Stray Rescue of St. Louis is one of a kind
Compassionate animal lovers will appreciate the mission of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, a nonprofit rescue organization that literally plucks abandoned animals from the darkest alleys and decrepit buildings of St. Louis. No matter whether your stay in St. Louis is two days or two weeks, a visit to Stray Rescue’s new shelter is bound to motivate you to get involved in animal rescue.
Since its beginning in 1998, Stray Rescue has grown to include more than 300 volunteers and 12 programs that support its goals of restoring health to abused and neglected animals and placing them in loving homes. A member of the St. Louis Petlover Coalition, Stray Rescue adds depth to St. Louis’ animal welfare efforts through its many outreach opportunities.
Founder Randy Grim – fondly known as the St. Louis “Dog Whisperer” – discovered a new lease on life when he began rescuing strays off city streets. Grim has become an advocate for animals. Along the way, he has become a national authority on pet rescue, not to mention the author of three rescue-related books. Grim also is the host of Animal Tails, a weekly radio program devoted to animal welfare and advocacy.
If you’re interested in attending a social gathering with like-minded animal lovers, check out Stray Rescue’s calendar of upcoming events. Golf tournaments, Muttini happy hours and The Holiday Gala are some of the activities. You also could join Stray Rescue at adoption events held almost every weekend at different venues around the area, such as PetSmart locations, local parks and grocery stores.
Saving thousands of animals
Saving thousands of animals and finding loving, forever homes for them is no easy feat, especially when you consider that most of the dogs and cats helped by Stray Rescue were living on city streets before being rescued. Many need veterinary care and socialization in foster homes before they can be adopted. In rehabilitating homeless animals, Stray Rescue helps St. Louis deal with what otherwise could become a social problem: overpopulation of stray animals.
Stray Rescue established its hotline — Abandoned, Not Forgotten — so police officers, firefighters and the public could call when stray animals are discovered. The hotline often receives calls about animals tethered to chains that have been left behind when houses are foreclosed.
Successful adoptions are paramount at Stray Rescue. The Rent-A-Pet Program allows potential adopters to try out a pet for the weekend. Fostering a pet over the weekend – Stray Rescue provides the pet, food, bowls and leash – is a great way to see how an adoptive pet fits in with the family. Another resource for ensuring successful adoptions is the Post-Adoption Program in which behavioral training is provided for dogs with socialization issues and those having difficulty adjusting to their new home.
Seniors for Seniors matches senior citizens with senior dogs appropriate for their lifestyle. The program provides funding for senior citizens who are unable to afford adoption fees but are able to care for a pet, and even continues to fund veterinary care for adopted animals after the adoption. This program also funds veterinary costs for dogs age 4 and older that have chronic health conditions and are adopted by people with limited financial means.
Educating the public about responsible pet care and ownership is achieved through Teaching Love and Compassion (TLC), a small volunteer committee that presents on select topics to schoolchildren and community groups. Pet guardianship, including the lifetime commitment of adoption, and the importance of spaying and neutering pets are among the topics.
The notion of giving animals a second chance takes on new life at Stray Rescue, and the animals rescued from empty houses and dark alleys of St. Louis seem to understand this. At Stray Rescue, people often say rescued animals make the best pets. These remarkable dogs and cats reward their guardians with a love and loyalty unmatched anywhere.