn, wounded, whimpering,
Left like an old toy you throw away.
Wishing I had a home,
But there was no where on Earth for me to stay.
Animal Friends changed all that;
They were the lifeboat in the stormy sea.
There is always room at the shelter,
Until a good home could be found for me.
Soon, I saw my new best friend in this very room
Animal Friends, rabbits, cats and dogs say thank you!

Our Special, Furry Animals
By Jessica Libby, age 13

Our fantastic, furry friends,
Cute, loving, and nice,
Have been through hard and rough times.
The animals are your best pals,
And most of them are left with no home.
Animal Friends,
Is like a big ray of sunshine,
And a pot of gold.
Animal Friends is everything you want,
When you are feeling sad,
Or when you are alone.
Our fantastic, furry buddies
They are waiting for you!

Bunnies, Cats, Dogs, and Animal Friends
By Melissa Rudolph, age 12

Bunnies hopping around all day long,
With no carrots to nibble on.
Cats stuck in a corner,
With no yarn to play with.
Dogs walking stray on the streets,
Their tails are not wagging.
But there is hope in their future,
Because there is Animal Friends.
They are like sunshine on a cloudy day.
They rescue and save animals every day.
They nurse them back to health,
Then, love and care for them and feed and play with them.
The animals pray every night,
Until that day comes when they are adopted.
Amazing Animal Friends is there for animals with open arms.

Animal Friends!
By Sami Holland, age 13

What is Animal Friends?
Animal Friends is heaven for an animal.
Animals are left crying and alone,
without any hope of a happy life.
But then comes Animal Friends,
a place of hope and promise for them.
“It’s heaven!!!” they yell out loud!
An area to find their next home,
a home of everlasting love!

Animal Sanctuary
By Makenna Laffey, age 12

Lost or without a home,
Abused with no one to love them,
Clinging to life with their last shreds of strength.
These are emaciated, abused animals that would be out there on the streets.
But they aren’t,
They’re safe and warm at Animal Friends.
When you walk through the doors,
You are greeted with a sight as heartwarming as a new baby’s smile.
Every animal that was ever in trouble looks out at you.
If you would have seen them before they came,
You would never recognize them.
They are happy and content,
But can’t wait to have a family of their own.
All of the bunnies, cats, and dogs,
That just came, must have rejoiced at the sight of the doors opening,
Because they knew that they were finally safe and had found a new home.

Sweet Loving Animals
By Abby Morneault, age 12

At Animal Friends there are many things to see.
There are sweet dogs ready to play,
Little cats, who are cute and fluffy,
Also, little bunnies that hop around.
All of these animals are looking for a home.
They are looking for someone to love them.
If you adopt one, they will love you forever
You will have a good friend.
All these animals want is love.
So come and adopt one.
Animal Friends is the coolest place on Earth!

By Calista Gregoire

I am an animal lover
I wonder when all of the animals will have homes
I hear sounds of laughter
I see people smiling, people crying
I want animals to have loving, happy homes
I am an animal lover

I imagine dogs/cats having to go through torture
I feel people can be cruel
I touch the soft fur on an animal’s body
I worry about the animals
I cry when I see animals die
I understand animals are hard to take care of
I am an animal lover

I say animals have rights
I dream of being a vet
I try to help animals in need
I hope animals understand us
I am an animal lover

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yin Yang needs a home!

Hi! My name is Yin Yang. Frankly, I have no idea why I have that name. But here's what I DO know:

I'm about 1 1/2 yrs old.

I am an all-around nice girl.

I like to be held.

I really like people.

I like other cats.

I LOVE to play.

I lived as a stray for a while until I found myself living in a shelter. The people here are very nice to me. I'm warm and safe and they feed me well. But I'd sure prefer a home...maybe with a kid or another cat to play with. That's my Christmas wish.

Yin Yang is spayed, microchipped and current on vaccines! Through December 31, Animal Friends is waiving adoption donations for all pets age 2 and up. 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!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sophie, a Dalmatian mix, needs a home!

While Sophie may not have been riding on any fire trucks recently, she could catch a ride home in your car! Sophie the Dalmatian is a friendly, happy dog who is affectionate and very people oriented.

