Category Archives: Adoptions

Friends of Fido…and Pluto too

by Gregg Senko

Friends of Fido is a non-profit organization dedicated to caring for and rescuing dogs. They run strictly off of donations and have been partnered with Friendship APL for some time now. As far as dog pounds go, Friends of Fido works exclusively with the Mahoning County Dog Pound & Adoption Center. The charitable group’s volunteers contribute on a variety of levels when they pay their visits to the Mahoning pound by socializing with dogs, walking the dogs, and even photography of the dogs there. However, their generous involvement doesn’t stop there.

As I mentioned, Friends of Fido works closely with Friendship in getting dogs out of the Mahoning pound, which at any given time can hold 50 canines of varying sizes. While I personally have not paid a visit to that establishment, I have been to the Richland County Dog Shelter which holds the same amount if not more. These places are good in that they give the dogs a chance at adoption. These places also have a strong negative in that they are a very chaotic atmosphere for the dogs. Walking into one of these incites one dog to bark which becomes a chain reaction for the other dogs. The next thing you know it becomes a yelping symphony and a very stressful environment for the animals. Plus, when it comes to adoption at these places, it becomes a scenario of odds. Take a dog out of a crowd of 50 and put him or her in a situation of half that and their exposure to a great potential adopter improves dramatically.

That exposure comes to fruition at FAPL, and one such success story involves that of Pluto. Pluto is a mixed breed pooch discovered by a Friends of Fido volunteer who soon learned that Pluto was suffering from the early stages of heartworm. They wanted to get Pluto out of the Mahoning pound where he had already been residing for a few months. As part of the way the group operates, Friends of Fido made a donation to FAPL to assist with the treatment of the heartworm parasites, of which Pluto made a complete recovery after roughly a month. Once Pluto got the all clear from a veterinarian, he was eligible for the adoption floor at FAPL. Once that green light was given, it didn’t take long for the lovable dog with one floppy ear to get scooped up by a loving family. Right now, Pluto is living the high life with his new human companions and everyone seems enamored with the tan-coated comrade.

This may be the first time you have heard of Friends of Fido, maybe not.  However, stories like these are not rarities with them.  Like FAPL, they are often unsung heroes in the world of saving pets’ lives and getting them adopted in great homes.  This line of work isn’t a popularity contest though.  Instead, it’s often a race against time to get these loving animals connected to loving people.  In the case of Pluto and so many before him, mission accomplished.

The Petfinder Five: How One Grant Changed the Lives of Five Dogs

The Petfinder Five: How One Grant Changed the Lives of Five Dogs

By Gregory Willey

In November of 2016, we were informed that we were one of 25 shelters being awarded a $10,000 grant. This grant had a primary objective of saving the lives of animals that might otherwise not have had an opportunity to find forever homes. That is exactly what Friendship APL did. It all began with a little dog named Penguin.

Lorain Police Officer and Friendship APL volunteer, Rick Broz, found an injured dog in the city. He had been hit by a car. His leg and pelvis were left shattered. He spent several days at Lorain Animal Hospital before being transferred to our care.

D. James Gant examines Penguin’s fractured Leg and Pelvis at West Park Animal Hospital

We took Penguin to West Park Animal Hospital. After X-rays, we knew the leg was too far gone to save. It would require amputation followed by a month of rehabilitation in a foster home to allow the fractured pelvis to heal.

 

On February 25th, Ashley Sims drove all the way from New Jersey to meet her sister at Friendship with her two Boston Terriers in tow. She had been following Penguin’s story since his arrival. After a meet and greet between her and her four-legged family, Penguin was on his way home to the Garden State.

Ashley Sims and her growing family with her sister Erin George.

With Penguin’s story came a series of dogs with similar injuries, either on accident or on purpose, which all had similar issues. Next up was dog number two – Lola!

 

Lola shortly after her amputation.

