Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Unveiling a Center of Hope and Healing

On July 15, an Animal Friends' dream was realized - the grand opening of the Howard Ash Animal Wellness Center. Our hearts swelled with pride as we welcomed hundreds of community members to our campus-wide celebration.
“With this progressive facility, Animal Friends will be able to increase its commitment to affordable spay/neuter from 10,000 surgeries each year to 15,000 surgeries,” said Animal Friends President & CEO David Swisher.

“We will reach into underserved communities to provide spay/neuter and wellness services along with education and, when needed, transport to our clinic.”
While we celebrated the Grand Opening, our Howard Ash Animal Wellness Center isn’t fully operational … just yet. We still need to make a few construction tweaks before we can begin to transfer our Low-Cost Spay/Neuter and Vaccine Clinics, Humane Investigations and Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank programs into their new home.
We hope to fully open the doors of our Howard Ash Animal Wellness Center by early September. But rest assured – we’re still proudly offering these services at our Resource Center until we make the big move!
So please, continue to check for updates.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Home to Home Adoption Program: Millie

Millie was adopted by her current family when she was just 4 months old. Now, at 6 years old, this pretty girl is in search of a family that will continue to give her all the love she deserves. Millie needs a home where she will be able to snuggle up on the couch with people who love her. She loves to play fetch with her toys, enjoys going for walks and rides in the car, and is even content to just relax around the house or outside.

This Poodle/Dachshund mix is extremely well-mannered and is friendly toward everyone she meets. She runs to greet guests at the door with her tail wagging and loves to give kisses. She is housebroken and knows how to sit, lay down, roll over, sit up, give paw, speak, dance and fetch (whew!). She is a very smart little lady and is always eager to please.

Millie is in excellent health, is spayed, up-to-date on all of her vaccinations and has a microchip. She gets along well with other small dogs but isn't quite as comfortable with larger dogs. Millie's family wants to find her a home where she will get all the same love and attention that she is used to. All that's left to happen is the right family to meet her and fall in love!

If you can give Millie a loving home, please contact

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Home to Home Adoption Program: Bruce Wayne

This beautiful, 4-year-old kitty with big eyes is Bruce Wayne. After being involved in an accident when he was a kitten, this sweet boy only has three legs – he’s missing his front right leg – but he doesn’t let that stop him from getting around. Once he warms up to you, he’ll follow you around the house until you’re ready for his favorite activity … cuddling!
Bruce Wayne is great with other cats, but hasn’t had much experience meeting dogs. He has spent his entire life as an indoor cat and would like to keep it that way! Since he has a sensitive stomach, keeping his diet consistent has helped him to live a perfectly normal life.

This lovable guy has been an amazing companion, but his current owner will soon be moving and is unable to take him along. Can you give Bruce Wayne the great family and loving home he deserves?
If you’re interested in meeting Bruce Wayne, contact Ashley:
412.799.4919 |

A Fighting Chance

“Come on. Just a little further sweet boy,” our veterinary technician gently encouraged. She wrapped her arm around the young dog’s torso to help him take a few wobbly steps. She was holding a plate of warm chicken to entice him. This brindle-coated, emaciated dog is Cory. He arrived so ravaged by neglect that you could count every one of his ribs and see every notch of his spine.

It was a wonder that he was even alive ...

She steadied Cory on his feet and removed the support of her arm. He attempted to take a step on his own. But it was too much. His atrophied muscles gave out and he collapsed to the floor. A forlorn wag of his tail was all he could muster. She kissed his nose and rewarded his brave attempt with the plate of chicken.

She worried if Cory was going to make it. It was still too early to tell, but she would do everything she could to give him a fighting chance.

We’ll never fully know what Cory went through. Maybe it’s better that we don’t.

We can only assume that he survived by scavenging for anything edible in the house. That is … until he became so weak with malnourishment that he simply couldn’t move.

When the local police found him, Cory was huddled with another dog in a pile of trash. He could barely lift his head to see the faces of those who would remove him from his suffering.

It’s hard to imagine, but two children were also removed from the residence. Thankfully, social services stepped in to provide them the help they needed. And, while another animal organization was able to take the four cats that were found, Cory and the other dog, Topanga, became part of our Animal Friends family.

The moment the two dogs came through our doors, the Animal Friends team jumped into action. Our experienced Medical staff immediately provided them the emergency medical care they so desperately needed. Topanga was in critical condition. Cory was on the verge of death.

For the first few weeks we held our breath. Cory received blood transfusions, a specially formulated diet and feeding plan, extensive physical therapy ... and the list went on. Day by day, Cory continued to fight.

Within a few weeks Cory was able to stand on his own. Shortly thereafter he was walking. And now, the only collapsing we have to worry about is when he excitedly collapses into the waiting
arms of staff and volunteers.

It was still some time before Cory was ready for a new home. Until then, we’ll be sure to give him all the love and care he can handle. And, just maybe, we’ll be able to erase the past that he so narrowly escaped.

None of us wants to believe that situations like Cory’s really do happen right here in our own communities. That right next door there may be animals – and children – clinging to life. But that’s why Animal Friends is here. To step in, provide rescue and safe haven, and offer that critical second chance.

Rescuing and rehabilitating animals like Cory takes a lot of time, energy and resources. And, no matter how long it takes or what it costs, we know it is worth every second ... and every dollar.

Tragically, Cory is just one of thousands of animals who come to Animal Friends each year in need of a fighting chance. And, that’s why we are coming to you.

We need your help.

Please consider a gift in support of our work. From humane investigations and rescue to adoption services and low-cost spay/neuter clinics, you will ensure that our lifesaving programs will be here for the pets … and people … who need them.

Click here to give them a fighting chance.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Linda Mitzel Photography

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