Friday, November 30, 2012

Animal Friends Celebrates 2013 with “Happy Neuter Year” Special

Make a resolution to keep your cat healthy this year with Animal Friends’ Happy Neuter Year special.  For only $25, you will receive a wellness package that includes rabies and distemper vaccinations, Frontline flea application and nail trim.  Purchase one wellness package and you can get your cat spayed or neutered for FREE!

An unaltered cat can produce 3-4 litters a year with 2-10 kittens in each litter. Sadly, there are not enough homes for this many kittens.  In Allegheny County alone, conservative estimates show that 20,000 homeless animals are euthanized every year. By having your cat spayed or neutered, you not only take a step towards solving pet overpopulation but you also reduce your cat’s risk of cancer and infection, make your cat less likely to run away and ensure a calmer, happier companion.

This special kicks off January 3rd and limited spots are available. Please call
412.847.7004 to apply for your Wellness Package today!   This special is made possible through the support and generosity of the ASPCA. 

Animal Friends' Home-To-Home Adoption Program Presents....Ashes and Soot!

Ashes and Soot are 3-year old Russian Blue mix, indoor, short-haired cats. They are micro-chipped, neutered, and front de-clawed. 

Because they have been together since birth, we would prefer to place them together.  They both have beautiful gray coats. Ashes’ eyes are a more vibrant yellow, while Soot’s are a shimmering green. These cats love to play, both with each other and humans. Ashes loves attention all the time, while Soot likes to be petted when he’s in the mood. They are both good at co-habitating with dogs and children. Soot tends to run the other way from kids, but they do not stress him out. Ashes likes to be right in the mix, and has even tolerated some accidental tail pulling without incident. 

These cats would do well in most any situation, but Ashes in particular needs a lot of attention. We recently had a new addition to the family and do not have the time to give him all of the affection he deserves. If you are interested in these two wonderful cats, please contact Christine Smerker at 240-994-5737.

Animal Friends' Home-To-Home Adoption Program Presents....Papi-Chelo!

Papi-Chelo is looking for a new home!  He can by shy around new people but he is a lap dog once he learns you're a good person.  He is a 8-year-old, black and tan Papillon/Chihuahua mix. He loves to take rides in car and go on walks.  He would need to be the only dog in home.

If you can help Papi, please contact Nieves Michalek at 412.822.7027 or 412.443.2608.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy (and bittersweet) Tails: Woofer

By: Jeff Geissler, Communications Assistant

It happened again.

This morning, I walked to my office at Animal Friends…past the cat condos and free roam rooms, ready to say good morning to my early bright eyes.

One of them was gone.

For over a year I’ve bid hello to Woofer the cat. His goofy eyes, crooked smile, and stained yet generous face was always a pleasure to see.

He reminded me of me. During our “School’s Out for Summer” promotion, he received a "D" on his report card in Home Economics…probably because of the relaxed, casual, and rather untamed way he kept his space. I too have been accused of having a relaxed outlook on cleanliness, and, much to my mother’s dismay, did not receive the highest accolades from my Home Ec teacher.

Woofer has a quirky and loveable personality. When I would photograph other cats in the free roam room, he would often tap my shoulder, then scatter when I turned. That’s just one of many elementary-school-style tricks he would pull.

Some called him loony and bonkers. But it is said the difference between crazy and eccentric is a million dollars. Well, my buddy Woofer is worth a million bucks.

If Woofer’s new family is reading this…. I’d love to hear how you’re doing in your new home, my fantastically funny feline friend. Keep those eyes bright, stay true, and rock on, you gorgeous goofball.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Animal Friends' Chow Wagon Needs Your Cat Food Donations

Animal Friends’ Chow Wagon was born 5 years ago to provide assistance to people and their pets. By partnering with local food banks, Animal Friends has been able to serve between 1,500 and 2,000 clients with monthly deliveries of food and treats. We understand that feeding a family during financial hardship can be difficult and that 2-legged family members are not the only ones who suffer.

We are currently running low on cat food.  If you can help needy pets this holiday season, please bring bags or cans of dry or wet cat food to Animal Friends at 562 Camp Horne Road.  Donations of other pet food and treats are always needed and welcomed as well but the need for cat food is great this month.

The Chow Wagon enables people to keep their pets in their loving homes and in turn, strengthens our community as a whole.

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

Sugar is a sweet, affectionate full-breed Labrador Retriever. She is 3-years old and loves to play with the tennis ball and go for walks. She is well-trained, such that she is able to have full run of the downstairs when I am not home. She is in excellent physical condition and would be a terrific companion to the right home. 

