Community Outreach in East St. Louis
By Ashley Riley, GPG Vice President
One of our biggest goals at Gateway Pet Guardians is not only to rescue animals, but also prevent animals from having to be rescued in the future and help make the lives of owned pets in East St. Louis the best they can possibly be. Part of that mission involves a lot of community outreach and education on our part.
In the month of December, we partnered with local nonprofit organization Bi-State Pet Food Pantry for Operation: Give a Dog A Home. We collected dog houses and bedding to be delivered to East St. Louis residents whose pets lacked proper shelter from wind, snow and rain while Bi-State Pet Food Pantry gathered food to be distributed to low-income residents.
The project was a success and during the distribution event, we were able to hand out fliers promoting our monthly free spay/neuter clinics and our Junior Pet Advocates – East St. Louis high school students who are a part of our education program – handed out information about proper pet care and the importance of spay/neuter. We began these clinics in the fall and have been filling our appointment books every month, spaying and neutering as many as 20 animals in a short period of time. Our clinic has become such a success that we looked into investing in a large vehicle outfitted with kennels that would allow us to transport more animals efficiently. Purina helped us out immensely by granting us $15,000 to use toward the cause.
Our community outreach and education program is just getting started and is already seeing great success. We’re always looking for dedicated committee members to help us implement more of these programs in the Metro East. If you think you’d like to help out, please fill out our online volunteer application and let us know!