Stray Rescue of St. Louis Saves Animals Around the Area


A rescue dog named Harley from Stray Rescue looks curiously into the lens of the camera. (photo by Hannah Medlin)

By Kylah Woods

The non-profit organization, Stray Rescue of St. Louis is dedicated to rescuing stray animals and restoring them back to health so they can have a second chance at life.

“I love seeing the animals,” volunteer Julie Hayes said. “I love seeing them get happy and healthy again.”

Stray Rescue was formed in 1998 by Randy Grim and is located in downtown St. Louis on Pine Street. Their main goal is to turn the St. Louis area into a city where every animal knows health and love. Stray Rescue takes a direct approach to achieve this goal by sheltering, rescuing, participating in community outreach programs, educating and encouraging good pet ownership.

“Stray Rescue does everything in its power to make every single dog and cat healthy,” marketing manager Natalie Thomson said. “Every dog deserves a chance.”

They offer foster programs to help pets in transition before they find their forever homes. Foster families help nurse the pets back to health and teach them to trust again after being neglected and abused. Most dogs aren’t kept in the shelter, they are sent to a foster home. The dogs come back to the shelter for check ups and meetings with potential owners.

“I’ve had one successful foster out of two,” Julie Haynes said. “I mean, they were both successful, but I decided to adopt one of the dogs I fostered.”

They also offer a volunteer program for anyone 18 and older. The volunteers do more than just handling donations and cleaning up around the building. Some volunteers actually go out and rescue stray animals to bring back to the shelter. The way they trap the animals varies because the type of trap needed depends on the animal and the situation the animal is in. Usually, they use traps that when the animals walk in, the door on the cage closes and the volunteers take the cage back to the shelter.

“There was one dog that I remember coming in, Foster, he was all beat up and sad looking,” volunteer Theresa Cronin said. “Now he’s healthy and has a wonderful foster mother.”

Sometimes a rescued dog becomes a service dog. They can become Pets for Patriots, Rescues 2 the Rescue or Seniors for Seniors. Pets for Patriots are for veterans at any stage of duty. Rescues 2 the Rescue are search and retrieval dogs. Seniors for Seniors dogs are service animals for anyone over the age of 60.

“When the dogs walk in the door they just look defeated and deflated,” Cronin said. “When they walk out the door a few weeks or months later and you can tell they know they’ve found a family. It’s amazing really.”