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COVID-19 Adoptions

Adopting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Because of COVID-19, we have altered our adoption processes to ensure everyone’s safety. All adoption inquires should be addressed to  This is the best way to get a hold of us, as there will not be staff at the front desk answering phones.

Adopting ADULT dogs

For the foreseeable future, Friendship APL will be performing adoptions on adult dogs BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  Walk-in visitors are not permitted.  Adoption appointments will be scheduled on the half-hour, Tuesdays through Sundays from 9:30am – 3:30pm. In order to schedule an appointment, you must email a completed adoption contract to and be approved. (Our adoption application can be found here:

All clients must wear a face mask or bandana in order to enter the building.  All cats must leave the building in a carrier ($5 cardboard carriers available for purchase).  All dogs must leave with a leash and collar ($2 slip lead available for purchase).

Available adult dogs will continue to be posted to, but their pictures will be removed once we receive a certain number of approved applications.

Adopting Puppies

Puppies are available by delivery only for the foreseeable future. In order to qualify for the delivery program, you must:

  1. Have a valid email address and Facebook account.
  2. Fill out an online application, send to and be approved. (Application here:
  3. Live within an hour’s driving distance of Elyria
  4. Be able to pay with credit card via MobileCause
  5. Sign an online contract
  6. Cover the $250 adoption fee  and a $25 delivery fee, which includes a gently-used transport crate

The goal of the program is to eliminate the need for anyone to come to the shelter, so unfortunately you cannot meet the puppy in advance. The puppies will have at least their first round of booster shots (D2APP and Bordatella), a microchip and will have received a dose of dewormer and a monthly flea and tick repellent.

We do not know in advance what puppies are coming in or when, so approved adopters are invited to a private Facebook group.  New litters will be posted there (and only there) and the first person to comment with their first and last name on the post of the puppy they want will get to adopt.  Pictures of puppies will be removed as they are delivered, so as to avoid confusion.

Adopting cats and kittens

For the foreseeable future, Friendship APL will be performing adoptions on cats and kittens BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  Walk-in visitors are not permitted.  Adoption appointments will be scheduled on the half-hour, Tuesdays through Sundays from 9:30am – 3:30pm.

A staff member will escort scheduled clients as they browse the cat and kitten rooms of the shelter. You do NOT need to have a specific cat or kitten in mind before you make an appointment. All available cats and kittens will be posted to

If you live within 45 minutes of our shelter, kittens can be delivered to you to eliminate your need to come to the shelter.  You are unable to meet the kittens in advance. The adoption fee for this service is $80 , which includes a $5 carrier and a $15 delivery fee.

In order to schedule an appointment, you must email a completed adoption contract to and be approved. (Our adoption application can be found here:  All clients must wear a face mask or bandana in order to enter the building.

All cats must leave the building in a carrier ($5 cardboard carriers available for purchase).

The Friendship APL Mayday Reverse Raffle

The Friendship APL Mayday Reverse Raffle

You could win $10,000!!!

During the month of May, we will be selling tickets to our huge Reverse Raffle to help the companion animals of Friendship APL. We will sell 600 tickets at $50 a piece through the month of May. You may purchase as many tickets as you like. When we sell all the tickets, we will hold a drawing on Facebook Live. We will draw all 600 numbers and the last remaining ticket will win $10,000. There will be great cash prizes sprinkled throughout the event. If you have a lucky number, be sure and get your tickets early!

Other prizes include 1- $1,000 runner up, 2-$500, 4 – $250 and 10 – $100 winners


COVID-19 Update

With the recent COVID-19 epidemic, we at Friendship APL will be taking certain steps to ensure everyone’s safety.

As of right now, we are permitting  a limited number of existing volunteers to come in. All volunteers MUST wear a facemask or bandana while on the premises.  We likewise are processing adoptions. HOWEVER, if you are:


*over the age of 65

*showing ANY cold or flu-like symptoms

*suffering from a chronic illness such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes

PLEASE STAY HOME. Although we appreciate everyone’s help, the safety and health of our staff and volunteers come first

In accordance with the practice of social distancing, Friendship will be open to the public by appointment only in order to limit the number of the people in the building. Walk-In visitors are discouraged. All adopters MUST wear face masks or bandanas to enter the building.   Starting Sunday, March 29th through Sunday, May 31st,  adoptions will be scheduled between 9:30am and 3:30pm on Tuesday and Saturday ONLY.   We will be closed to the public on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.  In order to schedule an adoption meet, please email

Only emergency intakes of animals will be performed. Because the Governor cancelled all veterinary services, we are unable to perform any spay or neuter surgeries. Not only does this prevent us from taking in new animals to be fixed for adoption, it places a temporary halt on our TNR program.

