Author Archives: Friendship APL

Shrek and Fiona: Happily Ever After

Fiona and Shrek came to Friendship Animal Protective League needing immediate Veterinary care. This brother, sister duo had been found as stray dogs. They both appeared to be around 5 months old and both of them appeared to have had broken legs. Knowing there was no time to waste, FAPL took Shrek and Fiona to one of our partner vets to be checked out.

The broken legs Shrek and Fiona had both appeared to have been old injuries, that healed the wrong way. Unfortunately, this meant neither of their legs could be saved. At the age of 5 months old, Shrek and Fiona had to have their front right leg amputated as that would be the only way to provide them long term comfort. While it remains a mystery how both these pups 

suffered the same fracture to the same leg at the same time, they were turned in as strays so we never found out. While possible abuse is always the assumption, what we did know is that both pups were safe with us, eager for love and affection and patiently were waiting for a new home!  

November 4th proved to be a lucky day for both pups, as their new adopters walked through the door. Shrek and Fiona both were adopted, into separate homes, by families who had seen their stories on our social media. Both dogs seems to be adjusting into their new homes and they each had their sutures removed are all healed from their amputation procedures! 

Below you can enjoy the update Fiona’s new family provided on how she is doing:

“Fiona is amazing!! We actually renamed her Nala, because she is beautiful and strong! Nala already had a vet appointment to get her sutures and staples out. Here are some pictures of how she is doing in her new home. Thank you so much for taking care of her!”

Pupdate: Hipless Jay Jay now has Hips!

As posted in a previous article, written by Greg Willey, you learned that Jay Jay has a special place in our hearts (Getting “Hip” at Friendship APL). He has been through a lot, being 6 months old, hobbling around without any hips, and enduring two hip replacement surgeries. But Jay Jay has had a wonderful family, to call his own, that has without a doubt been an instrumental part of his recovery process. Now that both surgeries have been finished, and Jay Jay is almost completely recovered, enjoy his adoption story written by the couple that adopted him:

“Since the day I was born, I have always had a dog. They are truly a part of my family.  When I got married, we had 2 dogs in our little home. Sadly, our girls both passed away. One of them only a few days before we moved to our new home. We were both devastated by her loss.  

Jay Jay doing what he does best, snuggling!

I was without a dog for 2 years before I told my husband that I was ready for a another.  It had to be the right dog for us.  I am a physical therapist.  I was at my desk one day when a dog profile came in a message for my husband. He may be the perfect dog for us.  Jay Jay needed bilateral hip replacements.  My dream job is to be a PT for dogs.  We met him the next day, and it was love at first sight. I remember sitting in the shelter waiting for them to get Jay for us to meet him. I was so nervous. Eric asked me what was wrong, I said, “ what if Jay Jay doesn’t like us?”  Turns out Jay loves everyone.  We met the sweetest dog on the planet. They told us that it would be a long road because of the surgeries that he would need. He needed a loving home that he could come to and recuperate and a family to show him the love he deserves. What I didn’t know that day was that we needed him as much as much as he needed us.  He brings us so much joy and happiness. He turned a year old a few months ago and has been through so much in his life, and despite all of that, he is a snuggle monster.  Every morning and everyday after work when we open his crate, he runs right to the couch for 

Jay Jay is always eager to go on walks!

snuggling.  He wants to get a good snug in before he will go outside.  If you ever have the chance to experience it, I promise, it will be the highlight of your day.  But be careful, he is aggressive with his snuggling. 

Now that he is in his final stages of

 his recovery and walking up to an hour at a time, it is hard to keep him from being on the go All The Time!  He loves to walk and wants to be outside. We could be home five minutes, and he wants to go again.

I recently had to have a minor surgery that has put me on the couch with him for a while.  It is nothing compared to what this guy has been through, but he has been the sweetest. He has been so gentle with me. It is like he knows what I am going through.  I was there for him, and now it is his turn.  

Soon, we will both be recuperated.  We will be ready for anything!  He is a true gift to our lives and we are so thankful for him.”

Stevie’s Adoption Story

Stevie was found with bad infections in both eyes, leaving him blind.

Stevie’s story is one of resilience when the odds were stacked against his favor. A good Samaritan found Stevie as a stray kitten, all by himself, at only a few weeks old. Not knowing how to care for a kitten that young, the good Samaritan brought him to our shelter. Staff knew upon arrival that the odds were not in Stevie’s favor and that his mother probably abandoned him. Most mother animals abandon their young when they can sense they have been with special needs, and do not have a high chance of survival, which refers to the term “survival of the fittest”. Stevie arrived blind, with two severe eye infections that likely would not resolve with basic antibiotics. Being at the shelter, exposed to other diseases, would only risk his health further, so staff determined Stevie needed a foster. And so his story begins:

“I saw a post on FAPL’s Foster Page on August 31st, 2022 that a foster was needed for one blind kitten. I thought “Great!” One kitten compared to the five bottle

babies I had recently finished fostering. “This will be easy!” And Stevie was easy in most ways except that he seemed lonely. He had bouts with intestinal parasites, which were treated by FAPL, and once he had his vaccines he was able to be with my other two 6 month old kittens,

Stevie relaxing on a warm blanket at his foster, now adopters, house!

