Bite-Proof Your Children

By: | January 15, 2015

Outdoors or indoors, kids are on the move. Children running, riding bicycles or skateboards explore new places and come into contact with different sights, sounds, people and yes, animals. To prevent upsetting or even tragic situations resulting from active children encountering strange dogs, teach your children these rules about how to behave around dogs.

  • Dogs do not like to be teased. Stay away from dogs that are chained or in fenced yards.
  • Do not shout, run around, or stick hands at dogs through fences or open car windows.
  • Never approach a strange dog. Dogs are possessive about certain things. Do not grab things like bones, balls or other pet toys from a dog.
  • Never stick your hand into a dog fight. Find an adult to help. Know what an angry dog looks like. Barking, growling, snarling with teeth showing,ears laid flat, legs stiff, tail up, and hair standing up on a dogs back are warning signs.
  • Never stare a dog in the eyes, or turnaround and run away. Curl up in a ball on the ground and protect your face if a dog attacks.
  • If bitten, tell an adult right away. Remember what the dog looked like, if it had a collar and in what direction it went. Wash the wound with soap and water. See a doctor, and report the bite
    to the local health department.

The rewards of teaching consideration and respect for animals are children who are both humane and safe. If you have any additional questions, please contact your veterinarian or call the APA at 314.645.4610, between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. CST.

(With thanks to the American Humane Association.)

What is Open-Admission vs. Limited-Admission or “No-Kill”?

By: | January 15, 2015

The unwanted pet overpopulation problem in our country is tragic.

Hundreds of organizations are working toward a common goal: to reduce the number of unwanted pets through education, adoption and spay/neuter programs. Each year in this country millions of animals are euthanized because owners allow their pets to reproduce. They then find themselves with litters of animals that they don’t want and can’t care for.

There are also times when owners find themselves in unexpected situations that force them to surrender their companion. We are grateful when individuals choose to give their animal or a stray animal a chance by bringing it to the APA Adoption Center rather than letting it loose in a park, dumping it on the side of a highway or disposing of the animal in some other inhumane way. Because we recognize these things can happen, the APA feels obligated to never turn away any animal in need.

There are two main types of animal shelters: government agencies and non-profit agencies. Government agencies, often referred to as Animal Control or “the pound” are tax-based organizations that provide safety and control disease in the community. These government agencies are funded by tax dollars. Non-profit animal shelters, like the APA, rely solely on donations to fulfill their mission and provide services to the community.

The non-profit agencies fall into two main categories: limited admission (a.k.a. “no-kill” shelters) and open-admission (such as the APA). Unfortunately, limited-admission shelters are often forced to turn helpless animals away when they are considered “unadoptable” because of the animals’ age, health or behavior. It could also be because the shelter is simply out of space.

So where do people go when the limited-admission shelters are full?

The APA is proud to be an open-admission shelter. Simply stated “open admission” means, although we may not be able to place the pet for adoption, we never turn away an animal in need. We offer assistance to every animal that comes to our door and do not choose who gets help based on adoptability. Because there are so many animals without homes, many with severe health and behavior issues, sometimes our only option may be humane euthanasia…but rest assured we do everything we can to place our animals in loving, permanent homes.

The APA receives approximately 3,500 animals each year. In 2013, 84% of the animals we received found homes, were returned to their owners or went to rescue groups for rehabilitation. We are very proud of the success our adoption center has in placing pets. We always hope to see a reduction in the number of animals that need our assistance, but until then the APA will continue to provide shelter and find homes for unwanted dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, as we have since 1922.

If you are reading this, you must care about the welfare of unwanted and mistreated animals. Please help them by committing to the following:

  • Make the choice to adopt from a shelter rather than buying a pet.
    Have your companion animal spayed or neutered; it is the only way to win this battle.
  • Encourage everyone you know to do the same.
  • Be an advocate for the animals; share your knowledge. Make a difference.

Thank you from all of us at the APA Adoption Center.