9 month-old Lola arrived from the Mahoning County dog pound. She was intended to be an easy adoption from an overcrowded shelter needing help. Shortly after arrival though, our volunteers and staff noticed some swelling and tenderness in her front leg. We took her to West Park for X-rays. To our disbelief, she had been walking around on a leg that had been broken most likely weeks before arriving at the Mahoning County Dog Pound. It had actually begun to heal but in such a way as to cause much discomfort for the poor girl. The leg at this point could not be saved and once again would require the leg to be amputated.

 

Lola officially arrived at Friendship APL on January 9th. She found her new home on January 28th.

Coincidentally, while sitting in the emergency clinic, the City of Cleveland Dog Warden walked in with a dog that had been hit by a car. What was wrong with the young Boxer mix? You guessed it another broken leg! The dog would be made comfortable by the West Park staff and held for three days should an owner step forward. No owner step forward, and Friendship agreed to help the stray dog. Dog number three would come to be known as Serendipity because if we had not been there with Lola, would we ever have had the opportunity to help her?

Serendipity and I take a selfie shortly after surgery.

Serendipity’s injury was recent. Thanks to the work of the Cleveland Kennel’s and the team at West Park, her leg was able to be saved. It required the placement of plates and pins, but she would be the only dog in this story able to keep her leg.

Serendipity officially arrived at Friendship APL on February 1st (she arrived at West Park Animal Hospital on January 9th). She would find her forever home on February 4th.

Next up was Arrow, an 8 month-old Pitbull. This was a direct request from a veterinarian. This sweet boy was surrendered over to the vet for euthanasia following an injury to his rear leg. After seeing the multitude of stories over the past two weeks, it made sense that the staff would reach out to us to help.

Arrow shows off for the camera. He is a total ham!

 

 

Arrow arrived at Friendship APL on January 14th. He found a loving family on January 18th!

So that made four.

The final dog in the bunch was very special. We had emergency call come in concerning a puppy that had been attacked by another dog. The good Samaritan was able to rescue the dog from the attack and drive him over to Friendship APL. The little Beagle mix was only four or five months old. The injury was so severe, it required immediate surgery. Their were two immediate concerns. Bite wounds are more likely to become infected, and her leg had been snapped in two. This would be the hardest decision we would have to make.

An hour after arriving at Friendship, Aubrey waits at West Park Animal Hospital for veterinarians to examine her.

 

We had two choices. One. We could put pins and plates in and save her leg. Two. We could amputate. Option one seemed like the obvious choice. However, upon further discussion with her veterinarian, this could result in multiple surgeries. Given her age, her leg would continue to grow. This could result in her having to undergo multiple surgeries  over several weeks. With each surgery, there would be a risk of complication.

We decided to go with option two. She would only have to spend a few weeks recovering in a foster home adjusting to life on three legs before heading to a new home. And that is exactly what happened.

Aubrey arrived at the shelter on January 22nd. She found her Valentine on February 14th.

One of the strangest parts of this story is that Penguin would lose his right, rear leg. Lola would lose her right, front leg. Arrow would lose his left, rear leg. Aubrey would lose her right, front leg.  That means every dog which needed surgery in January would lose a different leg. All but Serendipity, who did not lose a leg at all. What are the odds of that?

On behalf of our entire staff, volunteers and the Petfinder Five, we extend our most heartfelt gratitude for helping us save lives.

Meet Giulio

There’s no rhyme or reason, no metrics, no measurable explanation as to the number of cats and dogs residing inside the FAPL walls at any given time. Sometimes we get an influx of dogs and people are mostly adopting cats that week. Seven days later the exact opposite happens. While it is difficult for someone like myself to remember every animal that comes through, every once in a while there is that one special pet-to-be that just strikes a cord with me.

This past Monday, after doing a little writing for an upcoming newsletter, I walked around the cat cages to see who our current residents were.  As fate would have it, it was the last room I checked when I laid my eyes upon a beautiful black cat named Giulio.  As I stopped in front of his cage, he extended a paw through the bars as if to greet me, a gentle inquiry asking if I would provide him with a few seconds of company.  I read the description on the door of his cage which stated he was a 14-year old male.  In addition, I also learned that Giulio was there due to the passing of his human caretaker.  My heart melted.