Sophie has put on a few pounds and we have been working very diligently to get her in shape again. We’d like to see her go to a home with an active family that will keep up her exercise program and help her lose the few extra pounds. The good part of this is that Sophie loves her walks and has very good leash manners. She does well meeting other dogs too!

She is okay with being handled and loves being the center of attention. Sophie isn’t quite sure how to play with toys yet, so if her new family could show her that would be wonderful! If you are on the lookout for a great walking partner, Sophie would be a great fit for you!

Sophie is spayed, microchipped and current on vaccines! Through December 31, Animal Friends is waiving adoption donations for all pets age 2 and up.

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!

Monday, December 12, 2011

This is the perfect week to adopt!

Bebe, pictured above, needs a home!

Guest Blogger: Siri Espy, Animal Friends' Communications Team

This is the perfect time to adopt – we’re coming up on the last weekend before Christmas! Animal Friends will be closed on the 24th and 25th, so come out and find a new best friend for the holidays.

Not only will you be adding something wonderful to your life, but by adopting from Animal Friends, you’ll play an important role in saving two animals this holiday season – the one you take home, and the one who will move into the empty cage, safe and sound while waiting for a forever home. By adopting this week, you’ll give your new pet time to settle in before the holiday hubbub, and will have plenty of time to help Santa fill your new family member’s stocking with treats.

And, through December 31, adoption at Animal Friends is Priceless! We’re waiving our usual adoption donation on all animals age 2+, and cats younger than two are Twice as Nice – adopt two for a single adoption donation.

Just remember that your whole family needs to come in to find just the right pet – we want to make sure everyone is ready and willing to give a new pet the love and care needed to make a happy home. There’s nothing like a tail wag to make the season bright, along with the warmth of knowing a lifetime of love from a homeless pet who deserves a second chance.

So, please, share with your friends, and help us have a hopping holiday season of adoptions and love!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Animal Friends Exceeds Goal: 24,000 Spays in 3 Years, Totaling Nearly 100K Spays!

It was always in the backs of our minds.

We knew that while we were saving thousands of pets every year, the pet overpopulation crisis still raged on. Tens of thousands of pets would still be euthanized…simply because they had nowhere to go.

This is the sad reality that, perhaps, too many have come to accept. We, too, could maintain the status quo, always hoping to reverse the tide of unwanted animals…one pet at a time…through adoption alone.

Or, we could do much more. And if you know Animal Friends, you know that we are always thinking big.

Three years ago, Animal Friends made a promise. We pledged to dramatically expand our low-cost spay and neuter program.

We stated a goal: to spay and neuter 24,000 pets in just 3 years.

From 4,000 spays in 2008 to at least double that in 2009…how could it be done?

First, we ramped up a three-part program.

  • We underwrote surgeries at vets’ offices throughout the community, ensuring that low-income pet owners could visit a trusted local vet to have their pet altered.

  • We expanded our in-house clinics, bringing even more pets in our region to Animal Friends for high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter surgeries.

  • Then, we unveiled our secret weapon: a mobile spay/neuter clinic. Animal Friends’ Mobile Resource Center, a full-service operating room on wheels, empowered us to bring our services to the pets who would never otherwise be altered.

We spayed and neutered pets of low-income owners, pets at shelters with no spay/neuter programs, feral cats and pets in rural areas with no access to affordable surgeries. We offered special pricing for Pit Bulls, a kind of dog that is sadly overbred and suffers the worst fate in shelters.

We knew we couldn’t meet our goal alone. So we strengthened ties with partner organizations and even the City of Pittsburgh. We worked within communities to hold mass surgery days, sometimes altering more than 30 animals at a time.

By October, 2011, we had not only fulfilled our promise. We exceeded our goal! Animal Friends altered more than 24,000 pets in just three years!

That brings us to an even more astounding total. Since its inception in 1993, Animal Friends’ Low-Cost Spay/ Neuter Program has spayed or neutered nearly 100,000 pets!