both FAPL alumni. Stevie was for the most part completely blind. His left eye is basically non-existent and the right badly damaged and cloudy.  I never asked what happened to him because it didn’t matter to me at that point, I knew he needed help. So for several weeks he and I had our daily routine of warm compresses and medicated drops, which he hated! He was switched over to an eye ointment after seeing the vet at Friendship towards the end of September. He tolerated the eye ointment much better. At that point it was highly advised that we have both of Stevie’s eyes removed due to a potential lifetime of infections. I already knew at that time that he was going to stay with us permanently. My husband grew quite fond of him, as did I of course, but Stevie seems to respond more to Jim’s voice than to mine. As time has gone on we’ve watched him grow in so many ways, not just size. I believe even now Stevie retains a tiny bit of sight and it seems just enough to navigate his surroundings. At first he would just hug walls and table legs and follow our voices. After a few weeks one of my other cats, Ghost, started behaving like a ‘service’ cat. He would veer Stevie off of incorrect courses and make sure he stayed in a trajectory to cause as little harm as possible. I’ve actually seen Ghost head Stevie off from the basement stairs, as we’ve yet to practice that technique. I knew if anybody was perfect for this kitten and his needs it was me and I already felt very committed to him.

Stevie posing for a photo, so he can be the star of our December marketing campaign!

Every animal is unique, and Stevie is no different. My husband and I love to watch him experience new things, and in different ways than ‘normal’ animals. It’s funny because he doesn’t even know that he is a special needs animal and the rest of the household, two cats and two large dogs, seem to accept him for what his normal is. Our morning routine is to sit in our sunroom and have coffee and watch the great outdoors. I will open the window and let Stevie sit on the ledge so he can enjoy it as well. Since he really can’t see he uses his other senses. His ears are always twitching and his nose goes straight into the air. He takes in all the scents that waft in from the window and he knows when he hears birds, but of course doesn’t really know what they look like! Stevie seems to know which dog is which when he approaches them, they are very different dogs, and he knows how far he can go with them. The dogs sense his disability as well, since he tends to skid into them a LOT!  The dogs tolerate all the cats quite well but they also have a special place for Stevie.

Animals are truly resilient creatures and are able to move forward not even knowing they are lacking in some ways. Stevie just goes about his day like any other kitten. He plays, he sleeps, enjoys the sunshine and climbs two feet to his cage door when he’s hungry! I have to feed him in his cage as the other two are little pigs and will eat all his food otherwise. But he has his routine, and it seems to work for him. He will be seeing Dr. Knox at the end of November for vaccines, a checkup and to evaluate his eye situation. As of right now wetting drops and the occasional antibiotic ointment is keeping his eyes from getting infected.  I found that fostering kittens was extremely rewarding in itself but fostering/adopting a special needs animal is extremely enriching to the soul. Just to watch the changes and feel the love that he has for us is extraordinary.”

This truly is a heartwarming story about a blind kitten finding his fur-ever home! It also brings attention to how becoming a volunteer or a foster can get you involved with our shelter in so many different ways. Stevie’s new mom, can now volunteer, foster and adopter to her FAPL Resume!

Pet Insurance is the Way to Go!

    Do you remember the day that your new pet came home? You found the right animal for you or your family. You get them home, they investigate their new place; so many new smells, new sounds, and new commands. It’s the best day ever! You picked out the right toys, foods, treats, bowls, blankets, and beds just for them. You don’t just treat your new member as an animal, but you baby them, you love them. Unfortunately,  there is one thing we don’t think of until it’s too late. Accidents, illnesses, and injuries are all inevitable especially when bringing a new animal home. Visiting the vet, or emergency after-hours animal hospitals can be costly. Due to the increasing veterinary bill costs, too often, owners simply cannot afford what their animal may need. Owners are then daunted by the decision to have to surrender their animal to a shelter in order for the animal to receive the care it needs. In most cases, surrendering your beloved pet means you will not get them back after they are treated. Other times, vets will even suggest euthanizing the pet if the owner is not able to afford its care. Both of these options are heartbreaking for owners to have to make. Pet insurance is an option all pet owners should sign up for, especially with the ever rising vet costs. 

     Animal insurance is a must nowadays. Similarly to people insurance, we have insurance for ourselves and our families, there is also insurance for our animals! Pet insurance is generally offered by most of your “people” insurance carriers. Pet insurance generally requires a reasonable monthly payment, and then when needed, can help with the cost of treatment/procedures that can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. After researching online, we have discovered there are a variety of insurances that are available on the market. When choosing the company and the plan, you must read the fine print. As with us, many plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. This is also why it is so important to get pet insurance the moment you adopt or add a new animal to your family. For some plans, there is a waiting period before the insurance goes into effect. For most insurance plans, the cost of the insurance depends on the age and breed(s) of your animal. We’ve also discovered that for each animal, you will want to choose a wellness plan and an insurance plan. The wellness plan is a good choice for every animal you own. This plan is a small monthly fee of, on average, $20.00-$40.00. The wellness plan does have co-pays, but when you compare those costs to a regular visit, you will be saving money. When it comes to insurance plans, this is one of those choices you will need to make, depending on your animal. After speaking to a representative for one of the pet insurance businesses listed below, they mentioned that it’s best to get insurance if you get a breed of animal that is prone to health issues. An example of breeds that are prone to health issues include Great Danes with the flipping of their stomachs, German Shepherds with elbow or hip dysplasia issues, etc. If you have an animal that acts like a couch potato, you may not need pet insurance and opt only for the wellness plan. All this to say, prices will vary on what you choose, whom you choose for insurance and the number of animals you own. 

