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Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen an increase in animals due to evictions, job loss, and an uncertain economy. In 2022, most shelters across the nation are operating in “crisis” mode, and CARE STL is no exception. In 2021, from January 1- to May 28, we took in 714 animals. In the same time frame for 2022, we have seen an increase of 909 animals for a total of 1,623 animals entering our shelter. The increase of animals is currently 69.01%, and we have not yet reached the peak of our summer months, which always brings more animals, primarily kittens and puppies. 

As we look deeper into the numbers, 201 animals were owner-surrendered due to financial hardship, compared with just 125 in 2021. The community is so desperate for a solution for their pets that many people have resorted to abandoning their beloved animals in public places with their toys, beds, and belonging when they feel they have no other option and every shelter is at total capacity. 647 have been abandoned this year, compared to 402 in 2021. Despite these numbers we are stll able to achieved a live release rate of 97%.


Volunteer Spotlight: Michelle Critzas

Michelle Critzas celebrated her 65th year and walked 65 dogs. Michelle's Pit Crew attended and supported the event and helped her all day.

Sunday, May 15th, our shelter trainer Michelle is celebrating her 65th birthday in a BIG way! She will be walking 65 dogs. Yes, you read that right! Asked about her inspiration, she said: My inspiration for 65 walks came from a gentleman that walked 50 dogs on his 50th birthday. His goal was to raise money for the shelter he volunteered at. He started with a goal of 5K, but his quest received so much attention that he raised an amazing 12K. So when I read his story, I thought 1) I can do this with 65 CARE dogs! I walked dogs 23.5 miles on one day this week 2) My 65 walks would bring awareness to how many dogs are in the CARE system as I walk dog after dog on May 15th! 3) If CARE's friends and family, and followers donate $6.50 or $65 to my 65 dogs walked in the one-day quest, I will be able to raise much-needed funds to help the dogs at CARE STL while they wait for their forever families!

"Hey, 65 walks Pit Crew! I hope to bring positive attention to all the wonderful animals at CARE who need fosters and adopters. More donations would also be much appreciated! And lastly! Thank you so much to everyone that has offered to help me! I love you guys for your big hearts and your dedication to the animals at CARE! I couldn’t do this without you!"

Also, a thank you to Royally Baked - Vegan STL for supplying us with amazing Vegan treats today! On sale for a small donation.

If you would like to support Michelle for her amazing birthday, she would love it (as would the doggies!)

Employee Spotlight: Kennedy Hemme
              Adoption Counselor / Animal Care

 Name Kennedy Hemme

How long have you been at CARE STL? 
Kennedy:  I've been at CARE for about seven months now.

You have a career working with animals. How did you make that choice, and how did you find CARE STL?
Kennedy: Like many people, I have loved all animals. My mother, a volunteer at the time, encouraged me to volunteer here, and here I am.

In one sentence, how would you describe your job? 
Kennedy: I would describe my job as incredibly difficult, fascinating, and rewarding.

What do you love most about your job?
Kennedy: That's a tricky question because many things are to choose from. I would probably say the fact that I get to know so many different animals who are all so great. Especially when a "shutdown" dogs come out of their shell.

What impact do you think you come into work every day on the animals we care for?
Kennedy: I think we have an incredible impact! The animals depend on us, and they deserve caretakers that show up for them.

Is there a favorite animal you have worked with or are working with no, that is particularly special to you?
Kennedy: This is another tricky question! Someone does stick out to me, however. Vivian is one of the saddest-looking dogs in the shelter! First, she came in a shutdown, but now she moves more lively and seemed excited to see me because I spent a little more time with her, pet her more, and talked to her.

If there is one thing you would like people to know about CARE STL, what would it be?
Kennedy: I would like people to know that CARE STL is a pretty small team, but we all work very hard to help animals and the community.

What are the two facts about you and your hobbies or what brings you joy when you're not working that we may share with our supporters?
Kennedy: I enjoy occasionally fostering as it opens up a space at the shelter and gives my CARE alumni someone to play with. Besides that, I like to read books and study Japanese in my free time. I also want to work on dog training.


Dog Spotlight: Brozelle

Brozelle, aka Roz is the latest addition to the Three Pines Foster. I am still getting to know her, as she hasn’t been with me long. It’s apparent who ever had her for the first 3 years of her life pretty much left her on her own in the back yard. She has the fly scars on her ears to prove it. So even though she is 3 years old she has a bit of a puppy personality. She also has that great lab disposition, a good heart, and loves all people. She is extremely willing to learn, I am just doing simple things with her to start and she does really well. She wants to be a good dog. She does like other dogs, but lacks a bit in dog manners. My personal dogs have been going up to her in her yard and she is doing pretty good meeting them. I’m hoping they will teach her a bit. I do think she could go with another dog, it would just take some time, and the right dog. She’s a lovely dog with tremendous potential. And she certainly needs a new name.

Brozelle lives at Three Pines Foster and is available for adoption thru To meet her message me here or on Three Pines FB page or email me at - Sharon Null, CARE STL Foster & Volunteer Members

Have you fostered for us? YOU can help us win a $10,000 grant from Petco love and it’s super easy! For the month of June, Petco is asking you to share your break up story when you foster returned to the shelter, or went to their forever home! We know you have a story, just write it up, share on your social media and your story can earn a lot of money for the dogs and cats still in our CARE.

Here’s what to do:

  • Write your break up story and post on your social media (from you or your foster pet!)

  • Share your heartache, or bitter sweet joy since your foster is in a new loving home!

  • Tag @PetcoLove

  • Tag CARE STL

  • Add #MyFosterBreakup

Between our shelter and in foster homes we are currently caring for a record-breaking 355 animals. With this huge amount, we are in need of some extra supplies!

Our wishlist makes it easy to donate and the items come directly to us:

Leashes and collars

Purina Lamb & Rice dry adult dog food

Large crates for fosters 48"Each item is on our wishlist if you can help donate!

At CARE STL, the volunteers make sure that the cats get in on the enrichment craze as much as the dogs! Our cats often go for stroller rides outdoors but this was all about the indoor enrichment..... and our cats had a ball!

Our volunteer Georgia came up with this wonderful and easy idea for our cats and created buckets filled with herbs, including catnip and lavender. The cats loved the smells, jumped into buckets, rolled around, and it was PURR GALORE!

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