Fostering for the APA – A Testimonial

By: | February 1, 2019

The following testimonial is from APA foster volunteer, Debra Reed. In 2018, we helped nearly 4,000 pets find homes. This would not have been possible without volunteers like Debra. If you are interested in becoming a foster volunteer, please contact us at

After retiring I knew my first endeavor was to get a dog. I adopted a puppy named Daisy at an adoption event and she became my constant companion. However, if I needed to run errands or attend a function, she suffered from separation anxiety. I decided some canine companionship may help calm her while I was away. Rather than get another dog of my own, I volunteered to become a foster at the APA.

I brought home a couple of pups I was confident Daisy would be comfortable with when I left home. The rewards of having the pups to mentor significantly eased Daisy’s anxiety. It also helped me feel so much better! Besides the benefits it brought to Daisy, there is nothing better than puppy breath morning, noon and night!

The unconditional love I receive from my those innocent babies provides both utmost in joy and comic relief! I recommend to any animal lover fostering with the APA. I have cared for 16 puppies and two adult dogs going through heartworm treatment. All the supplies you need to be a foster are taken care of by APA – food, crates, bowls, you name it. All you need is tender loving care.

Daisy now has two APA sisters-Lily, a puppy she has so much fun with and Poppy, a shy and timid girl that stole our hearts. Because my experience with the foster program was so positive, I am now looking into the  APA Petreach Program-where I can take my dogs to visit seniors citizens and children.

Thanks APA Foster Program-Best Year of my Life!!

– Debra  Reed, APA foster volunteer

Foster volunteers are critical to the work we do at the APA Adoption Center. Foster volunteers help the most vulnerable pets – puppies, kittens and animals recovering from illness or injury – get a healthy start or second chance by providing them with love and care while they grow or recover. 

We work hard to make fostering easy. As a foster volunteer, you will work with a dedicated foster coordinator to get everything you need to be successful — food, pet supplies, information and resources, as well as support. And, when the pets you are fostering are ready for adoption, you bring them back to the APA and we take care of that part – you don’t have to find them homes like many other places require (of course, we suspect many of your family and friends will want to adopt them when they see how great they are).

To learn more about fostering, please contact us at

Rescue in Greenfield

By: | January 30, 2019

Details included in the story below were shared by Lynne Cox of Furry Hearts Rescue. Lynne and her team rescued the dogs who were then brought to the APA for medical care and a new start. This is their story.

Their lives started in a rural area North of Springfield in a small town called Greenfield. It was a rough beginning. On land situated out of view from the road, down a driveway, past overgrown weeds and debris, sat a run-down mobile home in various stages of decay. Also on the property were broken down kennels where dogs used to be kept for breeding, bits and pieces of the lives that used to live there and could not be saved remaining. Garbage and feces were everywhere. And on that property were six dogs struggling to survive – 3 adult males, 2 puppies, and 1 three-legged female who  had been used for breeding.

The owner of the property had been arrested on drug charges and would not be returning. By default, the only remaining caretaker was an elderly and disabled woman who attempted to provide food and water, but was limited in what she could do to care for them. So, four incredible women from Furry Hearts Rescue went to work trapping the dogs with the intention of bringing them to the APA for much needed medical care and a new start.

It was rainy and cold with only a camper shell serving as shelter for the dogs. They were also scared and uncertain of the strangers who appeared on their 20 acres of land in an attempt to help them. The women, who knew the extreme winter temperatures would be rolling in within a day or two, were patient and committed to doing whatever was necessary to bring each dog to safety. Arming themselves with crates, rotisserie chickens, hot dogs and bologna – the types of treats that help hungry dogs overcome fear of strangers – they settled in for the long haul.

It took hours – MANY hours – but at last they succeeded. Lynne Cox, the leader of this rescue effort explains, “it was a harrowing, tiring, dirty, physically rough, wonderful day in rescue.”

Today the dogs are safe and sound at the APA. They are exhausted and scared, but not broken. Sometimes hope and trust just take a little bit of time and patience in order to surface.

Frank, one of the male dogs, has several cuts and sores on his swollen feet and requires the most medical care. On one of his feet, the bone is exposed around his toes and he is unable to walk. For now he is on antibiotics and pain medication, and as soon as possible he will receive additional medical attention to address any other needs he may have. The compassionate and dedicated staff don’t mind carrying this sweet boy from place to place, which is the only way he can get outside to go to the bathroom at this point.

Sally, the three-legged female, is cautiously beginning to trust and is learning to walk on a leash. She is heartworm positive, so we will begin treating her for this before making her available for adoption. Her demeanor is calm and sweet, and we can tell she has a lot of love to give but is just unsure how to do that. It will come with time.

Beans and Jessie, the two puppies, are quite afraid of this unfamiliar place and spend a lot of time huddled together in the corner of their kennel. Our kind and gentle staff and volunteers take things a little more slowly with these two, helping them get more comfortable. Again, time and patience work wonders.

