Pit bulls named Nana and Lambert wore black and gold vests at a Western Pennsylvania Humane Society news conference with Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch and his wife, Tasha.
Tuesday was quite a day for the Humane Society. The staff received a check for nearly $26,700, set June 9 as the date for the fourth annual Panera Pup Walk at The Waterfront in Homestead, and announced that it is opening a shelter in Shaler.
A former veterinary hospital at Route 8 and Middle Road is being renovated into a shelter and should be ready for occupants within the year, said executive director David Janusek and WPHS board co-president Jeff Sterling. The Humane Society currently has two shelters, on the North Side and in Elizabeth Township.
"We see it primarily for cat and rabbit adoptions," Mr. Sterling said. Some dog training classes may be held there, and a low-cost spay and neuter program could be set up at a later date. Total cost is about $240,000, and funds are still being raised.
The big check from Panera was the proceeds from the 2012 Pup Walk and from "spare change" collection jars at 29 Panera cafes. Mr. Batch led the 2011 walk by 260 dogs and 500 people. He did it again in 2012, when 500 dogs and 1,000 people showed. Go to www.panerapupwalk.org for more information.
Mr. Batch, who joined the Humane Society board of directors last summer, is leading the walk this year with his wife, and they expect to bring a dog or two of their own. The couple have bichons frise named Snoop and Nate, sheba inu named Snoop and Nala, and pit bulls Buuz and Aysia.
"Adopt Me" said the vests worn by Nana and Lambert. The pit bulls came to the North Side shelter in May among 34 pets seized by humane agents from terrible living conditions in North Braddock. None of the animals could be put up for adoption until December because of criminal court action against their owner. A number of those cats and dogs have been adopted, but five still need homes, including Nana and Lambert.
Nana, 4, is white with black freckles and spots. Lambert, 4, is a brown and black brindle. Both are sweet, happy tail-waggers who love people and are good with most dogs.
They came to the news conference on Tuesday because they are symbolic of how donations to the Humane Society are spent. When animals are seized in abuse and neglect cases, the courts do not reimburse shelters for the cost of their care. The average cost to care for shelter pets is $10-$12 per day, the staff says. My math indicates care costs for all of the animals would exceed $10,000.
The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society is expected to get some money from the Allegheny Abused Animal Relief Fund. AAARF donations come from the sale of dog licenses by the county treasurer.
Free training tips
Petagogy, a natural pet supply store on Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside, is hosting a free "Ask the Trainer" event Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
The trainer is Amy Dengler, who teaches classes at Lucky Paws Pet Resort in Cranberry. She's also a board member and behavior team leader for Hello Bully, the local nonprofit that rescues pit bulls and educates the public about the breed. For more information, go to http://petagogypgh.com or call 412-362-7387.
Bowling for shelter pets
Do they make bowling shoes for dogs? Can cats keep score? Well, no, but shelter residents will attend the ninth annual Alley Up for Animal Friends on Jan. 27.
Cris Winter from WISH-FM (99.7) is hosting the event at Legacy Lanes, 5024 Curry Road, Baldwin Borough (15236). There are two sessions: noon-2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person or $125 per lane for up to six bowlers. That includes bowling, shoe rental, pizza, soft drinks and a T-shirt. To register, go to www.ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org or call 412-847-7055.
Little pet party
This sounds adorable: Winter Wonderland Party for ferrets, mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs and other small pets. For animals there will be fun and games. For people there will be crafts projects, snacks, cocoa and a Winter Wonderland photo setup.
The party is 1-4 p.m. Jan. 27 at the locally owned Animal Nature store, 7610 Forbes Ave., Regent Square (15221). Instead of an admission charge, donations are suggested for local rescue groups 3 Rivers Small Animal Rescue, Wheek Care Guinea Pig Rescue, Judge's Park Rescue and Pittsburgh Rat Lovers Rescue.
Empty pet food cans wanted
Help the environment and homeless pets by dropping off empty pet food cans at the Animal Rescue League and Wildlife Center and other locations. For every aluminum can collected, 5 cents will be donated to the shelter. Cans for Pets will continue through November 2014.
All pet food cans are recycled at Greenstar Recycling on Neville Island, but only aluminum cans generate shelter donations. Use a magnet to tell the difference; magnets stick to tin cans but not aluminum ones. Cans should be rinsed, but labels don't have to be removed. Only 20 percent of pet food cans are recycled while 65 percent of beverage cans are recycled, according to the Pennsylvania Resources Council. Recycling one 3-ounce aluminum pet food can saves enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for more than two hours.
On Friday, Pennsylvania Resources Council gave ARL $325 for 6,500 aluminum cans collected from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.
Drop-off sites are: Animal Rescue League, 6620 Hamilton Ave., Larimer; Animal Rescue League Wildlife Center, 6000 Verona Road, Penn Hills; Pennsylvania Resources Council, 64 S. 14th St., South Side; and The Dog Stop, 2858 Banksville Road, Banksville.
Cans for Pets is supported by the Alcoa Foundation. Information: http://prc.org/petcan.
Pet Tales appears weekly in the Saturday Home & Garden section. Linda Wilson Fuoco: email@example.com or 412-263-3064. Got a pet health question? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. It may be answered in an upcoming Pet Points column by veterinarians at the Point Breeze Veterinary Clinic.