     What we do know is pet insurance is a plentiful resource pet owners should be using. It has the ability to say many pet owners’ money and heartbreak. When choosing your pet insurance, be sure to do your research. Read about the insurance and call and speak to a representative if you have any questions. Not all pet insurances are the same. Some will require you to pay upfront at the time of service and then be reimbursed a specific percent after. Other insurances will have you pay a copay and they will pay the rest to the vet directly. Below are some pet insurances we have researched and think are worth looking into: 

Lemonade (click to go to website)

Offers: Accident, Illness, and Wellness Plan

ManyPets (click to go to website)

Offers: Accident, Illness, and Wellness Plan

Embrace

Offers: Accident, Illness, and Wellness Plan

PetsBest 

Offers: Accident, Illness, and Wellness Plan

CarePlus by Chewy 

Offers: Illness, Accident, and Wellness Plan

Adding a New Dog to your Pack

Adding a New Dog to your Pack

Are you considering adding a dog to your pack? Becoming a multi-dog household can be a very enriching experience for both you and the dogs. However, not all dogs want to share their family or space with other dogs and that’s okay. Additionally, just like people would rather avoid some other humans, dogs feel that way about some other dogs. It’s a matter of finding the right match and introducing the new dog to the pack slowly. While this may take some extra effort and steps, it is necessary if you want to ensure the easiest transition. Making sure you take the time and necessary steps to introduce a new dog into your home may help prevent any fear-based or aggressive reactions from occuring. Hopefully, some of the information in this article will be helpful in integrating your new canine into the family. 

Where to Start Introduction:

It’s important to understand the difference between two dogs meeting on neutral territory versus an established territory. Neutral territory is a place that neither dog has established as their own. An example of neutral territory would be a park. Established territory is a place that either one of the dogs have established as their own such as the dog’s house. When introducing a new dog to your pack, the initial introduction needs to take place on neutral territory. This will give both dogs a fair chance to get to know one another without the pressure of being on one of their established territories. 

First impressions can make or break the desired canine ‘friendship’.  Make sure to have the dogs meet for the first time on neutral territory. One way to introduce dogs on a neutral territory is to casually meet up for a walk together or at a park-like secured area – NOT A DOG  PARK. When introducing one of the dogs at the shelter to a resident dog in the home, we allow the dogs to meet on leash first and then walk them together to a fenced in yard. Having a friend or other family member walking the new dog and a favored family member(s) walking the resident dog(s) is a good idea as well. The trick is to allow the dogs to meet and acknowledge one another without throwing them into a home with one another and expecting the best. 

What to Watch For:

Knowing what appropriate and inappropriate dog body languages are is important when introducing two dogs to one another. Behaviors that people tend to associate as positive, are not always the case and vice versa. So what body language should you look for?

  • Loose body movements and muscles
  • Relaxed open mouths
  • Play bows or other playful posturing
  • Tail Wagging
  • Stiff, slow body movements
  • Hair standing up on the back
  • Tensed mouth or teeth-baring
  • Growls
  • Vocal Barking
  • Prolonged staring

The above behaviors are just some common ones to keep an eye out for. Loose body movements, relaxed open mouths, play bows/gestures, tail wagging etc. are all positive body languages dogs can be exhibiting during a meet. Stiff, slow body movements, hair standing up, tense mouth, baring teeth, clenched or chattering jaw/teeth, growls and prolonged staring are all body languages that should urge you to proceed with caution during the introduction or stop the introduction altogether. It is also important that you are not rushing and interpreting the body language wrong. Things like wagging tails, vocalness, hair standing up can all be both good and bad body languages, they are not just simply one or the other. 

As dog owners, we tend to have an attachment to our animals and have an urge to protect them, especially when introducing them to an unknown dog. We, as people, feel we know our dog best. What you may not realize is that in feeling this way, you may be projecting anxiety and fear onto your dog during a meet and greet. An example of this is owners holding onto their dogs leash extremely tight and pulling the dog back from going up to the dog they are meeting. Your dog is typically going to sense the tension you are projecting and can cause your dog to react negatively. Making sure you go into a meet and greet confidently, holding your dog’s leash with a lot less tension and keeping the leash loose are important tips for a successful dog to dog introduction. 

VOCALNESS is OKAY! Another tip, and something I cannot stress enough is to allow both dogs to communicate with each other. Some dogs are vocal, some are not. Some dogs get excited to meet other dogs and can show this excitement by being vocal. It is okay for your dog or the other dog to be vocal when first meeting one another. Vocalness does not always mean aggression. Unlike people when they first meet, dogs are unable to talk and say words. When first meeting, people generally say hello, or are able to express when they are uncomfortable. When  a dog is meeting another dog and they are vocal, they are doing just what us people would do when first meeting someone, expressing how they feel! An example of this is an overly excited male dog, barking to express his interest in meeting another dog coming toward him. If the other dog is uncomfortable with how overly excited the male dog is coming across, you might hear a “correction bark”. This is simply the dog’s way of communicating that it is uncomfortable and that the male dog needs to back off. That interaction is okay, and as owners, it is necessary for you to let this take place. As long as the dogs respect the corrections each other is giving, the introduction between those dogs can continue. 

