Scudder’s Story

By: | December 3, 2018

Scudder was thrown from a car near the airport, discarded like trash. Malnourished and mistreated, he arrived at the Adoption Center scared, hurt, and in need of TLC. He had burns on his neck and back that appeared intentional. He was in pain, but his spirit was not broken. Although he had every reason to give up on humans, he still believed in the goodness of others – he just needed someone to show him that things could be okay. Our staff happily obliged – helping this sweet, lost boy get the dose of kindness and care he needed. We started with a safe space to sleep and good food. When he began to trust us, we gently bathed him, taking special care around the open wounds along his body. He was given medications to help him heal and prevent infection, as well as vaccinations to keep him healthy. With the help of a foster home, he learned what it meant to be a pet and play with other dogs. When he was ready to find a home of his own, he was neutered and made available for adoption. 

While Scudder waited for his new home, we tried to make him feel right at home with us. With a private studio apartment and cozy bed, Scudder waited patiently for the right family. Luckily, they arrived right on time.

Colin had lost his best friend and “king” of the house, Simba, in August of this year. We all know what a devastating loss that can be – the house feels empty with no one to greet you at the door and make your day brighter. It was no different for Colin. 

Although convinced he wasn’t ready, his partner, Paige, kept a watchful eye on the APA’s adoption website. Despite his protests, she knew Colin was hurting from the loss of his beloved friend, but that his heart would open when the right dog came along. Lo and behold, one day an adorable (and grizzled) face popped up and Paige knew – this was the one. After a visit to the APA “just to meet him” it turned about to be a perfect homecoming for everyone. Colin met with our dedicated adoption counselors who told him Scudder’s story and they knew immediately it was a match. While no pet ever replaces another, their friendship can help us heal just a little, day by day. And so it was. With a new name and lots of love, Scudder (now Chance) has a well-deserved home for the holidays.

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.

Thoughts on the Wording That Both Inspires and Divides

By: | July 24, 2018

We recently shared the TedX talk below with our employees. In response, one of our staff members, Edward Burch, penned the following thoughts when sharing the video with his friends. We were so moved, we felt it was worth sharing here.

By our stats, we could probably call ourselves “no kill.” But we don’t. For many of the reasons outlined here. I agree that the term is divisive as well as misleading.

I’m proud that our live placement rates are very high, and that those numbers are up from last year at this time. And it’s because of the committed work of our phenomenal staff.

We’re open admission, which means we’ll make room when other places say they’re full—even when we are also full. We do our best for every animal who comes under our care. Most of them find homes very quickly; some take a bit longer. And we never euthanize for space. We commit ourselves to finding a home for every adoptable animal.

Like the speaker, I am grateful for the progress of the past quarter century that has saved millions of animals thanks to the advocacy of the no-kill movement.

The optimist in me says we will continue to progress in saving animals at higher rates. The pessimist knows that the cruelties of the world ensure that my work, my vocation of finding homes for animals is in no danger of being rendered obsolete.

I’d love for us to be so successful that we put ourselves out of a job. I don’t think it will ever happen, but I’ll do my damnedest to make us so good at what we do that I have to start polishing my resume because the shelters are empty.