Pittsburgh Pet Walk benefiting Animal Rescue League


The 8th edition of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon hosted a record setting weekend featuring more than 35,000 runners from 49 states and over 20 countries.  Among those included were our city’s four legged friends getting their wag on.  Locals fetched their sneakers and their furry friends on April 30 in support of their favorite charity, Animal Rescue League & Wildlife Center (ARL).  Pet owners & their dogs both took steps to ensure all of the Steel City’s animals receive shelter, care and comfort.

The Pet Walk was a precursory event to the marathon held at Point State Park on Sunday, May 1, and there was absolutely no doubt about it.  It was game on for hundreds of local animal lovers of all ages. The marathon’s tag line of “This race is your game – however you decide to play it” certainly rang true. Some ran it.  Some walked it.  For some, Fido just played.  Participants seemed to love it regardless.

“We are very appreciative of being the benefiting charity of the Pittsburgh Pet Walk,” said Ann Yeager, ARL’s Marketing Director. “We hope everyone enjoyed the many activities happening at Point State Park on Saturday.”

Included in the Pet Walk was some fun for participants. Awards were handed out in three categories. Congratulations to the following ARL Supporters:

  • John Howey with pet, Maggie, won First Place for Owner/Pet Look Alike
  • Shannon & Zechariah Frye and their pets, Olaf & Rio took first Place for Cutest Pets
  • Best costume went to Brian Connelly & Leila Boyabdellaoui’s dog, Champ


2016 Marathon VIP Party hosted by Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon Inc. (P3R)


Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon Inc. (P3R) rolled out the red carpet for hundreds of marathon participants at the Westin Convention Center on Friday, April 29.  The exclusive VIP pre-race festivity, planned by the Animal Rescue League & Wildlife Center (ARL), celebrated the runners, organizers, and sponsors of the big event, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, UPMC Health Plan, FedEx Ground, Toyota, GNC, UPMC Sports Medicine and E-Z Pass.

The cocktail reception, emceed by David Monico, marked the eight consecutive year of the marathon’s run in our city since the race’s revival in 2009.  Stanley Parker, P3R Board President, was on hand to welcome guests and highlight special guests who joined the celebration. Among those being recognized were runners from across the United States chosen by P3R to represent their state as part of the Runner of Steel Delegate Program.  The VIP event is the first of many stops for delegates before they take in Pittsburgh’s most popular attractions during marathon weekend.  The Steel Delegates were featured in a special athlete parade in Market Square on Saturday, April 30.

Also honored were Elite Athletes participating in the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon and Kids of Steel participants.  The Kids of Steel Program is a physical activity and nutrition program designed to motivate children to pursue quality nutrition and an active lifestyle by incorporating exercise and healthy eating habits into their daily routine. During the four-month training period children completed one of three training plans and completed their miles during the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events.

“This event is our chance to thank the dedicated individuals that give their time, talents and resources to make the Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events enjoyable for all who participate” said Parker.  “This year, we’re especially excited to welcome our Runner of Steel Delegates from across the United States to help us celebrate Pittsburgh’s Bicentennial.”

“I enjoy planning this event for the sponsors and runners who do so much to make the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon such a success” said Ann Yeager, ARL Marketing Director & Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon VIP Coordinator.

Missing from the guest list – our favorite furry walkers who will be “ruffing” it alongside their owners at Saturday’s Pet Walk to benefit ARL.  Stay tuned to see who wins Cutest Pet, Pet/Owner Look-A-Like, and Best Costume categories.


Locals Redd up for ARL and their Rescue


Locals were “redding up homes” this past weekend in support of animal rescue. Animal Rescue League and Wildlife Center (ARL) teamed up with Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania to host a donation drive fundraiser on April 17 at their shelter.  Individuals could drop off gently used clothing, shoes and housewares between 10 am to 2 pm and help ARL earn money for every pound collected.

“We do the Goodwill donation drive twice a year,” said ARL Marketing Director, Ann Yeager.  “Each time we have raised between $2,000 – $3,000.   It’s a great way to clean out the closets and basement all while helping the animals of the Animal Rescue League.”

