Monday, December 23, 2013

Animal Friends Tops 10,000 Spay/Neuter Surgeries in 2013!

 We did it!

As part of an aggressive program to end pet overpopulation in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Animal Friends reached their goal to spay or neuter 10,000 pets in 2013.

On Thursday, December 19 – just 11 days shy of the end of the year – Animal Friends’ Low-Cost Spay/Neuter team completed the 10,000th surgery of the year! The lucky cat was Jackie, a young black female, brought in to be spayed by her caregiver Rebecca Lafferty. Lafferty 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.

Jackie (black cat) and her kitten relaxing after their surgeries
Animal Friends knows that spay and neuter programs are the only way to proactively relieve the pet overpopulation problem in our region. In Allegheny County alone, conservative estimates show that 20,000 homeless animals are euthanized every year. The problem is simple: there are too many pets and not enough homes.

Rebecca gets a basket of cat treat and toys from our  
Low Cost Spay/Neuter Coordinator Carol Whaley

Early this year, the organization set a goal: To alter 10,000 pets in 2013. An unprecedented number for Animal Friends, but one that is made possible through an aggressive low-cost spay/neuter program which includes in-house clinics, a mobile surgical unit and strong partnerships with outside organizations and the city of Pittsburgh.

While Animal Friends is proud of its achievement, there’s still much more work to be done. The organization dreams of a day when pets are no longer needlessly euthanized in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

So Animal Friends 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.

Please join Animal Friends in celebrating this achievement. Sponsor a spay today! Visit to make a donation now! And together, our community can drive pet overpopulation out of Southwestern Pennsylvania…for good.

Animal Friends and Big Science Music present: The Healing Power of Pets

The healing power of the human-animal bond is nothing short of astounding.  Pet owners tend to have better psychological wellbeing and fewer minor health problems.  From lowering our blood pressure and reducing stress to enhancing self-esteem and empathy in our children, pets seem to carry that holiday spirit of compassion with them all year round.  There is so much we can learn from them and so much we can enjoy by allowing them to be a part of our lives!

One of the simplest ways animals enhance our lives is through the power of smiles.  Have you ever noticed how a child’s face immediately lights up at the sight of an adorable kitten?  What about a bed-ridden hospital patient who gets a visit from a therapy dog?  A simple smile changes your brain chemistry to put you in a better mood.  What better to make you smile after a long day at work than a wiggly-butt waiting for you when you arrive home?

If you’ve already got an animal companion, consider spreading some smiles.  Invite your neighbors over for coffee so they can receive some loving purrs from your cat.  Stop and visit with folks along the way next time you take your dog for a walk.  Share a silly video of your bunny getting into trouble with friends online.  The benefits of interacting with an animal are many, but just making us smile is one of the greatest gifts they give.

Part of our vision here at Animal Friends is to promote the human-animal bond and we hope you’ll ring in the New Year with as many smiles as possible.  We guarantee that bringing a new furry friend into your family will give you plenty of reasons to smile!


Click here to watch a great video by Big Science Music!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Animal Friends Shares the Love with Day Apollo Subaru and the ASPCA

Animal Friends recently hosted a two-day, multi-location event on December 13th and 14th through the ASPCA/Subaru Share the Love program.  This adoption extravaganza was successful in part due to additional shelters coming to Animal Friends including Greene County Humane Society and Four Footed Friends.  Animal Friends also had adoptable animals offsite at Day Apollo Subaru in Moon Township. 

Greene County Humane Society and Animal Friends have a strong relationship, as they often transfer many of their animals to us.  On average, Greene County brings hundreds of adoptable animals to our shelter.  For this event, they chose to highlight cats and brought 40 of them to showcase in our Outreach Center.  Throughout the event, Greene County successfully adopted four cats into forever homes.  At the conclusion of the weekend, Animal Friends was able to admit 31 of the cats brought in from Green County.  That means Green County Humane Society left with only eight cats!

Four Footed Friends also joined Animal Friends and Green County Humane Society on Saturday, December 14th.  They brought along four dogs and found a forever home for one!  For increased exposure and a better chance of adoption, Four Footed Friends transferred ownership of three dogs to Animal Friends at the conclusion of the event.

Interactive enrichment displays dotted the halls at Animal Friends and the retail store offered special incentives for event attendees’ donations.  Rabbit handlers mingled in the lobby with bunnies in slings, and dog handlers brought various shelter residents to greet visitors.  We also had adoptable foster dogs come to the shelter for public interaction. 

