Gateway Pet Guardians set to open new facility in ‘pet resource desert’

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Gateway Pet Guardians is preparing to open a facility offering resources to the Metro East area.

The area has been called a “pet resource desert.”

According to the Gateway Pet Guardians’ website, about 65,000 pet lovers and pets in the area for a long time did not have much access to vaccinations, grooming, even places to buy pet food.

Furry friends in the Metro East now have a place to be taken care of.

“It’s crucial that pet owners have the resources to care for their animals appropriately,” said Jamie Case, executive director of Gateway Pet Guardians.

After renovating the building which was formerly the Miles Davis Elementary School in East St. Louis, Gateway Pet Guardians is gearing up for a grand opening to the facility that will offer a long list of resources.

“There’s not a whole lot around here, so seeing this in this area, especially, is really great,” said Jaime Toolen, a puppy foster parent.

“The East Side Pet District is what we call a ‘resource desert,’ a ‘pet resorts desert.’ There’s no veterinarian, no pet food store, very few grocery stores with pet supplies, and no groomer,” Case said.

When the doors officially open March 26, those resources will be accessible to the thousands who have not had these services. The facility features a pet clinic, a spa for grooming, low-cost vaccinations, and preventative testing.

“When those things are not available, there are higher instances of disease spreading,” Case said.

With the support of companies like Ameren Electric and Purina, animal welfare in the Metro East can become more of a priority.

“Just to be able to offer something to the community that has never been here and to see the excitement and the help that we’re able to offer this city has been huge,” Case said.

Gateway Pet Guardians will be opened after March 26 on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays.


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