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Here's how you can help a Metro East animal rescue clear its shelter for the holidays

Gateway Pet Guardians has more than 20 dogs looking for a Slumber Pawty companion this Thanksgiving.

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — With Thanksgiving in just a few days, an East St. Louis animal rescue is inviting you to foster a dog for the holiday and clear their shelter.

Gateway Pet Guardians is hosting its annual "Slumber Pawty" program, encouraging families to foster dogs through the holiday season in an effort to give the rescue dogs a break from life in the shelter, according to a news release.

Gateway Pet Guardians hopes that enough families will foster a dog through Thanksgiving week to help clear out their shelter, and help dogs find their forever homes.

“Even for a short stretch of time, a slumber pawty gives us great insight on a shelter dog’s personality and of course we love the idea of our dogs being enjoying a little turkey and pumpkin pie and a nap on the couch,” Amanda Loellke, Gateway Pet Guardians' adoption and foster manager said in the release.

“Potential adopters are always wanting to know as much as possible about an adoptable pet, so placing animals in both short and long-term foster homes is one of the best ways to learn about a shelter pet’s personality.”

Gateway Pets has more than 20 dogs looking for a Slumber Pawty companion this Thanksgiving. 

The rescue will provide all the necessary supplies to foster the dog like food, a crate, any medications the dog requires, and more. 

“We have many dogs who are great with other pets and people of all ages, including children!” Loellke said. “Whatever your specific needs, we can help match you with the perfect pup!”

Credit: Gateway Pet Guardians

Dogs must be picked up on Nov. 22 or Nov. 23 for the Slumber Pawty, and staff encourages fosters to keep the pups until Monday, Nov. 28 or longer, however, the earliest available time to return a foster dog to the shelter will be Sunday, Nov. 27 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Gateway Pet Guardians will also waive adoption fees for any family who decides to adopt a dog they fostered over Thanksgiving week. 

In addition to this event, as it gets colder outside, Gateway Pet Guardians is making space in its shelter to help house community dogs in need, the release said.

The shelter said it is focusing on providing supplies like straw and dog houses as well as informing owners on pet safety tips for the cold temperatures.

“When extreme weather hits, we are out in the community doing everything possible to keep pet families informed and prepared with lifesaving supplies and resources,” Jill Henke, Gateway Pet Guardians' operations director said in the release. “Temperatures are already dropping and we imagine in the next coming weeks, we will need room to intake strays that need a safe, warm place to land.”

Anyone interested in the Slumber Pawty foster program can click here to sign up.

For more information on the program, click here to email Gateway Pet Guardians. 

Click here to donate to Gateway Pet Guardians and learn more about their causes.

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