Monday, 19 June 2017

The Out-of-Towner's Guide to Bark N'at

Bark N'at is a Pittsburgh-themed party fit for even the most experienced yinzers. But, we wanted to help some of the out-of-towners understand what Bark N'at is all about. That's why we came up with a few helpful tips so even if you're not a Pittsburgh native, you'll fit right in!

Parking Chair

You won't need to hold your place in line with one of these if you register online today!


A smaller version of a river, like the Allegheny that runs beneath the Roberto Clemente Bridge where we'll be partying all evening long at Bark N'at!

Chipped Chopped Ham

A local delicacy you might not find in our food truck alley. But don't worry, we'll have plenty of other delicious hometown favorites to choose from!


Another name for sprinkles ... not to be confused with our Lead Yinzer, Jimmy Krenn.


Also known as downtown. This is the only place you'll want to be on Sat., June 24 for Bark N'at on the Clemente Bridge!
So how's about you stop putzing around and register for Bark N'at today!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Vaccines 101

By Melanie Lippert, Clinic Services Program Assistant

Most people know that their pets should be vaccinated, but do they know what these vaccines actually protect against? It’s worth the time to understand what vaccines your pets need and why they’re so important.

The one vaccine that is required by state law for every dog and cat is the rabies vaccine. Most are familiar with rabies but don’t consider the risk of their household pets transmitting this deadly virus. Rabies is most commonly transmitted through wild animals such as skunks, raccoons and bats. Once contracted, there is no cure for rabies in animals or in humans. The introduction of the rabies vaccine has drastically decreased the number of cases over the years.

Another vaccination, commonly called DHLPP, is strongly recommended by most animal care professionals. This vaccine protects against up to five different conditions that can be deadly to dogs: distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and parainfluenza. These diseases can be contracted by your pooch from other canines or the environment. While some of these conditions can be treated if caught early, others have no cure and can be fatal.

Even for indoor cats, choosing to vaccinate can be a lifesaving decision. The FVRCP vaccine protects against feline rhinotracheitis virus, calicivirus and panleukopenia. These conditions can affect your cat’s health in a number of ways including attacks on their respiratory, immune and gastrointestinal systems. Some of these cases are limited to minor respiratory problems while others can be deadly for cats if left untreated.

Keeping your pets up to date on their vaccinations is safer, easier and far less expensive than treating a serious (or even minor) illness. Thankfully, Animal Friends offers low-cost vaccine, microchip and flea treatment clinics to help keep your four-legged friends safe, happy and healthy. These clinics are cash only and all services are offered on a first-come first-served basis – no reservations required.

If you have questions about which vaccinations your pet needs or for dates of upcoming low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics at Animal Friends, visit or call 412.847.7029.

Friday, 9 June 2017

The "S Dogs" (part 3)

Read: The "S Dogs" (part 2)

In one of our dog kennels, a staff member was finishing some paperwork at a makeshift desk made from an overturned milk crate. In the kennels surrounding her were about a half dozen of the S Dogs. Occasionally tossing a treat to the kennels’ occupants, she went about her work as the dog nervously paced back and forth. Although it may have seemed like an odd sight to some, this was one of the critical first steps of their rehabilitation. This was getting them accustomed to the presence of people.

This continued for weeks and months. And slowly but surely, terrified looks and shell-shocked stares transitioned into fleeting eye contact or a cautious sniff. Each of these small victories were building on one another as the S Dogs learned to trust.

Then one day as our staff member went in to complete some paperwork, she opened a kennel door in hopes that the occupant would take a few brave steps out. From the corner of her eye, she saw him approach. Careful not to initiate eye contact, she continued her work as he cautiously moved closer. She thought she imagined it, but no, there it was. A cold wet nose brushed against her arm. She dared not move an inch. She threw a glance in his direction, and then, for just a few seconds, their eyes locked. It took everything in her to continue her work because she really wanted to jump up in celebration. For this was a tremendous step in the dog’s progress – progress that had taken weeks of patience. She knew this was something we could build on as we continued to patiently and persistently work with the S Dogs.

As more and more of the dogs began to slowly but surely step out of their comfort zones, we knew the real work was just beginning. We wanted them to understand what it was like to be a dog. Some hadn’t been outside in months because they were so terrified of being touched that collars and leashes simply had to wait. After walks could come playgroups, followed by meeting new friends and, eventually, going home.

The staff members and volunteers who had been working with them for months became the S Dogs’ closest friends. Forming a collaborative network of support, they shared in each of the dogs’ victories – big and small. “Saxon pawed me to keep petting him today!” “Sanderson took treats from my hand for the first time!” It was truly a team effort with one common goal.

Then the day came that some thought might never arrive. A family was interested in adopting one of the S Dogs. Word spread like wildfire. It was hard not to get hopes up because the end result was just too heartwarming not to dream about. And then it happened. Sal was the first of these special dogs to find a loving and understanding family to help him continue his journey.

Since then, more than 20 of the S Dogs have found homes, but there are still some who, more than a year after arriving at Animal Friends, we continue to work hard with each and every day. No matter how long it takes, we’ll continue to work with them tirelessly until they’re no longer in our care.

Interested in learning more about the S Dogs who are ready to find loving homes? Contact our Adoption team at 412.847.7002 or to set up a meet and greet today!

Adoptable dog, Sherlock.
Adoptable dog, Simon.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Home to Home Adoption Program: Hercules Mulligan

Hercules Mulligan is an affectionate and friendly 2-year-old Puggle who is looking for a loving home that can provide him with the time and attention he needs. This playful boy gets along with other animals and loves to go for walks and romp around at the dog park. He has received basic obedience training and has been working with an in-home trainer. He has a stubborn streak but just wants all of the attention of the people in his life.

This little guy is still figuring out the finer points of personal space and can be a little too generous with affectionate headbutts and kisses. He's working hard to overcome this, but would probably be a better fit for a home without small children. Hercules could benefit from having room to run around so he can get the exercise he needs.

After 8 months in his home, Hercules' family has learned how sweet of a pup he is, but they know he needs a family that is able to provide him with the space, supervision and training that he needs. This lovable guy is neutered, up-to-date on all of his vaccinations and is in great health. Now he just needs the right family to help him grow into the great dog really is!

If you can give Hercules the home he's looking for, contact Chris at 724.787.6212 or