Bitter, cold weather is dangerous for outdoor pets. Dog houses and straw are not enough; pets must be brought inside!

The frigid temperatures over the next seven days could be fatal to pets left outdoors. We are working in emergency mode this week to provide resources like dog houses and straw so residents in East St. Louis and the surrounding Metro East area can bring their pets inside.

“Many of our neighbors live in poverty and the reality is that many people may not have heat in their homes and are scrambling to ensure their personal safety when the temperatures dip this low,” said Jill Henke, Director of Community Programming. “We want to be there to provide that reminder to them to think about their pets and offer resources to ensure the safety of their pets as well.”

With this extreme weather, we will be working overtime to go door-to-door around the community to inform residents that pets MUST be brought indoors as consequences over the next week could be fatal. Our team will also be working diligently to move pets to foster homes as quickly as possible so more space is available to take in emergency cold weather rescues.

“We will be working closely with St. Clair County Animal Control and the local police departments in the East Side Pet District, as well as targeting warming centers to get the word out that we are here to help,” said Henke.

We regularly hold dog house and straw donation drives for our community outreach program in East St. Louis, but extreme weather calls for extra measures.

“Our ultimate goal is to educate and urge owners to bring their pets indoors, but we are getting close to exhausting our supply of dog crates, leashes, collars and blankets,” said Henke. “These are the items people need to bring their pets inside. We also need foster homes so we can make space for more dogs as we know every call for help over the next week will be urgent.”

If you are a resident living in East St. Louis, Cahokia, Alorton, Centreville, Washington Park or Fairmont City and you need supplies in order to bring your pets indoors, please call 618-687-8007, ext. 5 and leave a message to receive a call back.