By: Sarah Javier | April 12, 2019
Moe was surrendered to the APA on April 27, 2018, after badly breaking his left hind leg. His owner said he jumped from a two-story balcony and that he couldn’t afford the vet care Moe (then Mocha) would need to repair the leg. By the time Moe was surrendered to the APA, his leg could not be repaired and had to be amputated.
Megan saw the request to foster Moe and volunteered to help him out. Little did she know that she would end up being his forever family! Megan picked up Moe from Hillside Animal Hospital after his amputation surgery the next day. It was clear he had been through a lot—he was unsure and learning how to navigate the world on three legs. However, through all of this, he was resilient and happy. He immediately bonded with Megan’s other dogs, and she took him to work with her every day while he recovered. His positive attitude was contagious, and her colleagues quickly adopted him as their unofficial office therapy dog.
As soon as Moe healed and was ready for his forever home, Megan completed the adoption paperwork, and Moe became a permanent part of her family. Since then, Moe has gotten stronger and has shown just how resilient he is. They took a road trip to Badlands National Park and Black Hills Forest this summer and even summited the highest point in South Dakota which required an almost eight-mile ascent. Moe motivated everyone he passed on the trail and loved the experience. This year, Megan and Moe will be completing the 52 Hike Challenge, which means they will be hiking every weekend in 2019.
Because of all that Moe has been through, Megan believes he serves as a motivation for everyone he meets, which is why Moe is now training to become a volunteer therapy dog for the St. Louis community. Once Moe passes his final class, Megan hopes he will be able to volunteer with children who have orthopedic conditions or with people who are recovering from injuries and undergoing physical therapy.
Megan will always be grateful for the APA and the Hope Fund which allowed Moe the second chance he deserved. He’s a special dog, and she’s so happy she found him.
By: Sarah Javier | March 27, 2019
We are pleased to announce that the Petco Foundation has chosen to award a grant to the Animal Protective Association of Missouri.
The grant will support our Pet Partners program, a door to door community outreach program designed to keep people and their pets together and reduce the number of pets entering local animal shelters. The services provided through this program include free spay and neuter surgeries, vaccines and microchipping and supplies such as leashes, collars, doghouses, and flea preventative if needed.
Pet Partners serves the entire 63136 zip code, which includes the underserved neighborhoods of Castle Point, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Ferguson, Jennings, and Dellwood, where resources for pet owners are limited. It isn’t easy for pet owners when vet care, pet supply stores, grooming, and training isn’t accessible due to limited financial resources, lack of transportation or issues like not having more than one veterinary clinic located within a reasonable driving distance. We know that socioeconomic status doesn’t define how much you love your pet and likewise, income level doesn’t determine whether or not you deserve the companionship that pets provide, which is why we created out Pet Partners program to provide the resources these communities need.
Thank you, Petco Foundation, for your support!
By: Sarah Javier | March 14, 2019
It’s time to focus on you: this month is all about healing and wellness. On the first of the month don’t forget to take your heartworm preventative. Behind on your doses? Come to the APA’s low cost clinic and get that overdue heartworm test – your ticker will thank you, Aries pup! This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
You’re a friendly pup – and this is your season to shine, Taurus! Turn up your charm at the doggie park and make new friends – or focus on the old. Don’t forget your pet parent – make this a month to really focus on what’s important: belly rubs & snuggles. This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
The full moon on Tuesday means you’re feeling really in-tune with your emotions, Gemini. How are you feeling? Get away from the distractions of the city and take your human for a walk far away from civilization to get some clarity. This is your month to broaden your horizons. This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
Your work ethic is second to none, Cancer. You’ve been hard at work barking at the mail carrier and neighborhood squirrels. You want that extra treat? You go for it, you deserve it. While you’re at it, your human deserves one too. Might we suggest the APA Uncaged Ale? This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
Love and romance is in the air for Leo. Better make sure that you’re spayed or neutered – you’re a busy pup with no time for unwanted litters! If your human needs more information about spaying and neutering, have them contact the APA and get information about our free services. This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
Normally, Virgo, we’d advise that the stars say to look out for #1 this month – but of course you’re a dog, so your #1 is your human. Keep doing you, pup. This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
Marie Kondo has you thinking about ways to get organized. Are you forgetting about any beloved toys at the bottom of your toy box? Do they spark joy? If not, maybe time to donate gently used toys to your local animal shelter (we can recommend one). Then, treat yourself to a nice walk in the park with your favorite human. This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
Make time for play this month, Scorpio. It’s mud season again so take advantage of those puddles and roll around in the growing sunshine. Be careful though and wipe your paws before you go inside. Your human will thank you. This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
This month you will discover something that was lost. Was it a bone in your backyard? Or maybe your sense of fun? Just kidding – you’re a dog, and you’re by definition the MOST fun. You’re the best, don’t forget it, Sagittarius pup! This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
This month is all about self-care for you. Are you current on your vaccines? The APA offers a low cost wellness clinic if not. Check that rabies certificate and make sure! Then, reward yourself with some carrots or apple. After all, you are what you eat – and you’re the apple of your human’s eye. This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
This month is all about forgiveness for you. Did you tear into the garbage? Rip up an expensive dog bed? It’s water under the bridge, Aquarius. This will be a great month for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
Happy birthday, Pisces pup! Enjoy your favorite treats and your favorite people – you’ve earned it with all the good you’ve done on this trip around the sun. This will be a great year for you because you’re a good pup and you are so loved!
