ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis area animal shelter is increasing its call for help after new suggestions from the CDC as coronavirus concerns increase.
Gateway Pet Guardians said as COVID-19 concerns spread across the area it is taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of its staff, volunteers and pets in its care.
It is in immediate need of temporary foster homes for shelter dogs.
“Our main focus at this point is on reducing the overall number of animals housed at our shelter. We expect our intake to increase and adoptions to slow down, which is a predictable pattern that occurs any time people feel uncertain. And with people following the social distancing recommendations from the CDC, we are seeing less volunteers coming in to help care for the pets in our shelter,” said Alisha Vianello, Program Director at Gateway Pet Guardians.
The shelter is also asking for help from the public to host shelter dogs in their homes on a temporary basis through its “Slumber Pawty” program. The program allows anyone to take a shelter dog temporarily and the organization will provide fosters with crates, food and any supplies needed to care for the dog.
“Our Slumber Pawty program is a year-round program that helps us free up kennel space and gives dogs a much-needed break from the chaotic shelter environment, but in this case it also allows us to prepare for pressures that COVID-19 is putting on our shelter and pets in our care,” said Vianello.
Because of new guidelines, Gateway Pet Guardians canceled all in-person fundraising events through April. It is planning to host a large online silent auction to replace the canceled events. It is looking for donations, and if you or your business would like to make a donation, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gateway Pet Guardians is also offering 'social distancing friendly adoptions' so adopters do not have to come to the shelter or meet in a public place to adopt a pet.
“If every pet in our care was adopted, that would generate nearly $20,000 in adoption fees and that revenue is what we depend on to pay our staff and keep the lights on,” Development Director Jill Henke said.
Gateway Pet Guardians is a nonprofit animal welfare organization, click here for more information.