‘Worst abuse we’ve ever seen:’ Stray Rescue hoping for big Giving Tuesday following horrific year of animal abuse

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 6:41 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Giving Tuesday is the biggest fundraising day of the year for Stray Rescue St. Louis, which helps thousands of cats and dogs escape neglect every year.

However, Cassady Caldwell, C.E.O. of Stray Rescue, said 2022 proved record-setting in all the wrong ways.

“I’ve been here for almost nine years and this is the worst abuse I’ve ever seen,” Caldwell said. “Between the stabbings, the gunshots and just starvation, we were honestly overwhelmed with how many animals were coming in just starved.”

The nonprofit operates solely on donations and grants, offering kennel space to more than 125 dogs on-site and comprehensive medical care. Nearly 450 dogs are currently in foster homes, freeing up space in the shelter.

“Without our fosters, there’s no way we could do what we do,” she said. “It allows us to open space up, which makes room for dogs we find on the street in dire need of help.”

On Giving Tuesday in 2021, Stray Rescue suffered a major blow when their Facebook page was taken down after being reported. The page has nearly 300,000 followers, and staff members post videos of daily rescues.

“I know it’s very hard to watch and hard to see, but it’s the truth,” she said. “I want people to know and see what we do every day. The truth can be brutal but that’s what we deal with.”

“Because of historic levels of abuse, medical costs are at an all-time high,” Caldwell said.

“I’ve spent over $2 million so far this year just in medical,” she said. “Every dime has been worth it, and we’ve saved so many lives, but it’s been my hardest year yet.”

As for why abuse is on the rise, Caldwell can only guess.

“Look at the current state of society,” she said. “We’ve become a disposable society, and I think that includes animals, and I think when people are done with them, they throw them out on the streets.”

This year, Stray Rescue’s goal is to raise $150,000 before a match is made. Every dollar donated is matched until midnight. To donate, click here.