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I want to thank everyone for your continued support and investment in our mission to create a supportive community rooted in collaboration, compassion, and caring for the people and animals of St. Louis City. This work is only possible because of kind-hearted people like you!
2022 was quite the year for us at CARE STL; lots of ups and downs, lots of successes, and lots of animals were saved. A total of 3,012 animals were cared for by 23 full-time staff members (caregivers, adoption team & training team), which was 572 more animals cared for than the previous year. This is an increase of 25%, which is unbelievable! 1,945 animals were placed in their forever homes, and 289 were reunited with their owners.
We have significantly increased the in-shelter enrichment for our dogs by hiring certified professional dog trainers and now offering free training for the public, which is already completely booked solid! Three new play yards (an enrichment yard, a sensory garden yard, and a play yard) were added for our shelter dogs, providing them additional space to de-stress while waiting for their forever homes. We also now offer $10 microchip IDs to the community, not just for city residents but for everyone! And thanks to a lifesaving grant we received from Petco Love, we were also able to buy an ID tag machine, so all the dogs & cats that leave our building are provided with free ID tags and collars.
Additionally, we offer rabies tags and registration for all city animals. Because of the trust placed in us by our city partners, the rabies tag information is entered into our system, so lost city pets picked up as strays can be returned to their homes and reunited with their families.
2022 was a roller-coaster kind of year for us in so many ways, but we made it thru to 2023, and we're still moving forward. Since winter will be with us for at least a few more months, we anticipate another large influx of homeless pets coming into the shelter to start off 2023 like we ended 2022--filled to capacity...and beyond. Again, we continue to ask our growing number of foster families to share our foster programs (like the Finder to Foster and Foster Friends) with their friends & family, so we can continue to expand our foster network.
It's mind-boggling to think that just four years ago, when we took over the management of the STL City shelter, the intake number was just 600-800 animals a year, while last year, we took in 3012! We were only able to survive this massive influx of animals because of the help of our incredibly committed volunteers, who contributed a total of 15,847 hours helping in the shelter and enriching animals.
Our overall reach as an organization has grown so much over this time, but so has the total number of animals that keep coming into the shelter. It's a continuous challenge because we always need to raise additional funds for the medical costs involved with a large percentage of the animals we intake. So many of them are injured, sick, and malnourished, which is why we ask and ask and ask again for the funds & tools we need to help them all.
Once again, thank you for believing in us and believing in our mission. Thank you for joining a community that CAREs.
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