2017-2018 winter newsletter


Our Ornament supply drive is in full swing! We have 22 retail locations (listed below) who are collecting supplies for our dogs and cats! Visit one of these awesome partner locations, choose an ornament with an Open Door cat or dog (or both!) and their wish list, shop for the gifts they are wishing for (in many cases, the gifts can be purchased at the retail location), and drop off your gifts at the location or at Open Door! We are hoping to fill ALL of our animals’ stockings this year! Thank you to these partners (any the many other businesses and schools who are doing internal supply drives during the holiday season): 

Company B BBQ in House Springs

Advantage Veterinary Center in High Ridge

St. Louis Oral Surgery South in South County

Murphy’s On 21 in South County

Associated Veterinary Specialists in Bridgeton

Imperial Animal Hospital

Total Hair Care in High Ridge

Fox Creek Veterinary in Wildwood

B&B Automotive in Fenton

Veterinary Group of Chesterfield

Watson Road Veterinary in St. Louis City

General Grant Mall in Affton

Dean Team Subaru/VW of Ballwin

Bentley’s Pet Stuff in Kirkwood

Reflections Salon in South County

Chesterfield Park Dental

Treats Unleashed (Kirkwood, Des Peres, Chesterfield, Richmond Heights, Oakville, and  Central West End)

We had a great time at the “Howl-O-Ween” event on October 13th.  The Costume contest winner was the SCARECROW!  Congratulations!

Paws to Party, Open Door’s largest annual fundraiser, was held on Sunday, August 20th and was our most successful ever thanks to our guests, our sponsors, and our volunteers!   Thank you for everyone’s help and support!

 PAWS to PARTY was Open Door’s best party ever!

Open Door has hosted a dinner auction for 13 years and this year’s “Paws to Party” event seemed to be a lucky 13th for us as we raised more funds for our cats and dogs than ever before!   The event’s success was due in large part to our event sponsors including our presenting sponsor: “The Pine Avenue Kitty Crew” and their “people”, Susan Ryan and Brian Butts. Our VIP guests this year were treated to a reception thanks to VIP Reception sponsors: U.S. Trust, Ceva, and Carol House Furniture. Guests enjoyed delicious desserts sponsored by the Plastic Surgery Center of St. Louis and enjoyed guest take home goody bags courtesy of John and Sherry Wood.  We were thankful to our six “PAWS” sponsors as well: Agape Construction, Heartguard, Foxfield Financial, 4-Legged Kids, Benz Press Werks, and Welsch Heating and Cooling.  Our emcee, Emilie Barta, once again generously donated her services to guide our guests through the evening and help raise money during our live auction and “Raise your Paw” auction.  Our more than 100 live and silent auction items were generously donated by many awesome and much appreciated donors and businesses.

Each year, we award the Don Nichols Compassion Award. Don was an Open Door Board Member and volunteer for many years and inspired others to help Open Door by donating and volunteering.  This year’s Award recipients were the Dubman Family. Not only has the Dubman Family supported Open Door’s mission over the years, but Julie, Brook, and Amy Dubman have all spent countless hours and resources to support pets in need throughout the Greater St. Louis area and have advocated on behalf of animals worldwide.  We were honored to have them as guests and our awardees this year.

We also started a new tradition at the event this year with awarding the annual “Volunteer(s) of the Year” award. We were happy to surprise Cathy McCredie and Gary Ault with this new award as there are no two people more deserving. This couple works tirelessly to make Open Door a better place and to make our cats and dogs as comfortable as possible. Whether it’s fixing our HVAC systems, cleaning our gutters, tube feeding cats, working on our committees, serving on our Board, and even offering their own personal residence to our residents when needed, Cathy and Gary seem to always be there to save the day and we here at Open Door offer our sincerest “thank you”.

We’d also like to thank all of our attendees, our VIPs, and our volunteers, including a group from the Arsenal Credit Union in Arnold, who made the night possible.  And kudos to each of our volunteer event committee members: Wendy Borowsky, Barbara Buschart, Mandy Easter, Cathy McCredie, Anne Morgan, Nadine Rinehart, Brian Stevens, and Sherry Wood for organizing such an awesome event!    We hope to see everyone at next year’s PAWS to PARTY on Sunday, August 19th, 2018!

