Shelter for Today, Hope for Tomorrow

  Help us unleash the pawsibilities.


The excitement is BUILDING as this dream has become a reality.

The new facility allows us to adequately house and safely care for the area’s homeless animals. A beautiful piece of property was donated for the facility, conveniently located off IL Rt. 3 between Columbia and Waterloo, IL, just a short drive from St Louis. Phase 1 creates a healthy and safe temporary home for the animals, while future sections Phase 2 and 3 will also serve as a community resource for volunteer opportunities, educational programs for adults and children, and a training resource for people and their pets.

Helping Strays still needs your support. Our community has contributed over $600,000 of the 1.6 million needed to pay for Phase 1. From spare change dropped in capital campaign jars to naming rights, every dollar is appreciated. Join the Kennel Club or put your name on the Wall of Honor. Read on to see how your dollars continue to help the animals in so many ways!

Why did Helping Strays build a new facility?

Taking in between 350 and 400 companion pets every year, Helping Strays is the only rescue organization in Monroe County. Helping Strays is not affiliated with any other organization and receives no public funding.
Though it helped save many lives during our 10 years there, our previous leased building lacked many of the characteristics required for a healthy, safe rescue environment.  Improper drainage hindered adequate cleaning and disinfection. Having only one ventilation system allowed the spread of respiratory disease. Just as importantly, there was no separate space for quarantine and isolation to prevent spreading illness.  While they were there, the animals were not able to move about freely for exercise and play – so important to physical and mental health.

Our New Facility    

  • Our new facility provides clean, well drained, comfortable housing for 29 adoption-ready adult dogs, more than twice the number we could house previously. A large, astroturfed play area provides a mud-free space for dogs to really stretch out and run for that tennis ball. There are separate rooms for young and small dogs as well as areas to show off those dogs regularly living in foster homes.
  • Cats have a spacious open area where they can show their true personalities. Large cages are available for those cats that are feeling a little unsociable. Kittens have their own room as well to romp and play!!
  • In our new facility, we are able to provide separate quarantine spaces for dogs and for cats. Animals arriving at our facility from animal control may be harboring contagious diseases which we don’t want to pass to our adoptable animals. Quarantine ensures that health problems will be contained to avoid shutting down the facility. Examination rooms with necessary equipment lets staff diagnose parasitic problems and treat minor injuries quickly and efficiently.
  • Isolation rooms means that those animals with treatable contagious conditions can be adequately cared for without endangering the other pets in the population.
  • Three Meet and Greet rooms provide private spaces for adopters to meet their new family members. It so much easier to get to know a dog or cat in a distraction-free, leash-free space.
  • The new facility has plans to add a community education room. This room will be used for training for our dogs, classes for the public, including newly adopted dogs and their families, as well as classes on bite prevention and pet care. This room, complete with kitchen, will also be available for rent to other groups who need space for their events.
  • A retail space provides a variety of essentials for your new pet. Books, clothing and gifts will be available for pet lovers, as well.
  • The new facility is centrally located in Monroe County between Columbia and Waterloo. Extended open hours mean our pets will be more easily available for adoption.
  • Dreams really do come true!