As the number of animals onsite dwindles, we will not require as much volunteer help (particularly with dog walking). Starting on Saturday, we will be requiring EXISTING VOLUNTEERS ONLY to sign up in advance for their shifts. We only need dog walkers and cat care people, two people at a time in two hour blocks. Cleaning will be reserved for staff. For instructions on how to sign up, please email

So how CAN you help?

FOSTER! If you are able to open your home to any of our animals (especially those that have struggled to find a home), please email We are especially in need of fosters for adult cats.

This is a particularly tumultuous time and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation.  Take care.

Diesel’s Story

Friendship APL received an urgent phone call in the middle of October from a local veterinary hospital. Someone had brought in a puppy with a severely broken leg. The 4 month-old Lab mix had been living in a auto shop and an employee had accidentally run the pup over with a tow motor. The owners had no money to treat the dog, so they surrendered him over to the vet clinic.

Diesel prior to surgery.

He arrived at the hospital smelling of old motor oil, and so we gave him the name Diesel. We rushed him over to West Park Animal Hospital where X-Rays confirmed he would need to have his leg amputated. Diesel went into foster care following his surgery where he began his road to recovery… on a couch!

He recovered very quickly and was soon able to get around the house without much difficulty. He wathe perfect dog to help promote our foster program, so he was scheduled to make an appearance on Live on Lakeside. He was the hit of the show! Everyone fell in love with the sweet and gentle pup with three legs including the woman who would eventually go on to adopt him a few weeks later. Emily Kaufman (AKA The Travel Mom) was in studio promoting her brand when she met Diesel. She knew immediately that this would be the newest addition to her family. After all, her husband’s nickname was Diesel! It was fate!!


Diesel and Emily flying to their new home in Los Angeles

A few weeks later, Diesel was cleared by the veterinarians to head off to his forever home. There was just one more hurdle to overcome! The Travel Mom lives in California. The foster family was nervous about Diesel flying in cargo after everything he had been through. Emily let us know, we need not worry! She flew all the way in and adopted him Live on Lakeside, and the two of them flew first class back to LA! 

The story does not end there. Emily and Diesel are working toward getting certification to become a therapy dog. Their hope is to one day visit children who may have lost a limb and bring some comfort

Diesel loving life in LA!


to them in their recovery.

Oscar and Adam: A “Tail” of Two Lost Weenie Dogs


Oscar and Adam’s intake photos in Wayne County.

When Friendship APL got a call about two senior dachshunds that were found roaming the streets of Wayne County, we knew we had to come to the rescue. It was clear from the photos that these poor pups, one standard dachshund and one mini, had been living the “ruff” life for a while. It is unknown if they were no longer wanted and were let a-stray, or if they had found their own way out of their previous home. Either way, they were picked up and waited…and sadly were not claimed by anyone.

These poor pups were burdened with inflamed skin and major hair loss.

The wiener dogs, that we named Oscar and Adam, were dirty, had major hair loss and could barely waddle due to their long, curled nails. Their eyes were severely infected from an untreated illness, the hair they had left was matted, and their ears hadn’t been cleaned in a long time. Despite all this, they were happy, friendly and curious. Their predicament, however they found themselves in it, had no sway on their spirits. At Friendship APL, they began treatment and were placed up for adoption to continue the healing process in a home. It was at the Friendship APL where they found their adopter, who was the perfect person to start them on their new journey.

Their first night on their new mom’s couch. Their long journey led them to this!

Regina, their adopter, says;

It’s like they’ve always been part of my life. So I renamed them Sam and Omie (after a restaurant in OBX) and Sam (the big one) is almost totally clear of his kennel cough. He takes his iniprinal every day for his heart failure and hopefully with that, he will have a full lifespan. He is a snuggler and a lap dog and enjoys sniffing around in the backyard. He and my golden retriever play well together and he runs around my house with a happy trot and wagging tail, making a thunderous noise.

Sam and Omie with their new dog family.

Omie, the little wiener, is also a lap dog.  He likes to play with Sam but he’s happiest when I’m holding him. He had a clean bill of health and his skin is so much better. Both are growing their hair back. I love them and I know they love me.  Each night all four dogs sleep with me and they have their own space in my king sized bed and I have been left with 6 inches at the edge. So they are doing very, very well.”

Look at them today! Their coats continue to improve.

