Volunteers from a local animal rescue delivered supplies to pet owners in the Metro East Tuesday (Jan. 29) who needed help to bring their animals in from the brutal cold. Gateway Pet Guardians fielded 45 calls from people in need of support and residents concerned about area animals living outdoors.
Jamie Case, Executive Director of Gateway Pet Guardians, said outdoor structures like dog houses with straw would not be enough to protect outdoor pets during the severely cold weather this week. She visited several homes in Washington Park to deliver much-needed supplies to pet owners.
Case said all of the dogs she encountered Tuesday had some sort of shelter. Many of the pet owners she spoke with wanted to bring their animals inside but did not have the right supplies to do so.
Gateway Pet Guardians had helped Aaron Donnald with spaying/neutering his pets in the past, so Donnald knew he could count on the organization for help this week when he decided to bring his seven-month-old puppies, Cash and Cinnamon, inside.
The organization provided Donnald two crates, food and water bowls, a collar, a leash, a bag of dog food, and blankets. Donald expressed gratitude to Case for her assistance.
In total Tuesday, Gateway Pet Guardians distributed 28 crates, 17 blankets, one collar, two leashes, three bags of food, seven bales of straw, and four dog houses to families and pets in need. The organization took custody of seven dogs whose owners could not guarantee their safety during the extreme cold.
Myia Edwards said she had been watching the news coverage of this week's weather warnings so she knew she needed to bring her three dogs inside. She said even though her dogs love to play outside, she knows what is best for them when the temperatures drop this low.
"We know we're freezing, we can only imagine what them poor dogs feeling like," said Edwards.
Gateway Pet Guardians will be back out in the Metro East again Wednesday (Jan. 30). Case said they could use donations to help with their mission.
In addition to the supplies handed out Tuesday, volunteers also signed up ten animals for spay and neuter surgeries to help break the cycle and work toward ending homelessness for animals in the Metro East.