Thanks To You

Every year, Helping Strays rescues over 300 dogs and cats. This work is made possible by the many volunteers who give their talent, time, enthusiasm, and love. Whether working hands-on with animals at the facility, or giving time and talent at special events and community outreach, volunteers assist Helping Strays to fulfill its mission and stretch every charitable dollar for maximum effect.

Ways You Can Help

Don't just curse the darkness, shine a light!

  • Shelter Care Dogs at the shelter need not just food and water, but walks, playtime, belly rubs, and basic training. Cats need snuggling and playtime, too, every day of the year! Dishes and litter pans need washing, and floors need sweeping. Its the love and attention of volunteers that makes our facility a place of hope.
  • Run A Mutt Are you a regular runner or walker? Would you like to take a friend along? Our Run A Mutt program matches shelter dogs with volunteers who can then take them off premises for a run or walk. Benefits to the dog are exercise, socialization and a chance to be seen in public. If you are interested, please check out the program details.
  • Off-Site Animal Care Are you a cat lover, but not able to get to the shelter? Helping Strays has cats at Waterloo Feed and Pet Supply and at Belleville Crossing Petsmart. We are responsible for the care of the pets at both places, and depend on volunteers to do it. If you can volunteer at either location, to feed cats and change litter boxes, the cats would love your company.
  • Foster Do you have room in your home and your heart for a temporary family member? Foster families play a huge role in the lives of shelter pets. Living in a shelter, with little exercise and limited human attention, can be difficult for some companion pets. Getting them into foster homes gives them a chance to relax and really shine. Home life is particularly important for puppies, who have so much more to learn.  Pets recuperating from various medical treatments recover more quickly in a foster home.
  • Foster Buddy Can’t foster but want to help? Foster dogs need to get to adoption events, but foster families can’t necessarily go to every event. A foster buddy partners with a particular family, to help get that animal to events. A Foster Buddy will be able to talk knowledgeably about that particular dog (or cat), because they know her well. Foster Buddies also can do weekend fostering when a full time foster is out of town, or cover for vacations if they wish.
  • Mobile Adoption Events Many hands make light work. Many hands also mean more chances at adoption. Helping Strays holds adoption events in the Metro St. Louis Area, and the more help we have, the more animals we can bring. Events typically run from mid morning to mid afternoon, usually on the weekend. If you would like to help a dog get a day out of the shelter, and a chance at a permanent home, this could be the job for you.
  • Fundraising Are you the host with the most? Do you love to throw parties? Are you an organizational whiz? Helping Strays puts on several fundraising events each year including the Mutt & Me 5K/Fun Walk, A Cause for Paws benefit auction, and the Jingle Bell Walk among others. We need a lot of help to support these events. People who can plan events and secure donations of merchandise, food and money are in particular demand. Anyone who has experience or interest in fundraising is welcome!
  • Handyman/Repairs Yes, the shelter has a “honey, do” list. Recent chores have included rehanging chain link gates, changing locks, and hanging shade cloth. There is always something. Won’t you please be a honey?
  • Photography A picture is worth a thousand words. And a great picture can compel a potential adopter to come meet one of our pets. Photographers, please consider using your skills to help our pets show off their individual star quality.
  • Professional Resources for Helping Strays If you are a professional with experience in marketing, graphic design, public relations, grant writing, fund raising or any field that you believe could positively impact HS, please contact us. We would love to hear your ideas!

If something here appeals to you, please contact the Helping Strays Office. You will be contacted about upcoming volunteer orientations.