Animal Protective Association enriches lives
The Animal Protective Association (APA) of Missouri specializes in bringing people and pets together. It’s an important job, especially when you consider that this nonprofit organization takes in about 4,000 unwanted, lost or abandoned animals each year. A visit to the APA, located in St. Louis, shows staff members and volunteers working side by side providing optimal care to animals.
Whether it’s the Canine Carnival, held annually in October, the PetReach animal-assisted activity program or another community outreach program, the APA serves the metropolitan St. Louis area by giving animals a second chance to be placed into loving, permanent homes. Take a minute to view upcoming events online. This open-admission shelter is dedicated to finding the right home for each animal.
The APA of Missouri was founded in 1922 by Ella Megginson, an animal lover who grew tired of seeing so many stray and abandoned animals in St. Louis. She opened her heart and home to these animals until a shelter could be built. Though the APA has increased in capability and services through the years, its core mission of placing people and pets together and promoting the benefits of the human-animal bond remains unchanged. A member of the St. Louis Petlover Coalition, the APA is a leader in the effort to save more animals and increase animal-welfare efforts in the St. Louis area.
Reducing return rates
Careful placement of animals into the right home helps to reduce neglect, mistreatment or returns to animal shelters. APA adoption counselors are trained to identify an appropriate animal for an individual or family. They work hard to match applicants with the right pet.
Among APA programs that encourage adoptions is the Lonely Hearts Club with reduced adoption fees for animals that have been at the shelter for more than six months or are 5years and older. Additionally, senior citizens and military personnel receive special discounts when they adopt a pet.
The APA was the first organization to offer a no-fee, animal-assisted outreach program in St. Louis. The PetReach program began in 1983 and continues today with visits to patients at senior care facilities, psychiatric units, convalescent centers and assisted living facilities. More recently, the APA began the first pet assistance program for victims of domestic violence in St. Louis by providing temporary foster care for pets belonging to victims of abuse.
Realizing that youth are the future caretakers of animal welfare, the APA offers a comprehensive education department that provides classroom presentations on topics that include the human-animal bond, pet overpopulation and animal cruelty. A humane education curriculum also was developed for teachers.
The APA Veterinary Clinic helps pet owners afford basic veterinary care by providing services for cats and dogs at competitive prices. Adopters and pet owners in the community routinely bring their animals back for outpatient care, including vaccinations, heartworm medication, flea treatment and minor illnesses. The clinic also provides care for the shelter animals.
The Homeward Bound Mobile Adoption Unit helps the APA take adoptable animals that are current on vaccinations and ready to go to homes into the community, where potential adopters will meet them. Since being introduced in 2008, the mobile adoption unit has helped bring together many people and pets.
Reuniting lost pets with their animals is an important goal of the APA, one that is driven by its online database of lost animals. This database is a wonderful source of missing animals that is exclusive to the St. Louis region.
The services offered at the Animal Protective Association of Missouri underlie a fundamental belief that people share a special bond with animals. It is the goal of the APA that people everywhere can experience that special relationship.