Saturday, 19 March 2016

Animal Friends' 10-Days-of-10 Anniversary Event: Canine Enriched Environment Trail

Doggone, we've done it again! 

In conjunction with our 10-Days-of-10 Anniversary Event, we've created yet another famed Enriched Environment Trail. But this time, we've based it on the materials of traditional anniversary gifts.

For hundreds of years, people have been giving gifts based on different materials to celebrate anniversaries. So we tried our hand at a trail based on that concept.

Of course, the goal of our enrichment activities is so much more than fun and games! It's to provide the our shelter pets with a chance to think and learn with the introduction of novel objects. The objects may have a unique texture, scent or sound. 

Dogs love to discover new things and use their sniffers. So this enrichment trail added something unexpected to their daily routine, thus mentally stimulating the pups' minds and giving them confidence. The pooches moved along the trail at their own pace and were given ample time to investigate each activity.

For the gift of paper, shredded newspaper was placed in a wading pool and we received no complaints from Tumbleweed or Patsy!

Second anniversaries receive cotton, which translates to rope toys in a wading pool. And look at Tika, BoomBoom and Mahogany go - use those sniffers!

For year three and leather, a pile of leather shoes was placed in a box. Sniff the leather shoes ... if you dare! And, clearly Ringo, Neeko and BoomBoom dove right now. Way too many good sniffs to pass up here!

Fruits and flowers is for fourth anniversaries. We thought placing fresh flowers in sniffing box would really give the pooches from variation (especially after smelling a box of shoes!). BoomBoom and Milkbone had no complaints!

Wood is given for fifth year. What did we opt for at this station? Cheese tree, of course! Ferngully closed her eyes while she enjoyed the cheese. She knew the flavor of the cheese would be brought out by the scent of tree. Not Patsy, she just went for it.

"Candy" poppers were placed in a wading pool to symbolize sixth anniversaries and the gift of candy. Sirius and Neeko weren't shy at all. Take as much "candy" as you'd like boys!


Year seven and wool, a "sheep" maze was created. Sirius, Elvis and Tumbleweed wove their way through the "sheep" like champs!

Pottery is the gift for eighth anniversaries. This one gave them a nose buster! A mystery scent was placed under clay pot and BoomBoom was racking his nose for what it was!

 For year nine, willow is given. Scents were placed in a willow basket and Frank took in the scents of the branches. While, Tika enjoyed it so much she wanted to take the basket with her!

And, lastly, for 10 it's gifts of tin or aluminum. For this, we created aluminum pom poms and Patsy is really getting her nose in there to sniff and move the poms around. 

 Don't forget! Enrichment isn't just for shelter pets, it's great for your owned animals as well. Click here to check out some of our favorite enrichment games that you can do with your pets and with things you most likely have at a home!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Animal Friends Presents Tahoma and Verdana

Last January, a Good Samaritan contacted Animal Friends’ Humane Investigations Department about some domesticated rabbits running in her neighborhood – some of which were being hit on the road by cars. Not knowing what else to do, she turned to Animal Friends.

When our Humane Investigations Department, along with a partner organization, visited the neighborhood they immediately saw what she meant. Nearly a dozen domesticated rabbits were scattered throughout the area. Released into the wild by their former owners to fend for themselves.

The two youngest of the rabbits – at only a few months old – were found huddled together for warmth. Barely old enough to be separated from their mother but here they were, without food, water or shelter and vulnerable to the elements.

But just in time, these two, tiny kits found the warm kennels and warm hearts of Animal Friends.

Tahoma and Verdana, as they soon would be named, received much-needed care and were placed in a loving foster home. Soon they would be healthy and strong enough to be adopted.

It’s for animals like Verdana and Tahoma that we won’t give up the fight for a better future for the pets in our region. That’s why we continue to think outside the cage. Each year we spay/neuter more than 10,000 pets to prevent unwanted animals from going to shelters – or worse. 

Through rescue, adoption, spay/neuter and outreach, we’re building a community that values pets. We’re working to end the sad cycle of abuse, overpopulation and unnecessary euthanasia.

You can make a difference in the lives of pets in our region with a Sarris candy purchase. With you, we can continue this critical, lifesaving work.

Click here to purchase some sweet treats before March 21! And be sure to use the Group ID# 10-0375 and designate Animal Friends as the organization.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Animal Friends' Home-to-Home Adoption Program Presents Lover Boy!

Crystalann writes about Lover Boy ...

I rescued Lover Boy in Dammam, Saudi Arabia when I was living there a little over a year ago.  His age is unknown although my best guess is that he is around 2-4 years old. My friend and I found him in a local park and he was eager to come up to us for some food and affection. He is considered to be a black and white Domestic Shorthair.  

Lover Boy has only half of a black mustache and a big black heart on the side of his body.  A strong and large body describes his physical appearance. Although he should not be in a household with any other animals, he is affectionate and loving towards people. He has aggression towards cats and should not be permitted around any other cats and he should always remain indoors.  

Lover Boy loves toy mice, toys, affection, attention, shoulder rides, warm laps, snuggling, petting, talking to him, being around people, cat trees/castles/things to climb, scratching posts, cat treats and tuna. He dislikes being alone, loud noises, being cold (he's from the Middle East), cat harnesses and being locked up.   


I want to give Lover Boy the wonderful life that he deserves. Unfortunately I cannot keep him in my household because we have other cats and he doesn't get along with them. 

For a home with gentle, loving people and no other animals, Lover Boy would be the perfect match!  

 If you can help Lover Boy find a loving home, please contact Crystalann at

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Celebrating an Animal Friends' Milestone

Dear Friend,

It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since Animal Friends moved from the Strip District to our home in Ohio Township! It sounds so cliché, but it feels like only yesterday ... 

I was asked recently to share my fondest memory of our move to the Caryl Gates Gluck Resource Center. I remember thinking what an easy question to answer! Hands down my favorite memory is the day we transported the animals from the Strip District to the new Center.  
After months of careful planning to devise the least disruptive way to move nearly 100 animals – some of them elderly, some of them ill and all of them certainly confused – the day came to load them into the caravan of waiting vehicles. Once here, we placed them in their new spaces. Then we waited. And we watched. Hopeful that we got it right.

Then it happened. One by one, the animals sniffed and circled, checking out their new spaces and then ... simply curled up and lied down. That was when I knew we had succeeded.

Celebrating this milestone also reminds me of the important people who have made our many successes possible. They have supplied ample amounts of energy, vision, tenacity and commitment. And, as time rolls along, we are faced with the inevitable, bittersweet good-byes of these people who have been so integral in our success. Kathy Hecker is certainly one of them.

Kathy Hecker began her tenure with Animal Friends in 1992 and deserves the credit for the creation of our Humane Investigations Department. Through her leadership and role as our Humane Society Police Officer, Kathy changed the face of animal welfare in our region. It’s nearly impossible to measure the sheer number of lives she has affected in her 24 years of service. From the thousands of animals she has rescued to the education she has shared in our communities, she will certainly be missed. We thank her for her dedication and wish her only the best on her retirement.

So as we celebrate Animal Friends’ anniversary at our Camp Horne Road location we also celebrate the many people – like Kathy – who have made it possible. To our staff, volunteers and to you, our supporters, thank you for believing in a more humane and compassionate community for all of our animal friends.

Click here to learn more about our 10-Days-of-10 Anniversary Event! We hope to see you there.

In appreciation,

David J. Swisher
President & Chief Executive Officer
Animal Friends