Each year, Gateway Pet Guardians chooses honorees to spotlight at the annual Soiree for Strays Gala.  We look deeply at our volunteers and supporters and choose the person/family/organization that has extraordinarily helped us over the year (or more) make the biggest impact we could.  We have four categories of honorees that we feel best summarize those people that support us so passionately: Volunteer(s) of the Year, Foster(s) of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Philanthropist of the Year.

These amazing contributors will be honored through a video at the annual Soiree for Strays Gala taking place on Friday, November 11 2016 at the Luminary on Cherokee.   They will also be invited to participate throughout 2017 in a variety of other Gateway Pet Guardians’ events. Tickets are $40 in advance (www.gatewaypets.com/gala) or $45 at the door.  Tickets include hor d’oeuvres, beer, wine, live entertainment and silent art auction inspired by our rescue work.

Without further ado, please help us in congratulating this year’s honorees:

Volunteers of the Year: GPG Program & Committee Leads

Fosters of the Year: Sarah and Brian Meyer

Humanitarian of the Year: Julia Mittelstadt

Philanthropist of the Year: Syberg Family

This post will spotlight our FOSTERS of the Year!


Brian, Sarah, Poppi and Lilly Bell Meyer

Brian, Sarah, Poppi and Lilly Bell Meyer

Sarah and Brian Meyer aren’t your average foster family.  This couple is a fostering machine!  They not only foster multiple dogs for Gateway Pet Guardians at one time, they are also our shy-dog whisperers.  With multiple happy-go-lucky resident dogs, shy dogs enter the Meyer’s home and are completely transformed because of their pack (which includes the human pack leaders).  Resident dogs show them the “this is the good life” ropes and the human leaders teach them manners, trust and compassion as they heal physically and emotionally.

The Meyers have been fostering for over two years and have taken over 20 dogs into their home and rehabilitated them!  (And, we can’t stress this enough…  these are shy dogs that need time to adjust to home life).  Their love for our shy four-leggeds is beautiful to witness in person and is a extraordinary gift.

Gateway Pet Guardians has worked extremely hard over the past five years to virtually eliminate the feral dog population from our service area (feral dogs have never been touched by human hands).  However, there is still a need for experienced fosters that can rehabilitate shy and under socialized dogs.  It’s a special and patient skill set that the Meyers possess.  Because of their willingness and open home, we can save the lives of dogs that others may pass up.  For that, we owe a great deal of gratitude to this incredible family for their never-ending work as volunteers for Gateway Pet Guardians.

Most of the four-legged Smug Mutt pack (only missing Poppi)

Most of the four-legged Smug Mutt pack (only missing Poppi)

In addition to their amazing work as foster parents, Brian and Sarah also ensure that all of our GPG foster pups are dawning the most fashionable adoption attire.  They are the owners of The Smug Mutt.  Their company customizes bandanas and other fun attire for our foster dogs to help them get adopted!  Many of our staff and volunteers also own a variety of customized GPG clothing and accessories thanks to the Meyers.  If you are interested in any customized GPG apparel, check out their website!