Gateway Pet Guardians: Petropolis Shelter of the Month

Although Gateway Pet Guardians opened in 2004, the concept came to life years before. In 1995, founder P.J. Hightower started feeding the stray dogs in East St. Louis with money from her own pockets. She did this almost every day for nine years. In 2001, four other women joined her, and the five pet-lovers formed an organization to raise money for these strays. Three years later, they officially founded Gateway Pet Guardians.

Now, the organization is far larger than its humble origin. Gateway Pet Guardians is currently preparing for the grand opening of their new location in East St. Louis. Upon opening, they will be the city’s first and only animal shelter. They have pets in foster programs, their TNR Program (Trap Neuter Release) for feral cats, and several community outreach programs that help owners with affordable spays and neuters, emergency vet expenses, microchipping, and vaccinations. Plus, they are still feeding the stray population – and going through 1,000 pounds of dog food a month to do so.

We are so excited to have partnered with Gateway Pet Guardians and even more excited to help find homes for their adoptable pets. To adopt, visit Gateway Pet Guardians.


Let your pup get their energy out at our enriching dog daycare.


Have peace of mind while you're away with our pet boarding options.


Raise a dog you can take everywhere with the help of force-free team.


Keep your pet looking and feeling good with low-stress grooming.