New Bug Barometer Predicts A Bad Year for World’s Deadliest Pest – Mosquitoes


 What to Know About Dangers of Mosquitoes for Your Family and Pets 

It is time to ready your pets and family for spring and more mosquitoes. The National Pest Management Association is out with its biannual Bug Barometer and it looks like it could be a big season for mosquitoes.Mosquito_pexels-photo-169357

Drawing on weather patterns and long-term predictions, the entomologists believe everyone’s least favorite neighbors will arrive in full force as our weather warms up.

Scientists say a wet winter and La Niña, the cool phase of a natural climate pattern in Pacific Ocean, are creating conditions favorable to mosquitoes which spread misery and disease to people and animals.

This is how the conditions for pests are shaping up across the United States.

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Jim Fredericks, Ph.D. explains, “Residual moisture is a prime attraction for pests, especially home-damaging termites and mosquitoes known for transmitting disease, and conditions are ideal for when these pests typically flourish in the springtime.”Big_tiger-mosquito-mosquito-asian-tigermucke-sting-86722

Mosquito-borne diseases are among the world’s leading causes of illness and death. Viral encephalitis, the West Nile virus, the Zika virus and malaria are just a few of the illnesses mosquitoes spread to people.

Heartworm is a deadly, but preventable parasite spread by mosquitoes to animals. Heartworms primarily infect dogs, cats and ferrets. They also infect a variety of wild animals. This is important to know because they can only be transmitted from animal to animal by mosquitoes.

Since heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, any pet exposed to mosquitoes should be tested. Because mosquitoes can also get into homes, this puts indoor-only pets at risk of infection as well.


Indoor pets also need heartworm medication

The American Heartworm Society recommends testing pets every 12 months for heartworm and giving your pet a heartworm preventive 12 months a year.

Heartworm is a progressive, life-threatening disease. The earlier it is detected and treated, the better the chances a pet will recover and have less complications. You can learn more about heartworms in animals at  or your veterinarian’s office.


The Benefits of Pets in the Workplace


Some of my dearest friends I met at work. So it was a natural fit when a couple of my employers opened the door to my best friend, my

Eight percent of all U.S. pet owners are allowed to bring their pet to work according to a survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). The number of companies allowing pets in the workplace is on the rise.

“While this does not work for all companies, studies have shown that pets reduce stress which can ultimately increase productivity,” said APPA Executive Vice President & COO Andy Darmohraj. “We’ve had dogs, cats and fish at our office over the years and they have been a source of joy and a real morale booster.” 549978_10200513195216643_1431418705_n

Researchers found support among the American workforce for pets on the job:

55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment

50 million believe having pets in workplace helps co-workers get along better

38 million believe having pets in workplace creates a more productive work environment

37 million believe having pets in workplace helps improve relationships between managers and staff

236506There is evidence employees with pets at work are healthier. Studies show the presence of friendly animals can reduce heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol and regularly interacting with animals can reduce anxiety and promote calmness.

Need more proof pets would benefit your business? Check out this persuasive pet infographic.

Click to Enlarge Image

Benefits of a pet-friendly workplace Infographic

Benefits of a pet-friendly workplace Infographic by Petco


Abandoned Pup Becomes a High Flying Star on the Dock and at Home


Flying is not something you usually associate with dogs, but a former APA Adoption Center rescue dog is changing that.

13494787_10207056851919422_2885648887790078003_n-1 A puppy was found abandoned in a rural area of Missouri. The Labrador mix named Serenity by her rescuers was transferred from the overcrowded rural St. Clair County Animal Control shelter to the APA Adoption Center .A044044

The former stray seemed to have springs in her legs and an eagerness to learn. APA matchmakers alerted a Purina trainer, Sara Brueske. Brueske is always looking for canine athletes in her work as an award winning trainer who frequently fosters dogs. Serenity became Kapow and began training with Brueske for a possible slot in a performing team at Purina Farms.


Working with the award winning trainer, Kapow was a stand-out in several competitive canine events including Frisbee play and dock diving. But she didn’t have everything Brueske was looking for, so a search was on for a new home.


Kapow’s wait for a new owner wasn’t long. An animal advocate added this high-flying pooch to his pack. An authority on flight as a professional avian ecologist, Ryan Brady knows a lot about active dogs.

Brady lives with a dock diving Yellow Labrador that is also an award winning sporting companion and a trained barn hunt dog. Rounding out the active Brady bunch is a sweet Puggle who embraces the hunting heritage of her Beagle ancestors and lap dog tendencies of her Pug lineage.

