Thursday, July 28, 2016

Maximus and Leonidas

“Oh my goodness …” a woman muttered to herself. She was driving on the South Side and came across Maximus and Leonidus sitting in the middle of the road. She stopped her car and scooped them up. She was in disbelief. How could anyone abandon these sweet pups?! Lucky for them, she turned to Animal Friends ...

But they weren't in the clear just yet. Upon admission, they tested positive for a very serious and sometimes deadly virus and were rushed to an emergency vet. After weeks of supportive care and continuous monitoring, they were bouncy and playful – they were going to make it! And, once they were strong enough, they were both neutered and cleared for their second chance.

All pets admitted to Animal Friends are altered before they can be adopted. Spaying/neutering is not only necessary for their health and well-being but it also compassionately and proactively combats pet overpopulation.

And, we won't stop with the animals in our care. Animal Friends is committed to creating a gender neutral pet community where every pet is spayed or neutered. It's critical that our spay/neuter services remain affordable and accessible to all pet owners so unwanted pets are not abandoned, abused … or worse.

But we can’t do this without you. You can keep our pet community gender neutral. Support spay/neuter today.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Beat the Heat, Keep Your Pet Safe and Healthy

Summer is the perfect time to experience the outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather, but the heat can take a serious toll on your four-legged companion. Animal Friends has a few helpful tips to help you beat the heat and keep your furry friend safe, healthy and cool during the dog (and cat and rabbit!) days of summer.

Practice vehicle safety.

Your pet should never be left in a parked car. Even with the windows slightly open, a car can quickly reach an internal temperature in excess of 120 degrees. This is enough to cause animals to suffer severe heat stroke or even death. Your pet is much safer at home on warm days, especially if your destination is not a pet-friendly one. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Drink up.

As the temperature rises, animals need to drink much more water to stay hydrated. Be sure your pet has plenty of cool, clean water to drink, especially if they’re spending time outside on warm days. Check water dishes frequently and be sure they are placed out of the sun’s reach in shady areas. Drinking dishes should be secured to avoid accidental spills.

Protect outdoor animals.

While we encourage all pet owners to bring their pets indoors to live, we understand that’s not always feasible. Animals that live or spend long periods of time outdoors must have shelter from the sun. A doghouse should be placed in an area of your yard that is shaded by trees or other buildings. Just like a vehicle, the interior of a doghouse can reach unsafe temperatures if it is in direct sunlight.
Pennsylvania state law requires a doghouse be made from materials other than metal and have four sturdy walls, a roof and a floor. The area around your doghouse should be kept clean and sanitary. Remove waste daily to reduce odor and flies.

Beat the heat.

Heat stress and heat stroke pose serious summer threats to pets, in particular those that are very young, elderly or overweight. Animals can have trouble maintaining their normal body heat, especially when outdoor temperatures and humidity levels are higher than normal.
Signs of severe heat stress include heavy panting, increased heart rate, glassy eyes, staggering, vomiting and diarrhea. If your pet is overheated, move them out of the sun immediately and immerse them in cool water. Apply ice packs to the head, neck and chest and provide cool water for them to drink. If you are concerned about your pet’s health, contact your veterinarian immediately.
And, if it's simply too hot to safely enjoy the weather together, click here for some great enrichment activities you can do indoors with your pets. And, most of the games include items you already have laying around your house.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Meet Doc Watson!

Meet Doc Watson! He came to us as a stray through one of our community clinics to be altered. But, our veterinarian quickly realized he was in need of much more than that.

Doc Watson had two badly injured eyes and a severe infection setting in he made it to us just in time. Not only was he neutered and vaccinated but both of his eyes were removed. Our compassionate team saved Doc Watson's life. And now he's happily and healthily living out his days ... in a loving home!

Animal Friends has been committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for the pets of our region starting with a gender neutral pet community where every pet is spayed or neutered.

But there are still so many pets out there that need these lifesaving services ...

Now is the time to help keep Animal Friends gender neutral by supporting spay/neuter! An anonymous donor will match your gift 50 cents on the dollar, but only if you act now!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Many of us are looking forward to Fourth of July weekend this year. Families will be gathering for outdoor barbeques, friends will be enjoying the warm summer weather by the pool and what Independence Day celebration would be complete without fireworks?
Unfortunately, in the flurry of patriotic parties that are planned for the long holiday weekend, pets can unintentionally be put at risk. Many of the activities that humans see as fun and games can be dangerous and frightening for our pets. Knowing how to keep your pets safe and happy during the festivities could quite literally save their life.

Proper Identification

Be sure that your pet is wearing a collar with legible and up-to-date contact information at all times. In the event that your furry friend escapes from the safety of your home, proper identification will allow neighbors, animal control and law enforcement agencies to contact you if your pet is found. Microchipping your pet is an easy and inexpensive way to implant them with a permanent form of identification. Most animal shelters, police departments and veterinarians are equipped with scanners that can read microchips and access the contact information they contain.

Prevent Escape Artists

In all the commotion of a family picnic, your pet could easily slip through an open door or window unnoticed. By the time your family becomes aware of its missing member, they could be miles away, lost and disoriented. To prevent any curious escape artists, ensure that your pets are contained to areas where they will be safe and unable to wander out of your home or yard unsupervised. Your guests should also be aware of the presence of pets and will help you to keep an eye out for their security. In situations when your guests may not be pet-savvy, it may be best to board your pet or keep them separated in another room for the evening.

Food Safety

A favorite part of any holiday celebration is the delicious food. Our pets share this sentiment and would happily rummage through a wastebasket to sample the chargrilled goodness. Styrofoam trays, aluminum foil, paper products, plastic bags and other food containers can pose a safety hazard if consumed by a hungry pet. It is also essential to keep in mind that certain foods that are safe for humans can be harmful to pets. Ribs, chicken and other meats on the bone, corn on the cob, hot dogs, fruit salad and desserts are among the barbecue foods that could be potentially dangerous for pets.

Action Plan

In the event that your pet becomes lost, it is important to have a plan. Be familiar with animal care facilities in your area and have your local law enforcement’s contact information handy. If your pet does run away, enlist the help of your family, friends and neighbors to hang fliers and post photos and information on online message boards. Social media is a particularly powerful tool to reach a large number of people and quickly locate a lost pet. Be sure to send a photo of your pet along with your contact information to local animal shelters so that you can be notified if your pet is brought in.


Humans love the booming, crackling and pretty colors of fireworks in the night sky. Pets, however don’t share our love of pyrotechnics. The loud bangs, potent smell and bright flashes can cause pets to panic and flee in search of a quiet place. While you’ll want to end the holiday surrounded by your loved ones enjoying a firework display, do your pet a favor and leave them in a calm place where they won’t be exposed to the fear and anxiety that come with a pyrotechnic presentation.

Although it may be difficult to feel as though you are excluding your pets from all the fun this holiday weekend, the most important thing is their security and well-being. You will be at ease knowing that your their safety has been carefully considered and your pets will certainly thank you for keeping them well-protected!

In the event that your pet becomes lost or if you have found a lost pet, visit Animal Friends online for valuable tips and resources at