Friday, April 28, 2017

Filling Voids and Offering Safety Nets

Everyone finds themselves in a pinch now and then. Sometimes that pinch feels a lot more like a vice clamping down on your ability to keep heat on in the house or even to put food on the table – or in your pet’s bowl.
 
That’s the core reason we’re so excited about our new Howard Ash Animal Wellness Center. Opening in July 2017, the center will offer an expanded array of low-cost supportive services including spay/neuter, vaccines, basic treatments like flea prevention. And it will allow our Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank to expand and serve more hungry pets in our region.

Our new Howard Ash Animal Wellness Center isn’t meant to add competition in the veterinary community. We are simply filling a void. Meeting an unmet need. Our experience and hands-on work in our local communities has made it abundantly clear that there are still too many limited-income pet owners who cannot afford care for their pets. And it’s the pets who are suffering.

We see them at our low-cost clinics grateful for basic care that will stop the itch, the pain or simply keep them healthy.

We see them surrendered to shelters when their owners can no longer afford them and feel they are out of options.

We see them as stray cats fending for themselves on the streets unable to stop the endless cycle of unwanted kittens.

We see them through the exhausted eyes of those struggling to make ends meet at rural shelters and rescue groups who are drowning in the cost of medical care.

At Animal Friends we know we can do better. And with the Howard Ash Animal Wellness Center – and the support of the community – we will.

So whether you are eagerly anticipating our July opening so you can use our expanded low-cost services or you simply want to support a vision that ensures all pets have access to basic care, we encourage you to spread the word about our new Center. And, if you are able, please consider a contribution.

Because as long as there are pets who are unwanted, hungry, sick or simply need a safety net, we know our work is not done.

Visit ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org/AWC to donate!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Home to Home Adoption Program: Rally and Uno

Rally and Uno were taken in by a Good Samaritan out of the kindness of her heart. Now, she wants to help them find families to call their very own through Animal Friends Home to Home Adoption program. Could you give one of these lovable guys the gift of a loving home?

Rally

Rally is a 4-year-old Mountain Cur dog. He is an energetic and lovable boy who can be found bouncing around outside one minute and sound asleep on your lap the next. He absolutely loves people and is one of the friendliest pooches you'll ever meet. Rally is also housebroken and neutered. Now, he just needs a loving family to give him the attention he deserves and the love he needs.

Uno



Uno is a 4-year-old Bulldog mix. He had a tough start to life when he was found abandoned with a broken leg while he was a puppy. Sadly, his veterinarian believes the break was likely from abuse. Thankfully, his leg has been all fixed up and he has since thrived, transforming into a goofy, lovable "lap dog" who loves everyone he meets. Uno is neutered, up to date on all of his vaccines and can't wait to find his perfect family!


If you can give Rally or Uno the loving family they deserve, contact Jennifer at maitlandjennifer@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Time is Tick-ing Away – Is Your Pet Protected Against Lyme Disease?

By Eleanor Miller, Senior Animal Wellness Coordinator/Medical Coordinator


April is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and with the warm weather just around the corner, Animal Friends wants to be sure you have everything you need to protect your pets. Lyme disease can quickly become a serious issue not only for the animals in your life, but for you.

Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing diseases transmitted by insects or other organisms in the United States. As the summer months quickly approach, it’s important to protect your pets against this debilitating disease. Lyme disease is more commonly found in dogs, but your cats, rabbits and other pets are also at risk of contracting it.

Because western Pennsylvania has plenty of densely forested areas and no shortage of wildlife living right in our backyards, it is among the areas where Lyme disease is most prevalent. As the temperature climbs, larvae that have spent the winter months dormant grow into adults that can transmit Lyme disease through a bite. The tick must already be infected and remain attached for at least 48 hours for transmission of the bacteria to take place.

Once infected, animals may experience intermittent lameness, fever, swelling of joints, loss of appetite, swelling of lymph nodes and lethargy. In severe cases, animals may even experience an acute onset of renal failure. While the symptoms can be managed medically, there is no cure for Lyme disease. The single most important thing you can do for your pet is to provide preventatives. There are also vaccines that will protect your four-legged family members against Lyme disease. Although they won’t prevent the disease from taking hold entirely, they can help to lessen the symptoms if the bacteria is introduced.

Thankfully, Animal Friends offers Lyme vaccines and flea and tick preventative treatments through our Low-Cost Vaccine Clinics. Don’t wait until it’s too late! With a mild winter coming to a close, flea and tick season is expected to be more severe and arrive sooner. Protecting your pets now could save them (and you!) from a lot of pain and discomfort down the road – not to mention your vet bills!