While we’re proud of our achievement, we know there’s still much more work to be done. We still dream of a day when pets are no longer needlessly euthanized in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

So we will continue to bring affordable, high-quality surgeries to the pets in our region. And we’re prepared to step up our efforts even more. We’re gearing up to expand our programming yet again!

Please help Animal Friends celebrate this achievement. Sponsor a spay today! Click here to make your donation now! And together, we can drive pet overpopulation out of Southwestern Pennsylvania…for good.

Alley Up for Animal Friends Bowling Event on January 29

Do they make bowling shoes for dogs? Can cats keep score? And will abunny ever pick up a 7-10 split?

Find out on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at the 8th annual Alley Upfor Animal Friends!

Join host Cris Winter from WISH 99.7 and our four-leggedfriends at Legacy Lanes in the South Hills for an afternoon of bowling. All proceeds benefit the homeless pets at Animal Friends, and they'll be at the lanes to say "thank you" and maybe find new homes.

This event is so popular, Animal Friends is offering two sessions to accommodate everyone:

  • Alley Up on Sunday, January 29 from 12pm - 2pm

  • Alley Up on Sunday, January 29 from 3pm - 5pm

Your ticket includes three games of bowling, shoe rental, pizza, softdrinks, and a free t-shirt. Try your luck at raffles and auctions foradditional prizes.

Tickets are $25 per person or $125 for a lane of up to 6 people.Don't strike out - register today!

Legacy Lanes is located at 5024 Curry Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236 inthe South Hills. Call 412.847.7055 or for additional details.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Animal Friends Will Hold 15th Annual New Year’s Eve Rescue to Save the Lives of Lost Pets

Over the past 14 years, Animal Friends’ annual New Years Eve Rescue has been a Pittsburgh tradition—and a last-chance lifeline for lost pets. This year, on Friday, December 30, Animal Friends will once again rescue lost pets who are slated to be euthanized by the years’ end.

On New Years Eve, Friends’ staff and volunteers will travel to local Animal Control facilities to bring back the unclaimed pets who would not otherwise live to see 2012. Then, each rescued pet will be welcomed with open arms at Animal Friends’ resource center, where they will be vaccinated, bathed, groomed, given a comprehensive medical and behavioral evaluation, and scheduled for a spay or neuter surgery.

Pending any necessary rehabilitation, the rescued pets will be available for adoption beginning Monday, January 2.

In the mean time, families are urged to come to Animal Friends to adopt this month, and empty our kennels in preparation for the rescue. Every empty cage represents another life that can be saved.

Rescues like this one are a shining example of why adopting from Animal Friends–all year round—is so critical. For every animal who finds a home through Animal Friends, there are others who desperately await a space and a second chance in our kennels. The rescue also casts a light on the staggering number of pets that are euthanized at animal control facilities every year, simply because they don’t have a license or a tag to lead them back to their families.

Most (un)Wanted: Poor Eponine Deserves a Chance

Guest Blogger: Siri Espy, Animal Friends' Commuications Team

Tis the season for holiday miracles. And poor Eponine is dreaming that her own special miracle awaits!

This adorable, friendly cat came to us after being found as a stray with one surviving kitten. At only age two, she was discovered to be in the early stages of kidney failure, currently a stable condition which requires a special diet and fluids administered under her skin three times a week. Eponine cooperates with this, and Animal Friends will help, too, by providing the food at cost and training her new family on the fluid regimen, which is easy to learn.

Eponine doesn’t know she has a health problem, and certainly doesn’t show it. She’s a young, lively cat who loves attention and thrives on head scratches. She’s an avid bird-watcher and dust bunny chaser. She would love to be the only pet and soak up all the love!

This young lady is a staff and volunteer favorite, and she’s well-loved and cared for at Animal Friends. But there’s nothing like a home for the holidays, and Eponine certainly doesn’t deserve to live out her life in a shelter.

If you think you can give this lovely cat a loving home despite her special needs – or perhaps because of them – please contact Animal Friends or stop by to visit. And share this with all your friends. Working together, let’s put in a special appeal to Santa to find Eponine a home!

In an effort to educate the community about the importance of adopting a shelter pet, and find qualified, permanent and loving homes for as many homeless animals as possible, Animal Friends is waiving our requested adoption donation for all pets aged 2 and up through December 31!

