By: Savannah Rigley | July 16, 2019
We are pleased to announce that the Roblee Foundation has awarded a grant to the APA in support of our SafeCare program, a pet assistance program for victims of domestic violence.
SafeCare, the first and only program of its kind in the St. Louis area, began in 1998 to assist those leaving abusive homes. This program provides temporary boarding and care for pets, so victims of domestic violence can get to safety without leaving their pets behind in an unsafe environment.
A victim’s concern about the safety of a pet can delay or even prevent her/his escape from an abusive relationship. Studies show that domestic abusers often intentionally target pets to exert control over their partners. Approximately 40% of abused women stay in an abusive home because they refuse to leave their pets behind.
In many cases, victims of domestic violence may try to take their pets with them when they are able to leave the relationship, but find that their local domestic violence shelters do not accept pets. This is where the APA recognized the lifesaving urgency of this issue and established the SafeCare program—creating safe spaces for pets so that, ultimately, human victims will seek a safe space as well. We work with area domestic violence shelters and anti-violence agencies to provide a safe place for pets until they can be reunited with their families.
Since SafeCare was established in 1998, we have served hundreds of women and pets, demonstrating how important it is to provide protection and services for abuse victims and their animals. Through relationships with those who share our values of community and compassion, like the Roblee Foundation, we ensure our region, its families and their pets thrive. You can support our SafeCare prorgam too! Your gift will enhance the quality of life for both people and pets, cultivating a community that is kinder, healthier, and more connected. To make a secure online donation, click here.
Thank you, again, to the Roblee Foundation for sharing our passion and commitment to support those who love their pets.
By: Savannah Rigley | July 10, 2019
Last spring, our friends at St Louis Feral Cat Outreach were conducting a routine TNR (trap neuter return) event when they caught an unusually friendly cat. Generally, the cats STLFCO deals with are totally feral – meaning they thrive in their outdoor homes with their loving caretakers. In some instances, usually a handful every event, cats are so friendly they need to go to rescue to find homes.
Moe was one such cat. We’d already “tagged” him as an APA cat and were planning to bring him to our shelter when the vet staff found he was already neutered. And what luck: he had a microchip. Unfortunately the chip was unregistered – meaning all we knew was that it had been sold to the Humane Society. An APA staff member helped Feral Cat Outreach trace the chip and called the Humane Society. The Humane Society worked with the APA and supplied an owner phone number.
Another APA staff member called Moe’s house. “Hello, I’m looking for Mr. J?” she asked. At first the family was a little nervous. Why was this strange woman calling?
When Mr. J came on the phone, the staff member explained they had a black cat here with a microchip tracing back to this phone number. “Would you like to claim him?” she asked.
The man was overjoyed! Moe had been missing for nearly 8 months!
This made sense to Feral Cat Outreach because a very active colony caretaker, Linda, had been watching Moe for some time. She felt Moe needed an indoor home, but wasn’t sure where to take him. When the opportunity to bring Moe in for the spring TNR clinic presented itself, Linda jumped at the chance.
The APA staff member was so excited and relieved to hear Mr. J’s happy voice. “Thank you so much,” he said. Mr. J shouted to the rest of his family, “They found Moe! They found my son!”
Moe now lives a strictly indoor life with his happy family. This reunion never would have happened – except that Moe’s family made the smart choice to microchip him.
Microchips work by implanting a barcode about the size of a grain of rice between your animal’s shoulder blades. When specialized chip readers pass over the barcode, information pops up in a database. Make sure that the company that issued your microchip has your most current information. It is important that you register the microchip in your name – not just the shelter name where you got your pet.
If you aren’t sure if your animal’s chip is up to date, many pet stores and all veterinarians can scan your pet for a microchip and you can call the chip database yourself to update the information. There is sometimes a fee for updating microchips – usually about $20. If your pet goes missing, you can put a “flag” on the chip to alert anyone who finds your pet that you are looking for them. Placing a flag on the chip is free.
Microchip prices vary from vet to vet, but here at the APA we can implant a chip for $30. This includes the registration fee. If you adopted your pet from the APA, we registered the chip automatically for free. Many rescues do not do the registration for free or automatically so make sure that you follow up with your chip company and confirm your most recent contact information is assigned to the chip.