If you would like more information about tick prevention, Lyme disease and for a full schedule of Low-Cost Vaccine and Microchip Clinics, contact Animal Friends at 412-847-7004 or visit ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org/Vaccine.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Flounder


Flounder found his way to Animal Friends a little over a year ago with his brother Sebastian. We knew immediately that these lovable boys were inseparable. Despite being infested with parasites and suffering from severe dental disease, these amazing kitties never lost their sweet, friendly personalities. Even after they developed IBD, a disease that attacks the digestive system, Flounder and Sebastian leaned on each other and relied on the love and care of our compassionate staff and volunteers.


Sadly, at the beginning of the New Year, Flounder and Sebastian were separated in the worst way imaginable. Sebastian developed Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), an incurable and fatal disease and passed away. Being that FIP, although not contagious, has a genetic component, Flounder is potentially at risk of developing the disease.

Despite Flounder's health concerns we are dedicated to finding him a loving home. Nothing would make Flounder happier than a cozy lap next to a warm fire. It could be a few weeks or several years, but this sweet and affectionate boy deserves the best life possible for the rest of his days.

If you can give Flounder the gift of a loving home, contact Animal Friends' Adoption team today at 412.847.7002 or AdoptionInfo@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Home to Home Adoption Program: Toby



Toby is a 9-year-old Shepherd mix who was rescued by an older woman from an abandoned litter of puppies. Sadly, Toby's rescuer passed away about a year ago and he has been living with a foster family since.

He can be a little anxious at times, particularly when interacting with men. While he has been working hard to overcome his shyness and is happy and comfortable when the whole family is home, he is still a little uneasy when he's home alone with his foster dad.

Typically, Toby is a well-behaved, social and playful guy! Although he has had limited experience with children, Toby has lived well with cats and other dogs.

Toby's favorite activities are chewing his squeaky toys, enjoying a quiet night in with his most trusted human (and animal!) friends, and having his ears gently scratched. This handsome boy absolutely loves going for walks and despite his uneasiness, will even go for a stroll with his foster dad.



Toby is a low-maintenance pup who is content and well-behaved when left home alone during the work day. This lovable boy is really the best of both worlds, loving his playtime with both people and pets, but also appreciating the art of relaxation!

While he has made some significant improvements in trusting his foster dad, his current family doesn't want to continue to push him. Toby does have male human friends that he is quite comfortable with, but to help him thrive, his family wants him to find a loving home where he will be as comfortable as possible.

If you think your home would be a good fit for Toby, please contact Clinton at 412.345.3284 or info@bluenovember.info.




Monday, February 13, 2017

Animal Friends Presents Barney!

Meet Barney, an incredibly brave 7-year-old orange Tabby who wouldn’t give up to get his second chance at a happy life. After his previous owner left him outside to fend for himself, he tried to join a colony of community cats. But Barney was accustomed to life indoors and was not prepared to live the life of a community cat – thanks to a compassionate man who fed and cared for the colony Barney survived.
 
But, as the caregiver soon began to notice, life wasn’t easy for Barney. He began showing up on the man’s doorstep, each time with more severe injuries. It seemed Barney was not being accepted into the colony and couldn’t protect himself. He knew he needed to do something but didn’t know where to turn.

Help was not far off. Staff and volunteers from Animal Friends would soon visit his neighborhood. They were going door-to-door offering free spay and neuter services to the neighborhood residents through Animal Friends for Life. When we heard about Barney, we wasted no time and brought him to Animal Friends so his second chance could begin.
 
When he arrived, Barney was examined by our on-site veterinarian. She discovered that his battle scars were just the beginning of his troubles. Barney was also showing signs of an upper respiratory infection and tested positive for FIV. This meant he had a slightly weakened immune system. An indoor cat can live a healthy life with FIV when seen by a vet regularly. But an outdoor cat who had to contend with the elements would have a much harder time.
 
What was even worse, the veterinarian quickly noticed that Barney had a rare condition that causes the edges of his eyelids to invert. If left untreated, this could cause permanent blindness. Luckily, Barney was in the right place. He was vaccinated, treated for his upper respiratory infection and was neutered and microchipped. Barney also successfully underwent surgery for his eye condition and is now seeing perfectly!
 
Had Animal Friends for Life not met the colony caretaker, Barney would not have survived. Thankfully, help came just in time for Barney, but there are still more homeless pets in our region that need your help.