Moving from Neutral Territory to Establish Territory

Once the initial introduction has taken place on neutral territory and all seems to be going well, you can take the steps to introduce both dogs to each other in the home. Remember, this is your resident dog’s territory and you are expecting he/she to accept a new dog into their space. This introduction needs to be done slowly. Just because both dogs got along on neutral territory does not mean they are instantly going to get along in an established territory such as a home. A good tip is to introduce both dogs as described above, in the backyard. This is a good step to get the dogs comfortable with one another before bringing them inside. Before bringing the new dog home, establish a separate area for the new dog. Ideally, this would be a gated area but can also be a crate. This area should be for the new dog, if both dogs become overwhelmed during their introduction inside the home. It is a space for the new dog to have as theirs and so your resident dog does not feel threatened. Bring the new dog into the house alone but still leashed. Let the dog sniff around the house, find the food and water, etc. Show them their safe space (crate or room). Just like humans typically use their bedrooms to ‘escape’, domestic animals need this type of space too. Before bringing the resident dog(s) in, remove any food bowls, beds and high value items from the floor and put the new dog in the confined area. Let the resident dog in. If there are multiple resident dogs, let only one in at a time for the initial inside the home introduction. Allow the dogs to meet through the gate or crate. Let them spend time ‘talking’ through the gaps. Do this for each resident dog being introduced. If growling occurs, do not correct the growling – this is how dogs communicate. (However, do not reward the growling either by trying to comfort the dog). Remove the resident dog from the area. If the resident dog was the offender, tire them out and try later. If the new dog was the offender, allow the new dog more time to decompress. They could be exhausted, overwhelmed, scared, etc. Let them feel safe. This could take a few days. Do not rush the introduction. It might be easier to create a visual barrier for a while so the dogs can smell each other but not see each other. 

Once all are introduced, leave the new dog in its separate area and let the resident dog(s) in just like normal. Go about your normal routine incorporating separate time for the new dog also.  When it comes time to feed, feed the new dog separately. This is so that the resident dog(s) do not feel their food source is being threatened and the new dog doesn’t feel like they have to compete for food. You will have to learn how the new dog indicates he needs to use the bathroom, so for the first few days, treat them as though you are house training them. 

If still going well, leash both dogs and bring the new dog into the resident dogs’ area. If all is still looking good, drop the resident dog’s leash (if multiple, do this step one dog at a time). LEaving the leashes on the dogs will give you as the owner more control of the situation. If the introduction were to go wrong, it gives you something to grab ahold of (the leash) instead of getting caught between two dogs who are fighting. As long as things are continuing to go well, drop the new dog’s leash and monitor the interactions. Dogs will indicate their displeasure with other dogs with body language indicated above. 

Introduction periods between dogs take a variable amount of time. No two dogs are the same and the introduction process may have to start over multiple times before the dogs get comfortable with one another. Sometimes the integration process goes smoothly. It all depends. Do not punish the behaviors but do not reward them either. Give this process at least 15 days before deciding the dogs will not integrate. Even if all has been sunshine and roses, you still need to monitor their interactions and they should not be left alone together in the house for extended periods. You can crate or gate the new dog for a while until you’re comfortable with their interactions. It would be best to start with short absences to see how things go if you leave all dogs free in the home. 

An Adoption Story: Maverick

This was a picture of Miracle in a volunteers lap when he was awaiting his forever home at the shelter.

Everyone loves a feel good adoption story, and that is just what we have for you below! Miracle came to our shelter on September 5th after being seized in a humane case. He was a young adult cat with beautiful long gray fur, but something wasn’t right with Miracle’s back legs. Upon further examination by our medical staff, we learned that he was missing a back paw and his other back leg was not fully developed, which gave the appearance of a chicken wing. We believe he was born this way and despite his disability, was still able to live a normal, happy life. Miracle was a typical young adult cat, eager to play and spend time with volunteers. It didn’t take him long to open up and show his true self to the staff and volunteers that cared for him every day. We knew we had to find a special adopter for this special cat. Miracle, now known as Maverick, was adopted by former Board Member and President Deb. And so this adoption story begins: 

“We lost our first cat Mellow, who was adopted 10 years ago from FAPL, to cancer in April. He was the most loveable unique cat you could ever meet. We never thought we would get another cat because we already have three more from FAPL. Two of which, Misty and Max, have special needs and our third cat is Mya.

I saw a post made by one of the staff at Friendship, Katie, who described Miracle’s story. While we were not in the market for a new cat,when we saw Katie’s post we were drawn to this little gray guy. Plus he had a name beginning with M……which fits right in. He has some personality similarities to our cat Mellow.. who we miss every day and will never be replaced. I wonder if he was sent to us from our cat Mellow in heaven. Was Mellow trying to tell us from afar that we needed to help this little kitty? I don’t know. I have read a lot of books about signs from pets in the afterlife. I feel Mellow is now watching over Miracle/Maverick. Whatever it was that drew us to him, we eventually decided to visit Miracle at the shelter. 

Having a special needs cat was not something new to us. We have a tripod, Misty from FAPL, who is now 8, we have a cat, Max from FAPL, that was thrown from a car who had back and leg issues and he is now 6. Our third cat, Mya– well she is the sweetest and just a normal cat. No issues.