By: Savannah Rigley | July 9, 2019
The sweltering heat of summertime is not only uncomfortable for our furry friends—it can be doggone dangerous as well! Here are some handy tips that we’ve compiled to help you keep your pets cool and safe throughout the sizzling summer months:
- Parasites, such as fleas and ticks, are everywhere this time of year and carry tapeworms, heartworms and disease (such as Lyme). Visit the vet for a checkup and make sure that your pet is properly protected.
- Always provide your pets with fresh, clean water and shade when they are outdoors. Remember, if you’re uncomfortable, they’re uncomfortable!
- Take your dogs for walks during the early morning or late evening hours when it’s cooler out. Bring plenty of water along with you and take frequent breaks in the shade.
- Keep your pets off of asphalt and cement when the temperature is high. Hot surfaces can burn the pads of your pooches paws, and because your furry friend is lower to the ground than you, their bodies heat up much quicker.
- While it is sometimes suggested to cover your pets paws to avoid burns to their pads, covering their paws can be dangerous. Pets release heat through their paws, so covering them will only trap it.
- Watch your pets for symptoms of overheating. Possible symptoms include heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea or wobbly legs. If you think your pet may be overheated, move them to a cool area with drinking water, place a damp towel over their body and get them to the vet right away. Never put your pet in cold water if you think they may be overheated, as it can cause shock.
- Some pets are more susceptible to heat stroke, including elderly pets, puppies overweight pets, and pets with heath issues. Breeds with short noses, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzus, Pekingese and Persian cats are more susceptible as well, because they cannot pant as efficiently as others.
- While trimming your dog’s longer fur is fine, don’t shave them. The layers of their coat protect them from overheating or getting a sunburn.
- Brushing your cat more frequently during the summer can help prevent problems brought on by the heat.
- Pets can get sunburns too, so if you’re planning to spend time in the sun with your pet, pick up some sunscreen made specifically for pets. Apply it to the areas of their body that are not protected with lots of hair every 3 to 4 hours. Never apply sunscreen or insect repellant that wasn’t made specifically for animals.
- Never leave your pets alone in the car, even if you’re parked in the shade and have the windows cracked. The temperature inside a closed car can rise quickly, even if the heat isn’t extreme. A good rule of thumb is 70 or over, don’t take Rover.
- Don’t leave your pets unsupervised around a pool. If they go for a swim, make sure to keep them from drinking the pool water and rinse them off afterwards to remove chlorine, salt or other chemicals from their fur.
- If you enjoy taking your pet boating, make sure they wear a floatation device. Choose one in a bright color to help keep them visible in case an accident occurs.
- If you have unscreened windows in your home, be careful not to leave them open. If you have screened in windows that you plan to open, ensure that the screens are tightly secured.
- While some people turn off the air conditioning when they leave home, it could put your pet in danger. Rather than turning the air off, set it to a conservative but cool temperature, like 78°F. Closing your curtains when you leave can help keep your home cool as well.
- Insecticides, rodenticides, lawn fertilizer, chemicals used for your lawn or garden, and backyard bug deterrents like citronella candles, insect coils and tiki torch products can be harmful to your pets if they are ingested. Always keep these items out of their reach and call a vet immediately if you think your pet may have gotten into a potentially toxic item.
- Check that the plants growing in your yard are safe for pets.
- When using products for your lawn or garden, carefully read and follow the instructions for how long you should keep your pets away from treated areas.
- If you have help maintaining your lawn or garden, let those coming in out of your yard know that you have pets.
- When choosing mulch, watch out for cocoa bean mulch. This variety contains the same toxin that is found in chocolate.
- Food and drinks commonly served at summer BBQs can be toxic to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages, raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and products that contain the sweetener xylitol out of your pet’s reach.
By: Savannah Rigley | July 2, 2019
The Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA) announces the appointment of new members to its Board of Directors. The new appointments are Jason Ellis of Ryvit, Linda Bond of Kit Bond Strategies, Matthew Murphy of Microsoft, and Jason Gagne, DVM, DACVN of Purina. The APA also announced the reappointment of Patrick Barry of Byrne PR to Secretary of the Board.
“I am pleased to welcome our newest members to the Board of Directors,” said Sarah Javier, Executive Director of the APA. “The unique professional backgrounds and diverse experiences of each member will bring insightful perspectives and expertise to our Board and organization.”
