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'Getting more urgent by the minute': Belleville animal shelter in danger of flooding again

Anyone available to foster can go to Gateway Pet Guardians from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to pick up a foster dog.

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — An animal shelter in Belleville needs the public's help getting animals to safety as recent frequent rains increase the risk of flooding at the shelter.

St. Clair County Animal Services, located at 1250 S. 11th Street in Belleville, was one of many animals shelters affected by the historic rainfall and flooding in July 2022. Flooding caused dogs at the shelter to be chest-deep in water and in need of emergency evacuation and fostering, according to a news release from the shelter.

Gateway Pet Guardians created an emergency action plan to help St. Clair County Animal Services get animals into temporary shelter situations ahead of the rain expected over the next few days.

“We need people to step up to foster a dog for at least 1-2 weeks,” Jill Henke, director of operations for Gateway Pet Guardians, said. “Our shelter is at maximum capacity currently, so the only way for us to help the dogs in danger of being flooded is to find foster homes for our current shelter dogs.”

RELATED: See pets for adoption at St. Louis-area shelters

Credit: Gateway Pet Guardians/St. Clair County Animal Services
Rising flood waters outside St. Clair County Animal Services in Belleville, Illinois.

Many dogs are ready to leave the shelter for foster homes.

“Most are 40 pounds or larger," Amanda Loellke, foster and adoption manager for Gateway Pet Guardians, said. "We test all of our dogs with other dogs and cats, so we can match you with a dog that will be a good fit for your home."

Henke also said the heating is out in more than half the kennels at St. Clair County Animal Services. 

"The temperatures are going to be cold over the next few days,” she said. “The situation is certainly getting more urgent by the minute.”

Anyone who wishes to foster a dog can fill out an application or visit Gateway Pet Guardians, located at 725 N 15th Street in East St. Louis, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday to pick up a foster dog. 

All necessary supplies will be provided for the dog, according to Gateway Pet Guardians.

Donations can be made to Gateway Pet Guardians by clicking here.

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