Saint Louis, November, 28 2011 – Gateway Pet Guardians, a nonprofit virtual animal shelter serving St. Louis and the Metro East,  was recently the recipient of a donation from Nestle Purina in the form of a 2009 Jeep Wrangler and trailer.

While attendees of this summer’s Purina Animal Welfare Conference at the Purina Event Center, local organizations had an opportunity to submit a proposal for a chance to win a 2009 Jeep Wrangler 4×4 and detachable cargo trailer donated by Waggin’ Train brand dog snacks.

“We received many wonderful submissions from very deserving animal welfare organizations that are dedicated to helping homeless pets in the greater St. Louis area,” says Kasey Bergh, Manager Community Affairs. “Our judging panel had a tough decision to make, but we’re pleased to announce that Gateway Pet Guardians is the recipient of the donation.”

Community Affairs presented the jeep and trailer to the organization during its Soiree for Strays gala on Nov. 4 at the Franklin Room in the Soulard neighborhood. Along with keys to their new ride, organization representatives also received a gift basket of Purina products, a one-year supply of pet food for one dog in the organization’s care and a $500 gas card.

Prior to receiving the jeep, Gateway Pet Guardians was not equipped to tackle the challenges that go along with an urban rescue operation. Each morning, founder PJ Hightower hits the streets in search of homeless pets – in a small Honda Fit hatchback.

“PJ and our wonderful volunteers have been using their own personal vehicles for rescues and the pick-up of donations and equipment, and often we were required to reach out to supporters for the use of a larger truck or SUV,” says Jamie Case, Executive Director. “The Jeep and trailer are invaluable logistical tools that will improve our efficiency. Every minute of time saved is another minute we can use to rescue more animals.”

About Gateway Pet Guardians

Gateway Pet Guardians is a nonprofit virtual animal shelter that relies on donations and volunteer foster families to rescue starving and abandoned animals. Gateway Pet Guardians’ focused efforts in East St. Louis, IL and surrounding areas aim to end homelessness for animals in the Metro East through rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, and community education.  For more information about Gateway Pet Guardians, events, purchasing tickets, or to donate, volunteer, or become a foster family, visit www.gatewaypets.com.