Two Week Rescue Effort Saves 25 Dogs from Frigid Temperatures

Saint Louis, MO, January 5, 2010 – During the first two weeks of January, Gateway Pet Guardians completed its largest rescue effort to date. It began with efforts to retrieve a pack of 15 neglected adult dogs and puppies from the cold streets of East St. Louis. The pack, originally consisting of six adult dogs, two of which have just given birth to a litter of puppies, have been sustained on the streets for nearly a year by the daily feedings from Gateway Pet Guardian’s founder P.J. Hightower.

The urgency to rescue the animals came on Christmas day when Hightower along with the organization’s president, Amie Simmons, was approached by a police officer during their morning feeding route who notified them that if the animals weren’t rescued immediately, animal control would be called and all would be euthanized. The dogs had not been previously pulled due to a resident claiming ownership.

[pullquote style=”right”]”We normally only rescue an average of 100 dogs a year, so to have reached such a significant goal in so little time is really special for us”[/pullquote]

Retrieval efforts began with one member of the pack that had sustained a broken pelvis most likely due to being hit by a car. Thanks to fundraising efforts, her injury has been treated by a specialist and she is currently in recovery before being put up for adoption.

On New Year’s Eve, Hightower and four Gateway volunteers spent several hours searching for the puppies of the pack to no avail. They were, however, able to rescue one pit bull who jumped directly into their car without having to be prompted.

On New Year’s Day, Hightower and more volunteers searched the remains of several burned out houses and abandoned buildings in order to locate the puppy litters. Four volunteers assisted in tearing up floorboards of the buildings to rescue the nine youngsters. The volunteers set a trap to capture the mother, but she would not take the bait. In a last attempt, a volunteer placed one of the pups near it, and she immediately crawled into the trap and lay down.

“I wanted to be sure that were no more puppies before we rescued the rest of the pack. As soon as we were able to determine that we got them all, the other three dogs were rescued,” said Hightower.

Frigid temperatures and snow in early January’s forecast were of great concern to the organization, who wanted to finish rescuing this pack and as many other strays from the streets as possible before the dogs suffered or died.

“We got more than we initially expected,” said Jamie Case Anderson, Gateway Pet Guardian’s Vice President. “Once we started pulling dogs, we just kept finding more that needed to be rescued. As of January 14th, we have rescued 25 dogs total for 2010.”

That number is a Gateway Pet Guardians record.

“We normally only rescue an average of 100 dogs a year, so to have reached such a significant goal in so little time is really special for us,” said Anderson.

With so many animals being rescued in such a short period of time, volunteers, fosters, and donations are needed to aid with the medical treatment and rehabilitation of the animals. Every dog rescued by Gateway Pet Guardians receives veterinary treatment for any existing medical conditions and is spayed or neutered before being put up for adoption.

For more information about donating, fostering, or adopting one of these dogs, or to view our calendar of events, visit www.gatewaypets.com.

About Gateway Pet Guardians

Gateway Pet Guardians is a nonprofit virtual animal shelter that relies on donations and volunteer foster families to rescue starving and abandoned animals. For more information about Gateway Pet Guardians or to donate, volunteer, or become a foster family, visit www.gatewaypets.com.