Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Tail: Havoc

In honor of Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, we would like to share a wonderful success story of a shelter dogs who found his forever home!  Here is an awesome success story that demonstrates the love and compassion that shelter animals are capable of!

Many of us can relate to having a house full of four-legged family members, just like Dawn and Mark Lubbart. They are avid Animal Friends supporters, having adopted from us multiple times. Thirteen years ago they adopted their first dog, Thor, who quickly became the love of their lives. 

Next they added Cyclops, a wonderful puppy who unfortunately developed seizures. Without missing a beat, Dawn and Mark worked with him and bonded closely with their poor baby boy. After many trials and errors, they figured it out and Cyclops has been seizure-free for quite some time!

In May of 2015, a month after having to send their beloved Thor over the Rainbow Bridge, this wonderful couple decided to adopt again. After spending over three hours with Eric, an Animal Friends' Adoption Counselor, Dawn and Mark fell in love with Havoc, then named Elliot, and decided to welcome him into their loving home. 

Havoc was extremely fearful at the shelter but has since made incredible improvements, with the help of this loving parents and furry sibling. We are so grateful for people like Dawn and Mark who give shelter animals the fighting chance they deserve. They have been rewarded with a lifetime of love and we look forward to helping them in the future should they decide to adopt again!

Animal Friends is Providing Treats, Not Tricks, for Residents

In light of the Halloween season, Animal Friends is again providing some not-so-spooky enrichment for its shelter residents based on this ghoulish holiday. Our eerily creative Animal Enrichment Specialist, Suzanne Denk, cooked up a “Halloween Enriched Environment Trail” for our shelter dogs this past weekend!

The first stop on the trail was a pool of leaves, with hidden tasty treats, requiring dogs to use their noses to find them. Another scent game included sealed boxes with holes to tempt canine noses. Fresh hay, herbs and apple cinnamon air fresheners were hidden inside the boxes.

Spooky hanging obstacles (pool noodles) were used as a confidence builder for our shyer shelter residents (you can also stick treats in the hollow end of the pool noodle to entice shy dogs to approach).

Many made a quick stop at the festive Jack-o-Lantern duck pond and then it was on to the final stop of the trail – The Magic Potion Cheese Tree. Treats were stuck to the tree with a bit of cheese for the dog to sniff out and find. 

The goal of enrichment is to provide a daily environment that is varied and stimulating and to allow the animals to engage in natural behaviors. 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!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Animal Friends' Home-to-Home Adoption Program presents: Stubbie!

James writes about Stubbie: He is 8 yrs. old but still very young at heart. His name came from him being the runt of the litter, who later grew to actually be bigger than his siblings. 

He loves to play as well as being a lap-cat. With the passing of my mother, I am looking for a good home to send him to. He is house trained for a litter box. I can't keep him due to family allergies.

If you can help Stubbie find a forever home, please contact James at

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pumpkin Hay Bags for Bunnies: A Spooky Enrichment Treat!

By: Suzanne Denk, Animal Enrichment Specialist

Remember paper bag pumpkins from preschool?  A brown lunch bag filled with hay provides an enriching way to provide a rabbit with some of his daily portion of hay.  

  • Simply fill the lunch bag with hay.  A treat or a few pellets can be added.
  • Twist the top of the bag into a pumpkin stem. 
  • Wrap raffia around the stem.  Wrap the loose end of the raffia in as you wrap.  Leave loose ends as leafy tendrils!
  • A Jack-O-Lantern smiling face is optional!