Cathy McCredie and Gary Ault, 2017 Volunteers of the Year


Construction has begun and we are down two one lane in and out.  BUT, we have access for car-sized vehicles!  So, please come volunteer, adoption, and donate!  THANK YOU!!!!

We were able to get a shipment of food from our Purina warehouse AND look at all the food donations that were brought to Buchheit Stores and Treats Unleashed!

Thank you to our supporters for thinking about our dogs and cats and those affected by flooding who will also benefit from these donations! Since our road is good today, come out and volunteer on this beautiful day and walk some dogs and visit our cats! Thank you to all of our donors and our partners!


Thank you to all who participated in the Ad Club STL’s “Unleashed Design-a-Thon” on April 27th at the Anheuser Busch Biergarten!  We had such a great time hanging with these talented creatives and were blown away by the awesome designs and inspiring ideas the teams came up with!  Pictured below are our agency team winners:  PHOTO 1, Team Momentum (overall winner) and PHOTO 2, Team Be Creative (honorable mention)!  We can’t wait to work with both groups to boost Open Door’s image!  THANK YOU!!!!!


2016 Winter Newsletter


Summer 2016 newsletter:


Open Door Animal Sanctuary Comes to their Rescue

On July 2nd, the Open Door Rescue Team spent the day helping a family in rural Washington County that had fallen7 3 16 rescue on hard times. Their property had gradually been overran by dozens of dogs that took shelter in several vacant trailers on the property. Although the family provided food for the stray dogs, they eventually realized the situation was out of control, and the dogs were in desperate need of help, which is emblematic of what property owners in rural areas are often faced with.

The Open Door Rescue Team arrived at the property Saturday morning and found the dogs living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. It took over four hours to round up thirteen dogs and puppies who were then removed from the property and taken to Open Door Animal Sanctuary. Most of the dogs are medium to large Chow/Pyrenees mixes and nearly all are malnourished, un-socialized and infested with mange. A full medical and behavioral examination is underway. The team plans to return to the property to search for up to 20 more dogs that may be hiding on the property. The owner is fully cooperating.

Donations from community members are critical and will help Open Door cover the expenses for the rescued dogs. Open Door cares for over 400 cats and dogs each day and does not receive any federal funding and our basic means of support comes entirely through donations.



Winter 2015 Newsletter

12 26 15 winters news

Fall 2015 Newsletter

fall news

  Pacific passes ordinance to combat feral cat population

May 19, 2015 PACIFIC, MO (KTVI) – The city of Pacific votes to approve an ordinance aimed at controlling the pacificpopulation of feral and stray cats. The ordinance allows the city to issue a permit for someone to use a process known as TNR. TNR stands for trap, neuter and release.

Tracie Quackenbush operates a no-kill shelter in Jefferson County. Tuesday she found 4 stray kittens in Pacific and took them to her Open Door Animal Sanctuary. She says she’s already trapped and neutered 49 cats at the request of property owners.

“I trapped like 8 the first night, and then I went back the next day and trapped about eight more,” said Quackenbush. “I looked out in this field and it got dark and all I could see was beady little eyes, and I realized this town has a serious issue.”

There are opponents to the plan. Some don’t feel the problem is a serious as Quackenbush contends. Others worry about the cost the city will incur.

Quackenbush says she’s received several donations from people willing to the pay the cost of TNR in an effort to help Pacific control its cat population and at the same time treat the animals humanely.​

  Read our Spring Newsletter


 Read Our Winter Newsletter

12 6 14 winter

 Past News and Events:

2014 Brighten the Days of Our Strays!

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Party for Paws was a PURR-FECT evening at Wild Horse Grill!

June 23, 2014  Over seventy animal lovers joined in on the fun at Wild Horse Grill last Monday evening! We hope to make this an annual event. See what you missed:

 Open Door to trap, neuter, release cats for Herky!

June 18, 2014  Cats in Herculaneum can breathe a sigh of relief. The city has entered into an agreement with Open herkyDoor Animal Sanctuary in House Springs to have stray and feral cats trapped, neutered and released (TNR) – rather than euthanized.