If you can help Sugar, please contact Kim at 412.302.0454.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kick-off the holidays with Animal Friends' Holidays with Heart!

Local vendors and crafters will be at Animal Friends for the Holidays with Heart craft show on Saturday, December 1 from 10am – 4pm. Looking to finish (or start) your holiday shopping?  Browse an extensive collection of handmade items, which includes everything from pottery to jewelry, handcrafted soaps, photography, candles, hand-blown glass and quilted items!  Pet supplies, specialty foods from Tastefully Simple and other health and home products will also be on sale. There is sure to be something for everyone on your list. Beat the mall rush and support Animal Friends at the same time! 

If you work up an appetite while shopping, don’t worry!  We’ll have chili, hot dogs and other tasty lunch items for sale.  So swing by Animal Friends on December 1 from 10am to 4pm and pick up some great gifts for your family, friends and yourself!

Stay tuned for a sneak peek of just some of the great items available at Holidays with Heart!

Celebrate Adopt a Senior Pet Month with Animal Friends!

By Amy Dukes, Adoption and Customer Service Coordinator

As I tried to relax and drink my coffee Monday morning, sitting in my favorite chair, I was hit with a Pug bomb and spilled my coffee everywhere.  The Pug bomb was launched by my German Shepherd, 9 year old Georgie, who had decided to chase the Pug back and forth through the house.  “Oh Georgie,” I said, “Will you never grow up and stop being a puppy?”  Georgie had a rough first year of life and never got to be a puppy when she should have, so this behavior started a few months after we adopted her 8 years ago, and hasn’t slowed down.  Age, after all, is just a number.

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month.  At Animal Friends, we define a dog as a Senior at age 5, a cat at age 6, and a rabbit at age 5.  Once an animal reaches this age, they become a part of our Red Collar Society.  

I wonder if Brooklyn, our spunky Pittie, would consider herself a Senior?  

Does handsome 8 year old Flame the kitty know that he should start looking for the Early Bird Special?  

Is Farfell the bunny considering retirement?  No!  

These wonderful animals are adults who love life and have so much love to give.  Are they less active than 6 month old puppies?  Thankfully, yes, but they are far from sedentary.  They have the maturity to be trained to be sidekicks for their humans and will make wonderful pets for people who are willing to give them a chance.

Having grown up with a grandmother who lived to be a healthy 103 and was so active that she achieved her goal of visiting her cousins in Ireland at age 94, I guess I have a skewed sense of what age means.  I grew up with 2 cats who lived well into their late teens and were spunky and active all of their lives.  

If we work to stay healthy and active ourselves and to also keep our pets healthy and active, age is of no consequence.  Now that two of the loves of my life, Georgie and her sister Gracie, are 9, I plan to take them to the vet for check ups religiously every 6 months, feed them well, keep them active and thin and enjoy their energetic and loving company for years to come.  But if it’s not as many years as I’d like (forever), I will always appreciate the wonderful time we have together and know that I have learned and grown from having them in my life.

So in honor of Adopt a Senior Pet Month, please browse our available pets and consider the wonderful personalities and ignore that number.

In Memory of Andrew Guzzi

Guest Blogger: Hannah Ketterman, Adoption Counselor

I have been blessed with a life of little loss. Until recently, I had never encountered the passing of a close relative or good friend. My first experience came when I was a senior in high school when our family golden retriever, Casey, passed away peacefully in our home. The next large loss I dealt with came one month ago when a previous foster dog of mine was taken by cancer. Though I could smile knowing that she was in a loving home for the last four months of her short life, it was still difficult to cope with. Nothing, however, could prepare me for the loss of one of my best friends, Andrew Guzzi.

Never in my life had I met such a selfless person. Everything he did was to please others and make sure that those around him were happy. He succeeded in this each and every day. Andrew had the most contagious smile and was such a pleasure to be around. He blessed the lives of all of those who came into his world. Not only did he have a large group of exceptionally close friends, but also a very tight knit family.

Visiting with Andrew's family last night, I was so pleased to find that they were requesting memorial gifts to go to Animal Friends in his name. I always enjoyed watching him interact with my two dogs, Bailey and Aspen. They both adored him and looked forward to his visits. I am certain that Andrew would be pleased to know that Animal Friends will benefit in his honor.

Donations to Animal Friends are a meaningful way to memorialize someone. We are happy to mail a keepsake card to let the family know that you have made a gift in honor or in memory of someone special. Click here to donate in memory of Andrew Guzzi, or someone who you have loved and lost.