After opening the door, he peeked his head outside the frame of his stainless steel home, which promptly led me to gently scratch his head as his eyes began to half-shut in relaxed demeanor.  After kneeling down to his level, it became rapidly apparent the difficulty of Giulio’s predicament.  Kittens are easily adoptable.  Middle-aged cats are more difficult but they commonly find homes.  A cat that’s 14 years old is quite the task to get adopted.  For what it’s worth, this article would have never materialized if I had the space to take him on.  I would have adopted him on the spot.

Nevertheless, these are the cards Giulio and I have been dealt.  I’m not in a position to adopt him and he needs a loving home.  Two days later I stopped back at Friendship to take him out of his cage and let him roam one of the empty rooms.  He sniffed, inspected, observed and walked the perimeter of the room in traditional cat curiosity.  When he was done, he looked at me and meowed a few times, as if to communicate something my human brain just wasn’t able to grasp.  Giulio is a sweet soul.  He’s an adorable buddy that just needs that right person who has no problem taking on a cat that’s 14.

Sometime’s folks look to adopt a pet that is “perfect” in their eyes.  Why?  You don’t strive for a perfect child or a perfect husband or wife.  It’s not realistic and therefore unobtainable.  The same applies for our canine and feline companions.  What’s the big deal with adopting a cat with three legs or dog with one eye or a cat that just happens to be 14?  Take my advice and head over to the shelter and spend a few minutes with Giulio.  He’s confused by the change in his living situation, but his arrival at Friendship is all with the intent for a better life for him.  Pet him, hug him, and you’ll see just why Giulio is a loving and wise cat who could be a great fit for you.   Click here to learn more.

*UPDATE: Within 48 hours of this article posting, Giulio was adopted!  Enjoy your new home, buddy!*Big thanks to Christina M. for making this come together!

Third Time’s a Charm

Just under two weeks ago, FAPL brought up five dogs from the Richland County Dog Shelter. One of the most personable of the group, Hank, has received his fair share of attention since that van ride up 71.  The second time Hank was mentioned was for an event in Avon recently at Landmark Garden & Supply.  He had a number of admirers, but October 15th just wasn’t Hank’s day to find a home.  Enter this writer’s third coverage of the delightful retriever mix.

October 22nd saw two pit bull-mix pups, two kittens, two adult cats and our beloved Hank pay a visit to Petitti Garden Center in Avon.  After about an hour into our promotional event on the chilly Saturday afternoon, one excited and determined woman arrived seeking the whereabouts of Hank.  The beautiful dog peeked around the legs of a few volunteers and soon found his human match.  The pair were happy as can be, and with that, we bid farewell to Hank as he settles into his forever home.  We’ll miss you buddy, but we know this transition will be a great one.

hank-adopted

Hank finds his forever home!

 

However, the good news doesn’t end there. Remember those pit bull pups I mentioned?  Of the brother/sister pair, the sister, approximately 8 weeks old, was the target of one family’s affection as they were immediately drawn to the wee lass once they approached the FAPL tent.  After several smiles and a lot of time shared with the pup, she was also on her way home as well, meet and greet pending of course.  Believe it or not, like any game show announcer would exclaim, “There’s more!”  The two kittens got adopted together so ‘inseparable’ will still be part of their vocabulary.

pit-bull-pups

Pit bull pups…how can you deny these little pooches?!

 

While the remaining pup and two adult cats didn’t get to their homes today, surely their moment is just on the horizon. To see these fine furry friends and many others, please stop by the shelter to see who could be a great match for you.

