The Petfinder Python SDK by Greg Taylor allows to access API data to implement animal search features into applications. Full documentation includes key access, shelter query, and pet search. Greg ads find homes for the pets in his TODO.
Who ever said that institutions were loathe to change? Well call him up and let him know, the Library of Congress, with their Prints and Photographs API has finally taken the REST API plunge. If this government institution can do it, maybe you can convince the head of your IT department that APIs are a good idea too.