Becoming part of the Gateway Pet Guardians team was one of the best choices I have ever made. This organization is filled with the MOST compassionate people, who truly go beyond rescue (#beyondrescue) everyday to keep pets with the people who love them. We also aim to enrich the lives of pets in our care (shelter and foster) until we find homes for these sweet furballs who have lost their way.

I have been actively involved in animal welfare for over 20 years. I have witnessed extreme compassion and undying love. I have seen hate and evil unveiled. I have heard rumors confirmed and also squashed. I’ve had the honor of working beside some extremely knowledgeable people, as well as those who seem to lack brain cells. Myths have been busted and truths have been revealed. I have seen policies, processes, and procedures change and evolve again and again – oftentimes overnight. One thing that remains consistent in the animal welfare world is the never ending need for funding.

That is where I come in, it is my job to raise the money necessary to continue on our mission. This includes keeping the lights on, paying our valued employees, covering an immense amount of veterinary bills, and getting this amazing 54,000 square foot building ready to operate as the community’s new Pet Resource Center.

Capital Campaigns are exciting, detailed, fast paced, frustrating, and oh so fulfilling. This one means more to me than any other. Our plan is to improve the lives of pets and their people in a currently underserved community by opening East St Louis’ first Pet Resource Center. This will, no doubt, make the biggest impact on my furry friends to date. Our focus on providing the resources and services needed to help a loving family care for their pet is the way that we will keep them from being surrendered or straying. Imagine if we had started with this philosophy?

Then there is all that other stuff that requires money. Funding for our everyday operation comes to us in many ways. We participate in events all over the St. Louis Metropolitan area, from adoption events to dine & donates. A steady revenue stream comes from our surrogate events. This is when a business or organization holds a fundraiser benefiting GPG and we do nothing but show up to represent the organization and bring a few adoptables. We have donation boxes in over 70 locations, look for one if that spare change is weighing you down. We do 2 major campaigns annually, Healing Hearts and our WHY campaign. We hold several annual events – Trivia Night, Glo Bingo, 5k9, Soiree for Strays, and the Slumber PAWty. This year our Slumber PAWty is going big with 15 area animal welfare organizations participating. These events provide fun for our faithful following while creating the funding we need to grow.

There are also exciting donor opportunities like Giving Tuesday and GiveSTLDay. Our success on GiveSTLDay this year was AMAZING. The way our team came together proves that we have what it takes to move forward and accomplish all of our goals. I hope we see this kind of unity in all of our fundraising efforts.

We seek funding through grants. Obtaining a grant is an extremely satisfying accomplishment. It means you effectively communicated your need and the foundation/grantor wants to help move you ahead on your mission. Typically, you are rejected more often than funded so it is a big win when you hear one of us scored grant funding.

The biggest piece of our donor pie is the individual donor. People like you who come to our events, bid on auction items, participate in campaigns, volunteer your time at events, donate through your company’s matching program, and become Giving Guardians.

Our Giving Guardians are our monthly donors. They made a monthly commitment to Gateway Pet Guardians. Their ongoing donations are income that we count on to provide care to our pets. These are funds we can rely on in our budget each month. If you aren’t already a member of this elite group, you can sign up right here – Giving Guardians.   

I feel like I am successful everyday. The quantity and value of donations that come in may vary but the heartfelt compassion behind every one is always the same.

If you would like to help us on our Capital Campaign journey or become a Giving Guardian, don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to hear from you! deb@gatewaypets.org


Deb Dubis Foster
Development Director
Gateway Pet Guardians

PS – We DO NOT receive any federal, state, or local funding (aka your tax dollars).