Friendship APL of Lorain County

A Landmark Event

On October 15th, the good folks at Landmark Lawn & Garden Supply in Avon, Ohio provided space for FAPL staff and volunteers to set up shop on the warm and sunny Saturday afternoon.  Complete with a hay maze and pumpkin painting for kids, pet adoption was also on the list for grown-ups and children alike.  Accompanied by five residents of the Friendship APL, the human crew brought in three cats and two dogs to show off to the public.  One of the canines that was with us that day found her forever home after only a few hours.  Wilma the Chihuahua quickly found comfort in the arms of her new companion as it seemed to be a match that was destined to be made.

white-cat

Help this beautiful feline find her forever home!

While other staff answered questions and educated the Landmark customers on the animals that were present, I was distracted with the second dog, Hank. Hank is a retriever/terrier mix that we picked up from the Richland County Dog Shelter not a week prior to the day’s event.  Instead of being the example of pet promotion excellence, I was the victim of tail-wagging affection.  Yeah, I fell for it.  Guilty as charged.  Nevertheless, Hank had his fair share of admirers throughout the day with several inquiries made about the bronze beau.

table-landmark

FAPL sets up shop at Landmark Lawn & Garden in Avon.

He loves to play, enjoys the outdoors and makes for a great watchdog. The latter was proven when a nearby bystander had accidentally tripped their own car alarm to which Hank promptly responded, his eyes fixed on the source of the audible abnormality.  Hopefully luck is right around the corner form him.  With that being said, let’s hope the same is true for the three cats on hand that day.  With personalities diverse as any human’s, the three people-loving felines are hoping that, like Wilma, they too capture the eyes of the next companion-seeking person that passes by their cage.

meowsalot

Sir Meowsalot – super playful, loves other cats

Three’s Company, Five’s a Blessing

At first glance, the Richland County Dog Shelter (RCDS) is a small labyrinth of hallways lined with cage after cage, augmented with a symphony of begging barks from its residents. There is a well-established relationship between the RCDS and Friendship APL, which is what led to a recent call from Richland to Friendship.  Just like every person, every business or establishment has its own strengths and weaknesses.  While the RCDS can house several more dogs than Friendship, it’s Friendship that truly excels at finding quality forever-homes for animals.  It is through teamwork like this that becomes a matchmaker for the four-legged variety.

Soon after the call came in, Friendship’s Intake Supervisor, Stephanie, headed out with a van full of travel cages while I tagged along. Upon arriving at our Richland destination, the wide stone-block building looked rather vacant.  There was a lone car in the parking lot and it proved to provide a quiet scene.  After signing in, however, we made our way to the dogs and the barking began.  Some were so scared their canine calls were those of duress or begging.  Others remained so silent, but spoke with their wide eyes, following our actions as we studied them, hoping to be the next dog to escape the confines of their cage for even a few minutes.

There is a method to the choosing of the dogs that would come with us. In an overall sense, they need to be adoptable.  While a number of things can sum up to meet that requirement, the basics of it are a friendly demeanor and an interest in their human counterpart(s).  Thus, the process is certainly not random in nature and carries a degree of heavy-heartedness just the same.  While there is the emotional peak knowing we are putting five souls on the focused path to loving homes, there is also the valley knowing that over ten times that many must be left behind.

sassy

Sassy (recently reunited with her owner)

As Stephanie paced the shelter floor and examined each dog in detail, I made mental notes of her decision-making process. I soon realized this was a daunting yet time-sensitive task.  A list was made of five dogs, which we took to the front desk.  As we declared the names of those we intended to take with us, two were immediately nixed as there were already applications in process in Richland for their adoption.  One of these was Cobalt, a short-legged, long-bodied dog with black fur and blue-gray spots, looking like something along the lines of a Dachshund and a Scottie.  His body was a unique mixture of breeds to be sure, though his affectionate attitude stood out the most.  The other was Olivia, a dog that I made a quick connection with and the one that Stephanie gave me the duty of picking.  To put it plainly, it was a bummer that we weren’t able to include these dogs in the care and home-seeking talent of Friendship.  However, the flipside to that coin is that they are being adopted so they are on their way to a new and permanent home.

