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By: terry.kocsis
Animal Friends
On 5/14/2014 my partner and I happened upon Animal Friends on Camp Horne Road, Pittsburgh. We wanted to bring a puppy into our home and had our hearts set on the Shih-Tzu breed. We had been in contact with breeders all across the state initially looking for a well bred pedigree. We were driving in the North Hills and decided to stop by Animal Friends and see if they still had the Shih Tzu we saw online a few weeks before. Nikki, a very knowledgeable and compassionate worker at animal friends directed us to the area where dogs are housed. Before we left the desk she also noted that the Shih Tzu we saw online was still there, but was part of a "bonded pair." This meant that where he lived previously he has become irrevocably close with another dog (his brother) and they have come to depend on one another for support and protection. We decided that we had come a far way and should entertain the notion of seeing both dogs. Passing through Animal Friends we were visiting all of the rabbits, cats & kittens and eventually the canines. We marveled at how orderly and inviting the place was. There were even full sized social/ exercise rooms for the animals. We took note that time is taken with each animal to be petted, groomed, and cared for. Finally arriving at the pen of the Shih-Tzu's... We instantly fell in love! Nikki then took us to a private room where we could get acquainted with the dogs and see if we would want to adopt. While having our interaction with both of the boys, we answered some questions about our lives to see if we would be suitable "parents," and then she told us much about where they came from and their health history. I was surprised and delighted by how much detail Animal Friends spent on profiling their charges. The dogs were both neutered, were up to date on all vaccinations and we're already licensed! We were so enamored by their personalities that we decided to adopt! Since they were a bonded pair- Animal Friends only charged us for a single dog which was a $75.00 donation. I could not believe that I was willing to spend over $1000.00 for a single puppy when I was now adopting two loveable doggies in need of a good home for so little a cost. Nikki was excellent, and she has become a friend of the family receiving regular doggy pictures and updates on how they are doing. A week after we brought them home, the second dog came down with a bad cold, and Animal Friends asked us to bring them up for a veterinarian appointment. Marsha, a vet tech at Animal Friends was so caring and thorough with my dogs that it really touched my heart. She was very knowledgeable and made sure that the dogs received proper treatment. I must say that the service was amazing. Animal Friends truly does care about their animals and to whom they adopt them out to. In saying so, I highly recommend anyone who is looking to adopt a pet to visit them and possibly go home with a new addition to your home!
By: Diana S.
Animal Friends
Wanted to attend teacup meetup with my dog. Since in two different occasions I drove my 25 miles to attend published meetup and to find it was cancelled. I called ahead three times...no answer...left three messeges...no answer. Did eventually 1/2 hour before it started...receptionist said it was on calender and she was not certain...redirected my call...voice mail only..tried to call again...could not get thru!I give up...they seem really bor to care...hour later..no call...Never going to attend. Their loss of my money.
By: captainsherlock
Animal Friends
I've just read a lot of negative comments and I'm sorry you had a bad experience. A year ago I adopted a corgi-Aussie cattle mix. She was a stray, rescued from death from another shelter. Lana was a perfect match for me. The only negative is she was bigger than I thought I wanted. The staff was excited to help us with the adoption process. Lana has been a blessing to me and I am grateful to have her.
Tips & Advices
Most city and county shelters offer affordable spay/neuter services. SPCA and Humane Society shelters also are known for their low-cost spay/neuter programs.
Shelters typically offer spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchipping and some essential medical treatment (deworming, mange treatment) to animals being adopted from the shelter. For other veterinary services, you will need to find a vet.
No-kill and low-kill shelters will state it in their online profile and other official materials. They will usually explain what their process/policy is for looking after the animals in their care. These are also known as “limited admission” shelters because they are usually at full capacity most or all of the time. Also, they often work with rescue organizations or county Animal Services authorities to accommodate animals living in inhumane conditions, abandoned or injured animals.
Anyone can bring a lost animal to a county or municipal shelter. However, private shelters affiliated with rescues often will not accept animals, whether lost or surrendered by owners. Shelters with low-kill policies often have a limited admission capability.
Adopting an adult dog from a county or city shelter usually costs $75-$100. Young adult purebreds and puppies often have a higher adoption fee.  The fee to adopt a cat is usually about $50– sometimes with discounts if one new owner adopts two cats. The adoption fee usually covers the cost of spay/neuter surgery and essential vaccinations.

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