A Letter from our President & CEO

Dear Friend,

I write to you today with a pressing matter.

As I sit at my desk at Animal Friends, I have the exceptional privilege of watching our animals leave. I get to see them one last time…beside or in the arms of their adopter. While the 250 dogs, cats and rabbits in our care bear the sad burden of our region’s pet overpopulation problem, they are safe here. We will find them homes.

But still, we know…we’ll never get ahead of the pet overpopulation crisis by placing one pet at a time. And conservative estimates state that 20,000 pets are euthanized every year in Allegheny County, simply because there are too many animals and too few adoptive homes. This is why Animal Friends took action. This is why we’re committed to spaying and neutering the pets in our region who, otherwise, would produce litter after unwanted litter.

But as we begin the final month of this year, Animal Friends is struggling. Our low-cost spay/neuter program is financially strained. While we are on pace to perform our goal of 10,000 surgeries this year – our highest number in one year, ever!—the financial support derived from program users has lagged behind projected budget expectations. By year-end, our spay/neuter program may be more than $150,000 short of its goal of $790,000.

The cause of this financial shortfall is easy to see. As we continue to find pet owners and partner organizations that desperately need these vital spay/neuter surgeries for their pets, we also find that they can’t afford the requested donation of $25 – $150 for the surgery costs. In addition, we have made a concerted effort to provide services to feral cat caregivers without any funding source to support the surgery costs.

While both situations have been problematic, we can’t pull back. We are committed to providing these much needed services whether the surgery is subsidized or not. After all…who else will?

Now, the truth is this: Animal Friends needs your help.

So, while we continue spaying and neutering, every day, in the community and right here at Animal Friends, I’ve been trying to make ends meet…so that we never have to cut back on the services our region has come to count on.

And, thankfully, two anonymous donors –who understands that the absence of spay/neuter program would have a devastating impact on the pets in our region–has agreed to help us. They are offering a dollar-for-dollar match for every gift of $500 and above, up to $75,000, through December 31, 2012.

So, I write to you today for help.

As you consider your year-end giving, please seize this opportunity. Please invest where funds are so urgently, immediately needed to make a lifesaving difference. And please donate now, when your tax-deductible gift will be doubled by our matching donor.

Please click here to donate today. If you prefer to donate via stock gift or other method, please call Pat Hargest, Director of Development, at 412.847.7073. You can also mail a check made payable to “Animal Friends” to 562 Camp Horne Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.

Or, if you would like to talk about your gift in more detail, please don’t hesitate to call me at 412.847.7010.

Remember, this is an urgent request, as all donations must be given by December 31 in order to be matched. Animal Friends needs you now. Please come forward.

With warm wishes for happy holidays for you and your family,

David J. Swisher
President & CEO, Animal Friends
Animal Friends Caryl Gates Gluck Resource Center
562 Camp Horne Road | Pittsburgh, PA 15237 | 412.847.7000
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