Our Mission is to Rescue, shelter, and rehabilitate homeless pets, find them loving homes, and promote responsible pet ownership.

Our History


In 2002, a handful of concerned citizens met to discuss the conditions of Monroe County Animal Control at that time, where nearly all stray and surrendered pets were euthanized.  Out of that meeting, the Humane Society of Monroe County was born and soon thereafter gained its non-profit status. 

Beginning with just a few foster homes and adoption events in 2004, the newly formed Humane Society of Monroe County slowly began to grow.  Adoptions began to increase and all of the animals rescued by Helping Strays at this time were kept in foster homes until adoption.

A spot was secured on St. Louis’ NBC Affiliate KSDK's Sammy Stars in 2006, and our adoptable pets continue to be featured weekly on KSDK to this day

In 2007, Helping Strays leased a small building just north of Red Bud, IL and it was filled to capacity within two months. In addition to our foster homes, the shelter offered 14 dog runs and room for 25 cats

In 2013, while legally remaining the Humane Society of Monroe County, the organization began doing business as Helping Strays. This rebranding offered a distinction between Helping Strays and many other Humane Societies because we rely entirely on donations and do not receive any funds from any federal, state, or local government entities.

In 2016, Helping Strays’ new facility and current home opened, allowing many more pets to be saved, significantly increasing adoptions, and providing a resource to the community for animal welfare education.  Our current shelter can house over 60 homeless pets and includes a turf play yard, surgery suite, meet and greet rooms, intake and recovery rooms, office space and more. 

Today, we average over 1,000 adoptions each year and maintain a Save Rate over 98%.  We are proud to say that over 10,000 homeless pets have been rescued and adopted since our humble beginning in 2002.  

Board of Directors

Carol Womack
Beth Knysak
Vice President
Gary Schroeder
Michelle Bakken
Dr. Noelle Miles
Sally Kendall
Deb Dunevant-Poor
Paula Hutchinson
Dr. Jeff Clinebell
Blake Johnson
Kelli Leesman
Sarah Schmidt

Staff Leadership

Scott Spinner
Executive Director
Dr. Jessica Koss
Shelter Veterinarian
Nev Fisher
Shelter Manager
Brittany Reilly
Veterinary Technician
Dawn Blackwell
Kennel Supervisor

Get to know Helping Strays

Check out the most recent statistics on the animals we serve, from the dogs and cats transferred to us and the puppies and kittens born in our care.