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Penguins Ladies Promote Pet Awareness

by Joe Sager / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins wives and girlfriends have teamed up with Animal Friends to help promote pet awareness.

A large group of the ladies, including Karen Shero, Sharlene Sydor, Abby Malone, Veronique LaRosee, Kristin VanEck and Erin Kathan visited the Animal Friends facility on Camp Horne Rd. in the North Hills to film a public service announcement to promote February as Spay and Neuter Month for animals.

“Everybody would have to adopt 36 dogs and 28 cats to keep the population under control if these pets aren’t spayed or neutered. That’s actually a huge issue,” said Abby Malone, the wife of Ryan Malone. “Anything that we can do to help decrease that amount is helpful. I think everybody would benefit from it, animal lover or not. A lot of us are animal owners ourselves, so anything that we can do to help raise awareness or help in any way, that’s what we’re interested in.”

Veronique LaRosee, Erin Kathan and Kristin VanEck visit cats in one of the Animal Friends play rooms.

Spaying or neutering your pets promotes good health and reduces potential behavioral problems as well as helping to prevent pet overpopulation.

“I am glad to be a part of this day and hopefully make more people aware that February is National Spay and Neuter Month,” Shero said. “We own a shelter dog. She is just wonderful. She is a black lab/collie mix. I just believe this is a great cause and more people need to come out and take part, volunteer or contribute any way they can. There are so many pets out there waiting to be adopted. Luckily, Animal Friends is a no-kill facility. There are some places where they have to put the animals down if no one claims them, which is really sad.”

Animal Friends offers a variety of dogs, cats and rabbits for adoption.

“I think a lot of people aren’t aware of the Animal Friends facility. If we can convince people to visit Animal Friends before going to a breeder or the pet stores in the mall, then that’s great,” Shero said. “I think the more people that know about this beautiful facility, the better. Even if they just come out for a visit to see how beautiful it is and all the different pets they have. If they are not in the market for a pet right now, maybe they know a neighbor or a friend or someone who is.”

Animal Friends offers a variety of programs, including: low-cost spay and neuter services, health and wellness programs, humane education, cruelty investigations and rescues, behavior training classes and hotline, foster care, lost and found animal services, volunteer opportunities and pet-friendly events.

“It’s a wonderful facility," Malone said. "When you visit, you can feed the dogs and give them treats or visit the cats in the play rooms. It’s a non-euthanizing shelter, which is amazing. There are plenty of animals here that need good homes.”

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