Happily Ever After: Molly and the True Family

By: | February 15, 2017

Once upon a time, Lynn True was lonely without a cat. In June 2016, her cat of 18½ years passed away.

“I knew I was going to have to adopt another cat,” True says. “I’ve had both dogs and cats, but cats are my favorite.”

 Since she was planning a trip to Alabama to visit friends in October, True told herself she wouldn’t browse any websites for cats until she got back, not wanting to leave a newly adopted pet behind.

“But there was just this pull to look,” she says. “I got on the [APA Adoption Center’s] website, and that’s when I saw Molly.”

True knew she didn’t want a young cat, and at 13 years old, Molly certainly wasn’t a kitten. But after meeting her at the APA in August, True came back for Molly just a few days later. She ended up not going to Alabama, since she was a cat mom again.

“I wanted to stay with her and get her used to the house and the environment,” True says. “She’s just the cutest thing, and she definitely has an attitude.”

Molly is a cuddly senior kitty, and she and True curl up in the living room together and watch TV.

“I was a volunteer for the Humane Society, so I’ve seen firsthand how much people gravitate toward the younger animals,” True says. “Rarely do they choose an older animal. But [senior animals] have so much to offer. I knew Molly would be perfect.”


When she first brought Molly home, True says Molly was getting sick daily, and she couldn’t figure out why. True discovered the cat had been eating plastic: grocery bags, casings for water bottles and so forth .

“Now, she’s on a plastic-free diet!” True says with a laugh.

One of Molly’s favorite things is a box she discovered when she first came home with True. True had brought up a box of things from the basement and set it down in the living room. Molly has since claimed the box as her own, running to it whenever she’s alarmed or if she hears the mailman come to the door.

But when True has visitors, Molly has to be right in the middle of everything, going from lap to lap and getting as much attention as possible.

“She just makes my day every day,” True says. “I love waking up and knowing she’s part of my day. She’s going to have a good life for however long she has.”


Story courtesy of Robyn Dexter, Ladue News

APA funds surgery for local veteran’s dog

By: | January 3, 2017

The APA’s Heads to Tails Hope Fund is a needs based financial assistance program for vet care.

Thanks to a generous donor this new program provided care to 27 dogs in 2016. From life-saving heartworm treatment to dentals and surgery, we’re helping pets live happier, healthier lives.

Kya was one of the dogs who benefited from this program. See her story here.

Many dogs at the APA needing medical treatment have benefited as well as dogs already in loving homes. We want to bring and keep people and pets together. For more information email operations@apamo.org or call (314) 645-4610 ext. 129.

A Purpose for Patches

By: | May 22, 2015

Sometimes when we find our purpose in life, everything else just falls into place. APA alum Sonar (Patches) found a career, but he also found his new family.

Those who never met Patches never saw his unstoppable love of toys. They never saw how, every day on his walks at the APA, Patches raced out to the toy box in the dog park to pick out his own stuffed animal or ball, or both, if he could fit them in his mouth. They didn’t see how we bent the “outside only” toy rule for Patches so that he could carry his all the way back to the kennels before releasing it.

patches aID

People did, however, see his ears. Those long, pointy ears that always stand erect and usually cross in the middle are what visitors to our Adoption Center noticed about Patches.

Unfortunately, it was often the only thing they noticed. For 6 long months, the big black and white pup with funny ears sat in his kennel, rarely requested to visit with potential adopters. That is, until last May, when Mary Roy noticed something more.

A member of the Missouri Task Force, Mary trains dogs to find people in the rubble of collapsed buildings after tornadoes, earthquakes and terrorist attacks. It’s a high-pressure job that requires organization, precision and extraordinary focus. Dogs that do well in these situations are hard workers who have an uncanny ability to zone in on their target and get to work. When Mary began looking for a new Search and Rescue dog to join the team, she knew exactly what qualities she wanted in a pup. Mary called the APA to ask the staff if we had any high energy dogs whose love for toys bordered on obsession. We told her we had just the dog for her.

