The APA Wins $20,000 Toward New Kennels!

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Thanks to overwhelming community support, the dogs of the APA will have the digs they deserve! For two weeks, we pushed hard to get out the vote, and, in the end, we came out on top in the Monsanto Grow St. Louis contest and won $20,000 toward new glass kennels for our dogs!

This great prize will allow us to replace the metal bars on the kennels with glass panels that are more hygienic, less stressful, and much friendlier than the current metal rods. We are so excited to improve our pups’ pads, and we are sure this will help get our large dogs adopted sooner!

The project is expected to get underway this summer and take approximately two weeks to complete. Once it’s finished, the kennels will be a healthier and quieter place for our soon-to-be pets.

Thanks to everyone who voted for the APA in this contest! We are truly grateful to see such a wonderful outpouring of support for our organization. We couldn’t have done it without you! Our pooches thank you, too!Image

Second Chance for a Special Puppy

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A couple of weeks ago, a woman was walking outside when she saw a car pull up to a curb, dump something out, and immediately drive away. Upon inspection, this woman saw that the item dumped was actually a puppy. Upon closer inspection, she saw that this puppy had been born with only three legs. The kind soul picked up the puppy, took him home with her for the night, and brought him to the APA the next morning.

When we received him, we first noticed how irresistibly cute this special puppy was. We next noticed that the small fellow was only about 5 weeks old, too young to be adopted.  Fortunately, one of our adoption counselors, Jessica, saw the tiny, adorable, three-legged Catahoula mix and selflessly volunteered to foster the young pup, who she named Nemo.

For the past three weeks, Jessica has worked with Nemo on socialization and training. The friendly Nemo took a liking to the 90-pound Labrador Retriever in the house, and even licked a kitty’s nose. He learned how much fun playing with toys can be, especially ones that squeak. Maybe most importantly, he started jumping off the couch and running up and down the stairs. Nemo might be missing a leg, but he certainly isn’t missing out on life.

Nemo recently turned 8-weeks-old, which means he is old enough to be adopted. After his neuter surgery, Nemo became the APA’s Pet of the Week, and even got to go on TV! When Nemo was featured on Facebook, his post was flooded with comments, likes, and shares. He became quite a sensation!

Happily for foster mom Jessica, Nemo has been adopted by her own brother, so she will be able to watch him grow up. In every way, Nemo is a happy, energetic puppy who has no idea he is different from other dogs. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone saw Nemo as he sees himself? That would make for a lot more of these happy tails….er, tales. ImageImageImageImage

New Year’s Excitement

Wow, what a year it’s been at the APA! I’ve made so many new friends and watched them meet their new families. It’s wonderful to see them so happy!

I dare you to find a sweeter face!

I dare you to find a sweeter face!

I can tell why she's so excited!

I can tell why she’s so excited!

With all the upcoming excitement around here, I can’t wait to wag in the New Year! In November, the APA turned 90 years old! Do you have any idea how many dog years that is?? What an accomplishment! To celebrate, we’re having doggy ice cream and biscuit cakes every day for the whole year! Well, not really, but a dog can dream, right?

Actually, right now we’re working on the “Harry and Hanley” public art project.  It is the purrfect (get it?) way to help beautify St. Louis, while creating awareness of our wonderful organization! A series of delightful dog and charming cat sculptures will live in prominent places around the city for the enjoyment of the people and pets of our community. We’re working hard on getting them decorated right now, so stay tuned for more information on the locations of these terrific animal sculptures.

Of course, you can expect to take part in our excellent annual events as well! The 5th annual Fast and Furriest race will take place on April 28, and I can’t wait to join all my four-legged pals in racing (or walking) to the finish!

Then there’s the Trivia Night, and the Canine Carnival, and…whew! I exhaust myself just thinking of all the fun that’s to come! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take a cat, ehrm…dog nap.

Crazy Eights!

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APA Adoption Counselor and Animal Care Technician Kaitlyn just told me something crazy – we have eight cats available for adoption who are all over eight years old!

So this got me thinking… maybe people don’t know the benefits to adopting an older cat.  Quite often, I hear people say, “I’d like to adopt an older animal but I don’t know how much longer he will live.”

To that I say, “WOOF!”  Older pets are great.  They are already used to human schedules (do you REALLY want to be woken up at 4am to a kitten stampeding across your head?).  They seem to know that they’ve been given a second chance and, they bond very quickly to their new families.

There is no guarantee how long an older pet will live but with a good diet, plenty of exercise and lots of TLC, an 8+ cat can live for many, MANY more years.  If you would like to visit with these cats or any of the pets at the APA, you know where to find us!

New Arrivals

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Yesterday five dogs embarked on a very exciting journey.  Waldo, Winston, Bear, Kramer and Isabelle were stray or surrendered dogs at St. Louis County Animal Care and Control.  They had been doing well at animal control but were being overlooked with all the other dogs in the facility.

Here at the APA, we have been doing a lot of adoptions – an average of 12 pets a day!  We had several empty dog runs and there were only a couple of dogs in the puppy room.  So my quick-thinking friends at the APA called St. Louis County Animal Care and Control to see if we could help by taking in a few of their dogs to get them adopted!

Isabelle is enjoying playtime outside at the APA.

Wouldn’t you know? Winston was already adopted!  Now he has reached the final stop on his journey – he is HOME!  I know the others will be adopted very quickly.  They are all healthy, friendly and adorable dogs who will be wonderful companions.

Waldo getting some TLC from Animal Care Tech Chris Dobert.

Animal Care Techs Jessica Johnson and Chris Dobert giving Kramer his vaccinations so he can be placed for adoption.

