Dear Gateway Pet Guardians Supporters:

I wanted to take a moment to celebrate a successful year in the community and highlight a few of our programs. Our community programs are designed to keep pets with their families and out of the area shelter. Below are some of the successes from the past year–all thanks to your support!

Community Hotline

We have a special hotline number for community members to call when they need help. In 2018, we received 924 phone calls on the hotline. We tend to receive requests for services, animal control type calls, owner surrender requests, stray reports, lost pet reports, and emergency calls. Those under the “needing services” category are interested in our spay/neuter program, receiving supplies, TNR, or any of the other services we provide. Every one of these phone calls receives a return call, regardless of whether we are able to provide services.

Vaccination Clinics

This year, we moved both of our vaccination clinics to two different locations. The first, held on May 12, was hosted at Village of Cahokia Park. We vaccinated 109 pets. The second vaccination clinic was hosted at Virginia Park in East St. Louis on October 13, where we vaccinated 95 pets.

Each clinic is an opportunity to connect with community members. In addition to free vaccines, we also offer free resources, such as collars, leashes, and flea preventatives. We also have a photographer taking family portraits, which are shared with families through a Facebook page after the event. At the October clinic, we were able to offer free custom engraved pet tags to families thanks to Purina.

Read more about our clinics by reading the articles below:

Special thank you to St. Clair County Animal Control for donating the rabies vaccinations and registrations for animals serviced through the clinics.

Bi-State Pet Food Pantry Partnership

Through our partnership with Bi-State Pet Food Pantry, we are able to help provide food to on average 24 families with pets per month. We distributed 12,124 pounds of dry dog food and 1,224 pounds of dry cat food to families with pets. We distribute pet food once a month at the Mary Brown Center in East St. Louis to qualifying families we serve in the Metro East. To qualify, all pets in the home must be fixed, the family must provide proof of low income and live in our service area.

Additionally, our community cat program distributed 1,202 pounds of dry cat food and 110 cans of wet cat food to community cat caretakers to help them feed their colonies.


In 2018, we helped 248 families and fixed 240 dogs and 91 cats. We also trap-neuter-returned (TNR’ed) 238 community cats. We fixed a total of 569 animals in the Metro East this year! Additionally, we provided vaccinations for 524 pets and microchips for 330 pets.

Special thank you to Carol House Quick Fix Pet Clinic who performs low-cost surgeries, and BARC who subsidizes those surgeries. Thanks to these partners, our funding goes further and we are able to reach even more pets in need. Towards the end of the year, we also utilized the APA of Missouri’s Fix-a-Bull program, which covered the costs of pit bulls and pit bull mixes. This program covered services for 49 pets.

Our spay/neuter efforts are funded by a $7,000 grant from Bissell Pet Foundation, a $5,000 grant from Best Friends Animal Society, and a $2,500 grant from Athletes for Animals. We also received a $1,000 grant from Community Cats Podcast to fund our TNR efforts. Additionally, St. Clair County Animal Control supported a portion of our TNR surgeries.

East Side Pet Crisis Fund

This year, we spent $13,604.45 on emergency vetting for 71 community pets. The average cost per pet was $191.61. These cases included ear and skin infections, cuts and wounds, eye removals, delivery complications, and post-trauma treatment.

Click the links below to learn more about some of the families that we have helped through this special fund:

This program is funded by a $10,000 grant from Banfield Foundation. Special thank you to our partner veterinarians Hillside Animal Hospital and Four Paws Animal Hospital for their extraordinary support in helping community pets.


We paid for grooming services for five pets this year, totaling $200. Two of these instances were shelter diversion cases where grooming could help keep the pet in the family’s home instead of being surrendered to a shelter. The remaining were general wellness to improve the quality of life of the family pet. We partner with Kim Harris with Pet Grooming at Your Doorstep for grooming services. Our goal is to not only provide initial grooming, but also connect the family with a low-cost groomer that provides transportation to continue receiving services on their own dime.

Click the link below to learn about one of the grooming cases we’ve helped with:

Shelter Diversion

These cases involve either preventing intake at St. Clair County Animal Control or returning pets to their owners who cannot afford fees. We spent $495 to keep seven pets from entering animal control or another shelter. We provided required rabies vaccinations and registration fees for three dogs at risk of entering the system, paid return-to-owner fees for three pets, and contributed towards the pet deposit for the final pet so he could stay with his owner instead of ending up at the shelter. The story below highlights one pet that returned home from animal control with our assistance.


Cases that fall in this category are multiple-pet families or special circumstances which require a veterinarian to visit the home. We have spent $354.73 to help 20 pets receive basic veterinary care. Most of these pets received basic vaccinations because of multiple pets in the household or the pets were senior and arthritic.


This year, we distributed the following supplies to families in the Metro East:

  • 105 doghouses
  • 108 pets received straw
  • 20 cat shelters received refreshed straw
  • 84 cat shelters
  • 76 tie-outs
  • 2 stakes
  • 80 collars
  • 6 harnesses
  • 32 leashes
  • 7 bowls
  • 56 three-month supplies of flea/tick preventative
  • 25 indoor crates
  • 4 litterboxes
  • 17 jars of SWAT fly repellent
  • 2 tick removal tools
  • 2 baby pools for whelping
  • 2 kennel runs
  • 2 bottlefeeding supply sets
  • 2 nail clippers
  • 3 dog beds

These supplies were distributed as part of our outreach program. We also distributed several supplies at our vaccination clinics, but did not track those supplies given.

We are proud of our efforts in the Metro East so far this year, and are eager to see what 2019 brings. Keep up with our latest efforts by following our Facebook page, blog, or Beyond Rescue vlog, and if you’d like to support our efforts, donate today!


Janet Alderson
Community Director
Gateway Pet Guardians