By: Sarah Javier | March 1, 2019
Photos courtesy of our friends at St Louis Feral Cat Outreach – www.facebook.com/STLFCO
So a feral cat has decided to adopt you! Congratulations and welcome to the community.
And yes – it is a community! All around you, likely in dead of night, there are community cats afoot. They have caretakers who love them and will live their whole happy lives in their outdoor homes.
Now, just because these are undomesticated cats doesn’t mean we can’t give them a little help from time to time.
STEPS TO KEEPING YOUR NEW COMMUNITY CAT HAPPY & HEALTHY
First things first, of course, we’ll need to get your kitty fixed, vaccinated, and ear-tipped. The only way to do this (provided kitty won’t let you pick her up) is to trap her. STLFCO or other orgs can lend you a trap.
Kitty will also get a short exam before surgery – now is a good time to check for anything that might require a more serious follow up.
*Pictured: an ear tip on a community cat.
FOOD & WATER
Next, kitty is going to need food and water. In the winter, we recommend heated bowls for water, if possible. If not, make sure to change the water regularly.
All across St Louis colony caretakers feed thousands of cats – the largest colonies our friends at St Louis Feral Cat Outreach report can number in 40+ cats.
Luckily if you follow step #1 (TNR), you won’t have to worry about your new furry friend becoming 40 furry friends. This is probably the best part of being a colony caretaker – your kitty will bond to you, in his or her own way, at feeding time.
Feral exists on a spectrum. Some colony caretakers report that their kitties will allow petting, or outdoor snuggling, or even a very special person to pick them up. Feral cats who run from strangers (and are terribly unsuited to an indoor life) nonetheless form special connections with their caretakers.
Finally, your kitty will need shelter. The shelter we recommend are made from upcycled Styrofoam coolers wrapped and sealed in plastic.
Make sure your Styrofoam shelter isn’t too small – and then wrap in the big contractor garbage bags. Seal with gorilla tape!
ONLY use straw – NOT HAY or blankets – in your shelter! Straw is hollow and will dry after rain or snow.
Make sure to seal up any place where moisture can get inside the plastic outer shell
Here are some examples of other shelter builds: https://www.neighborhoodcats.org/how-to-tnr/colony-care/feral-cat-winter-shelter
Most of all: enjoy your new kitty! Thank you for taking the time and compassion for the most vulnerable cats in your community. Although they may never offer you snuggles, we guarantee they thank you. If nothing else, WE thank you!
By: Sarah Javier | February 26, 2019
At roughly 5 or 6, my parents made the catastrophic decision to add a baby to our family. His name ended up being Jackson and he’s actually pretty funny so all things considered I guess that worked out. But, I must confess, at the time this choice struck me as pure calamity.
To lessen the blow my parents allowed me to have what I wanted absolutely most on this earth: one kitten. We already had a pet dog – my mom’s beloved elderly sheltie mix (a pet she got in law school). But this kitten would be mine.
We got the kitten, as many people do, from a friend. My mom’s longtime friend had a ranch – and ranches tend to have outdoor kittens. As we know, 80% of kittens in shelters come from outdoor cats – and my new kitten was no different.
Sorry, I mean my kittens were no different.