Miracle stretching and relaxing, knowing he is out of the shelter and in a home!

My husband Jerry and I visited Miracle twice and asked Katie a lot of questions. We also saw volunteer Marsha in the room with him and how he interacted with her. He was so sweet and just wanted to be held. We decided he needed to leave the shelter to give him an opportunity for a better life. Currently Miracle seems to have adapted to his surroundings and overcome his challenges. He loves to sit with us and cuddle and also play and explore. 

We changed his name because I love Tom Cruise and Maverick was a big hit this year…not to mention he needed a strong ‘M’ name in our house.

When people want to adopt from a shelter they overlook the handicap animals and the ones who have issues, which is really sad because they do make great pets. Some people may not want to spend the time or money that it takes to care for a special needs animal. They are capable of so much love if given the chance. To us we just see a loving animal who needs a home that someone else may not provide. We have a quiet home and the ability to provide him with a loving home and access to the care he needs and of course all the toys and food and freedom he wants.”

After spending some weeks with Deb, let’s hear how he has been doing!:

“From the time he got to our house Maverick sure has gotten a lay of the land fast. He is a persistent little guy. Very persistent. He only stayed in the playpen for two days and then decided he wanted to be an explorer of anything and everything. He’s figured out how to get up and down steps and climb a large cat tree all with only two front legs. He doesn’t let that stop him. I don’t think he knows any different. He gets around very well. Plus we have all hardwood floors so it’s a lot easier than carpet for him. I noticed in the basement where we have carpet he uses the back stump he has more. He can’t slide around on it. 

Maverick showing off the fact that his disability doesn’t stop him!

He is a great mouser. Loves to play and keep himself entertained. He found the ball tower and loves that too. He is also a big cuddle bug but right now he has a case of the zoomies. Lol. He figured out right away he has cat mates and he is trying to make friends but they are still not so sure. We still have some hissing and growling but nothing else yet. He goes right up to the others anyway. No fear. I am probably guessing that he had cat friends where he was and he can’t figure out why these three are not his friends yet. 

Maverick has discovered that he loves wet food. Sheba and Rachel Ray are his favorite right now.  We have an orthopedic vet appointment in a week to look at that bone sticking out on the left that he doesn’t use. Considering his crappy first few months of life he seems adjusted and he is doing very well in his new environment. There are so many toys and play rooms here.  Plus it’s quiet, which has to be a big change from his previous living conditions.”

 

Maverick and his story is a prime example of cats having nine lives. He was born an outcast but has overcome this disability and is now thriving in his new home. This is why we think it is so important to give special needs animals a chance. They are all adoptable and capable of living normal lives, when given a chance.

Friendship APL Partners with Bissell Pet Foundation

If there is one thing most rescues/shelters could agree on, it is that 2022 has been one heck of a year for animal welfare organizations. A cry for help from organizations drowning in animals and lacking space has become a daily plea on social media platforms, websites, news stations etc. If there is one thing that most places could agree on, it is that animal welfare organizations need to help one another more now than ever! 

Dog and cats arrive in carriers after being flown on a private flight funded by the Bissell Pet Foundation.

The Bissell Pet Foundation created a “Transport Program” for which they work to help transport pets out of overcrowded shelters (mainly in the South), to rescue partners with adopters seeking pets (Bissell Pet Foundation 2022). In 2021, they expanded these efforts to air travel, making the transport trip much shorter and less stressful for the animals. Private planes are utilized to transport large groups of animals from shelters to one location, where partner rescues meet to take these animals back to their shelters. The “Transport Program” Bissell created has enabled Friendship APL to channel our amazing adopter community and help out other animal shelters struggling with cage space. 

Enos, one of the seven Heartworm positive dogs, gives Director Greg Willey a wet kiss! He is now adopted and in a home.

Friendship Animal Protective League has been a partner rescue with Bissell Pet Foundation since the beginning of this year and have since participated in three air transports. The first transport we participated in involved our shelter staff driving to Buffalo, New York to bring seven dogs and nine cats back to the shelter with us. These were animals coming from the South and states such as Mississippi and Louisiana. This transport was in April, right in the midst of a Heartworm Treatment crisis. There was a national shortage of the medication needed to treat heartworm. Friendship APL had happened to order this medication in bulk prior to the shortage. Of the seven dogs that were pulled in April, seven of them were heartworm positive and Friendship APL was able to get them the treatment they needed. All seven dogs and nine cats went up for adoption and are now enjoying their new homes! In June, shelter staff embarked on their second trip to Buffalo, New York to partner with Bissell Pet Foundation and help pull seven dogs and five cats from Southern shelters. 

One of seven dogs from Florida, Jimmy Chew, came to our shelter to help offset the devastation local Florida animal shelters faced. He is now in a loving home.

Our most recent partnership with Bissell Pet Foundation was covered by local media/news as well as written about in local newspapers. Most people are familiar with the horrific devastation Hurricane Ian brought to Florida in October of this year. Amongst the battered homes and displayed families, were the pets of these families. Bissell Pet Foundation jumped into action and worked with local Florida shelters to help clear their shelters of dogs and cats that were taking up cage space. That way all of the displaced animals from the Hurricane have shelters to go to in Florida. In October, Friendship APL staff made their way to North Canton with other local rescues, to pull 7 dogs from the air transport. These seven dogs came from the Florida shelters and were coming to Friendship to have a chance at a new life! We are happy to report that of the seven dogs, five have gone to their new homes! 