Animal Rescue League has an open door policy which means no animal is every turned away from their doors for care.  Each year they assist approximately 13,000 animals in our area; re-homing nearly 7,000 of our companion pets last year alone while their Wildlife Center treated over 2,700 injured wildlife animals to release back into the wild. Their veterinary clinic also remains a first line of defense for thousands of dog and cat owners who are seeking affordable pricing for services such as spaying, neutering, vaccinations, check-ups and more.

Click here to learn how you can support their amazing mission!


16th Annual Wild Life Baby Shower For Animal Rescue League


April Showers may bring May Flowers but it also brings lots of wildlife animal babies, and the Animal Rescue League & Wildlife Shelter (ARL) aren’t leaving their care to just Mother Nature.  Every season, the Wildlife Center swings into high gear to ensure they have the funds & supplies for the influx of animals they must help rehabilitate.

On April 9, ARL held their 16th Annual Wildlife baby Shower at nine locations across Pittsburgh. Local businesses served as drop off points for animal advocates to provide much needed pet, household and food supplies from the ARL’s wishlist.  Local businesses included:

“The care we can offer these animals, and the second chance at life on the wild, is dependent on the quality of the supplies used,” says Jill Argall, Wildlife Center Director.   “Generous donations from our Wish List allow our staff and volunteers to provide helpless creatures’ proper nourishment, husbandry, and enrichment.”

Patrons in each participating baby shower location could meet one of the ARL’s Wildlife Education Animals and Educational Animal Ambassadors.  Community Members that donated items off the ARL Wish List had the opportunity to win an ARL Education Program and receive a voucher to schedule a complimentary tour of the Wildlife Center.

The Animal Rescue League (ARL) Wildlife Center is a fully licensed wildlife rehabilitation clinic, specializing in the care and treatment of injured, orphaned, and ill native Pennsylvanian wildlife. All animals are admitted to their clinic with the goal of releasing them back into the wild as healthy individuals.  The ARL staff has over 17 years of combined rehabilitation experience and is licensed through the Pennsylvania Game Commission, USDA, and US Fish and Wildlife Services. The clinic admits approximately 3000 animals every year and maintains a release rate near 65% percent; nearly twice the national average.


Animal Rescue League partners with Busted Buggy Entertainment for Rescue Dogs Movie Premiere


Busted Buggy Entertainment has embarked on a unique release plan for its family film “Rescue Dogs” and it has a twist – the four legged kind.  The first-of-its-kind family movie that stars real rescue dogs as lead characters has the independent entertainment company partnering with 20 animal rescue organizations to host animal adoption events during the film’s opening weekend.  Among those leaving their “Paw Print” on the new release was our very own Animal Rescue League & Wildlife Center (ARL).

The movie will run from April 1- April 7 at the Waterworks Cinema 10 with ARL receiving 20% of the producers box office for the entire week. Showtimes are 12 pm, 2:15 pm, 4:40 pm, 6:55 pm and 9:10 pm and tickets can be purchased here!  

“The Animal Rescue League is enthused to be a part of ‘Rescue Dogs’,” said Ann Yeager, Director of Marketing. “With the addition of the adoption events, we hope several homeless pets find their fur-ever home.”

The Busted Buggy production team has agreed to donate a significant portion of their proceeds from the film to select partner rescue organizations, including ARL. “From the time we joined this film, we knew it would not only be a great indie-kids film, but also a remarkable chance to raise awareness and money for animal rescues,” says Dan Cunningham, President of Busted Buggy Entertainment. “It’s a fun, simple film that can make a big difference.”

Rescue Dogs” is the story of Tracy and his rescue dog Charger who foil the plans of an evil businessman who wants to knock over their beach restaurant in order to build his golf course. With help from his brother, Tracy tries to pay the bills, manage the kitchen (where Charger helps cook) and still find time to fall in love with a beautiful dancer named Bridget. Through a comedy of errors and mishaps, the humans find that they themselves can be rescued by their very own rescue animals

The film features dynamic comedy performances from its non-four-legged cast including up-and-comer Courtney Daniels, Paul Haapaniemi, and Jordan Rawlins. The film was written by Jordan Rawlins and MJ Anderson, and co-directed by Anderson and Haik Katsikian.

Busted Buggy Entertainment is a film and television production company founded by actress Courtney Daniels. “Rescue Dogs” is the third feature film BBE has produced and is especially close to Daniels’ heart, as she is the proud parent of 7 rescue animals.

