GRANITE CITY — A rescue group in Granite City constantly is working to save the lives of unwanted and abused pets from the inevitable sad ending they would face if left at the pound.
Pound Pets Rescue Inc. is a nonprofit group with many members who open up their homes to foster pets rescued from the pound.
Granite City Animal Control captures stray animals and takes owner surrenders. The men and women involved in Pound Pets Rescue find temporary homes for the dogs found by animal control until they can be adopted. During their stay with the foster families, these dogs and cats are treated medically and micro-chipped. Any health issues the pets have are treated by veterinarians and if they have not yet been spayed or neutered, Pound Pets will provide those medical services as well.
It is costly to care for and provide medical services to these dogs and cats. The rescue group will pay for surgeries, dog obedience school and monthly maintenance costs like flea and heartworm medication. They need the public’s help to continue to run their group, which is entirely donation-based.
“We are pleading for other rescue groups and local residents to step up and help out,” said Deb White-Crisswell, president of Pound Pets Rescue Inc.
She and other board members said they are determined to continue helping unwanted animals, and they will put in the time needed to find them a home, but they need residents’ support.
“We will put in the time it takes, but we need the help and support of the community,” White-Crisswell said. “Without the financial support, even hard work can’t accomplish all it takes to help these animals.”
White-Crisswell has a family and a full-time job she has worked at for more than 20 years. She said her workplace is supportive of her work with the rescue group, which never quits running. Even at 3 a.m., she and other board members get calls regarding rescues.
Melissa Boss, also of Granite City, serves as vice president and secretary for the organization. She too has a full-time job, a family and plays in a band. She is fostering five puppies that had to be fed from birth because the mother couldn’t feed her litter. Boss said she enlisted the help of her son and his girlfriend to help her feed the puppies every two hours by a syringe for about six weeks. “Our work doesn’t stop,” Boss said. “We make our lives fit around the fostering and we choose to do it because if we don’t, how many more pets will be in need?”
She said since the group’s inception in 2010, the G.C. Animal Control’s euthanasia rate has dropped from 98 percent to just 3 percent. Boss explained that only animals considered to be “not adoptable” are euthanized. These dogs are human-aggressive and can’t be considered safe around humans.
The group is on an intake freeze right now, which means it cannot take on any more pets in need. Their main needs are foster families, monetary donations and adoptions to take place. They are always accepting donations of pet products, such as dog and cat food, leashes, crates, harnesses and baby gates.
White-Crisswell said their bank account is tapped out and all the volunteers who serve as foster families are full, so they are in need of more help.
“We need more volunteers,” she said. “People who can volunteer a little bit of time can go to the pound with some treats or dog toys and visit with the dogs there. They don’t have much interaction and would be grateful for some attention.”
Pound Pets has partnered with Carol House Furniture in St. Louis to help residents get their pets spayed or neutered at a discounted rate. Pet owners contact Pound Pets and set up a time to meet someone at G.C. Animal Control on Missouri Avenue. They can drop their pet off there at the appointed time, and the pet is driven to St. Louis to be neutered. The owner can pick their pet back up the next morning at G.C. Animal Control and the cost is only $29.
Pound Pets also partners with local veterinarian offices, where they receive a discount on medical services. Four Paws in O’Fallon helps sick animals from Pound Pets during the day, and if there is an emergency in the middle of the night, Collinsville Animal Hospital takes those pets needing care.
Another part of the organization that plays an important role in the area is the Community Outreach Program. This program helps pet owners in need by providing pet food so they do not have to surrender their dog or cat to a shelter because of a tough financial situation. When money is tight, many people want to give their pets away as a way to make ends meet, but Pound Pets said they want to help keep pets with their owners and will bring them food the same day it is needed.
Approximately 50 animals in foster care through Pound Pets need a forever family. Those who are interested in adoption can submit an application on the group’s website at www.poundpetsinc.com. The Pound Pets Rescue Facebook page also explains ways people can help.