”Kapow is a great dog! She fit right in with my other two dogs from the first day I adopted her and is a member of the family,” said Brady who is committed to new stimuli and training for his canine companions who often accompany him on nature hikes and farm visits.Kapow_1

Kapow won a ribbon on her first jump in a dock diving competition with Brady. He is continuing training on the Frisbee and dock-diving while adding new pursuits like retrieving and putting out bird decoys.Spending a lot of time in nature where her owner works at a wildlife refuge, Kapow succeeds at a pursuit where many other dogs fail.

”She catches and kills squirrels frequently,” explains Brady. “Her speed and agility are amazing.”

Kapow may not have wings, but it isn’t keeping her from flying on the ground or in the air.

photo by Ryan Brady

Kapow is one of thousands of pets who find homes at the APA Adoption Center  every year. Providing services to more than 10,000 animals annually, the APA is a humane option for those surrendering unwanted or abandoned companion animals, provides education and outreach programs, reunites lost animals with their owners, provides pet adoption and foster care services and offers veterinary clinic services at a reduced rate. The APA Adoption center is open 7 days a week. For more information about the APA of Missouri, visit .

photo courtesy of Ryan Brady

Want to Pamper Your Pet? Tips to Use to Find the Right Groomer

Pets are not just our best friends, for many people, their animals are family. The proper grooming is important to keeping pets healthy.226839_206959559337335_5114370_n

Pet owners will spend more than $6 billion dollars on pet grooming services and products in the United States in 2018 according to the American Pet Products Association.

Although it’s rare, recent deaths of pets in the care of groomers have many animal lovers concerned. Some animal advocates and lawmakers are considering ways to protect pets.

There are some steps pet owners should take before you make an appointment at a groomer according to animal experts.

I’m fortunate to have a long relationship with an animal advocate with more than 25 years in animal care and twenty plus years of grooming experience.  Betty Pettey-Schlereth has groomed three of my pets at Bow Wows Unlimited in Saint Louis. She recommends pet owners ask questions and make visits before booking an appointment.

“I would suggest making a list of questions when looking for a groomer for your pet. The first question I would recommend would be, may I come and look at your facility? Then follow up with asking how long they’ve been grooming pets and where they got the training,” adds Pettey-Schlereth.

After your phone calls, follow-up and make an appointment with prospective groomers. Pettey-Schlereth says groomers should be willing to show people around and answer questions about the type of equipment they use and what procedures they follow.


Experience and training is not the only factor. Spend some time in the grooming shop, observing and talking with other pet owners. This can be as informative as a tour of the facility.

On the tour you can check the facility’s cleanliness and inquire about any safety procedures in place or special requirements your pet may require.

My dogs have been rescues, and initially after adoption they had special needs. Pettey-Schlereth works with many animals who have medical issues including anxiety. It is vital animal owners discuss medical concerns or behavioral issues with prospective groomers.

Several times, Pettey-Schlereth has noticed a different behavior with one of my pets and suggested there might be a medical concern to be checked out. It is this attention to wellness, as well as grooming, I appreciate.

“I compare it to being a nurse caring for a baby. They can’t talk, and you have to look at behavior and physical cues while grooming. No one wants to tell pet parents their pets were not behaving normally because you don’t want to upset them. But we get to know pets and we can spot potential health issues that need attention” explains Pettey-Schlereth .

Asking other pet owners about their favorite groomer is one way to find the right fit for your pet. Another is the National Dog Groomers Association working with pet groomers since 1969 to promote education and professional standards. They offer an online groomer locator at



Pop Up at Poppies Offers Fun for People and Pets While Supporting Small Business


Pop Up Shop Featuring St. Louis Area Artisans and Products for Pets and People 

2018 is the “Year of the Dog” and an upcoming Saint Louis pop-up event not only celebrates canines and people who love them but also local women artisans making treasures of all kinds for pets and their families.

Poppies Pop-Up is a free, pet-friendly event offering a one-of–a kind shopping experience supporting Saint Louis area women entrepreneurs at Poppies Design Studio near the Saint Louis County Animal Adoption Center on Saturday, April 14th from 10 am until 2 pm. There is free parking at the Poppies Design Studio located at 10405 Baur Boulevard.