Animal Friends had successful adoptions onsite as well as offsite at Day Subaru in Moon Township.  We were able to have our Mobile Resource Center at Day Subaru which helped us show-off several of our adoptable cats and rabbits.  Many volunteers greeted car shoppers with available dogs and Day Subaru encouraged customers to come with their animals for photos with Santa.  Because of this we had one cat adoption offsite and brought potential adopters to the shelter.  Visitors to both Animal Friends and Day Subaru were challenged to “Stuff-a-Subaru” with donated supplies for Animal Friends residents and the Animal Friends’ Chow Wagon program.  

Through the combined efforts of Animal Friends, Day Apollo Subaru, Greene County Humane Society, and Four Footed Friends, 21 animals found their forever homes through the Share the Love Adoption Extravaganza.  Photos with Santa generated $95 for Animal Friends and an additional $82 was raised through general donations.

We can’t wait to have more events like this in the future! What a great way to help homeless pets in our region. Thanks to everyone who attended, donated and volunteered! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Animal Friends presents: Hellmuth: Special Working Cat for a Barn or Warehouse

EDIT: Hellmuth has found a home!  Thank you!

Hellmuth is a muscular, handsome cat who was rescued from life as a stray when he was a kitten. Now, he is a strapping young tomcat who has proven to be a friendly, loyal companion, but has never quite adapted to his current apartment life. 

He is a playful, adventurous spirit who would best succeed as a Working Cat. Click here for more information about working cats.   While he enjoys being petted, picked up and even cuddled, he is, first and foremost a bold and territorial soul. He would do well in a heated barn or warehouse, chasing off rodents. 

His owner loves him very much but knows that Hellmuth is very unhappy and unsuited for his current home in an apartment. He makes this known by spraying.

 Hellmuth is a healthy, neutered 7-year-old cat who, after he gets to know you, will greet you with enthusiasm and head butts. He does not want to live with dogs or cats.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Baby Ready Pets Class Review

Hello! My husband and I participated in the Baby Ready Pets class back in July, and I just wanted to say thanks again for all the great info. We definitely felt like we had a good plan for introducing our newborn to our dog, Winston, and our two cats. 

Willow is 2 weeks old now and all the pets are doing great with her. The cats actually don't seem to notice her most of the time. Winston, on the other hand, is definitely curious, especially when Willow has a meltdown. :) 

We are continuing to stick to the information we learned in class - particularly the rule of never leaving our daughter unattended around the animals. We have also made a point to keep her elevated, which seems to encourage a lot more respect from Winston. We challenged him today by placing her on the floor for some supervised "tummy time." Winston did great - he sat and watched but made no attempt to interact with her. So proud of him!

Again, thanks so much for all of the info! We will definitely recommend the class to others in the area! 


Rachel & Alex

Friday, December 6, 2013

Animal Friends presents: Santa's Little Helpers

Animal Friends had a recent visit from Santa who stopped by for our annual pet photos.  During a break, Santa walked through the adoption floor and saw several wonderful dogs who have not yet found their forever homes.  

Mistletoe (Glenda)

Santa proclaimed, “How could this be?  None of us are perfect, human and animal alike. We all have our little quirks and challenges.  But everyone deserves to be loved, safe and cherished in a forever home for the holidays!”.  

Christmas and Jingle Bell (Gia Marie and Gulliver)
He talked to these long term residents, cuddled with them, cried with them and found them to be wonderful companions who want nothing more than to be home for the holidays.  With a wink of his eye and a cheery “HO HO HO”, he declared that these special dogs should be honorary Christmas Elves. He also decreed that their names should be worthy of the holiday celebration of priceless pets and so Santa suggested Christmas, Jingle Bell and Mistletoe.
Please look for these special “Elves” throughout the kennel and ask to visit with them, or any of their furry friends, to make their dreams come true. Could your home be their forever home?  We will be glad to introduce you to these wonderful, truly “priceless pets”!  

Priceless Pet Adoptions for all pets over the age of 1 continue until December 31st.  Come and meet Christmas, Jingle Bell and Mistletoe today. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Animal Friends' Low-cost Vaccine and Microchip Clinics...Now Even More Low-Cost!

We understand that this time of year can stretch a lot of pocketbooks.  Gifts, decorations and parties can quickly eat up what little extra is left over after bills, rent, and groceries.

Making sure your pet is vaccinated and microchipped is usually not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the holidays but it can be this year. On Thursday, December 12th,  Rabies vaccines and microchip services will be 50% off. 

Microchips will be $10 and a Rabies vaccine is just $5.    In addition, anyone who has their pet spayed/neutered through Animal Friends' low-cost spay/neuter department during January and February 2014 will be reimbursed the cost of the vaccines received at the December 12th clinic!

What are you waiting for?  Call now to set up your appointment for Thursday, December 12th from 1p-3p.  Please call 412.847.7029 today.