Where underdogs become legendsDecember 28, 2022 | 9:15am
It's time to take a look back and see what we've accomplished this year. TOGETHER!
None of this is possible without you. Without generous hearts who give, without fosters who open their homes, and without volunteers who donate their time, we wouldn't exist - let alone make huge strides for animals in need.
Here are some of the most noteable moments from every month this year:
In January, Betty White passed away. The way the entertainer lived her life encouraged hundreds of thousands of people all over the world to GIVE to organizations who help animals in her memory. On this day, our shelter raised over $166,000 dollars! Live like Betty; be generous, be loving, be kind and lead the way for your friends and family. We also rescued a pregnant dog that day and named her Betty White. She was pregnant with her own little golden girls but had a complicated pregnancy and sadly lost her babies. But because of our supporters, she is no longer on the street and will never have to give birth ever again.
In January, our rescue video of Baby Odella got 5.7 million views on TikTok! Our most successful TikTok to date!
In January, we rescued Ann Margaret (hospice), Asami (tied to a dumpster), Louie Anderson (about to be euthanized at another shelter), Princess Icy (shivering in the snow), Snowy Joe (hit by car and left for dead), Taupe (pregnant), Bubbly (left in a crate on the side of the road), and so many others.
In February, it was bitter cold. In addition to our normal rescues, we had 32 puppies come in - all in one day! And, thanks to our rockstar adoption/foster team, every single puppy slept in a foster home that night!!! It was a huge accomplishment to save so many innocent lives in one day.
In February, we learned of a property in Houston, MO. "Houston, we have a problem." More than fifty dogs were abandoned and left to fend for themselves. Neighbors were shooting them, they were starving to death, and many died. Cassady and the rescue team made it Stray Rescue's responsibility to save these 'Houston' dogs and not give up until we had them all. It took a few weeks but we did get them all, thanks to the help of animal lovers in the local area. They were all rescued, spayed/neutered, given space names and are now ALL adopted!
In February, warrior dogs Danny (emaciated to a skeleton) and Seska (THE worst embedded collar) were rescued and saved. Both are adopted now along with many others including Bejing (abandoned), Quasimodo (sick), and Pegasus (injured) to name a few.
In March, the ferris wheel at Union Station announced families could take their dogs on the wheel for National Puppy Day! We thought it would be a fun way to showcase some adoptable dogs, and a dear friend of ours bought 25 tickets for staff to take adoptable dogs! The dogs had a blast. So many that we rescue come from being chained up or living invisible in abandoned houses. It was awesome to watch them see the world around them from a whole new angle and partake in an incredible adventure.
In March, we rescued Hugsy (skin and bones, he ran up to us and hugged us in the middle of the street), Caleb (abused little puppy), Gherkin (injured), Frankie Girl (injured), Sub Zero (tied up in freezing temps), Sanctuary, Bevo & Campus (three little neurological special needs puppies), The Fraggle Rock 7 (owners moved and left them in the basement), Whiskey (hospice), and so many more.
In April, two major things happened. #1, we pulled 24 dogs from another shelter, all scheduled to be euthanized that day. Our shelter was full, but we asked our community if they would step up to foster and help us save their lives. Well, 24 families DID step up and we were able to pull them all!
Also in April, the biggest thing in our 25 year history happened...we closed on a new building. Not only have outgrown our shelter on Pine Street, saving more animals than ever before, but Cassady dreams big. She wants more space for more animals of course, but she also sees hope for our community. With a bigger clinic we can offer low-cost vet care to families who need it. By adding a training center, we can help more families overcome obstacles with their furry family members and keep them in their homes. By adding a free-roaming cat space, we can have healthier, happier kitties and save so many more of them. By adding an event space we can have on-site fundraisers, cutting major costs. By adding a humane education center, we can bring school-age children to us and teach them about compassion and empathy. By adding an area for boarding, we can have a safe space for pitbulls when their beloved families go on vacation. When creating apartments for our dogs, they will be separated into sound-proof rooms creating a home for them that is stress free while they wait for their forever homes. By adding bigger and many more play yards, our dogs can run leash-free in the sunshine, chasing after balls and playing with humans and each other. By adding more square feet we can have so many more volunteers and a lot more volunteering options available. The benefits are endless.
In April we rescued Bingham (chained behind abandoned house and starving), GeeGee (feral with puppies in abandoned house), Reign (injured), Sam (injured), Wyman (hit by car and reunited with family), Eggshell, Barbie, and many more.
In May we held our first-ever Spring Soiree at the Magic Chef Mansion! To our great surprise and delight, the event sold out fast and our guests arrived donned with fancy hats, nice suits, and beautiful dresses. We had a shrimp boil, live music, too much champagne, and raised life-saving funds for the babes we rescue in the most unique and fun way ever! Save the date, the event is sure to sell out again this year: May 6th!
Also in May, Kenny Chesney came in town on Derby Day. We loaded the van with 25 adoptable puppies and took them over to Busch Stadium where we held a KenPuppy Derby. He sold raffle tickets to all the bands and crew. One of our special needs puppies, Bevo, was adopted that day by one of his crew members. It was a day we'll never forget.
In May, our special needs dog Caberet was adopted to a special needs family.
In May we rescued Alexander (hospice), Java Bean (shaking in the rain), Kate Moss (emaciated), Mudder (trapped in abandoned house), Tappy (dirty, skinny, covered in scabs), Teddy Bear Dog (neglected and matted), and so many others.
