Lonely. Homeless. Afraid. Each of these pets faced an uncertain fatethat is, until they were rescued into the Gateway Pet Guardians family. As we approach the holiday season, we look back and reflect on some of our favorite rescue transformations of the year. Many of these images are graphic, but these are the realities that we face on a daily basis. Thank you to the rescuers, fosters, volunteers, staff, and supporters who work around the clock to save these vulnerable pets.


In June, we found Bill-E as a stray hunkered down in a storm drain in East St. Louis. He had a severe case of sarcoptic mange. He went through several weeks of treatment. He also broke with parvo, a deadly disease, but overcame it with the help of his foster family. After two months of waiting, he finally found a home and was adopted by a wonderful family (with a full head of hair!).

Briar, Huckleberry and Desna

We received a call from a community member about abandoned puppies in a very secluded area. They hadn’t found a mama dog, so the puppies were fending for themselves. We rescued them and immediately took them to the vet. They had maggots, fleas and ticks all over their bodies. All three are now adopted and living the good life!


When we met Bunkie, he lived with a colony of community cats. We helped care for him for a few months, until we noticed he was extremely sick. He wouldn’t move, wouldn’t eat, and was having trouble breathing. He was taken to the vet, where it was discovered that he was suffering from dehydration, anemia and an upper respiratory infection. He is now recovered and being adopted by his foster mom who rescued him.


When we first met Caleena, she was completely shut down, cowering in the corner of a cell at animal control. A foster stepped up to help her transition into a life in the home. It took a few months of patience and love, but she was finally confident enough to go on a walk with her foster siblings and enjoy life as a house dog. Caleena is still waiting to find her forever home.


Ellen was found by employees in the Metro East Industries parking lot with a head injury. She was friendly and gave everyone kisses right away. A kind employee transported her to our shelter, where she received veterinary care. She has found her forever home and is living happily ever after!


We found Gomer dodging traffic in East St. Louis. We were able to earn his trust and slip a lead around his neck, and immediately took him to the vet. He had green discharge in his eyes, his fur was matted, and he was in pretty rough shape. We found that he had chronic dry eye and ulcers in both eyes, as well as skin and ear infections. He ended up needing two surgeries on his eyes, but is recovering and living in a foster home until he meets his forever family.


We met Joanna on a cold day in January. Our volunteers stumbled upon her as a stray in an alleyway, rail thin with sores on her legs. They offered her food, and without hesitation, she approached the volunteers. She shivered as she begged for love and affection. This was the start of a new beginning for Joanna, and she has since found her forever home.


We rescued Punk from Animal Control. Two days later, he was rushed to the emergency vet. He had an upper respiratory infection and could not eat or keep his temperature regulated. He was put on IV fluids and needed a feeding tube to help him build up his strength. He had a seizure that first night, and he was moved into the oxygen cage and kept on a heating pad to help keep him warm. He spent several days at the emergency vet, but finally overcame the illness. He was adopted into a family that loves him very much!

Sweet Tea

We found Sweet Tea running in the road in East St. Louis. She was friendly and let us approach and pet her, and we noticed a severe injury on her right back shoulder. She went to a vet, and we also learned she had an ulcer on her eye. Her injuries were likely from being hit by a car. But this sweet girl has only happy days ahead of her as she waits for her forever family!


We found Wylie as a stray when one of our volunteers was feeding her colony of community cats in East St. Louis. Wylie had an injury on his tail that needed immediate attention. He had his tail amputated, but didn’t let it hurt his spirits! He is currently waiting for his forever family.

THANK YOU for your year-round support. Thanks to you, we are able to make these transformations possible! If you’d like to help us save even more lives in 2018, donate today!