At the height of World War II, many Pittsburgh-area pets were left behind by owners called to serve in the military. In response, a small group of concerned individuals joined together in 1943 to help find homes for these animals.
Operating first out of a donated office in the William Penn Hotel, the group provided matchmaking services to the community through telephone contacts. They eventually opened a shelter and incorporated, adopting the name "Animal Friends," which simply and clearly articulated their mission: to serve as friends to unwanted animals.
Previously located in Pittsburgh's Strip District, Animal Friends operated a full-service shelter providing cage space for 160 dogs and cats. Recognizing the staggering growth in pet population and the resulting need for control, Animal Friends created a broad range of pet adoption and human services.
The organization's experience, dedication and love for animals, combined with major advances in veterinary medicine, have resulted in expanded, sophisticated care and services well beyond what our founders could have envisioned more than 60 years ago.
In Spring of 2006, Animal Friends officially took residence of our new home, the Caryl Gates Gluck Resource Center. Located in Ohio Township, just 10-minutes North of downtown Pittsburgh, nestled in 13.5 acres of lush greenery and surrounded by more than a mile of walking trails.
This state-of-the-art facility is enabling Animal Friends to change the way an animal shelter can serve the animals and people in our region. Our resource center sits on 13.5 wooded acres on Camp Horne Road, just ten minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh. Our new home features creative kenneling for the comfort of our animals, a state-of-the-art medical center and surgical suite (staffed by in-house veterinarians), nearly a mile of lush walking trails and off-leash areas, and an interactive Education and Outreach Center.
Our resident dogs, of which we can accommodate as many as 200, can now walk on the soft earth, the cats benefit from unique caging and the ability to watch "bird tv" from the comforts of free-roaming cat rooms. Our newest addition to the shelter are rabbits. We've had them in foster homes for several years now, but now we have a place just for them, as well as a garden specifically growing their greens, fueled by their fertilizer!
Now, we are equipped to carry out the work that our founders dreamed of. We are offering better care to more animals. We are placing more animals into loving homes. We are spaying and neutering more pets. And, we are serving more people. Every day, our center is abuzz with activity, from children learning about proper pet care in our classroom, to seniors enjoying lunch and pet-themed lectures in our Outreach Center, and much more. We are building a community that values animals and reaps the benefits of animal interaction.
Stop in - you'll be pleasantly surprised!