National House Pawty Aims to Raise Funds for Animal Shelters During Pandemic


The author's dog, who is very good. - DANIEL HILL
  • The author's dog, who is very good.

As stay-at-home orders are increasingly being extended in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19, local animal shelters have seen an uptick in adoptions of furry four-legged friends to keep us company.

The Animal Protective Association of Missouri (1705 S. Hanley Road, Brentwood; 314-645-4610), for example, announced in late March that all of its adoptable pets had found homes. And just a few weeks back, Anheuser-Busch even went so far as to offer a three-month supply of free beer to anyone who adopted or fostered a dog through the Midwest Animal Rescue Service — a win-win situation if there ever was one.

It's easy to see why people would want a pet right now, as social distancing measures and bans on large gatherings have made for some lonely times. But even though the uptick in adoptions is good news, coronavirus is wreaking havoc on many adoption organizations' ability to raise funds in the ways they would have traditionally.

Enter the National House Pawty, a streaming online fundraiser scheduled for this Saturday, April 18, benefiting more than 80 shelters across the nation and spearheaded by Gateway Pet Guardians, a non-profit animal shelter based in East St. Louis.

“We’re in the midst of a good-news/bad-news situation. We’ve never seen a bigger demand for shelter pets; but at the same time, shelters large and small are having to cancel fundraising events every day,” executive director of Gateway Pet Guardians Jamie Case writes in a statement. “We’re excited to bring some fresh content to pet lovers across America who are stuck at home — helping to raise their spirits while we raise much-needed funds for the shelters.”

The live-streamed event will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and organizers promise "a variety of entertainment ranging from interactive games to celebrity and athlete cameos to live music performances." Those who wish to help the cause are asked to raise $250 for their favorite participating adoption organization, with the goal being to raise so $500,000 total. At present, the fundraiser has already raised more that $108,000.

The Humane Society of Missouri and local pet food giant Purina are lending their considerable clout to the cause as well.

“In the past month, we’ve seen a huge increase in pet fosters and adoptions across the country, but there is still a great need among pet welfare organizations,” Jessica Arnold of the Purina Pet Welfare team writes in a statement. “At Purina, we believe life is better when people and pets bond — especially during difficult times. Now more than ever we’re proud to support this fundraiser and the shelters that connect people with pets.”

For more info on the National House Pawty visit the fundraiser's official website, and check out its Facebook event page here.

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