ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill — Sometimes when it rains, it pours for St. Clair County Animal Services.
"When it rains," Sara Cordevant with Gateway Pet Guardians said, pointing to the creek running past the Belleville shelter, "it just doesn't drain well."
The shelter has seen the creek overrun its banks and fill into the shelter. In 2022, pets had to be rescued after feet of water flooded into the kennels.
"The creek floods the entire building," Cordevant told 5 On Your Side. "Last year there were dogs standing in chest-deep water. The cat room was halfway up the wall."
2022 was an all-hands-on-deck situation and took multiple rescue organizations to relocate the animals. This rainy season, Cordevant says they are trying to get ahead of the game.
"We're trying to get prepared, there's a lot of rain in the forecast. We're trying to get animals out of our shelter in order to help here in case of emergency," she said.
Gateway Pet Guardians is looking for fosters so they can make room for animals from St. Clair County Animal Control. Potential fosters can stop into Gateway Pet Guardians. Once there, they will fill out a form and a placement manager will match them with a foster animal.
Fosters are asked to keep the animal for one to two weeks. In that time, Gateway Pet Guardians can do a lot for the pets at animal control. Cordevant says when the shelter has room vacated by foster pets, animals from St. Clair County Animal Services can be transferred to Gateway Pet Guardians, "We get these animals out and get them vetted and get them ready for a foster home as well."
Fosters are a temporary fix. Eventually the shelter will need to find a safer site. Cordevant says she spoke with administrators at St. Clair County Animal Services.
"They are in the process of trying to look for a new building to just move the whole entire facility to higher ground," she said.