Monday, November 16, 2015

Animal Friends' Year-End Campaign




Dear Friend,

If you know Animal Friends, you know that spaying/neutering pets is at the heart of our organization. For more than 20 years, we’ve been compassionately and proactively fighting pet overpopulation. For far too long, too many pets have been unnecessarily euthanized in our region. At Animal Friends, we still firmly believe that euthanizing pets is never the solution to pet overpopulation.

To truly stem the tide of pet overpopulation, spay/neuter services need to be accessible and affordable to everyone – no matter their level of income. But that’s only part of combatting this crisis in our region. We need to ensure these services are accessible to the communities that need them most.

Our Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program is making incredible strides in many of Pittsburgh’s underserved communities. Our staff has been hitting the ground, knocking on doors and getting to know the residents of these neighborhoods to better understand what they need and how we can help.

I’d like to share a story with you that was passed along by our Director of Clinic Services, Carol …

“Earlier this fall, we were visiting a neighborhood east of the city. We got wind that this neighborhood needed help caring for the area feral cats. They were reproducing at an alarming rate and some were even being hit on the road by cars. They didn’t know what to do, so they turned to Animal Friends.

When we visited the neighborhood we immediately saw what they meant – nearly two dozen filthy, starved cats and kittens roamed the street. It was overwhelming. And, it seemed that all of these felines were visiting one specific house – Miss Sylvia’s.

Miss Sylvia is an elderly widow, perhaps in her 80s. She lives alone and suffers from Alzheimer’s. She is a mother to children that have grown and moved away. And more recently, Miss Sylvia became a caregiver to more than two dozen cats.

To Miss Sylvia, these cats are so much more than just animals that need food and shelter.Several times a day, neighbors spot her padding onto her porch in her slippers to feed them.

There on her porch is where Miss Sylvia spends her waking hours. Through snowfalls and thunderstorms, she’s there cooing and talking with her animal friends. It’s clear these cats are the reason for her to get up in the morning.

And if that isn’t sweet enough, Miss Sylvia also selflessly shares the food from her own plate.Some days the cats get spaghetti and meatballs, other times, chicken. But never cat food,she couldn’t afford it.

We ventured to Miss Sylvia’s house. With pink plastic curlers in her hair, she answered the door. We tried to find out how much food she needed to care for the cats but she politely refused and humbly wouldn’t admit to feeding the cats. So we did what we could and left some cat food with her.

Not only did we need to get the colony’s population under control, we needed to help Miss Sylvia. So we started by successfully trapping the 20 cats from her yard who were then spayed/neutered and vaccinated at Animal Friends. After they recovered, they were returned to their home. To Miss Sylvia.

But it won’t stop there. She still needs our help. Miss Sylvia needs the proper tools and resources to better care for her beloved cats. So we’ll keep trying, and eventually, we’ll get her everything she needs.”

The Animal Friends’ staff left with a full vehicle – and even fuller hearts. It’s from hearing stories like these that make me so proud and so thankful for them. At Animal Friends, it’s this compassion that truly sets us apart.

Animal Friends commits nearly $1 million of our annual budget to keep spay/neuter affordable and accessible to low-income families – like Miss Sylvia. But we can’t fight the pet overpopulation crisis alone. To be a true resource to pet owners and communities, we need your help.

There is no better time than now to invest in spay/neuter. To keep our clinics running through the end of the year, we need to raise $250,000. Together, with you, we can make a difference in the lives of pets and people in our region. Together, we can end pet overpopulation.

Kind supporters, like you, are our reasons to be thankful this holiday season. 


In appreciation,

David J. Swisher
President & Chief Executive Officer
AnimalFriends Resource Center
562 Camp Horne Road | Pittsburgh, PA 15237
412.847.7000 | ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thanksgiving Day Treats for your Dog

We’re always on the lookout for fun activities to share with you and we found a great one from our friends at the Outer Banks SPCA, located in North Carolina.(https://www.facebook.com/obxspca)

Last Thanksgiving, their shelter dogs celebrated by digging into these festive food bowls! Volunteers and kids had so much fun putting them together that the North Carolina agency has been serving up this Thanksgiving Day feast for two years and counting. Freezing the bowls allows advance preparation—and as a bonus, makes mealtime last longer for the animals.


 Share photos if you do this for your dogs on Thanksgiving!  We'd love to see!

Special thanks to ASPCA and the Outer Banks SPCA for this recipe.