Shelter Me Photography

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Recently I talked about the importance of good photographs for shelter pets.   Remember my post about Chunk? Here is is: http://blog.apamo.org/2012/02/24/picture-perfect-pets/  Well Chunk was adopted and you know what sealed the deal? HIS PICTURE!!!

So today, Purina ONE has arranged for Nanette Martin from Shelter Me Photography to give the animal care technicians at the APA a lesson on photographing shelter pets!  Nanette has taken pictures of over 5,000 shelter animals, and her images have increased adoptions in shelters across the country.

The day started with everyone looking at print-outs of pictures taken before Nanette's lesson so they could see "before and after" shots.

Perhaps Nanette’s most important tip: make sure the animal is looking at the camera and fill the frame with the picture.  This will help the potential adopter connect with the animal and fall in love!

Nanette giving photo tips to APA staff members Chris Dobert, Sandi Gryder and Lisa Pearse.

A big thank you to Purina ONE and to Nanette for all their help!  My human pals are looking forward to photographing the pets and helping them find their forever homes!

Animal Care Technician Sandi getting Murphy the dog ready for his photograph.

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Field Trip

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Today several of my adoptable pals got to take a field trip to Nestle Purina.  The company held their “Building Better Pet Communities” employee event, and the animals had a great time!  They just got back and told me about all the fun.  Francine played in the water fountain…. Jazz purred when she got pet… Diamond had so much fun that she fell asleep open on the ride home…

My friends at the APA really do whatever they can to find homes for the animals.  They take adoptable animals on special outings like the Purina employee event quite often.  Look for them and the 37 foot Homeward Bound Mobile Adoption Unit all over town this spring and summer!

Francine playing in the fountain!

Volunteer Sandy with Diamond the dog!

If you would like to have adoptable pets at your event or business, just give a shout to the APA’s Special Events Coordinator at 314-645-4610 x112 or email Robin@apamo.org.  Tell her the Bogster sent you.

The Furriest Race in Town

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When I heard the “Furriest Race in Town” was coming up, I got super-excited.  I have a lot of fur and I’m pretty fast.  Wait. What? You don’t know about the event?!

This is the fourth year the APA is hosting its Fast and the Furriest 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk. The best part of it – dogs can participate too!

If you prefer not to run with a furry friend, that’s okay too.  You can bring the whole family or come solo.  The event is Sunday, April 29 at Tower Grove Park.  Prizes will be awarded, and if you register by April 6, you are guaranteed to get an event shirt and goody bag. 

If you’re not feeling so energetic, there will be other activities too.  Meet APA adoptable pets at the Homeward Bound Mobile Adoption Unit, visit the vendor booths and let the kids explore the children’s area.  Festivities start at 9am.

All proceeds benefit the APA.  You can view the event flyer and register on the APA’s website: http://www.apamo.org/ff2012.aspx

It’s gonna be a great event! If you see a big, goofy Golden Retriever, stop by and say Woof!  I love ear scratches and doggy treats. We’ll be great friends!

Lost Pets Have Hope!

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I was never a lost dog, thank goodness.  But if I were to ever get away, I am pretty sure I’d get home quickly.  My family always makes sure I wear my collar and tags.  Plus, I am microchipped, and my information is up-to-date in the national registry.

But I know not all dogs and cats are as lucky as me.  I see too many lost pets coming in every day, and I know they must belong to someone.  Without tags or a microchip, it is very hard to find their families.

Now, St. Louis has a new online resource for lost and found pets: www.STLLostPets.org. This site is sure to give hope to lost pets and their families!  The website features stray animals brought to the organizations that take in 90% of animals coming into shelters in the St. Louis Area: The APA, Humane Society of Missouri and St. Louis County Animal Care and Control.  STLLostPets.org also allows people to post lost and found pets, find tips on what to do if you’ve lost your pet and gives information on lost and found resources.

Even if you haven’t lost your pet (I hope you never do!), check out www.STLLostPets.org and let us know what you think!

Picture Perfect Pets

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When I first came to the APA, I was a scrawny 6 month old puppy.  My legs were too long for my body and my ears didn’t quite hang right.  The photograph taken upon my arrival was a blur of gold fur.  It was hard for me to sit still – I was excited and nervous.  Plus, the animal care technicians were busy giving me vaccinations, dewormer and flea medicine.  They didn’t have time to get a great photo, and I didn’t help matters with my feistiness.

This is a problem for a lot of animals that come to shelters.  We are in a strange place with unfamiliar people.  We don’t know what is going on then all of a sudden, we have to get our picture taken.

Why do we have to take pictures, you ask? 

Many potential adopters go online before even stepping foot inside a shelter.  They want to see the adoptable animals and find out if they are a good match.  The APA posts pictures of every adoptable pet on its website, and the site is updated hourly. 

Now let’s say you have a great dog like my friend Chunk.  He came to the APA back in December of 2011.  After his exam and vaccinations, this picture was taken and posted online:

Chunk's original photograph

Fast forward a couple of months and Chunk is still at the APA.  He is a great dog, likes other dogs, gets along with children, is housetrained and knows basic obedience.  Why hasn’t he been adopted?  Could his picture be partly to blame?

The Brighton Agency, a local marketing agency with an affinity for pets, contacted the APA to see if they could help.  They arranged for professional photographer Lynn Terry to take photographs of pets looking their best.  The photographs would be displayed on a unique website created using the talents of Brighton staffers.  What came out of it was amazing!  You can check the pictures and the website at www.picsofthelitterstl.com

All but four dogs have been adopted.  Chunk is one of the dogs waiting.  Check out his picture now – quite amazing, huh?  Looking this good, I don’t think it will be long before he finds his forever home!

Chunk's photo courtesy of Lynn Terry Photgraphry

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