My mom’s friend presented me with an adorable 7 or so week old tortie kitten and I named her Kira. But, well, Kira had to have a friend – and I had my eye on her fluffy black sister.
“Well,” said my mother, “Go ahead and call your dad, but you have to ask him.”
Of course I got my second kitten.
We drove home with them that night and made what I now know was a hilariously bad move – we let the kitten immediately loose in the bedroom. These formerly outdoor kittens, now removed from their mama and their siblings, hid under the bed for a week. I was desperate to snuggle them and laid nearly constantly next to my parents’ bed, my face pressed sideways into the carpet. “Pleeeease, I love you,” I whined at them.
“Eh, give them time,” suggested my mother.
Eventually, though, as kittens do, they came around. Marissa and Kira grew to be both snuggly and aloof – that is, basically your average cat. I adored them.
We had an ample backyard and it was roughly the year 1998 so my cats were indoor/outdoor. Nowadays my cats are strictly indoor (please see Mabel’s escapade for more information), but at the time this was our normal.
You probably see where this is going.
One day Kira and Marissa seemed to disappear. They weren’t on the porch or in my room or even their favorite spot on top of the fridge. My parents and I looked for them and finally found them in the garage, nestled in a box of forgotten old sweaters.
Both nursing kittens.
Kira had 5, Marissa 2. They were impossibly cute and I was thrilled. Less thrilling, I’ll admit, was the fact that Marissa had birthed a stillborn kitten. I remember still this kitten, rigid, by herself in another box.
I know now that pregnancy is hard on mamas. Birth even more so. And kittens are so impossibly fragile. That day my mother and I gently wrapped the kitten in a washcloth and buried her in a box under a tree. I painted a rock with chalk as a headstone.
Ultimately, Kira and Marissa were good mamas and all 7 kittens thrived. We dodged upper respiratory infections, parasites, and other common kittenhood illnesses.
We were lucky. Only one kitten injured himself in his time at our house (either from playing too hard or hitting his head on a cabinet). Because 6 year olds are literal, I named him Hurt Head. My parents paid for a vet and were given antibiotics.
We rehomed each of these kittens to friends and strangers.
It would be easy to see this as a failing on the fault of my parents – easy and wrong. There were no high volume or low cost spay and neuter clinics in my community in 1998. Adoption was not the common, accessible choice it is now in 2019 at the APA.
Through advances and inclusions great and small we rewrite this narrative.
In 2019 here’s how the story goes:
My mom’s friend has an outdoor barn cat. She has a few, actually, so she contacts her local animal welfare agency. They are so excited to hear from her. They explain TNR and she borrows a trap. Since this is a free service she TNRs 15 cats on her property.
My mom’s friend tells her about this welfare agency. We adopt a fully vetted kitten from this organization. Maybe I even get 2.
Hey, maybe I get 3.
Well, that’s one way. But what if it went like this?
My mom’s friend has an outdoor barn cat and she gives birth. We take 2 of her kittens. Weeks or months or year later a woman knocks on our door. She explains she’s the outreach coordinator for a local nonprofit and would we like to fix our cats? She explains the health benefits. My parents are easily convinced. Frankly they were never opposed.
My mom’s friend has an outdoor barn cat and she gives birth. We take 2 kittens, they grow up to be my perfect angel adult cats, and one day we discover they have a litter – 7 between them. One of the kittens is stillborn and we mourn her.
My parents are unsure what to do next so they contact an organization, maybe even the APA.
The APA advises that they’ll take the kittens when they’re weaned. My parents have questions about how to care for kittens – especially when one we call Hurt Head bonks his noggin and gets an infected sore. They bring the kitten to the APA and the APA helps them with what to do.
The kittens all go to the APA when they’re ready. They’re fixed and chipped and vaccinated. In my capacity as the outreach coordinator, I bend space-time and I spay Marissa and Kira.
My parents like kitten midwifing so much they connect with the APA’s foster coordinator, Ashton, and continue to care for neonates. Eventually, we TNR the barn cats from the beginning of the story.
The difference in these stories isn’t my parents. My parents are the same people – vegetarian animal loving lunatics – in every story. The difference is accessibility and approachability. The difference is outreach and compassion. The difference is you, dear reader, supporting places like the APA and people in our community.
If you or someone you love (four legs or two!) needs more information about adopting, fostering, or free spay/neuter packages, call us at the APA. We’re open 7 days a week and we’d love to hear from you, whatever your story is.