It is partnerships like the one we have with the Bissell Pet Foundation that make this hard time in animal welfare, bearable. Every one of us has the same mission and that is to rescue animals and find them homes. If we are all able to pitch in, even if that is by volunteering, adopting or donating, there are endless amounts of lives that can be saved!

Gina’s Story

From being abandoned outside, to living out her life in a wonderful home, there is no doubt Gina has had a rough journey to get where she is at. We are going to take you through her journey, one that is hard to fathom at times. Its difficult to imagine how a dog can be put through so much, and still be so happy. That is Gina for you. 

Gina was chained up outside when humane officers first found her.

Gina was in rough shape, and extremely emaciated. Our humane officers too action right away.

Her story with us at Friendship APL begins when our humane officers received a call about possible dog abandonment. When they arrived to the address they were provided, they indeed found Gina, abandoned in the backyard. It was clear she had been living outside for a while. Her ears were riddled with fly strike, which are tons of painful scabs and scars from constantly being bitten by flies. This is common with dogs forced to live outside without any shelter from the elements. Gina was also extremely emaciated. You could clearly see the outline of her ribs. Her coat was dull and patchy after being subjected to inclement Ohio weather. As if that wasn’t hard enough on Gina, she was a senior 10 year old dog, who had probably spent most of her life living this way. Our humane officers quickly determined that she needed to be seized and given medical attention immediately.  

Gina came to our facility on July 12, 2022. She was nervous and scared, understandably so, but despite her fear, she was happy to soak up attention from staff. Gina was evaluated by our vet staff, vaccinated, bathed and given a nice warm bed to snuggle in. After further vet evaluation, we discovered that due to a poor diet, Gina had many infected teeth that needed removed. She also had to be fed on a very specific schedule to prevent her from eating to fast, but also allow her to gain weight in a healthy manner. Gina was also treated for a tick born bacterial infection, fleas and other parasites. Most of all, Gina was given loads of TLC by all of the caring staff and volunteers at the shelter. 

Gina was a staff and volunteer favorite, and many advocated for her to find a home every week. This meant trips to the nursing home, going on walks around the shelter, participating in shelter events and anything that could generate potential adopter interest. On September 4th, an adopter walked through our doors after seeing Gina online. She specifically asked to see Gina right away and fell in love at first sight. Gina’s adopter was drawn to her gentle, affectionate personality and understood the need to give a senior dog a chance. 

It’s been two weeks since Gina was adopted and we are please to share her adopter’s update! Below, you will find all of the wonderful things Gina has been up to since being adopted as well as some photos!

Gina will never be forced to live outside again. She is enjoying lounging on the couch!

Gina loves her neighborhood and the neighborhood kids!

“Gina is doing so wonderful in my home! She is my absolute shadow and always stays by my side! When I first got Gina home, she was understandably nervous and shy, but never had a mean bone in her body. She had been through a lot and needed to adjust. I made sure to give her a bath right after adopting her and she was so good for that. Gina has a nice big fenced in yard to explore as she desires as well as our daily walks we take together. Gina has really opened up and loves to trott around the back and run through the yard! Gina is now called “Sunshine”, and I love to sing her the song. She is no longer emaciated and enjoys having a meal twice a day. Gina has since been to the vet and has a clean bill of health. She enjoys the neighborhood kids when they visit and also lives with a cat! Nothing gives me more joy then coming home to her little nub tail wagging and wiggling. I absolutely adore Sunshine and she has filled the void since my last dog passed.”

We as an organization would not be able to do, what we do, for animals like Gina without our army of supporters. Volunteers, donors and adopters all play a very important role in getting our animals the care they need. After receiving this care, they are then able to find wonderful homes, like Gina, now known as Sunshine!

Adding a New Feline Friend to your Home

Are you considering bringing home a new friend for your resident cat? Becoming a multi-cat household creates the opportunity for your cat’s life to be enriched through play, grooming, and other communal activities that they do not get to partake in as only cats. While many cat’s enjoy community with their own kind, this does not mean that they will instantly accept an intruder into their space. Making sure everyone is feeling good and integrating well can feel like quite a large undertaking, but we hope that some of these tips will help keep the process smooth and easy while keeping your feline friends happy and healthy!


● Managing first impressions. As with us humans, the first impressions that animals make with each other can have lasting consequences. If two cats meet face to face for the first time and it results in a lot of loud, aggressive vocalization, or worse, lunging or a aggressive reaction over sharing personal space, this can sour the beginning of what should be a good relationship. To avoid any initial shock or fear, we suggest setting your new cat up with a separate space from your resident cat, complete with food, toys, a litter box, and any other amenities you can think of to help them be comfortable as they explore this small piece of their new environment. We suggest using a room in your home like a bedroom, office, or even the basement. Keep the door firmly closed for the first few weeks that your new pet is home. Spend plenty of time with both cats during this time, this way they will be able to smell each
other through the door but also on you, and by proximity they will associate the sent of another cat with good things. You can also sprinkle catnip or treats on both sides of the door to further associate the smell/presence of another cat with good things.


