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!

8 Great Reasons to Adopt an Older Pet

By: | February 12, 2015

This Valentine’s Day, consider adopting one of our Lonely Hearts Club pets. Not that you would need incentive to choose an older pet, but here are 8 great reasons why animals a little longer in the tooth make  excellent companions.

1. No surprises

When you meet a puppy or kitten, you can guess what they will be like as adults, but you can’t know for sure. With adult pets, what you see is what you get. Their personalities are well-established, you can tell right away what grooming they will need, and they aren’t going to get any bigger than they already are.

2. Less Mess

How many unrolled rolls of toilet paper, chewed up boots, or gnawed/clawed furniture does a family need? Instead of forfeiting another vase to the kitten’s mischievous ways, consider a calm sidekick who has learned the ways of the home and doesn’t feel the need to climb curtains or relieve himself on the sofa leg.

3. Slow and steady

You don’t feel like running a marathon every morning? Good, neither do older pets. In fact, many older pets like to spend most of their time at home, relaxing on the couch. Sound like anyone you know? Of course, they still enjoy a leisurely walk or game of laser light chase, but for the most part, a scratch behind the ears will do.

4. Seasoned veterans

Most older dogs and cats just get it. They’ve been a part of the family for a long time. They know what it takes to get along with other members of the pack and how to settle in without fuss. In fact, older cats are often less stressed out by a new cat at home when the new cat is also a mature feline introduced in a calm, quiet way.

5. Love bugs

Some people think older pets can’t learn to love their new families. We know nothing could be further from the truth. Older pets can bond just as quickly in their homes as younger dogs, and people who adopt older pets often claim that they can sense the gratitude their companion feels for a new start.

6. Adult supervision not required

Of course you want to spend time with your new pet—that’s why you adopted, after all. But sometimes you probably want to just a little time alone. Older pets will grant you that luxury and can entertain themselves while you’re doing your own thing.

7. Life of love without a lifetime commitment

We often hear that people don’t feel prepared to care for an animal for 15-20 years. It’s smart to consider that lives change with growing families and new careers. Elderly people often don’t want their pets to outlive them. Older pets are no less of a serious commitment, but they can be a shorter one.

8. Hero status

It’s no secret that older dogs and cats are the last to be chosen at the shelter. Giving an older pet a home allows him or her to live out the golden years on a couch, not in a kennel.