We’re in Survival Mode
While inadequate amounts of toilet paper and hand sanitizer plague the nation, one shortage has been a welcome sight throughout the coronavirus pandemic: empty animal shelters. Gateway Pet Guardians is proud to be one of those shelters sitting empty of animals in response to COVID-19, and we have our community, volunteers and staff to thank.
COVID-19 has also presented challenges to nonprofit and governmental animal welfare agencies around the country, as many have scrambled to alter operations, reduce expenses, and provide community support during this unprecedented time. This page is dedicated to sharing the obstacles and successes Gateway Pet Guardians has experienced during this pandemic; as well as how you can help us continue our mission.
The links below provide more insight into the challenges and solutions we have been implementing since the Shelter in Place order was passed.
Gateway Pet Guardians has always been a foster-based rescue but we have had a brick and mortar shelter since 2012. Our philosophy on animal sheltering is that it should be a temporary holding place for a pet until the pet can be placed in a foster home. We took this...
On April 16th through April 26th, we celebrated our amazing volunteers during National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Each year, nonprofit organizations and communities recognize volunteers and celebrate service, and we pride ourselves on our volunteers feeling welcomed...
In Preparation for Increasing COVID-19 Cases, St. Clair County Animal Services is Cleared Out of Animals
April 10, 2020 (Belleville, IL) – Two partnering animal shelters came together with a single goal to empty all of the kennels at St. Clair County Animal Services this week. This is to prepare for potential emergency intake due to the COVID-19 virus. “Our shelters have...
Though the Illinois Shelter in Place order has altered or temporarily suspended some of our operations, our community programming continues to provide vital support to families in the Metro East. We have implemented extra precautions, including the use of PPE when...
Before COVID-19 talk became the norm, the Gateway Pet Guardians community team created a program called WAG. Qualified families could become members of the WAG Program and get lots of freebies and discounts at our new Pet Resource Center. One perk was access to our...
Veterinary clinics and animal welfare agencies are encouraged to limit non-emergency surgeries, including spay/neuter, during the COVID-19 pandemic (UWM School of Veterinary Medicine, ASPCA). Doing so will help conserve PPE to support health care professionals and...
Want to help dogs and cats in need? Need help staying active during quarantine? Join the Burpees for Puppies and Jumping Jacks for Cats Challenge! To learn how it works, watch this video and/or follow these steps: Click on our Facebook PageClick FundraisersClick...
We have seen an outpouring of support from fosters, adopters and donors wanting to step up and help animals during this unprecedented time. But today, we also wanted to share some more great work from our community! We received a call from a resident from our service...
March 23, 2020 (East St. Louis, IL) – One local East St. Louis animal shelter has emptied ALL of their kennels because of a tremendous outpouring of support from the metro area community. “I am so relieved and happy to say that we moved all of our shelter pets into...
How You Can Help
We put out a call for emergency foster homes in early March in the wake of concerns and restrictions related to the COVID-19 virus. We were blown away by the community’s response after receiving 300+ foster applications from good people wanting to help!
We’re back to ask for our help again. As fundraising events are being cancelled and adoptions have slowed, we have to consider the financial implications this virus places on our small non-profit.
We’re worried about the pets and, more importantly, the people that love them, during these uncertain times. We are worried about the toll that the stress is placing on our staff as we work at a blistering pace to ensure we are doing enough for the pets and the community that we serve. We worry about how to pay all of the bills that come along with opening the largest pet resource center in the region (we just moved in on Jan. 20, 2020!).
But we know that time and time again, our supporters step up to help us tackle whatever obstacle that is in our way. Here is what we are working on and how you can help.
Seeking Monetary Donations
Making a donation to Gateway Pet Guardians ensures that we are able to support our foster and community outreach programming and emergency needs for families in crisis due to COVID-19. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to help cover the cost of supplies, operating costs and emergencies. You can donate below or online at www.gatewaypets.org. Donations can be mailed to our facility at 725 N. 15th Street, East St. Louis, IL 62205. You can also send donations via PayPal using email@example.com as our email address.
We are most in need of large crates, medium martingale collars, pet food for our pet food pantry and laundry detergent. Items can be purchased from our Amazon Wishlist at https://www.gatewaypets.org/donate-now/gpg-wish-list/.
We are encouraging everyone to adopt a pet NOW and we are offering “social distancing friendly adoptions,” so you don’t have to come to the shelter or another public place. If every pet in our care was adopted, that would generate nearly $20,000 in adoption fees and that revenue is what we depend on to pay our staff and keep the lights on. If you’re interested in adopting, please go to www.gatewaypets.org and submit an adoption application.
Reducing Non-Urgent Intake
We will be asking owners who are not facing immediate crisis to hold their pets for up to four weeks and, if they are able, to surrender at a later date. We’ll also provide any necessary resources that the owner needs to care for their pet.
Recruiting Emergency Fosters
We have moved all shelter pets into emergency foster homes and have created a list of people who can be called on to foster as we have urgent intake needs (i.e. sick, injured, etc.). This means that if/when more restrictions are put into place, we know our pets are safe and receiving the care they need.
One thing you can do now to make plans for your pet is stock up on an extra two weeks of pet supplies and identify a pet sitter who can help out should you be hospitalized.
Now more than ever before, we need to come together to support the pets and people in our community. Moments like this is when we see the greatest acts of compassion and kindness. Thank you for adopting, donating supplies or making a gift to sustain our life-saving work. We are in this together.
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