Jason Ellis is CFO of Ryvit, a St. Louis-based technology integration company. With over a decade of experience in finance and business development, Ellis will bring proven expertise in innovative business solutions and financial sustainability which will help the APA continue to grow as it approaches its 100-year anniversary.
Linda Bond is Partner at Kit Bond Strategies. She has over 30 years in public service, including serving the Reagan Administration in a variety of capacities. Bond has served as finance director for the National Republican Senate Committee, raising funds, managing support and producing events for Republican National Conventions and other major events across the country. Her experience and expertise will help the APA continue to be a leader in animal welfare locally and nationally.
Matthew Murphy is a Technology Solutions Professional in the Business Intelligence division at Microsoft. He has held numerous leadership positions in technology and finance at companies throughout St. Louis and New York. Murphy’s expertise will help the APA integrate technology into operations, improving the customer experience for the organizations 4,000+ adopters every year.
Jason Gagne, DVM, DACVN is Director of Veterinary Technical Communications at Nestle Purina Petcare where he is part of the Professional Engagement Team and specializes in nutrition. As a former professor in Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University and the author of numerous publications, Gagne’s expertise in veterinary care and nutrition will help the APA continue to provide the very best wellness and nutrition for every animal in its care.
Patrick Barry is Senior Project Manager at Byrne PR where he manages media relations for clients with a focus on social media engagement. Barry has served on the APA Board of Directors since 2017 where his expertise and passion for helping animals has helped the organization develop an engaging and successful communication and social media strategy. In his second term he will serve as the Secretary for the APA Board of Directors.
The APA would like to thank outgoing Secretary and Board Member Tamara Spicer for her leadership and continued support of the organization. Spicer served on the APA Board of Directors for four years and was an integral part of the organization’s growth and success. Thanks to her leadership and support, the APA is well positioned for continued success for many years to come.
The 2019-20 APA Board of Directors are: President, Marissa Curran of Polsinelli; Vice-President, Annie Castellano of Cigna/Express Scripts; Treasurer, Bill Lacey formerly of Purina; Secretary, Patrick Barry of Byrne PR; Debbie Caplin; Suzie Craft of Craft Restaurants; Steve Harrison of Falk Harrison Creative; George Horn of Scottrade; Sandra Lehrer; John Lynn of Regions Bank; Shawn Simmons of Mills Properties; and David Zeigler of Lee and Associates of St. Louis.
The Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people and pets together, advancing humane education and creating programs beneficial to the human/animal bond. In 2018, the APA found homes for 3,765 pets that were brought to the Adoption Center. This year, the APA is on track to help even more dogs, cats and other critters.
By: Savannah Rigley | June 27, 2019
Independence Day festivities can be an extremely stressful time for pets, and more pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other holiday. Here are some helpful tips to help keep your pet safe, secure and as calm as possible during the noisy celebrations:
- Keep your pets indoors. When taking your dog out, keep him/her on a leash. Do not leave your pets unattended outside.
- Double check that your yard is secure enough to contain your pet.
- If you’re having guests at your home for the 4th of July, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to be certain they don’t escape. Put notes on your doors and gates to remind guests to watch out for your pets.
- Turn on the radio, TV, or fan to muffle the sound of fireworks.
- Make sure your pet is wearing some form of identification, like a current ID tag.
- Microchip your pet. If your pet already has a microchip, be sure to keep your information is current.
- Take a current photo of your pet that you can share online and show to your neighbors if your pet goes missing.
- Distract your pet with something fun. Toys and treats can help your pet relax while cuddling and consoling your pet may cause more fear.
- Consider keeping your pet’s crate in a safe room from which they cannot escape during fireworks.
- If your pet has been anxious during the 4th of July holiday in past years, consider using a Thundershirt or swaddling your pet to help keep them calm. Adaptil products, which release calming pheromones, are another tool that works well. If your pet is extremely anxious, you may want to consider seeing a vet to discuss medications that can help with their anxiety.
- Keep items that can harm your pet, such as fireworks, matches, lighter fluid, alcohol, food scraps, glow jewelry, citronella candles, insect coils and tiki torch oil out of their reach.
- Do not use sunscreen or insect repellent on your pets unless it is specifically formulated to be used for pets.
- Keep your pets away from BBQ grills that are in use or still hot from use.
- After the celebration, check your yard for debris, such as fireworks or dangerous food scraps, before letting your pets out.