Monday, November 5, 2012

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

Charlie is an 8 month old Cockapoo.   He is house broken and has all of his necessary vaccinations, etc.  He is very well taken care of.  Charlie is trained to follow numerous commands such as "sit", "down" "paw" etc. He is also crate trained and sleeps in his crate each night.  In addition, we can leave Charlie to roam free in the house when we are not home with no concerns about chewing on furniture as Charlie prefers to play with his many toys and has his favorites.
Like most puppies Charlie is very energetic.  He loves to go for walks and run around in the yard.  Charlie loves to be the center of attention so we feel he is best suited for a home without children.
We are interested in placing Charlie in a loving home where he will be very well taken care of as we have taken care of him thus far.
If you are interested in adopting Charlie, please contact Marisa Miller at 412-708-0155 or Matthew Miller at 412-708-0133.  As you can see by his photo,  he is an adorable puppy and we think he will be adopted quickly so act fast. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Who's Who at this year's annual Black Tie & Tails gala!

By Jeff Geissler, Communications Assistant

Some of our wonderful adoptable residents will be attending this weekend’s Black Tie & Tails gala!

Homer, a happy yellow Labrador Retriever, will be sipping a Duff Beer and discussing philosophy.

Gardenia, a gentle black and tan Hound mix, will dazzle the crowd with her blooming personality.

Mr. Baker, a cute black Cairn Terrier/Pug mix and Taffy, distinguished tan Chihuahua/Pug, will be helping with dessert.

Lil Trooper, a sleek black cat, has been dressed for the event since she was born.

And we will have a hero join the crowd. Lady Meow Mix is a blind gray cat who carried her 4 babies to safety when they lived outside.

Kasper, the friendliest of cats, is not going to wear white, but rather his regal silver fur and glimmering golden eyes.

Gadget, a sweet gray tabby, will awe you with her Columbo impression.

Roxie requested something purple to help bring out her blond highlights.

Brooklyn requested something black. "As we say in New York City, black is the new color for the season."

And Bella, a beautiful brindle Beagle mix, will announce to all the celebrants “Andiamo!” and “Buon appetito!”

Come one, come all to the 15th annual Black Tie & Tails gala!

Thank you to Linda Mitzel, Angie Pulice and Jeff Geissler for providing beautiful photos of our party animals.

Adventures as a Foster Furmom: Part 2

By Volunteer (and foster mom): Susan Gottfried 

After a year of fostering kittens, the kids told me they wanted to foster some adult cats.

I tried to explain to them that it generally doesn't work that way. That Chris Whyle, the foster coordinator, tells us what she needs. We don't always get to pick and choose.

Karma bit me the day I was set to return our last foster kitten, in the form of an e-mail from Chris: they needed to empty some cages and make space to save more kitty lives. I e-mailed her immediately, letting her know I was bringing the kitten in and would be glad to help out.
That's how we came to take home Zenji, a gorgeous buff-colored Persian. Rescued from a supposed breeder, he's not a great example of a Persian, but as soon as Chris opened his cage door and he head-butted me and the kids, we knew he was the kitty we'd be taking home for awhile.

Zenji's a fascinating guy. The shelter staff says he's five, but he plays like a kitten. Once settled in the house and allowed to roam it freely, he's been spotted galloping up and down my upstairs hallway, possibly for the sheer joy of it. He attacks feet and hands under bed covers, steals my Pink Pet eraser and bats it around the floor, and has even been known to swipe the toy right off the end of the wand it's attached to.

That antic has caused some very shocked and confused kids around here, let me tell you.
It's also caused some uproar and laughter as three humans have tried to dive under beds to retrieve that toy, only to have a mischievous Zenji take off for another bed in another bedroom, the bell on the end of the toy jingling away as if it's taunting us.

The funny – and often frustrating – thing is that in most circumstances, Zenji runs, scared, when we walk into a room. Yet when he steals the green worm, look out. That fear disappears and it's one big game – and the Z-man, as I call him, loves it. He's a confident little scamp, and this is Zenji at his best.

I don't know how long Zenji will be here with us. We're coming up on the six-week mark and he's happy with us, sure. But as with each foster we bring into our home, we're eager for him to find his forever home and people who will love him and play with him… well, forever.

Zenji is still available for adoption! If your family would like to meet this character, please call our Adoption Department at 412.847.7002 to make an appointment.  He'd love to meet you!