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 been working with top organizations across the country since early March to adjust programming for this pandemic. The New York City Animal Control Director warned us Monday to prepare now. We took that advice and went to work.” said Jamie Case, Executive Director of Gateway Pet Guardians in East St. Louis, IL.

Animal welfare organizations throughout the United States are being urged to follow the essential intake guidelines put out by the National Animal Control Association during this crisis in order to keep our shelter workers and animal control officers safe. This means only emergencies should be entering animal shelters. Gateway Pet Guardians, Belleville Area Humane Society and St. Clair County Animal Services are asking the community to partner with them to help lost pets find their owners instead of bringing them to shelters. Most animals that are lost are within 1000 feet of their home.

“If neighbors can help healthy, lost animals find their way back home, our shelters can stay open and available for sick or injured pets or pets whose owners need to be hospitalized from Coronavirus” said Shoshana Mostoller, Co-Director of Belleville Area Humane Society.

This week, 41 animals were transferred to Belleville Area Humane Society and Gateway Pet Guardians emptying every dog kennel and most of the cat kennels in the municipal shelter. These organizations are urging people to foster and adopt during shelter in place orders.

“This is the perfect time to bond with a new family member. Each of our agencies has put protective and physical-distancing protocols in place for adoptions.” said Katie Nelson, Co-Director of Belleville Area Humane Society.

Left at the facility are eight working cats. These are cats that need barn or warehouse homes with a caretaker to provide food and water for them. If you are interested in natural pest control for your property, please reach out to one of the organizations to adopt them.

Of the 41 animals transferred from the municipal shelter this week, two were nursing cats with kittens, four were pure bred beagles, eight were positive for heartworm disease and all will need additional veterinary care.

For more information on these organizations, their programming during the COVID-19 pandemic and to donate, visit their websites: Gateway Pet Guardians, Belleville Area Humane Society, St. Clair County Animal Services.

About the Partnering Shelters

Through proactive community programming, spay & neuter services and adoptions, the St. Clair County Animal Welfare Coalition composed of Gateway Pet Guardians, Belleville Area Humane Society, St. Clair County Animal Services and other partner organizations ensure that 90% or more of the county’s animals leave the shelters with a positive outcome.