From the desk of the Executive Director, Emily Stuart

There is a rule in animal welfare that describes the length of time it takes a pet to adjust to a new environment: three days to decompress, three weeks to learn a new routine, three months to feel at home. On April 5th, I celebrated my third month with Gateway Pet Guardians (GPG), and while there has been plenty of decompression and many lessons learned, I have never been prouder to call an organization my home.

Strong Foundation
Since January 1st, we have added seven new staff, including several new-to-GPG positions in fund development, customer service, and community support. During the first quarter of the year, we committed to paying all staff a living wage and added a retirement plan with company matching into our suite of personnel benefits. Our team participates in quarterly seminars through Mental Health America on themes of stress management, compassion fatigue, and busting burnout. We launched a Racial Equity Committee with staff and volunteer participation and added a standing agenda item to every team meeting highlighting key strategies toward becoming more equitable.

Extended Family
We have welcomed 271 new donors to the GPG family in the last three months and raised over $300,000. Volunteers have committed over 3,400 hours of service since the beginning of year, saving our organization $91,000, and improving the quality of life for countless animals. Our active foster network is averaging 2,300 hours of lifesaving care a month. We became a hub for Chewy.com returns and are coordinating the dissemination of pet care items to the community and other animal welfare organizations, at no cost.

Animals Always
Two hundred and two animals have been adopted this year to date, with a record-breaking February. On average, we have reduced our length of stay for animals in the shelter by 45 days between the 1st quarter of 2020 and 1st quarter of 2021. A reduced length of stay enables us to intake even more animals in need of care. Our April drive-through vaccination clinic set a record for 90 animals served in three hours! Our community clinic has provided heartworm preventative to 47 pets, administered minor medical treatment to 60 animals, and vaccinated well over 200.

Built to Last
Gateway Pet Guardians is here for East St. Louis, pets and people alike. In 2021, we are adding additional veterinary capacity, designing a collaborative and community-focused three year strategic plan, and piloting multiple initiatives dedicated to keeping families together. I am excited for the next three months, and the next three years.

Please contact Emily Stuart | emily@gatewaypets.org