Frequently Asked Questions

These are the questions most commonly asked about the APA Adoption Center.

What kinds of animals do you help?

The APA Adoption Center assists dogs, cats and other pets such as gerbils or rabbits – we do not shelter wildlife. We are happy to make referrals to appropriate agencies and organizations.

Do you rescue animals who have been injured or mistreated?

Our mission is limited to working with animals that are brought to us for placement in new homes. We simply don’t have the resources to come out to rescue animals in distress. If you are concerned about a stray or other animal, please call your local animal control office. You may also report suspected abuse or neglect to the Humane Society of Missouri at 314.647.4400, which does have a rescue service.

How many animals come to the shelter?

We take in over 3,000 animals annually. Between our veterinary clinic and shelter, we handle nearly 10,000 animals each year.  Our daily numbers vary due to the season, but we can house around 300 animals at one time.

Why do you charge for these animals?

It costs a great deal of money to shelter, feed and take care of the animals. Some of them require veterinary care before they can be adopted. We also believe people tend to value items more if they have invested something in them. We want adopters to realize that adopting a companion animal will be an ongoing expense. We estimate that with proper vet care, a nutritious diet, and general care, it costs up to $500.00 a year to keep a companion animal.

Our adoption fee includes medical screening by our vet tech, microchipping, spaying or neutering, some medications (such as vaccinations, worming, and flea and tick preventatives), and a limited basic health care plan. Overall, we estimate our fees cover only about 25% of the combined cost of these medical expenses and the care of the animal while it’s waiting for its new family.

Are animals from shelters more likely to be sick?

The problems of illness exist in any facility with multiple animals, including shelters, pet stores and breeders. In fact, every time you take your puppy or kitten to the veterinarian, obedience school or the park, it can be exposed to a number of diseases. We encourage all pet owners to be extremely careful when considering the health of their pet and to maintain current immunizations and medical records. The stress of being held in a shelter environment can unquestionably reduce an animal’s immunity to disease.

Our animals are surrendered to the APA Adoption Center from many sources, and we can never be certain of the health care they received before arriving at the shelter. This is why we try to determine an animal’s health at the first evaluation and continue to monitor its well-being while it stays with us. Our team of experienced veterinarians and technicians screen the animals and administer necessary medical care.

Health concerns are also the reason we offer high-quality pet food to our animals. These foods tend to keep animals healthier and put less stress on their systems. We offer a two-week limited health care guarantee upon adoption to assist in covering coughs or colds that may appear.

How long do you keep the animals? Do you put them to sleep?

We have no pre-determined time limit for how long we will hold an animal while we try to place it in a good home. Some highly adoptable breeds or cute kittens and puppies will be adopted almost immediately after arriving at the shelter. Other animals, particularly older ones, have stays as long as a year before finding the right family.

We are striving to reach an adoption rate of 100% but we cannot promise to find every animal a home. Our successful placement rate is higher than any other open-admission shelter in the area.

There are times, most often for reasons of health or behavior, that some animals must be humanely euthanized. We euthanize animals in the same manner that your vet would use if you were faced with the difficult decision to put your family pet to sleep. We administer an I.V. injection of sodium pentobarbital. As a result of the “overdose”, the animal drifts out of consciousness. (If an owner requests the ashes of a special pet be returned to them, the animal is cremated individually for a modest fee to cover expense.)

Are you a “no-kill” shelter?

Because of the collaborative spirit necessary to reduce euthanasia on a community-wide level, the APA Adoption Center does not use the term “no-kill” to separate ourselves from other shelter partners who are under the pressure of space and/or time constraints. While we don’t euthanize adoptable animals, we object to the “no-kill” label because it divides shelters and people that need to work together to focus on what matters, which is saving as many pets’ lives as possible. Many “no-kill” shelters limit their admission by the number of animals allowed into the shelter or by the age, health or temperament of the pet. At the APA, we accept all animals and the only time limit imposed is the five-day stray hold. This time period is provided to give the animal’s owner time to locate the pet before we consider it for placement.

We are committed to ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats, and we know that the pet homelessness problem extends beyond the capabilities of any one agency. We encourage an approach that includes all animal welfare agencies, regardless of their intake philosophies.

Do you ever get purebred animals in the shelter?

Approximately 25% of the dogs and cats that come into the shelter are purebreds. The more popular the breed, the more we see of them. However, we do remind clients that purebreds are not always the best choice. Many of these animals show genetic and behavioral defects because of improper breeding practices. Mixed breed dogs can be healthier and live longer lives with fewer health complications.

If you adopt a purebred dog or cat from the APA Adoption Center, it is a standard policy that the animal, like all the pets we place, MUST be spayed or neutered before it goes to its new home.

Do you have “designer dogs” available?

Absolutely! What some people would call a Puggle or a Labradoodle (and might cost as much as one thousand dollars at a breeder) would be described by APA Adoption Center staff as a “pug/beagle” or a “Lab mix”. In one sense, we could call all of our animals “designer” models. We do see some very interesting breed mixes – whatever you call them, they can make incredibly good companions. And you won’t have to pay a small fortune for the one that’s waiting for you here.

I want a “??” breed. Can you put me on a list and if one comes in, hold it for me?

No. Adoptable animals are available only by coming to the shelter. Maintaining such a list and notifying people would take staff time away from working with adopters in the shelter. It could also cause missed matches for the animal. If we held an animal for you and you chose not to adopt, we might miss opportunities for a match with someone who had come to the shelter while the animal was unavailable.

The Adoptable Pets page of our website allows you to perform a search of our database with a few basic selecting factors. If you don’t find the animal you want in the search results, you can use our “Register Your Breed Interest” links below. Signup allows you to receive e-mail notification if a specific breed is included in our database. This is a system maintained by our computer software, so please read the instructions carefully.

Register your breed interest for cats here.

Register your breed interest for dogs here.

We also try to help with referrals to other organizations and groups that may know of a particular type of animal that is requested. Have more questions? Just give us a call at 314.645.4610 ext. 110 and we will be happy to help!

How do you get the money you need?

The APA Adoption Center is an independent not-for-profit organization. We are not a branch of any other animal welfare organization and we don’t receive any funding from government sources.

A portion of our funding is provided by the fees charged in the shelter and clinic, and some comes from special events and grants from corporations and foundations.

The majority of our expenses are covered by the contributions of individuals who share our passion for the animals. Visit the Donate section of this website to learn how you can make contributions to our cause.

Of course we welcome your assistance in other ways as well. Visit the Volunteer pages for information on volunteering at the shelter and other things you can do to help the animals.

About the APA Adoption Center

Learn about our mission and the services we offer.

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View Our Job Opportunities

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Meet Our Board of Directors

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