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North Hills Monthly

Love at First Site

Nov 30, 2018 01:26PM ● By North Hills Monthly magazine

At Animal Friends, we have a lot to be thankful for. It's because of generous supporters like you that we're able to continue the lifesaving work we do each day. And, we know that the animals who come through our doors are thankful for you, too!

Like David, who started his second chance at Animal Friends after a report of possible animal abuse lead our Humane Society Police Officers to a house south of Pittsburgh.

David's story

With the light clink of a latch and soft creak of the hinges, a kennel door gently swings open. “Hey there, Love.” Ever so slowly, the brindle-coated dog lifts his head and cocks it to the side. “C’mon sweet boy, let’s go for a walk.” She readies her leash and flicks the metal clasp. David jumps to his feet and begins excitedly wagging his tail.

As they cross the threshold of the door leading outside, the sunlight warms his face. A light breeze picks up and his nose turns to the wind … he takes a few sniffs, then they’re off. Getting out into the open he starts to catch his stride and pick up his pace. Soon, he’s trotting joyfully – and it’s quite possibly one of the most endearing sights to be seen on the Animal Friends’ campus.

It looks as if he was the lead of his very own parade. In fact, we almost wish he was for everything he’s been through …

Reports of possible animal abuse lead our Humane Society Police Officers to a house south of Pittsburgh. Neighbors called about an injured and emaciated dog living in filth. When they got to the house, our officers couldn’t believe their eyes.


Trash covered nearly every inch of the lawn. The dwelling was so rundown that the wooden steps leading to the front porch felt they could give out at any moment.

“Take the dog … I just … I just can’t afford to keep him.”

We learned that over the course of a few months, David had been bounced from residence to residence. We’re not quite sure when, but at some point his face was injured by another dog – and, he had yet to receive any treatment. That was about to change.

He was soon on his way to his second chance … he was on his way to Animal Friends.

Once David entered our doors, our Medical team jumped into action. But instead of finding relief for him, we only found more complex medical concerns … skin issues, Lyme disease and – the most worrisome of all – glaucoma.

Immediately, treatment began for all of his conditions. Antibiotics for his Lyme disease. A specialized diet to gain weight. Pain medication and treatment for the wound on his face. But his eyes … they were irritated, scarred and painful.

Each day, his eyes were checked and treated. But as days turned into weeks, David was bumping into the walls of his kennel and tripping over curbs. His eyes were not getting any better. So, after consulting a specialist, the surgery to remove his eyes was scheduled.

David’s recovery was not an easy one. A few days after his surgery, we noticed something wasn’t quite right, and rushed him to the emergency veterinarian. He had developed a severe infection and spent a few days receiving critical, around-the-clock care until he was well enough to come back to Animal Friends.

Despite his compounding medical issues, we know we can’t give up. David deserves a second chance – and, we’re determined to give him just that.

We’ve recently learned that his closest friends at Animal Friends have lovingly dubbed him … well, Love. We’ve been told, “For so many of us, as soon as we laid eyes on him … it truly was love at first sight.”


The last part of David’s journey is to find a home … his very own love at first sight. But until then, our staff and volunteers will be teaching him how to navigate in his new sightless world – showering him with love and encouragement every step of the way.

At Animal Friends, we never turn our back on the tough cases.

In fact, they are our specialty. From pets like David who need individualized medical care to those who require extensive socialization and behavior training, we are here for the ones who have nowhere else to turn.

Our commitment is to provide every animal in our care with the highest quality, healthy experience. It’s not just the extra special animals, like David, who receive this level of attention and treatment at Animal Friends. We’re here for all of them.

But, without compassionate supporters like you, it simply would not be possible.

So please, help us find a “love at first sight” for all of our homeless animals. Please give generously.