Monday, December 5, 2011

When a Family of Five (2 humans, 2 dogs and 1 cat!) Wants to Adopt...

Guest Blogger: Siri Espy, Animal Friends' Communications Team

Finding just the right pet can be a daunting task when several species are involved. But as gorgeous long-haired kitty Charlene discovered, at Animal Friends it can work out just fine.

A couple with a cat and two dogs arrived at Animal Friends on Saturday looking for another feline, having recently lost a cat with multiple medical problems. Finding a kitty who could successfully live with cats, dogs, and met with the approval of their humans was the challenge at hand.

Starting with a list of cats that had previously passed dog tests, they looked at several, but didn’t find the right match. With closing time approaching, they were captivated by Charlene. An alert, curious cat dumped at a veterinarian’s office and shaved on her sides from matting, she was quickly gaining a reputation as a lap cat. They were charmed by their visit with her, but two big questions remained: how was she with dogs and other cats? With no history available and a short time at Animal Friends, nobody knew.

We agreed to conduct dog and cat tests with Charlene, and contact the couple with the outcome. Charlene met a cat-friendly canine resident, and after a quick hiss, was accepting and casual about the encounter. She was next introduced to an easygoing cat, and graciously accepted a quick sniffing. Within a few minutes, she was visiting cages, even climbing into an open door to stop in on its rather surprised resident.

While still on the road home, the couple received the call they had been hoping for – Charlene was indeed cat and dog-friendly, and ready to become a member of their furry family! As promised, they returned the next morning to take her home.

At Animal Friends, we’re suckers for happy endings, and willing to do what it takes to make them happen. Won’t you let us help you find just the right companion?

In an effort to educate the community about the importance of adopting a shelter pet, and find qualified, permanent and loving homes for as many homeless animals as possible, Animal Friends is waiving our requested adoption donation for all pets aged 2 and up between November 25 and December 31!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"We’re in this for the long haul." Adopters grant a second chance to rescued cats!

Wyvern and Windchime

By Siri Espy, Animal Friends' Communications Team

Last Saturday, a young couple came to Animal Friends to adopt a new companion for their eight year-old cat, who was lonely after her buddy passed away. They had heard about our recent rescue of dozens of cats from a house in Carrick, and were especially interested in adopting from that group of cats who desperately need a second chance.

Fortunately, most of the cats from that rescue are cat-friendly, and they visited with several who warmed up to them almost instantly. But somehow, they didn’t feel they had found the right one.

Several cats later, and shortly before closing time, the young woman (with some help from a shelter volunteer) had talked her husband into considering two cats. They asked to visit with a pair of petite and gorgeous felines, Windchime and Wyvern, who had bonded while sharing a cage.

The couple was not deterred by a warning that the cats were quite shy and fearful. One of the cats was loaded in a carrier and taken to the get-acquainted room, but not before attempting a few scratches on the way. Even after calling in reinforcements, the second could not be caught and placed in a carrier, creating more scratches and soiling herself from fear.

The couple had fallen in love with the first cat, shy but willing to be held and petted, and they weren’t ready to give up. A brief visit to the cat condo where Windchime and Wyvern were housed convinced them that the two might be a project worth undertaking.

“We’re in this for the long haul, not just for a couple of weeks,” said the young man when told that it might take awhile for the two to settle into their home.

They pledged to come back in the morning, and true to their word, returned to adopt both cats, knowing full well they might have a challenging road in the beginning. Thanks to their patience and kind hearts, two cats who had a very rough start are now in their forever homes!

Eleven cats from this rescue are still waiting for a place of their own, all with “W” names: Wafer, Waggle, Wallflower, Wasabi, Weaver, Wei, Whirlybird, Whittle, Winsome, Wisteria and Wonka, ranging from nine months to eight years in age. We hope that’s not too much to ask – what do you think?

Pets are Priceless! In an effort to educate the community about the importance of adopting a shelter pet, and find qualified, permanent and loving homes for as many homeless animals as possible, Animal Friends is waiving our requested adoption donation for all pets aged 2 and up between November 25 and December 31!