In June, the year changed for us. We began to see so much more sadness. We had a lot of heartbreak from June until the end of the year. There was just so much abuse. But here are some of the key moments:
In June, we learned of a horrible situation in Louisiana. Over 100 dogs were left in a shelter. No one cared for them, and by the time they were found, we're told the horrendous situation was dire. We were told most of them were pit mixes and would be euthanized if there was nowhere to send them. As always, our shelter was full but we couldn't say no. How could we? We knew these pups have been through the worst and that's who we help. The underdog with nowhere to go. So once again we asked our community if anyone would be willing to take one in. Because of YOU, more than 50 of them were bussed in just a couple of days later! Watching them leave with the sweetest families that night was such a beautiful and uplifting feeling.
In June, we rescued Adira (badly abused). Then Garden and Peony (shot and left for dead). Then Naji and Osha (locked in a crate before they moved away). Then Sugarbaker (hospice). Then Southern Star (starving to death in trailer with owner who OD'd). All back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Along with many others.
In July, our beloved Warrior boy Harris crossed the rainbow bridge. He had friends and supporters all over the world who came with us on his healing journey. We all loved and adored him so much and are so happy we were able to give him a few, good years to know love before he left us.
In July, we hosted our first-ever night at the ballpark! We sold 396 tickets, this year let's double it!! Date to be announced soon.
In July, we rescued Annie McHound (being eaten alive by fleas), Epsom (found in crack house starving to death), and Little Tyke (abused), all three severely emaciated, along with so many others.
In August we held our groundbreaking ceremony at our new building, located at 4084 Bingham Ave. We began demolition and hope to move in as soon as possible. Please check out our Capital Campaign and/or if you know of any grants that our project is a good fit for, please let us know! The sooner we move, the better for all of our animals and community!
In August, Songaa and his friends came in (he had cancer but was chained up in rural Missouri). Then Kanga (horrible skin infection, no hair), then Kamper (horrible case of mange, no hair), then Princes Rosie (shot in both front legs), then Tesha (brutally shot in the face). And so many others.
In September, we held our first-ever "A Walk to Remember" on #RememberMeThursday. We can't wait to make this bigger and better every year, as a beautiful way to honor the sweet angels we lost and to shine a light on the many healthy animals living in shelters all over the world.
In September, we rescued Big Ben (shot and left for dead), Lexington (horrible case of mange, no hair), Cartier (found by poilce in a crate in an alley), Crunchy (matted and neglected), Honey Bee (torn up by dogs in the street), Queen Elizabeth (tiny puppy all alone), and so many others.
In October, we did our first-ever in-house emergency blood transfusion. That's when Lil Ray saved Strawberry Mochi's life.
In October, we held our 10th mobile spay/neuter event of the year, where we take our medical team out and spay/neuter community pets for NO CHARGE to families who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it. Spay and Neuter is the answer to the overpopulation crisis!
In October, Alberta Pujols (huge tumor), Black Magic (another gunshot victim), Carmello (horrible embedded collar), Espreso Bean (abused and terrified), Lilibet (another huge tumor), Tookus (a little puppy with a prolapsed anus), Trick or Treat (a mama giving birth in someone's front yard), Wolf (a little puppy with an abscess) were rescued, alongside so many others.
In November, we partnered up with Dancers & Dogs and St. Louis Ballet to create the magical "Muttcracker" photoshoot
In November, long-timer Jake Allen leaves the shelter!
In November, we rescued Backstop (tied up at a park and left), Citypark (surviving the streets all alone), the entire Fields of Gold Family (dumped on the side of the road), Habanero (living in an abandoned house), Little Toes (living in trash), Noel Joy (another little puppy with an abscess), Wishbone (obstruction), the Windy Family (mama who gave birth in abandoned house), and so many others.
In December, Kenny Chesney's team called. They told us Kenny wanted to honor his beloved Ruby by saving so many underdogs in her name. He had written a song about her years ago but never released it as a single. He released "Da Ruba Girl" as a single and named us the beneficiary!
In December, Eric and Rashi and the entire filming crew for CBS's Lucky Dog came to our shelter to film an episode, with our food sponsors Blue Buffalo!
In December, long-timer Jax leaves the shelter with a beautiful family!
In December, we saw record-low temperatures and rescued Christmas Rose (found in a crate with a deceased dog, caked in feces and urine), one of the most horrifying sights we have seen in our 25 years. We also rescued Avalanche (emaciated with open wounds), Cappy (cute puppy with badly broken leg), Turtle Dove (birth defect needing surgery), Crosby & Buble (two best friends, one hit by car and the other wouldn't leave his side), and so many others.
Thank you for your support, love, and belief in our mission. We are always learning, growing, and evolving. When we can do better, we do better. Thank you for coming with us on this 25 year journey, whether you've been with us since day one or you've recently discovered us, we thank you. We are far more than a no-kill shelter.
We had a lot of heartache and heartbreak this year. Sadly, we are seeing more abuse than anytime in our history. We live in a disposable society, and sadly that goes for Man's Best Friend, too.
We are thankful to have saved so many deserving animals this year, and help thousands find forever homes. So many families became complete, and people found their soul mates. Once invisible, street dogs were welcomed into our family, nursed to health, gained thousands of fans on our social media pages praying for them, and some were even featured in newspapers all over the world. At Stray Rescue, underdogs became legends.
Let's do it again in 2023. We're going to need your help to save so many deserving souls who sadly will have no other place to go. They'll need us. And we need you. Please make a tax-deductible donation now before midnight on 12/31:
CEO, Stray Rescue of St. Louis