I just have to brag on our outreach team for a bit… We are struggling to find puppies in our service area (East St. Louis metro area)! Our Outreach Program has been in full swing for the past three years and we have fixed close to 1,000 animals in that area. We have puppy fosters waiting for puppies and there just aren’t that many out there! That used to be our primary intake of rescues! We are making a MAJOR impact, folks! I am so proud of everyone in our GPG family for working together to not only eliminate homelessness for pets in our service area but also work on the back end to ensure the rescue runs like a well-oiled machine!
For many years, puppies were our drug of choice. So. Many. Puppies! Puppies in abandoned buildings; puppies running stray in fields; puppies buried under crumbled houses; PUPPIES EVERYWHERE! Now, our foster team says “we have puppy fosters ready and able” and our rescue team has to go search for puppies! This proactive state is not a bad thing! It is forcing us to get more creative with our community outreach approach. We see a whelping mama in a yard, we knock on the door! Our goal is to sterilize the owned pets in the community to eliminate unwanted litters. While these pups are adorable, we know the staggering statistics of unwanted pets that end up in our overcrowded and under resourced shelters. (Statistics show that ONE unspayed female and ONE unneutered male AND their unaltered offspring can produce up to 67,000 animals over SIX years! This is a VERY real number in a community that just three years ago didn’t have any spay/neuter options and the majority of animals were unaltered.) The majority of the time, the owners weren’t prepared for puppies and are willing to not only surrender the puppies to ensure they have a long, healthy life but also spay mama so they don’t have any more surprises.
The impact of our focus in the metro East St. Louis, IL community has been just tremendous. Volunteers and locals tell us how the number of strays roaming the streets has diminished significantly over the past three plus years. Through our rescue and outreach efforts, these once staggering numbers are virtually non-existent!
Our work is far from over though! We still have many exciting things on the horizon for our treasured community members and we can’t wait to roll them all out!
Love each and every one of you have that supported GPG in some capacity! You are helping save lives!
Gateway Pet Guardians