Reagan and Walker, the remaining two males, are both gentle giants who have spent much of the time here sleeping. When you are accustomed to fending for yourself and braving the elements of the outdoors, a nice, warm, comfy bed has a way of calling you to sleep as much as you can. Reagan is heartworm positive, as well, so after he gets some rest we will begin treatment.

Overall, they are good. They came with a few medical conditions that require attention, but we are equipped to treat those things, giving them a long, healthy life. Thanks to the determination of their rescuers and the support and care of the APA, these dogs have an incredible future ahead. We are honored to have collaborated with Furry Hearts Rescue to make the next chapter of these dogs’ lives a happy one. Stay tuned for updates.

This Giving Tuesday (and every day), Donations Matter

By: | November 27, 2018

I will never forget the tiny kitten in the photo to the left. Her shallow breathing, faint meow and the way her frail, thin body felt in my hand is forever etched in my mind.

She came in with her siblings, all of them barely clinging to life. They were starving, but too weak to eat. The fleas that infested their tiny bodies were literally sucking the life out of them. As I coaxed her to swallow formula through a small syringe, I sang to her and encouraged her to fight. Her small body was limp as I attempted to warm her in a towel. Her outcome was uncertain and my heart hurt that I couldn’t do more.



Fast forward a couple of weeks  — a playful, vibrant kitten ready to explore the world. Same kitten. She’s a fighter for sure, but she wouldn’t be here without the resources needed to help nurse her to health. This is what a donation made on Giving Tuesday can do.

The formula needed to provide her body with the necessary nourishment to grow and keep fighting? A few dollars. The special shampoo and medication needed to fight off the fleas that were causing her to be anemic? Less than a cup of coffee. Vaccinations to help her grow strong and healthy? Roughly $10. So you see, every donation makes a difference, and for some, it means the difference between life and death.

Every member of the APA team is grateful to do this work.  Animals come to us for so many different reasons, and for every single one that enters our doors, we do all we can to ensure they are healthy and find safe, loving homes. Sometimes that takes a little bit more time, resources and love. Of course, we can’t do it without the help of a supportive community. Please donate. To the kitten above and so many others like her – cats, dogs, guinea pigs and bunnies alike – it matters.

To support the APA on Giving Tuesday, please make a secure online donation HERE. Thank you for making a difference.

– Sarah, Executive Director

Creating a Better Community for Pets & People

By: | November 14, 2018

Everything we do here at the APA is based on the belief that people and pets are better together. That is why every adoption, wellness initiative and educational program is centered around bringing people and pets together and keeping them together.

Each day, with the help of dedicated staff, volunteers, community partners and supporters, we work to care for animals. Those adoptions, reunification of lost pets, heartworm treatments, No More Bullying classes and everything else we do definitely add up!

Take a look at what we have accomplished so far this year! All of this helps create a better community for both pets and people, and is definitely something to be proud of.

A Lesson in Empathy

By: | August 20, 2018

When all of the pets didn’t go home on ‘Clear the Shelters’ day, we didn’t go home either.

While 66 pets found new, loving homes on this day, our team of passionate, dedicated staff simply couldn’t stomach the thought of leaving those who did remain all alone. So, we thought by staying the night we could bring a little ‘home’ to the APA.

We piled in with overnight duffles, sleeping bags and inflatable air mattresses. Some of us came armed with multiple pillows, eye masks, and all of the other things we thought might make our stay more pleasant and comfortable. We were excited about being here because we love this work and couldn’t wait to let the animals cuddle up to us for the night.

The pets loved the change of pace (and space!) and really soaked in the extra snuggles and attention. We could tell it did wonders for their souls, and as you might imagine, it touched our souls, as well, but in a slightly different, unintended way.

For those who spent the night, it was an opportunity to see things from the perspectives of the animals who reside with us at the APA. I’m not sure any of us really thought about this in advance of staying the night, but merely thought of it as something fun and different. I know I didn’t.

It was definitely fun, but also a lesson in empathy. Many of us didn’t sleep well (or in my case, at all!). The sounds were different, it wasn’t as comfortable as the warm beds we are used to, and some rooms are pretty bright, even at night. While we knew we were safe and had the option to drift off to sleep, it wasn’t easy. Simply put, it wasn’t home.

For those who didn’t spend the night, we invited them to think about why. Of course, they wanted to be with family, in the comfort of their own home, or simply had other things they wanted to do. All very fair and understandable.

Then we thought about the animals and how their first night must be at the APA. For some it is the first time they’ve been comfortable, eaten a reliable meal and experienced warmth and kindness. For others, especially those whose families have had to give them up due to unforseeable or tragic circumstances, it is definitely not home, no matter how hard we try. I can imagine, especially for the latter, their first night is very similar to what we experienced.

Of course, our staff all knew we would return to our normal lives the next morning, but for our animals, they have no idea when that will happen. While we do our very best to show them love, care and compassion while they are staying with us, there truly is no place like home.