● Letting the cats see one another. If all is going well after a week or two and there is no hissing or growling when the cats interact through the door or smell each other, you can begin the process of letting them see each other and interact through a more open barrier. The easiest way to do this is through two baby gates stacked on top of one another. You can stand next to or in front of the door and toss treats to both sides or you can employ the help of a friend or family member and you can have one person on each side of the door monitoring behavior and giving treats. Keep in mind during this time that some stiffness, puffing out, and even hissing or mild swatting is normal as the cats will be seeing each other for the first time. Their vocabularies are quite small, and they are allowed to express that they are uncomfortable. However, if you notice any loud growling, lunging or striking through the baby gate, or panting from either cat, that is a sign that you have moved the process forward too quickly and you should back up to step one. Most cats will come up to the baby gate and sniff one another through it. They may vocalize a bit or jump when the other cat moves, this is normal as they are just meeting and are unsure of each other. Many cat’s will sniff and then move away from the barrier, this is fine as well. Be sure to reinforce the cats with treats or toys heavily during that time to build that association of new cats meaning good things. Repeat this process as often as you would like, but be sure to keep to short, 5-10 minute session to keep things positive and help them to not be overwhelmed. Be sure to keep the door closed when the cats are not supervised at this stage. You will know that things are starting to come together when the cats start to come up to the barrier freely and rub against it, lay in front of it, or even try to initiate play through it.


● Letting the cats spend time together. If the cats are doing well after you have been performing step two for several days to a week, you are ready to move on to step three. While supervising, either on your own or with help from a friend or family member, remove the physical barrier and allow the cats to see and sniff each other freely. Even if things were going extremely well on step two, there is always a chance that they may vocalize or swat now that they have access to each other as this is a new, different scenario. This is perfectly normal and can sometimes happen for several days after this step has been reached. As long as they are not being openly aggressive with one another, they are simply talking and expressing boundaries with the limited vocabulary that they have. Allow them to interact while supervised and see what they tell you through their actions. Many cats will choose to sniff and walk away from each other in favor of exploring the environment, so expect your cat to initially be more interested in the room they have been shut out of and expect the new cat to be more interested in exploring the rest of the house. When they do cross paths or come together, monitor their reactions and reward them with treats and mutual play. Strict and fishing pole type toys are great for mutual play as you can easily let both cats play without getting your hands in the mix. If your cats are ignoring each other or still hissing a bit after a few days, don’t be alarmed! This just means that they are still settling in. Remember that you can always back up a step and take more time if they seem uncomfortable, and if aggression is present even after a proper introduction, Friendship APL always takes all of our animals back. We understand that sometimes its just not the right fit, and we always welcome you to try again with another cat who might have a different personality.

Some other things to keep in mind during integration are:

● Going at the cat’s pace is highly important. Stressing out a cat can lead to many
unwanted behavior problems which puts undue stress on you as you go through the
integration process.
● Some cats prefer to be only cats. While most cats are communal, some of them just
prefer to be the only love in your life, and that’s okay!

● It takes time. Some cats can take several months to integrate to new family members
and it is important to respect that integration!
● If you have multiple cats at home, do separate integration sessions. It can be very
stressful for the new cat to be bombarded by several different resident cats, so
individualized time is best!
● Positive associations are your friend! Using toys, treats, grooming time, and catnip while
in the presence of a new family member teaches the cat that this new animal means
good things are going to happen.


Opening up your heart and home to another cat opens up a world of possibilities for both you
and your resident cat. We hope that this list helps ease at least a bit of the stress and serves as a small road map to the sometimes unknown territory that is cat integration!

Millie the Mastiff: A Before and After Adoption Story

Here at Friendship APL we see a lot of medical cases, abuse stories and emergency situations walk through the door. We are not always able to save everyone, but when we do, we like to share those stories. That way supporters, like you, are able to see how your contributions, whether it be a donation, volunteering, adopting or simply just sharing our posts, can have an impact on an animal’s life. This article is about Millie the Mastiff. Millie came to us as an emaciated stray with nowhere to call home. You’ll see how Millie is now thriving in a new home, where she is the center of attention. 

Millie originally came to Friendship APL on April 16th, 2022. Our humane officers brought her to our shelter after being found in Lorain wandering the streets. Millie was clearly emaciated, sick and needed our help. After spending time at our partner veterinary clinic, it was determined that Millie needed a foster home where she could gain weight, and get better outside of our shelter. That is when FAPL Foster Janet stepped up and took Millie to her home. Here is what Janet would like to say about her foster experience with Millie:

“Millie came to me at 68 pounds. She was very lethargic and slept a lot. Within the first 2 days she and I had a very strong bond. Me thinking because I’m feeding her small meals 5 times a day. The longer I had her I realized this was not true. Even with the bad life she had, she was such a loving dog and was definitely looking for her forever human. It broke my heart that I wasn’t going to be that person. As time went on her personality started to come out. She was just a big goofy dog. She loved to lay in the sun & roll around in the backyard. Short walks were one of her top hobbies. Car rides were her favorite treat. Toys were something she loved to hoard on her bed. Bones were the same. Millie learned to sit and shake with treats very quickly. She loved being rewarded. For a little over 2 months I was proud to be her person. And I was proud to say I helped find her forever family too. Millie was adopted by a great family and I still get to see her. I believe foster dogs are appreciative. Millie didn’t even need to be on a leash, she just kept close to her humans. She’s like that with her adoptive family now. She’s now 95lbs, living her best life which is something she totally deserves.”

