The Gateway Pet Guardians Community Outreach Program began in January 2013 as a response to bitter cold temperatures and dogs left outside in the elements. Since its inception, it has grown into a program with dozens of volunteers that spend their weekends in the community, helping residents improve the lives of their family pets.
Perhaps one of the biggest feats for the program has been our ability to help community pets receive both routine and emergency vet care. We held our first vaccination clinic in 2014 in Lincoln Park, and have held them at least yearly since. In just two years, we’ve vaccinated 578 community pets and microchipped 209 pets. Our spay/neuter program has been in existence since 2012, and since its inception, we’ve altered 659 community pets. We’ve also created our East Side Pet Crisis Fund, which provides emergency vet care to pets in our service area when funds are available. We’ve helped over 60 families, with expenses totaling over $14,000, with this fund.
All of these initiatives have helped us change the landscape of the Metro East. Natalie Creamer, GPG’s Community Impact Program Lead, reflects: “Five years ago, when you would drive through our service area, there were dogs everywhere. PJ, one of our founders, used to feed a pack of 15 dogs! What we realized was that these dogs were running loose but most were not strays. Many were owned dogs that were not spayed and neutered so they were packing up and running around looking for mates. These days, you actually have to drive around for awhile to find a dog. Our efforts have made a huge impact.”
We’ve made a huge impact in the Metro East, but there is still much work to be done. If you would like to learn more about our efforts, visit www.gatewaypets.com/community-programs. You can also contribute to our East Side Pet Crisis Fund and help pets in need by donating today.