Regina continues;

They are such good dogs! It would have been tragic if they would have been separated… I can’t imagine the thought if Friendship APL wouldn’t have rescued them. I am so very happy my daughter tagged me on your post that Saturday. I knew they were meant to be with me and I got out there early because I didn’t want to take any chances. They are just perfect.

From wandering the streets to a warm bed – these pups are now living a great life. The Friendship APL is able to continue rescuing dogs like Oscar and Adam because of the generous support of our donors. Click here to learn how to support our mission, and to donate to dogs like Oscar and Adam.

Doggie Dash Makes a Big Finish

by Gregg Senko

The 3rd Annual Doggie Dash recently took place at the French Creek Reservation in Sheffield. Weather conditions weren’t the most suitable for a day spent outside, let alone to run in. The misty, drizzly day was not a runner’s best friend, which was only compounded by the unseasonably cold temperatures that day. Then again, this is Northeast Ohio so who’s to say what’s unseasonable in late April?  Sure we want 70 and mostly sunny, but sometimes we may have to settle for 47, wet and overcast. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “It is what it is.”

This eager Buckeyes fan leads his humans onward

Nevertheless, volunteers, competitors and dog walkers showed up to take command of the 5k run and the 1-mile walk. Despite the humans’ discomfort in the sloppy conditions, the dogs didn’t seem to mind, enjoying the distractions of other dogs and even one cat who arrived in a kitty stroller (yes, that is a real thing).  Once the volunteers handed out the registration packets and the runners lined up, the start of the race was signaled and things were underway. The 5k race was won with an impressive time of 22 minutes and 53 seconds. Some glided across the finish line, others were a bit more winded, but all successfully finished. No quitters here! Congrats to all attendees!

Jerry McFadden – 1st place in the Doggie Dash 5k

The real news, however, was (as always) the animals.  Funds raised will go toward aiding those cats and dogs in need that are brought to Friendship.  Every little bit ends up going a long way so small events like these can be just as crucial as our Wags to Riches gala.  Thanks again to Lake Ridge Academy, all donors and all of our volunteers that day.

Mellow spectates from the safety of his feline mover

Coming Attractions in March!

There are two events in the very near future regarding Friendship APL! One is geared for the entire family while the other is a fundraiser for the adults. First is the Rally to the Rescue event at Midway Mall. The event will be held this Saturday, March 11th, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and will feature various rescue groups, adoptable pets, rescue groups, Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, face painting for the kids, balloon artists and much more! This will be a real treat for anyone looking to adopt, for those who have pet-related questions or if you just love animals and want to hang out.



Also on the agenda is another great event coming up at Giuseppe’s Wine Cellar in Amherst.  As this is the month of St. Patrick’s Day, the Gaelic words “Erin go bragh” typically flow through these shamrock-speckled days.  While that’s typically translated as “Ireland forever,” we’ll keep the Emerald Isle in our hearts while we cheer Erin Go Dog! in honor of our next occasion of the same name.  Erin Go Dog is a great little Irish craft beer and wine tasting event happening on Saturday, March 25th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Click the photo below for more details on this small event with big heart!

FAPL Offers Dog Training Classes

While it is a great thing to pair a homeless dog with a loving family, it is another to actually help that family train their new four-legged family member. There are multiple cogs in the process of getting an animal adopted.  It can start from getting them out of an unfavorable environment, but it doesn’t always end with the the adoption itself.  Sometimes the new dog is just a little to wily for his or her new home.  For the humans, it can be frustrating dealing with a pooch that’s operating on overdrive and not adhering to commands.  If you’re looking for help, search no more.  Friendship APL is offering training classes for you and your dog!

FAPL’s resident dog whisperer, Don Hitchens, has over 20 years experience working with canines.  One of his many résumé highlights is training Friendship APL dogs at the Grafton Correctional Institute, which allows previously difficult-to-adopt dogs (too shy or maybe a bit hyper) to get acclimated to their human counterparts and listening to commands.  Don is more than proficient in a number of training styles and will help you teach your dog in a variety of areas.

Teach Your Dog To:

  • Heel
  • Sit
  • Come
  • Stay
  • Lie down
  • and more!

Classes are 6 weeks for $125 involving basic obedience and socialization.  To sign up or schedule an appointment with Don Hitchens, please call 440-322-4321 (ext. 22) or email


For a glimpse of Don at work, check out the video below:


Volunteer Feature of January 2017: Derek

FAPL has had the luxury of some very dedicated employees and volunteers on its roster over the years and 2017 is certainly no exception. Take for instance the case of Derek. The young, determined animal aficionado found his roots helping four-legged souls when he was a child, always bringing stray cats or dogs home. In time, his grandmother informed him of the Friendship Animal Protective League of Lorain County. As it turns out, it was a perfect match of a good soul and an establishment looking for assistance.


