Can Humphrey help Pet Guardians get a leg up on fund-raising?

News-DemocratFebruary 10, 2014 

Humphrey the three-legged dog.

PROVIDED/BND

The folks at Gateway Pet Guardians hope that Humphrey can take home the title of stray rescue royalty at the Pooches Unleashed Party on Feb. 23 in St. Louis.

If he wins, it will mean they have raised some money to support the Gateway Second Chance Fund.

Humphrey is a mixed-breed dog who was living on the streets of East St. Louis. Gateway, a volunteer group which tends to stray and injured animals in the metro-east, knew about Humphrey but he was so shy and wary they couldn't catch him.

But in January of 2011, while a KTVI reporter was taking a ride-along in East St. Louis with volunteers, Humphrey got a lot of press. There were many comments on the TV station's web page lambasting the rescue group for not saving the dog, who had a severely broken leg.

Ashley Riley, vice president of the group's board of directors, said the group decided to use those comments as an opportunity for education on how difficult it was to rescue every animal.

"We followed up on every comment on Fox 2's page, letting each person know that if they would be willing to become Humphrey's foster, we'd go out and try to trap him the next morning," she said.

Most of the folks quickly backed down but one person jumped at the chance, she said.

So the group went back out and was able to lure Humphrey into a large cage, then get him to his foster home. The family later adopted him.

But first Humphrey needed his leg amputated and that meant a big medical bill -- which prompted a fundraising campaign.

So they decided to create the Second Chance Fund to rescue injured animals in need like Humphrey so they could be one step ahead.

Riley said it is intended to be a ready supply of money on hand so that injured dogs can get immediate care rather than waiting for funds to be raised.

The fund will get a considerable boost if people donate to Humphrey's royalty campaign.

Two generous donors will make equal donations to the Second Chance fund, Riley said. So for each dollar given to the party, Gateway's Second Chance Fund would get two dollars.

"We hope to raise $1,500 in votes, which would mean $3,000 for the fund," Riley said.

For more information on the rescue group or the fund, you can visit the pet rescue organization at gatewaypets.com. Or you can call the group at 314-664-7398.

To vote for Humphrey you can visit the site Frenchtowndogpark.com and click on the 2014 stray royalty contest heading. There is a minimum of $5 donation online.

The party is from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Feb.23, at the dog park at 10th and Emmett streets just off Interstates 44-55.

Admission is $10.

Have a column idea? Call Wally at 239-2506 or 800-642-3878; or email: wspiers@bnd.com

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