ST. LOUIS — Gateway Pet Guardians kicked off their first St. Louis Area Shelter Slumber Pawty on Saturday to raise money and awareness for homeless cats and dogs. 

Participants are staying overnight with the adoptable animals to show solidarity and their commitment to ending the trend of homelessness among cats and dogs.

Fifteen local shelters partnered with Purina to organize the event. 

Sleeping in cages overnight with the cats and dogs will be a sacrifice for the 200 participants, but Pet Guardians Executive Director Jamie Case said it's worth it, knowing that it's for a good cause.

“By this time tomorrow, the staff and volunteers that will be sleeping on the cold floor will be tired, but they will be so excited about the amount of money that will be raised as a whole and as a shelter,” Case said. “They will really get a sense of what it feels like to sit in these kennels like the dogs.”

Gateway Pet Guardians has been raising money for the past month. They've raised over $200,000, and by Sunday at 2:00 p.m., they will hope to have raised that number to $300,000.

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