ridley

Ridley (adopted)

Stephanie and I headed back and toured the facility once more, claiming two more dogs to fulfill our max five-capacity for the trip back. It wasn’t long before we made our tally.  First was a Cupcake, a female Corgi-mix that is a little ball of love. Next was Ridley, a male Shepherd mix who has a face to die for.  Then there was Hank, a male retriever mix whose wiry, nimble frame was never suited for cage life (but then again, what dog is).  Last but not least were our late additions, Sassy and Birdie.  Sassy is a female Boxer-mix and Birdie is one beautiful coon hound.  After our journey, all five dogs got to take turns running in Friendship’s outdoor caged areas.  The dogs were intrigued by one another, but even more so by their outdoor surroundings where they got to stretch their legs, run around and just act like a dog.

Cupcake -Friendship APL

Cupcake – Corgi mix (adopted)

In all honesty, all five were very sweet dogs. They were of varying energy levels with Hank, Ridley and Sassy covering the most ground.  Cupcake is in heaven just being close to someone showing her affection, and Birdie, oh Birdie, if I could adopt her I would.  She would gallop, then stop, then exclaim the day’s goings-on in her world to a neighboring canine (in this case Cupcake).  When I called out to her, she would make this almost apologetic walk toward me where she need to be at my side, her face next to mine as she bore an expression of devotion and trust.  She is a prize of a dog, no doubt about it, but then again, aren’t they all?

hank

Hank – retriever/terrier mix (adopted)

The next step for the newest residents of the Friendship APL is to get any additional shots and vaccinations not administered during their stay in Richland. There is also all-important spaying and neutering that will take place as well.  Shortly thereafter, these five loveable souls will be ready for adoption and a new life filled with the care and love of someone’s home.  The story doesn’t end there, however.

birdie

Birdie – Coon Hound

For every Cupcake, Ridley, Hank, Sassy and Birdie, there are thousands of more dogs out there who roam the streets or are confined to months of the stressful confines of overflowing shelters. I didn’t adopt a dog today.  I’m in no position at this time, but I did assist in getting five of them out of an unfavorable situation and into a better one.  They are now one step away from their personal paradise and it’s results like those that are simply not achievable without the aid of volunteers.  It’s something to consider if nothing else.  We may not be able to open our homes to every cat or dog, but we can find every cat or dog a home.

Arthur and George’s Story

Arthur and George

Arthur and George

Arthur and George are so adorable! They are 2 month old kittens who were born in foster care. They are playful, loving and FUN! Arthur and George lived with other cats and dogs and did great. These cute kittens can be adopted at Friendship Animal Protective League.

Maysie’s Story

Maysie

Maysie

My boyfriend and I adopted Diamond, now Maysie. We love her so much and couldn’t be happier! Just wanted go let you know she’s in a good home.

– Maysie’s New Friend, Katherine Kuncel

Dooper’s Story

Dooper

Dooper

We named him Dooper, he’s learning some basic commands and doing great with potty training.

– Dooper’s New Friend, Melissa Wyrick-Klena

Sadie’s Story

Sadie

Sadie

No matter how nice the shelter, how incredible the staff, how caring the volunteers – a cage will never be a home. Meet Sadie – a 3 year-old Pitbull mix that has trouble trusting men at first (sadly most abuse is at the hands of men). But once she warms up to you, you will never find a sweeter or more gentle dog. Adopt a shelter or rescue pet!

Riley’s Story

Riley

Riley

Riley is such a sweetheart! She is a 5 year old Torbie who came from another rescue. Riley is very friendly and loves attention. This pretty girl would love to be part of a family for the holidays.

Scarecrow’s Story

Scarecrow

Scarecrow

Isn’t Scarecrow a neat looking cat? He is very friendly and really nice. Scarecrow is 2 years old and was a stray so his story is unknown. It would be so nice for this great cat to be adopted into a good home. Scarecrow is at Friendship Animal Protective League waiting for his adoption day.