A pop up shop featuring St. Louis area artisans with products people and pets coming up at Poppies Design Studio will feature adoptable pets from Saint Louis County Adoption Center

In addition to wonderful adoptable pets at the pop-up event, there will be a wide variety of vendors. This is a list of some of the artisans scheduled to be there:

Poppies Design Studio – event florist
Flare Grove Creations – wood burned gifts
Renown Rentals / Emily Anna Events – event rentals
Two Tired Mamas – graphic tees
Elderberry STL – elderberry syrup and vitamins
doTerra Essential Oils – essential oil products
Pretty Please by tbk – modern teething accessories
The Good Dog Treat Box – handmade dog treats
The Sew Me State – handmade dog and baby accessories
LuLu Picklefish – home decor
Indigo Home Decor – home decor
Fashion Van Go – women’s fashion
Urban Sewing STL – hand crafted bags
Sugies Sweet Little Bake Shop – sugar cookies
OV Photography – event photography
The Fit Wheel – women’s fitness apparel
2 Girls 4 Wheels – St. Louis style food truck

It is a fun event to find unique things while supporting local artists and small businesses where you can meet adoptable pets!


You Are Invited to a Party and Art Show Celebrating St. Louis and Missouri Artists

You are invited to unleash your party animal at the upcoming Paws + Prints event, Saturday, April 14th to benefit the APA Adoption Center in Brentwood, Missouri.

The fundraiser is a combination party and art show celebrating St. Louis and Missouri artists.

Paws and Prints will be at the new Covo STL event space. It features a rooftop patio with an amazing view of the city.

This is the second year for Paws + Prints which is hosted by The Young Friends of the APA. Last year, the inaugural benefit raised just over $8,000 for homeless pets.


Rally Cat Artwork

BareFoot wine is the official wine sponsor of this year’s party featuring around 45 art pieces donated by local artists for guests to bid on. Paws and Prints will also have approximately 10 raffles baskets, all valued at $100 or more. There will also be a silent auction.

Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door. Wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres are all included in ticket price. It is a delightful way to enjoy great art, meet people and help pets too.


Example of the Art at Upcoming Party and Show Celebrating St. Louis Artists

“This is a signature event for the Young Friends of The APA and they have put a lot of work into making it a fun event for everyone,” said Stacy Switzer, APA Donor Relations Coordinator. “While it is hosted by the Young Friends of the APA, anyone 21+ is welcome to attend!”

The festively informal or dressy casual event is a wonderful way to meet other pet lovers in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. 100% of the proceeds benefit the pets at The APA Adoption Center.

You get more information or purchase tickets –


Party and Art Show Celebrating St. Louis and Missouri Artists to Benefit Homeless Pets at APA Adoption Center

APA Adoption Center is First in Missouri to Remove Breed Labels on Dogs for Adoption

Rusty as his name suggests has red fur. The energetic addition to the APA Adoption Center in Brentwood, Missouri near Saint Louis looks much different from his litter mates. So does Rusty have a different father than the other pups? Is he part Chow? Since there are more than 200 known breeds, which can be combined in up to 55 trillion different ways, without genetic testing there is no way to make an educated guest.

This is one reason the APA Adoption Center is no longer identifying dogs as a specific breed or a mix of breeds if there is no valid evidence to suggest it.

“With regard to breed labels, we want adopters to focus on who the dog is instead of what they might be. Things like personality, energy level, age, and likes or dislikes result in a better fit than looks. Studies show dogs are labeled incorrectly 75% of the time. By no longer guessing breeds, but instead sharing what we know about the pet, we’re able to bring more people and pets together,” explains Kim Brown, APA Director of Operations/ Vice President.

Unless a dog comes to the APA Adoption Center with papers, there is no way to be sure of the breed of a dog. Another reason for doing away with breed labels is that character traits in dogs as in people, is a complex mix of genetic and environmental influences. Jumping to conclusions about dogs just as jumping to conclusions about people because of their ethnic backgrounds can have many negative consequences. It isn’t family history that makes an individual and the same is true for dogs.

“We are proud to be in the first in Missouri to remove breed labels and focus solely on the attributes that create a well-matched pet adoption.” says APA President and Executive Director Sarah Javier. “Our vision is for every adoptable pet to have a safe, loving home and we believe this helps bring us one step closer to making this a reality.”

“Breed does not show on the APA kennel card. Our best guess of the breed is still entered into our database,” says Amber Webb, APA Volunteer Manager.


Many great pets can be found at adoption centers

The APA staff has many resources to help adopters in getting to know the dog rather than guessing at the heritage. Conversations about a pet’s behavior and care requirements are the primary way the APA helps to find the perfect pet match without bringing breed into the discussion.