Breed Specific Legislation

By: | January 15, 2015

The APA Adoption Center’s statement on breed specific legislation:

PitThe APA does not feel that the banning of any specific breed of dog solves the problems that the community is trying to address. City Councils around the country that discuss the topic of Breed Specific Legislation must be “results-oriented”. What is the result the city is trying to accomplish?

The answer of most city councils is that they want to reduce the number of dog bites and dangerous dogs in their municipality. The banning of specific breeds does not accomplish this, as thus is not a “results-oriented” approach.

Studies have shown that the largest number of dog attacks come from un-altered males that are tethered or chained.

The APA supports laws that would prohibit tethering and laws that would require the spay or neuter of all companion animals. The city should pass a dangerous dog ordinance that is enforceable and strict. If the city truly wants to reduce the number of dog bites and attacks, history has proven banning is not the answer.

Parvovirus Prevention and Treatment

By: | January 15, 2015

What is parvovirus?

Canine parvovirus is a viral illness that usually attacks a dog or puppy through the intestinal tract (canine parvovirus enteritis) and, in a few cases, the heart (myocarditis). This virus, first identified in the late 1970’s, is one of the most resistant known; able to withstand heat, cold and most common disinfectants.

Who gets parvo and how?

Although parvo attacks dogs and puppies of any age, purebred or mix of breeds, it is most commonly found in puppies six to twenty-four weeks old. Generally puppies are protected through their mother’s immunity up to that six week stage. Many adult dogs are immune because they were either vaccinated against the illness or they have survived the virus when young.

We vaccinate all incoming puppies under six months of age as soon as they arrive here. Older dogs are vaccinated upon adoption. Several studies suggest Dobermans and Rottweilers may be more vulnerable to this illness, and that non-neutered animals may be at greater risk than those that have been spayed or neutered.

ALL animals adopted from the APA of MO are spayed or neutered before leaving the shelter. (Animals that have been spayed or neutered are more likely to have been vaccinated and are less likely to roam. So they have less chance of exposure.)

How is parvovirus spread?

“Parvo” is spread through the feces and vomit of infected dogs and puppies. This virus can live in feces for about two weeks and can survive in the environment (areas on floors and cages) for many months. This survival rate allows it to be passed along by hands, clothing or shoes of anyone who comes in contact with it.

Symptoms?

Symptoms of this terrible illness appear anytime during the the three to twelve day incubation period which follows exposure.The first signs of “parvo” usually include loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy (no energy to play or move about), bloody diarrhea or feces that smells bad and is gray or yellow. These animals can quickly suffer from dehydration. There is often fever and a general depression.

Remember, some dogs infected with the virus show no symptoms, and some never become il. Some dogs only show a few of the symptoms and recover quickly while still others become severely ill and become fatalities within forty-eight to seventy-two hours after first showing signs of illness.

How is this illness treated?

Treatment for “parvo” usually includes hospitalization, intravenous fluids and medication (to control vomiting, diarrhea and secondary infections.

How is parvovirus prevented?

The two (2) best ways to help prevent dogs from acquiring “parvo” is to vaccinate them against the virus (DHLPP vaccination) AND to keep them under control. Dogs allowed to roam are more likely to come in contact with illness. Remember to wash your hands after petting any other dog or puppy BEFORE you pet your own. Wipe off your shoes with a bleach and water solution if you know you have walked in an area with multiple dog exposure and change your clothes and wash them immediately if you have spent time exposed to another puppy or dog.

If you have any additional questions, please contact your veterinarian or call the APA at  314.645.4610 ext.18 during regular clinic hours.

Donate Your Used Cell Phones to the APA

By: | January 14, 2015

Do you have an old cell phone that you just don’t know what to do with? Donate it to the APA!

Your old cell phone can help the APA raise funds that will go directly to the animals in our care.  Drop yours off at our shelter today, or have a used cell phone drive at your school, business or place of worship and get even more used phones for the APA.

There’s no phone that’s too old for us!

For other special opportunities, click here.