A few days later, Mary arrived at the APA to visit with Patches. She took him out back to the dog park to test his toy drive. A good Search and Rescue dog, she said, would have an incredible drive for the toy and stop at almost nothing to get his prize. Unsurprisingly, Patches acted like his usual toy-obsessed self and passed the initial visit with flying colors.

However, Mary couldn’t guarantee that Patches would do well as a Search and Rescue dog without first taking him to “the rubble,” a training ground for Search and Rescue dogs in Columbia, Missouri. While Mary filled out the paperwork to foster Patches for his initial skill tests, the energetic pup climbed and clambered around the desk, trying to get to the toy he had previously been playing with. “Look at him go,” laughed Mary.

And go he did!

Not only did Patches pass those first tests, but this week, almost exactly one year later, Mary called to update us on a huge accomplishment for Patches, now appropriately named Sonar: he passed his FEMA certification and is now a certified Search and Rescue dog for the Missouri Task Force!

Sonar and Mary 2Mary reports that Sonar is absolutely phenomenal at search work. His drive to track a scent is exceptional, and his agility skills are off the charts. Mary’s fellow trainers often tell her they’ve never seen a dog better at the job than Sonar.

As for how Sonar likes his new line of work? “He loves, loves, loves it.”

Ready for duty

When Sonar isn’t training, he is part of the family at home with Mary and her husband. While Mary absolutely loves her pup, she recognizes that he isn’t the family pet for everyone.

“Sonar is very high energy. He’s either going full speed or sleeping. He’s been known to get into mischief when left alone, but that comes with the territory with these working dogs. He is just such a happy, upbeat pup- I’ve never had a dog that made me laugh as much as he does.”

We couldn’t be prouder to see a former Lonely Hearts Club member performing such valuable and amazing work. Congratulations to this great pup, and thanks to both Sonar and Mary for the service they provide to our communities when we need it most!

Lana’s Last Stop

By: | May 7, 2015

When Lana the Chihuahua mix came to the APA, it was her 6th residence, and she wasn’t even 1 year old. She had been bustled around from place to place until our friends at All New Hope Rescue transferred her to us, hoping we could help her finally find her forever family. With a face like Lana’s we knew it wouldn’t be hard, but we didn’t realize what a special match she would be for one extra special family…


Emily Nienhuis has a heart of gold. Over the past 15 years, she has been a foster mom to 24 children. She has legally adopted 4 daughters and is in the process of adopting 2 more little girls. With a heart that big, it’s no wonder Emily was also interested in adopting a shelter pet!

When Emily and her daughter Evelyn came to the APA looking for a furry family companion, they were originally interested in adopting a rabbit. While we did have a bunny, his personality wasn’t well-suited to a home with 6 children. Our adoption counselor Robert recommended that, if they were open to adopting a dog, they visit with Lana. Her laidback, tolerant personality made her a good candidate for a home with lots of hands to give lots of love.

As soon as they met her, Emily and Evelyn fell in love! They couldn’t resist Lana’s charm and her snuggly ways and were eager to take her home to introduce her to the rest of the family. During the adoption, Emily asked if we knew any background information on Lana. As a matter of fact, we had a ton of information on Lana’s background; she had come to the APA with a binder full of paperwork from all the places she had been. Emily was amazed by the coincidence: children entering foster homes bring their Life Books with them. These books help tell their life stories and experiences until they find a family to call their own. What a perfect match for Lana and the girls!


Today Emily says that Lana has been a wonderful addition to their family. She’s a social butterfly that loves playing with all her new human sisters, and she’s brought a healing presence to their home. Children in foster homes sometimes come from traumatic situations, and Lana’s sweet, buoyant spirit has been a comfort and a joy to her daughters. Every night she and Evelyn snuggle on the couch together until they both fall asleep, safe and sound in their forever home. We couldn’t ask for a more perfect ending to this happy tail!

Enjoying Her New Home

By: | January 22, 2015

pixie2Just wanted to share a picture of our girl that we named Pixie. She was part of the “Brady Bunch” litter, she was the last one of her litter (Cindy) and we adopted her in the fall. We really love her and I think she is enjoying her happy home!