Learn more about the APA Adoption Center at 


An Animal Adventure Can Be Found at Your Area Pet Adoption Center or Shelter

Pet Adoption Centers Offer Fun and Learning Activities for Families


You expect to see pets at your local animal adoption center, but often it seems there are as many smiling faces of people at some Saint Louis area adoption agencies as there are eager animals waiting for a home.


Scouts cuddle puppies

Many animal agencies are also centers for learning and community events centered on animals. For example, the APA Adoption Center in suburban Saint Louis welcomes civic, community, school and scouting groups almost every day. There are tours of the facility, classes on pet care and training, and even pet themed parties where puppies, kittens, pigs and even miniature horses might show up.

No matter your age, there is always something new to learn about pets, animal legislation, safety and the therapeutic value of animal visits to hospitals and health care facilities. It is exciting how many animal lovers want to reach out and support animal programs and pet initiatives. Local animal centers and shelters are at the forefront of this community outreach and education.


Another Saint Louis area animal rescue center also offers a variety of programs for all ages. One of Stray Rescue’s newer community initiatives uses certified therapy dogs to help young people between the ages of 6 and seventeen develop empathy, compassion and critical thinking skills. This program is aimed at young people from juvenile court system at this time. Stray Rescue’s Redirect Kids program includes one-on-one mentoring and focuses on helping at risk youth stay in school.

Across the country, adoption centers and shelters are putting the power of pets to work to connect with people on behalf of a number of community issues including education, anti-bullying and domestic violence initiatives

Animal adoption agencies and shelters are a great place for families to get involved in the community while learning and having fun. The Saint Louis County Adoption Center is a part of many events for families including an egg hunt for dogs scheduled for around Easter every year. The center brings adoptable pets out to meet the public at events year around.


It doesn’t have to be a special event to be part of the mission to save a life. For example, during spring break and school vacation some families organize scavenger hunt competitions for things pet adoption agencies have on their wish lists. Or scouts who are learning about pet care and animal safety, get experience making pet toys and beds. Visit an animal adoption center near you soon, it’s a great way to get in some puppy play and cat cuddling and you never know who you’ll see!




Adopt a Shelter Dog


549978_10200513195216643_1431418705_nOctober is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month + Adopt-a-Dog Month®. This is a time to celebrate our canine friends who’ve been adopted into loving homes and to raise awareness of the 3.3 million homeless dogs who enter adoption centers and rescue groups each year in the United States.

APA pet for adoptionGiving your time as a volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue group positions you as a powerful friend to homeless pets. It is a wonderful way to meet other animal lovers and aid awesome pets in finding a home. You can put the power of social media to work for pet adoption and help spread the message.

A national social media campaign, Find Your Fido, is a way to post photos of your own rescue pet or some of the great pets in need of a home. You may use #FindYourFido on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.DLkTTSFV4AAEKUU

This is one of many ways to demonstrate how much love, joy and companionship adopted dogs bring to peoples’ lives. Shelters and rescue groups are filled with desirable animals. As an animal lover or a rescue volunteer you can share some of the great pet personalities and characteristics of animals waiting for homes.

You can learn more about a Find Your Fido promotion underway and get a lot of social media tips on creating adoption posts online at

img_3051I’ve been ‘rescued’ more than five times by shelter dogs. Several have been pedigreed and registered pets from homes where the family could no longer care for them. Others have been mixed breeds and stray dogs rescued from a variety of situations. All of these dogs have been wonderful companions and family pets.

Eleven years ago, I met a wonderful 3-year old Maltese at an adoption center and this teenager still has plenty of personality and pep for adventures. He is a solo pet for now, we lost another wonderful companion of 13 years, a former shelter dog adopted when she was also a 3-year old. Also a Maltese, she was the chief canine in charge of hi-jinks, fun, and laughter. She was sixteen when we had to say good-bye and our family misses her very much. I hope sharing our adoption success stories will inspire others to consider a shelter animal when adding a pet to the

I recommend Petfinder, a free online, searchable database of animals who need homes to be very helpful in searching for adoptable pets. Petfinder puts a directory of nearly 14,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico at your fingertips. The site is updated daily and offers connectivity in several ways. More than 25 million pets have been adopted through Petfinder in the last 20 years. Petfinder is also filled with expert animal care tips and information for all kinds of pets and families. You check out the pets and many helpful articles at