Gateway Pet Guardians Attempts Largest Rescue in Group’s History

Week Long Rescue Effort Saves 15 East St. Louis Dogs From Frigid Temperatures

Saint Louis, MO, January 5, 2010 – In early January, Gateway Pet Guardians retrieved a pack of 15 neglected adult dogs and puppies from the cold streets of East St. Louis. The pack, originally consisting of six adult dogs, two of which have just given birth to a litter of puppies, have been sustained on the streets for nearly a year by the daily feedings from Gateway Pet Guardian’s founder P.J. Hightower.


The urgency to rescue the animals came on Christmas day when Hightower along with the organization’s president, Amie Simmons, was approached by a police officer during their morning feeding route who notified them that if the animals weren’t rescued immediately, animal control would be called and all would be euthanized. The dogs had not been previously pulled due to a resident claiming ownership.


Retrieval efforts began with a member of the pack which had sustained a broken pelvis most likely due to being hit by a car. She is being seen by a specialist and will be treated for her injury before being placed in a foster home and eventually being put up for adoption.


On New Years Eve, Hightower and four Gateway volunteers spent several hours searching for the puppies of the pack to no avail. They were able, however to rescue one pit bull who jumped directly into their car without having to be prompted.


Hightower and more volunteers searched the remains of several burned out houses and abandoned buildings in order to locate the puppy litters. Four volunteers assisted in tearing up floorboards of the buildings to rescue the nine youngsters. The volunteers set a trap to capture the mother, but she would not take the bait.  In a last attempt, a volunteer placed one of the pups near it, and she immediately crawled into the trap and lay down.


“I want to be sure that there are no more puppies before we rescue the rest of the pack. As soon as we are able to determine that we got them all, the rest of the three dogs will be rescued,” says Hightower.


Frigid temperatures and snow in the weekend’s forecast are of great concern to the organization, who would like to finish the rescue of this pack and any other strays they can possibly capture from the area before any of the animals freeze to death.


“We will rescue as many dogs this weekend as we can find fosters for,” said Jamie Case, Gateway Pet Guardian’s Vice President. “We don’t currently have a physical building to kept the dogs, so we rely completely on volunteer foster families to care for animals until they are adopted out.”


For more information about fostering or adopting one of these dogs, visit www.gatewaypets.com.



About Gateway Pet Guardians

Gateway Pet Guardians is a nonprofit virtual animal shelter that relies on donations and volunteer foster families to rescue starving and abandoned animals. For more information about Gateway Pet Guardians or to donate, volunteer, or become a foster family, visit www.gatewaypets.com.