By Heather Abraham

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – They had no idea that their lives were on the line, but today was their rebirth.

Dozens of animals scheduled to be euthanized were given a second chance and for them, 2013 will mean life.

“These animals are guaranteed a second chance at Animal Friends. So, we will spay and neuter them, medically and behaviorally clear them and get them ready for homes,” Jolene Miklas of Animal Friends said.

At Animal Friends, this annual tradition of rescuing dogs and cats from other shelters in western Pennsylvania on New Year’s Eve is heartwarming for staff, but also a sad reminder of the pets still without a home.

Many of those pets would be put down if not for Animal Friends. This is the 16th year for the program.

“Every time we have an empty cage, we can rescue another animal in need. So, if you’re considering adoption, look to a shelter first,” Miklas said.

It may have been an unpleasant few minutes for the new arrivals with baths and shots, but for the 34 animals brought into Animal Friends on Camp Horne Road today, this will mean another day and the possibility of family.

“All of the animals brought in really seem to know that they’ve been rescued. They’re so calm here. You get a real sense of gratitude from both the pets and the people,” Miklas said.

Many of the animals will be ready for adoption by Jan. 2, but if you’re too anxious, you can see pictures of the animals brought in on Animal Friends’ Facebook page here:


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