Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Animal Friends Home-To-Home Adoption Program presents: Nala!





Nala is a beautiful, 4-year-old female, orange Tabby cat who was found, as a kitten, abandoned and alone, on the side of the road.  We took her in, and she was immediately given a clean bill of health by the vet, and introduced to our family - including an adult female cat, 2 adults and a 2-year-old girl, with a baby to follow in a year.

Nala is a sweet cat who gets along well with the young children in the house, a 3 year old and 6 year old - often sleeping in their beds with them.  She can be a bit rambunctious, but it is mostly with attempts to play with a non-compliant older cat.  Since she has been with us, she has been diagnosed by multiple vets with high stress and anxiety.  Because she does not do well in a high stress environment, we are unfortunately looking to place her in another, loving home.  She would likely do best in a home with a consistent schedule.

 If you can help give Nala the home she needs, please contact Talia at taliaeubanks@gmail.com.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Enrichment for All Species (Black Tie & Tails Enrichment Items)


Providing enrichment to your pet gives the pet an opportunity think and use his senses.  A new or unusual toy each day stimulates the pet’s mind. 

Rabbits:         
Hay carrot: Gather a bundle of hay into a log about 6” long.  About 1/3 of the way down the hay log, begin to wrap the raffia.  Leave a loose tail of raffia which will be used to tie off the raffia when finished.  Continue to wrap the hay with the raffia, tying additional lengths of raffia as needed.  Gradually pull the raffia tighter and to create a carrot shape.  Cut excess hay to shape of carrot if too bulky at bottom. Continuing to wrap the hay, work the way back to the top and tie ends of raffia together to secure. Trim “leafy” carrot top.

Bunny Sushi Roll: The rolled toy moves, is textured, and provides a challenge to reach the treat.  Cut a 2” by 6” piece of corrugated paper.  Tightly roll up the herbs or hay in the paper and secure with the raffia

Cats:
Origami Lucky Stars: Check YouTube for easy Origami instructions on how create stars, ball or other paper toys. (See here for a tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Woj9oP3AI)


Pipe cleaner pretzels: Twist a pipe cleaner into a pretzel shape.  Add a slight curve to the pretzel so it wobbles when pawed. Cats also enjoy a corkscrew shape! 

Dogs:             
Treats in a Box: Present treats to your dog in a box and let them tear it open to discover the treat.  Any size box (cereal box or tissue box), wrapped or unwrapped, with a treat inside will provide them with a challenge.  

Friday, September 4, 2015

Help Them Heal: Billy





“Just hold on, little guy. You can do it.” An Animal Friends vet tech is holding a small bundle of fur in her hand – no more than a few days old – named Billy. Frequently called “bottle babies,” this neonatal kitten has just been brought to Animal Friends and is in dire need of medical attention. His breathing is shallow and his body is cool to the touch.

Billy’s needs help immediately so the kitten is rushed to the trusted emergency vet clinic. He recovers, slowly but surely, there for a few days. It’s the crucial first step that began the journey to his second chance.

Animal Friends’ staff veterinarian fell in love with Billy and is currently fostering the little gray ball of fluff. She dubbed him such his unique-sounding meow was reminiscent of a billy goat when he was being fed.

Now that Billy’s of sound health, he must learn another important part of growing up for a kitten – socialization. Animal Friends’ medical staff matched Billy up with Ken, another underweight kitten that needed a friend. The two get along fantastically and just by playing together, they are both learning important social skills they’ll need to be great companion animals when they grow up.

Billy is one lucky kitten. He made it to Animal Friends just in time. Now he’s well on his way to a happy, healthy, carefree life every kitten should know.

At Animal Friends, we promise to make an investment in the health of every one of our animals regardless of their level of need. Yes, every single one. But to be able to provide this kind of care we need your help. Now through Oct. 10 – thanks to the generosity of Bob and Janine Fragasso – every dollar you give in support of our residents’ medical care will be matched 50 cents on the dollar up to $125,000. Click here to help more animals just like Billy.

Please give generously. Please help them heal.

Help Them Heal Challenge: Patches





“Here you go Patches. There’s yummy treats in there.” An Animal Friends’ volunteer sat with the 6-year-old Calico, feeding her from a cup. Each time she took food, the volunteer would click, thus beginning Patches’ clicker training. Each click catches or marks the desired behavior that the animal should repeat.

Patches was surrendered to Animal Friends this past January and has since been through the respiratory ringer. Twice our staff rushed her to the emergency vet because of severe asthma attacks. She wasn’t responding well to oral medication and even underwent oxygen chamber treatments. She needed something more manageable and immediate in event of another emergency.

She was prescribed an inhaler to help her get through her asthma attacks. But Patches needed to get used to it so she didn’t refuse when she needed it most.

That’s when our medical staff and volunteers teamed up. Together they devised a plan to desensitize Patches to her inhaler. And of course the best way to do this was to treat (and click!) Patches from a device that resembled her inhaler. So the bottom of a clear-plastic cup was lined with food and the training began.

At Animal Friends, we promise to make an investment in the health of every one of our animals regardless of their level of need. Yes, every single one. But to be able to provide this kind of care we need your help. Now through Oct. 10 – thanks to the generosity of Bob and Janine Fragasso – every dollar you give in support of our residents’ medical care will be matched 50 cents on the dollar up to $125,000. Click here to help more animals just like Patches.

http:///www.thinkingoutsidethecage.org/helpthemheal


Please give generously. Please help them heal.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Animal Friends presents: Cinco





After his owner abandoned him, Cinco was rescued by Animal Friends’ Humane Police Officers. He was found flea- and lice-ridden and suffering hair loss as a result. Upon coming to Animal Friends, the medical team went to work – fleas and lice were treated, long nails were trimmed and his few remaining teeth were cleaned. On the outside, Cinco quickly looked like a brand-new cat. But he still had a few hurdles to overcome.

Upon being abandoned, Cinco was left fearful and anxious – it’s no surprise he hissed and spat at anyone that approached him. But staff and volunteers would not be discouraged. They worked diligently with Cinco. They were acclimating him to human touch and affection – showing him the love he should have been receiving all along.

Animal Friends is unique, we’re not only concerned with the animals’ physical wellbeing but also their mental wellbeing. Extensive training is given to volunteers to reduce the animals’ stress levels in order for our resident dogs, cats and rabbits to remain as comfortable and calm as possible in the shelter. This work takes time to be successful. With Cinco, day-to-day progress was minimal but the small victories added up. He was overcoming his distrust of people and he was eventually cleared for adoption!

Staff and volunteers were really taking notice of Cinco’s improvement. He was doing so well that he was moved from his own kennel into the cat free-roam room. He would now live and socialize with other cats in a homelike environment. And after one year of being an Animal Friends resident, he was adopted. Cinco, now Oreo, is happily living out his years with a feline sibling in a loving, forever home.

Cinco’s story is one of the many happy endings at Animal Friends. These are the outcomes Animal Friends strives to achieve. And you can help the animals in the Pittsburgh region to get their second – and third – chances at a happy ending. Your Sarris candy purchase will help more pets, just like Cinco, to find their much deserved forever homes.