Now, you can help more animals just like Barney receive the lifesaving support they desperately need by purchasing Sarris Candy. Click here and use Group ID# 10-0375 and designate Animal Friends as your organization when placing your candy order and you'll be supporting Animal Friends in the sweetest way possible!

Don't delay! The deadline to place your online order is April 7.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ease Cabin Fever with Indoor Enrichment for Your Pets

Animals need ways to stay active – physically and mentally – all year long. With the weather turning from cold to colder, here are some indoor tips that will help to ease cabin fever and give you and your pets endless entertainment on those cold winter days!

Build a Cat Activity Center
Things that would typically be thrown away can easily be made into an entertaining play station for your cat! Everyday items such as toilet paper tubes, pipe cleaners, clean medicine cups, ribbon spools or egg cartons can provide hours of brain-stimulating fun! Use a shallow cardboard box as the base and securely glue your items in place.

Once your activity center has taken shape, add a few pinches of catnip, jingle bells, toys or treats. Your cat will enjoy exploring the textures, smells and sounds and her brain will be put to work! Once she has lost interest, refill the goodies and move it to a new location. Your cat will think she has made a brand new discovery and you’ll be able to reuse your activity center time and time again!

Put Your Dog’s Sniffer to the Test

Dogs are great at detecting smells and their superior sniffers are a great way to help them have some fun when it’s too cold outside for their typical activities.

Bottles in a Box
A large box filled with empty water bottles can really put your pup’s brain to work. Drop in a few treats and let your dog sniff, search and dig for them. Since the bottles make lots of noise, try crumbled newspaper for fearful dogs to help them build confidence.

Scent Trail
Take a page out of Hansel and Gretel’s book and lay out a trail of tiny treats. This game can be played inside in any amount of space – use your imagination! After leading your pooch through the kitchen, around the couch and up the stairs, leave a jackpot (a small pile of treats) at the end of the trail as a reward for your little explorer!

Create a Foraging Game for Your Rabbit

A rabbit in the wild must search for his food. By creating a foraging game you can easily encourage your indoor rabbit to get some exercise while searching, sniffing and thinking to find a treat.

Show your rabbit a treat and then hide it in your hand, under your leg or behind a toy. Let him sniff out the treat. Next, make a trail of fresh greens across the room, hiding some of the pieces. If your bunny makes quick work of the trail, you can take it to the next level by slowly dragging one leaf across the floor and hiding it at the end. Your rabbit’s mind will be working to follow his nose all the way to the treat. The better you hide the prize, the harder he’ll have to work to find it!
 
These are just a few of the countless enrichment activities you can use to keep your four-legged family members active all winter long. You can have fun thinking up other games to exercise your pet’s body and mind – the only limit is your imagination! For inspiration and more great ideas, go to ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org/Enrichment.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Home to Home Adoption Program: Baby Girl


Meet Baby Girl, a 3-year-old tabby cat that has become an unofficial member of her family. A couple of years ago she showed up at their home and has since taken up residence in the neighborhood, calling the garage home at night. They have grown very fond of her over the years and she has truly become a member of the family.
 
Her temporary family will be moving away from their home and are unable to take Baby Girl with them. Since they've gotten to know her so well over time, they want to do anything they can to help her find a loving home that can provide her with the love and attention she needs. Baby Girl is a phenomenal cat who is spayed, up-to-date on her vaccinations and is litter trained. She's friendly with other cats, dogs and people – all she needs now is a home of her own!
 
If you would like to give Baby Girl a loving home, contact her foster mom today!

Debra Marcocci
724.591.2293 | dmarcocci@hotmail.com


Monday, January 2, 2017

Home to Home Adoption Program: Toby


Toby is a 2-year-old boy who was found by his current family as a stray. This handsome boy has long black, brown and white fur. Toby likes to play quietly with his toys and loves to use his scratching post! He also enjoys passing the time giving himself a nice grooming!

He hasn't had an opportunity to interact with cats, but gets along very well with the Rottweiler that currently shares his home. Although he is a little skittish, Toby is slowly but surely learning to be more confident. This docile kitty doesn't mind being handled and is a great sport about ear cleaning, medication and nail trimming. Toby is also a true gentleman about using his litterbox!

Though he's not quite a lap cat, he is very affectionate on his own terms and follows his foster family around like a shadow! If you're looking to give a fun cat with just the right amount of energy a home, contact Toby's foster to meet him today.

Contact:
Brigitte Biklodeau
Rock61@comcast.net
724.746.8965