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'People are good': After historic rainfall, East St. Louis pet resource shelter receives $45,000 in donations

Plus, it received more than 1,100 foster request forms, as well as a handful of adoption submissions.

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill — Gateway Pet Guardians stepped up when historic rainfall came down.

The nonprofit rescued almost all of the animals at St. Clair County Animal Services. All the facility's dogs and cats were in kennels filled with water during flooding.

"The majority of the dogs were brought here initially for us to vet and send out to foster homes and other rescues organization," said Jill Henke, the director of community programming for Gateway Pet Guardians.

On the initial day, the organization took in about 50 animals. 

Days later, intake continued to pile on.

On Wednesday, it saw about 25 more dogs and cats come in with about 8 or 9 on Thursday.

"We're housing some pets for community members displaced from home," she said. 

Dogs and cats are now getting all the resources needed.

Henke said their services are essential, now more than ever.

"Particularly, low-income pet owners that need access to resources such as low-cost vet care, pet supplies, low-cost grooming services. Our service area includes East St. Louis, Cahokia Heights Washington park and Fairmont City," she said. 

Henke said the area is in a resource desert for pet owners. 

"Before we opened up, there was no vet clinics, no pet stores, no grooming facility. That becomes a barrier for pet ownership and certainly leads to what we call resource-based neglect," Henke adds. 

However, Henke said they aren't doing this job alone.

The support from the community has been overwhelming in the last 72 hours.

We have never been so happy to sit down and bury our heads in a ton of paperwork 😆 Whew, what a day 😮‍💨 We can't say...

Posted by Gateway Pet Guardians on Tuesday, July 26, 2022

More than $45,000 were raised, which will go toward costs for care, vetting (e.g., spay/neuter, vaccines, flea/heartworm treatment), food and vital shelter/foster supplies.

As of Tuesday night, all the dogs and cats available were fostered.

Plus, it received more than 1,110 foster request forms, as well as a handful of adoption submissions with 14 dog and five cat applications.

"It just reinforced why this work is so important and people are good," Henke said.

But the work is far from over. The continued support will be vital.

"Cash is needed to get supplies but we need food, stainless steel water bowls, we actually do need slip lids. In the weeks and months to come we are going to need fosters on an ongoing basis," Henke shares. 

If you're interested in becoming a foster, the organization is requiring a two-week minimum to take care of a dog.

Soon, it will also need adopters, so all of the dogs and cat can have permanent homes.

If you'd like to donate, click here

For more information to foster click here and to adopt, click here.

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