Gregg:  When did you begin helping out at FAPL?
Derek:  The second Saturday in February 2016.  I’m just shy of a year here.


Gregg:  How did you get started?
Derek:  The first thing I did here was wash a car (laughs)!  After that I got more involved, specifically working with the animals.


Gregg:  What have been some of the best experiences other than working with the animals?
Derek:  It’s been great making new friends and all the other things that have come with the territory.  When I started, the bigger dogs would pull me around, but my time here has taught me how to work with them so they act calmly.  It’s the same for aggressive cats.  I can handle them now without much worry, whereas that wasn’t the case when I began.


Gregg:  I understand you’re going to college soon.  Are animals in the cards for your future?
Derek:  Definitely!  I’ll be starting classes to pursue a career as a veterinary technician.  


Best of luck, Derek!  While he won’t totally be gone from FAPL, the time, care and passion he puts in will be missed.

Derek caring for one of the many new cats at FAPL

Wags to Riches ’17 Quickly Approaching!

Throughout the year, FAPL Director Greg Willey and company do their absolute best to rescue animals in the most unfavorable of situations. Cats hit by cars, dogs abused by cruel owners, these are just a few of the countless scenarios that bring animals to the Friendship Animal Protective League. However, before they spend a few days in a FAPL cage awaiting adoption, they must first pay a visit to a veterinarian to rectify any unfortunate medical conditions.

Volunteer and Facebook guru Sherry with one of our former residents.

The veterinary costs that FAPL incurs are a necessary, but costly part of our business.  Our business is rescuing animals and finding them good homes, and while vets went to went to school to help animals, their services are not free.  Throughout the year, FAPL holds and participates in numerous events to raise funds to keep our building running, to pay our staff and, most significantly, to cover the costs of those vet bills.  In 2016, medical costs of our animals more than doubled what it was in 2015.



“Doc” Rick and a four-legged friend at the 2016 Wags event.

Despite those fundraising efforts throughout the calendar year, none assist us more than our annual Wags to Riches event.  This year, the fundraising gala will be held on Saturday, February 11th at Tom’s Country Place in Avon, Ohio.  Tickets are $100 and include dinner, open bar, the opportunity to purchase tickets for raffles, casino games and just the general notion of a really good time.  Plus, at the end of the day, it’s all to help the animals.

Try your luck at some games of chance and help benefit animals

Click here for more information on how to purchase your tickets for the 2017 Wags to Riches event!

Prizes galore!



2016 Volunteer of the Year – “Doc” Rick Broz


Rick with Friendship Animal Protective League dog, Heidi.

It was with great pride that I was able to present “Doc” Rick Broz with the 2016 Friendship APL Volunteer of the Year plaque. His love of dogs has been a true inspiration to so many, and I have been proud to work alongside him over the past 5 years.


"Doc" Rick accepts his award for volunteer of the year!

“Doc” Rick accepts his award for volunteer of the year!

The plaque reads:

”Doc” Rick Broz has been volunteering with Friendship Animal Protective League for the past 5 years. His contributions to both our shelter and to animals throughout Lorain County have been immense. His time with Herbie propelled him from shelter volunteer to animal hero. As an advocate for animals, he led the charge to pass legislation in the City of Lorain. This new law will prevent dogs from being tethered outside for the entirety of their lives.  He has become a friend and a source of inspiration to both the two-legged and four-legged, and we are proud to have him as a volunteer!”

Thank you Rick for the thousands of hours you have dedicated to both Friendship Animal Protective League and to companion animals throughout the City of Lorain!

Giving Thanks for the Blessings I have Received.

This is the time of year that we give thanks for all the blessings we have received.

Tracy Isenberg holds one of our cats on her way to take a picture for our 12 Cats of Christmas!

Tracy Isenberg holds one of our cats on her way to take a picture for our 12 Cats of Christmas!

I have spent over fifteen years in animal welfare. I have come across some very bad people over the years, but for every bad person whose path has crossed mine, I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most amazing, generous and heroic people. These people are why I continue to fight and rescue animals. Without good people, we would have no volunteers or staff to provide the love and care our animals need. I would have no donations to ensure that our animals receive food, water, litter or emergency medical treatment. I would not be able to rescue a tenth of what I have rescued over that time.




Each and every day, my staff and volunteers come to the shelter and take care of these animals. They rescue them from the streets and overcrowded shelters. They feed them and give them medicine. They take pictures of them and with them to help us find forever homes. But most of all, they comfort and love them.