We want to thank Janet, Millie’s foster for providing photos and insight into how Millie has gotten to where she is now. We also want to thank Millie’s new adopter for providing her a safe place, where she will never have to worry about not being wanted. Millie is one of the many before/after adoption stories that make us, in animal welfare, proud of what we do. We are grateful to know that Millie will now have a home that loves her as much as she deserves to be loved. 

2022 FAPL Golf Outing

It’s that time of year again for our annual FAPL Golf Outing! The golf outing is a great time, with lots of golf activities, food, drinks, raffles and more! 

Join the Friendship Animal Protective League for a wonderful day of golf at Elyria Country Club on Monday September 26th, 2022. The Elyria Country Club is located at 41625 Oberlin Elyria Road, Elyria Oh 44035. Shotgun start time will be 12:00pm. Proceeds from this outing benefits animals seized by Friendship APL Humane Officers and helps offset the cost the shelter incurs from spaying/neutering and other medical expenses. 

Registration/ticket sales are open at this time. There are limited tickets available so register while you can! Tickets are $175. With a ticket, enjoy 18 holes of golf, cart rental, driving range, 2 Beer Keg tickets, 2 Mulligans, 10 Raffle Tickets, unlimited pop, water, iced tea, Gatorade, box lunch, barbeque dinner, contests & fun all to benefit the Friendship APL!

Sponsor opportunities for this event are available as well. Information on sponsorships, or regular event registration can be found by clicking below:

Friendship APL Teams Up with the Heart Association for the 2022 Lorain County Walk!

The Friendship Animal Protective League will be teaming up with the Heart Association for the 2022 Lorain County Heart Walk! This year the Heart walk is taking place on September 10th at the Lake Erie Crushers Stadium. Registration begins at 8am and the walk itself starts at 9am.

The Friendship APL will have their own “team” which is composed of two coaches. Anyone who wishes to pledge/donate can join Team FAPL using this link: http://www2.heart.org/goto/FriendshipAnimalProtectiveLeagueTeam

Everything You Need to Know About Feline Panleukopenia

It is that time of year, the time that most shelter staff and volunteers prepare for, but can never fully be ready for. Kitten season. While most “outsiders” may grasp the concept of kitten season, which is essentially an influx of kitten intakes due to stray/feral reproduction, many do not realize what comes next. People tend to be more familiar with parvo, a deadly illness that tends to affect puppies and can often be fatal if not treated quickly and efficiently. What people are less familiar with is Feline Panleukopenia, which affects cats and kittens (more commonly) and is comparatively as fatal as parvo in dogs/puppies. Feline Panleukopenia spreads easily and quickly, and if not caught in a timely manner is very hard to treat. Below is all the information you should know about Feline Panleukopenia and how/if it may affect you. You will also be able to read about ways this deadly disease can be prevented. 

Please find the linked article from the American Veterinary Medical Association that has everything you need to know about FP Virus: https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/feline-panleukopenia

Why Two Puppies are NOT Better than One!

Many potential adopters are driven to our facilities because of the puppies we place up for adoption. Every week, the excitement we see from our “puppy posts” seem to grow, but we also continue to see one common question. “Can I adopt more than one?” Most potential adopters are taken back when they learn our adoption policy doesn’t allow for two puppies from the same litter to go home together. Behavioral research in dogs has been done and provides evidence as to why puppies are better off NOT going home with their siblings. This explanation is referred to as littermate syndrome. 

Littermate syndrome is not something that always occurs, but it is a risk that is taken when two sibling puppies are brought home together. While at first it may seem cute, the puppies will begin to act out. Common behaviors could be correction growls/snaps at one another, the two siblings competing, harder to get the attention of the puppies, fearfulness of people etc. In other words, the siblings either compete with one another, which leads to scuffles and behavior issues. Or, the siblings will feed off one another, meaning they isolate themselves from the other animals or the people in the home. 

Another issue discussed occurs when adopters suggest taking two puppies, but from different litters, home at the same time. While they may think this is a compromise to the Litter Syndrome issue, there are other factors that play into why this is still not a feasible idea. Most puppies that are adopted only have their first set of Distemper 5-way vaccinations. To be considered fully vaccinated, they need to have three sets of this vaccine. This vaccine is what helps prevent puppies from contracting illnesses such as parvo. Exposing two, unrelated puppies to one another, could cause one or both puppies to become sick. It is best and recommended that after adopting one puppy, an adopter should wait at least until the puppy is up to date on all sets of vaccines before introducing another dog/puppy into the home. Not only does this prevent illness, but it gives the puppy time to adjust to its new home, environment and routine. 

Wheels for Wags 2022

Wheels for Wags is back again this year! We hope to see continued supporters as well as new supporters this year for an event that is full of fun! Read below to find out what the event is all about!

Wheels for Wags is a charity car show with 100% of the proceeds going to Friendship APL. The cost to enter a car is in the event is $10 and all makes and models are welcome. Spectators are free. There will be a DJ playing oldies music, tons of raffle baskets, door prizes, awards, dash plaques for the registered cars, food, bake sale, dogs for adoption and a pet blessing! Something for everyone! 

If anyone is interested in registering a car for the event please reach out to Joyce. Her information can be found on the flyer below. Share this event with your friends and family!