APA of Missouri hopes to match pets with people this Valentine’s Day

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - The Animal Protective Association of Missouri is working to connect pets with people.

"We're not an animal shelter anymore, we're an adoption center, and that's what we're focusing on is the adoption side of what we're doing," said Executive Director Steve Kaufman.

The organization is taking in pets transferred from overcrowded shelters, animal control agencies and rescue groups from southern Missouri to northern Illinois.

According to Kaufman, the organization looks beyond the dogs some would consider highly adoptable - like small breed dogs, puppies and kittens - to offer a variety of options.

The APA launched the transfer program in 2013 with 35 transfers. In 2014, the group planned to bring in 300 animals but went well beyond that number by bringing in 414 animals.

Six weeks into 2015, the APA has already accepted in 111 animals through the transfer program.

The Petfinder Foundation learned about the APA's success with the transfer program and will be using some of the organization's best practices to help other groups establish transfer programs.

Natalie Partenheimer, Community & Media Relations Manager, said as a result of the partnership with the Petfinder Foundation, the APA has received $26,000 in donations during the past six months. She said the organization doesn't receive any government funding, so grants and private donations are crucial to their operations.

All of the adorable faces you saw in this story are available for adoption at the APA.