Ron comforts his latest foster dog, Obi. This sweet dog was left at a vet hospital after being attacked by another dog. Ron, like all of our foster families, ensures that Obi has a chance to recover and find a home.

Ron comforts his latest foster dog, Obi. This sweet dog was left at a vet hospital after being attacked by another dog.


Our foster families open up their hearts and their homes to some of our hardest cases. Mary Cordray bottle fed nine one week-old puppies for weeks. She would get up every few hours to nurse them back to health. These incredible people sacrifice so much of their time getting them ready for adoption.

Our adopters choose to bring our dogs and cats home with them. They take a chance knowing that some of these animals have come from abusive situations and require patience. They know that some are sick and require additional care. They take them because they know that the love they receive from these homeless pets is priceless.


OJ Tingler visits with one of the kittens he helped save!

Some people just do amazing individual acts. Although the entire Oberlin Fire Department all deserve credit for helping rescue the kittens from the drain pipe. It was OJ Tingler that patiently led the kitten to safety that day. His work that day has led the others at the fire house to call him the “Cat Whisperer.” Young Brynn Berkowitz put together a small event with her friends and family and raised over $1,300 to help orphaned animals.

If you take the time to reflect, and this is the perfect time of year to do just that, you will be astounded at just how many good and caring people surround us each and every day. It is the people for which I am thankful each and every day.


Brynn Berkowitz presents me with the money she raised at her event, Paws on the Patio!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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 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…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

The Road to Berlin

It was only a handful of days ago that another call came in from the East Holmes Veterinary Clinic in Berlin, Ohio. The good people there don’t ring us to say hi though.  A call from them is an opportunity to rescue more animals, and this situation was no different.  FAPL staffer Brianna and I took the van, loaded it up with half a dozen travel cages and made the hour-and-a-half journey to Mennonite country.

 Over the twisting country roads and rolling green hills of farm land, we arrived to pick up six dogs of varying size and age. The first pair to exit the clinic were a male/female chocolate lab couple, each at a year and a half old (Snickers and Hershey Kiss).  Surprisingly, both were, for the most part, eager to hop into their travel cages.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say pure bred dogs like these won’t take long to get adopted…just a hunch.


Hershey Kiss – female Chocolate Lab


Snickers – male Chocolate Lab

The next pair were also of matching breeds; two female English bulldogs (Lollipop and Candy Corn). The expressions on their faces will make your heart melt, though their frightened uncertainty of the situation at hand was quite evident.  If I could ever see a pair of dogs do their best impression of the proverbial stubborn mule, this was it.  I could’ve hire a competitor from the world strongman competition to take a leash, but it wouldn’t have mattered.  These dogs were simply not moving.


Candy Corn – female Old English Bulldog

While I do make it a point to go to the gym regularly, I quickly learned I’m either not lifting enough or these dogs were no lightweights. I’ll go with the latter…okay, maybe a little of both.  With walking them not an option, we carried them to the van to which they were rather stubborn subjects of travel.  Almost mimicking a Bugs Bunny cartoon, both dogs outstretched their legs to avoid fitting into their travel cages.  Want a challenge?  Hold 50+ lbs. of unwilling weight that does its best impression of square peg/round hole.  With a little gentle maneuvering, we finally managed to get both girls in their crates.


Lolli Pop – female Old English Bulldog

Finally, there was the youngest pair of the bunch at both pups clocking in at an estimated ten weeks old. First was a Doberman who recently underwent corrective surgery.  While the English bulldogs wanted nothing to do with a car ride, this little gal was more than happy to be a part of the journey.  Her youthful counterpart, however, was not.  Dot is a cute yellow lab mix who is currently recovering from scabies, a parasitic skin disorder that she will soon make a full recovery from.  She’s got a little bit of hair to grow back and some traveling to get accustomed to, but you can bet she will light up someone’s life as soon as she becomes adoptable.  After all, she is already painting smiles on FAPL workers.


Milky Way – Doberman pup under 10 weeks old


Dot – Yellow Lab pup under 10 weeks old

Still, our story doesn’t end there. Sure, these dogs still need to find good homes, but after a quick vet check-up, that will come to fruition.  The rest of the story has to do with the human star of this story, Brianna.  Unfortunately, the spunky, hard-working employee moved on from FAPL as of October 22nd.  While she approaches her new endeavor that we all wish her the best with, it is her undeniable work ethic, knowledge and her care for the animals that will be missed greatly.  She sets quite the admirable standard in what it takes to succeed at Friendship APL.  Good luck, Brianna!

Friendship APL of Lorain County