“We are so excited to partner with these extraordinary rescue organizations across the nation,” said Daniels. “The amount of time these organizations put into saving animals lives is amazing and we could not be happier to help them in their efforts.”


5th Annual B*tches Ball benefiting Animal Rescue League & Wildlife Center


Locals gave “cat calls” in more way than one this past Thursday at the Bitches Ball, held at the Pittsburgh Opera.  The annual drag show, now in its fifth year, had guests cheering on regional performers as they strutted the “cat walk” to support The Animal Rescue League (ARL) Wildlife Center.  The event, sponsored by VCA Animal Hospitals, celebrated World Spay Day in style by raising funds to offset the cost of spay and neuter surgeries at the shelter.

The culmination of the evening was the crowning of Confetti Gunn as Miss Bitchburgh 2016 by celebrity judges: ARL Executive Director – Dan Rossi, ARL Cat Mascot – Pussy Willow , Camp Bow Wow Mascot – Scout, RC Fox – Head of the Furries, Natalie Bencivenga of the Post-Gazette, Tall Cathy of 96.1 Kiss FM & Allegheny County Controller, Chelsa Wagner.  Confetti Gunn received a $250 prize and will ride in the ARL float during June’s Pridefest.

World Spay Day shines a spotlight on the power of affordable, accessible spay & neuter services to save the lives of companion animals,  community (feral and stray) cats, and street dogs who might otherwise be put down in shelters or killed on the street.  It is also a “call” to action for community members to remember the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.  The procedure has many benefits for you & your animal including: having your animal live a longer, healthier life, decreasing behavior or temperament problems, and making your pet likely to wander.

Last year, the ARL performed 5,945 of these surgeries at incredibly reasonable rates.  For more information on these services contact the Animal Rescue League (ARL) Wildlife Center at 412-345-7300 or visit their website at http://www.animalrescue.org/veterinary-clinic/spay-and-neuter-clinic/.

Pittsburgh Police 18th Annual Biscuits Bingo benefiting Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center


Talk about some lucky numbers…

3 – As in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Zone 3, the Presenting Sponsor of the Biscuits Bingo.

18 – Incredible years for this fun-filled family event that includes refreshments, raffles, gift baskets & prizes.

2 – Amazing people, Officer Christine Luffey & Volunteer Theresa Sekely, who coordinated an incredible Bingo event with hundreds of attendees.

12 – 2016 local animal welfare organizations that will benefit from their efforts.

1 – Grateful organization, the Animal Rescue League & Wildlife Center (ARL)!

Bingo!!  Those numbers equal a “Win” for thousands of abandoned, neglected & injured animals in our area.  Thank you Pittsburgh Police for raising $33,132 dollars this year!

Wildlife Tea benefiting Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center


Pennsylvania’s natural resources are the foundation of our state’s beauty and cultural heritage and no one is doing more to secure these resources for future generations than the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center (ARL).  On November 21 the ARL made a visit to the South Hills of Pittsburgh as part of their educational efforts, hosting th22eir Wildlife Tea event at the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon.

The afternoon allowed shoppers out for the upcoming holiday season to partake in more than pre-holiday sales.  Patrons enjoyed light refreshments and family fun activities while meeting some current wildlife and learning about the ARL mission of ‘rehab and rescue’.  Featured see and learn presentations included four educational topics: Wildlife Rehab, Remarkable Rodents, Shells and Scales & Feathered Friends.  Highlights for the event also included coloring contests for kids, ARL grab bags, educational information and a Pop-Up Gift Shop.

“The ARL Wildlife Center is excited to again visit the Galleria and share our amazing wildlife with the local shoppers,” said Jill Argall, ARL Wildlife Center Director.  “Our hope is to always educate and inspire a respect for nature.  We would like to recognize Green Mountain Energy who makes these presentations possible.  We are grateful for any opportunity where community members can see native wildlife and learn from our educational ambassadors.”

The ARL Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a fully licensed rehabilitation center that specializes in the care and treatment of injured, orphaned, and ill native Pennsylvanian wildlife.  All animals are admitted to their clinic with the goal of releasing them back into the wild with their health.  Every year, their clinic admits about 3000 animals and maintains a release rate near 65% percent; nearly twice the national average!

Upper St. Clair resident & shopper Kelly Bakayza was thrilled to see the ARL in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.  “The services they provide in our area are unique and invaluable and I can personally attest to the wonderful work they provide for wildlife,” said Kelly.  “Last year, three baby birds fell out of their nest into our fireplace. Not knowing what to do with them I called the ARL Wildlife Center.  The staff provided me with advice on how to handle the birds identified by the ARL staff as chimney sweeps.  The wildlife center cared for them and all three birds survived and were set free.”

If you would like to support the ARL efforts, there are plenty of ways you can assist during the upcoming holiday season.  The ARL Wildlife Center is always seeking knitters to knit or crochet nests or shop for the wildlife by using their Wish List.  You can also mark your calendar now for the Kenny Ross Subaru ‘Pack An Outback’ Event on Saturday, December 12 at Kenny Ross Subaru in North Huntington.  Provide a cash donation or an item from the ARL Wish List and enter to win two Pittsburgh Penguin Tickets.  Don’t forget about the Ground & Hounds Coffee as a holiday gift for a fellow java lover as well.  Twenty percent of all proceeds from Western Pa. benefit the animals at the Animal Rescue League!

16th Annual Paw Prints benefiting Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center


More than 300 people came out on Halloween to celebrate the Animal Rescue League (ARL) and their animal advocacy work that is leaving a ‘footprint’ on our local community.  The 16th Annual Paw Prints was a ‘Wicked’ good time literally, with the characters from the sellout musical production in attendance to ‘cast’ their support.  Proceeds will assist ARL in their Forever Home Campaign for the work on their new building.

The event, chaired by B.K. and Mike Pavuk, displayed a perfect symmetry of details and theme. Both the musical production and the ARL event, both sell-out events, boast a legion of fans.  The evening, much like the show, is a story of friendship and love, and how ambition and accomplishments dictate the paths they choose.

Long known for their compassion for ALL animals, the ARL has a legendary 100 year ‘backstory’ for assisting the kinship we feel for our four legged or winged friends.  And their tireless drive to educate our community about the humane care of them has cast a powerful ‘spell’ on thousands of individuals and families in Pittsburgh.  Most importantly, their thoughtful choices have positioned them on a ‘path’ that continues to meet the needs of Western PA. and the animals they serve; even today looking to complete a new blueprint of care with the construction of a new facility.

The event set the perfect ‘scene’ for its audience.  From the acknowledgment of the ‘leading characters’ in their VIP reception to highlighting  ‘crew members’ such as Humane Pittsburgh Action & Bill Blair who were an  integral part of their ‘production’, it was a smashing success that will help the ARL continue their efforts according to their primary ‘artistic director’, Dan Rossi.

“As the Official Shelter of the Pittsburgh Penguins, holding our 16th annual Paw Prints Gala at CONSOL Energy Center makes this year’s event even more special,” said ARL’s Executive Director.  “Paw Prints is the Animal Rescue League’s premier event that raises tens of thousands of dollars that supports our adoption, clinic, and rehabilitation services.”

And that…is music to our ears!

Jam on Walnut benefiting Animal Rescue League & Wildlife Center


It was one BeWITCHing evening!  Locals took to the streets in Shadyside on October 24 for the annual Jam on Walnut event.  Hundreds came out for the largest outdoor costume party in Pittsburgh with some spooktacular fun lined up between Ivy & South Aiken Avenue.

The event which was free and open to all ages featured some ‘hauntingly’ good music from powerhouse, No Band JuJu.  Well known for their signature style of classic R&B and rock, their driving rhythm and horn section had attendees ‘jammin’ for sure.  Also featured was local family music sensation Spinning Jenny, whose eclectic mix of rock and punk music was the perfect fit to keep the party rolling.

Costumed partiers were automatically entered to win a trip to the Dos Equis Masquerade Party in NYC.  Highlights of the evening also included prizes for best costume, a photo booth and a haunted ambulance.

For $5.00, wristbands could be purchased by the over 21 crowd to partake in Dos Equis beer specials from 7-11 pm. Draft wagons lined the street with ARL staff pouring the ‘brew’.  The biggest ‘treat’ of the night hands down though -proceeds from all beer sales and any donations benefited The Animal Rescue League & Wildlife Center (ARL), a tireless advocate for ALL abandoned, neglected and injured animals in our community.