Tracie Quackenbush, executive director of the shelter, attended Herculaneum’s June 9 aldermanic meeting because city officials were looking for an inexpensive and humane solution to the town’s feral cat problem. Recently, Herculaneum received a bill from Jefferson County Animal Control for $2,300 to hold and euthanize 15 cats. The TNR program is effective, costs $25 a cat and keeps the cats from being killed, Quackenbush said. “Every city has feral and stray cats,” she said. “They are here; they are God’s creatures. And God’s creatures deserve a shot.”

Feral cats, by definition, are cats that are wild – either domestic cats that have returned to the wild or cats that were born in the wild. Herculaneum’s policy has been to trap cats and transport them to county Animal Control, where it cost $140 to hold a cat for four days and another $50 to have an unclaimed cat euthanized. Under the new plan, personnel from Open Door will visit Herculaneum neighborhoods with educational materials explaining the agency’s procedures and offering residents the opportunity to have their own cats spayed or neutered. In neighborhoods where there is a problem with stray or feral cats, Open Door will set traps (which do not harm the animals) to catch the cats. Captured cats will be taken to Open Door to be spayed or neutered, given shots and a microchip, and then have their ears clipped to indicate they have been treated. Then, most of the cats will be returned to their neighborhood.

All six aldermen voted to approve the agreement with Open Door. Officials said the effort would begin the weekend of June 21-22, with personnel working to inform residents and locate stray and feral cats. Those who want information, have cats that are pets that are sometimes out- doors, or know of stray or feral cats in the neighborhood should call Open Door at 636-638-5278.  Follow this link to read the Leader article.

Kitten Thief Steals, Returns Sick Cat to Open Door Animal Sanctuary!

June 1, 2014  Frank Sinatra, a seven-week-old white long-hair kitten, is safe and sound in House Spring’s Open Door frankAnimal Sanctuary after he was stolen and then returned by a kitten thief. By Thursday night on May 29th, the guilty party had come back,” says Tracy Quackenbush, the executive director of Open Door Animal Sanctuary. “They realized what they did was wrong.” Quackenbush promised to protect the identity of the guilty party. As long as the kitten was returned, Quackenbush said, all is forgiven.

But whoever took little Frankie seems to have as much of a problem telling the truth as they do with taking things that don’t belong to them.”They didn’t come clean,” Quackenbush says. “They came up with a story. I acted like I believed it. My priority, of course, was getting the kitten back.” Quackenbush says Frank Sinatra was stolen Wednesday afternoon during a particularly busy day, and the shelter posted on Facebook that it was offering a “huge reward” for information leading to the cat’s return.

Losing Frank Sinatra was particularly upsetting because he’d already been promised to a woman whose cat had died after she’d owned it for eighteen years. He also has a bacterial infection, and shelter workers were worried the thief wouldn’t provide the daily medicine and special diet the kitten needed. “She just fell head-over-heels in love with it,” Quackenbush says. So when the shelter told her the cat had been stolen, “she had a nervous breakdown. Finding the kitten was imperative to us, not just for the kitten’s sake because he needed the meds and special diet, but for this lady’s well-being.”

Dodger Update

ODAS recently paid a visit to Dodger (now Cooper), the special puppy found injured from a bullet wound last September. A compassionate couple, Emily and Earl Lankaus, adopted this sweet boy last November after learning about his story through Veterinary Specialty Services, the vet clinic where Dodger was treated. The Lankaus were immediately interested in adopting him, and were uniquely qualified for the job. Prior to adopting Dodger, the Lankaus cared for another special needs dog and knew the level of dedication it would take. The couple quickly jumped on the opportunity and after meeting him they knew he would be the perfect addition to their family. The Lankaus offered this special puppy a second chance to live the life every dog deserves: one full of love, kindness, patience, and of course lots of toys! During our recent visit to see Dodger, we played fetch in the Lankaus backyard on a warm winter day – something we weren’t sure would ever be possible due to his injury. Although Dodger still shows subtle signs of his injury, he is able to move, run, and play like any other dog. Dodger still goes to water therapy once a week to work on his strength and mobility. The Lankaus describe Dodger as “a very loving and happy boy who enjoys attention from everyone he meets.” It was truly amazing to see him so happy and well-adjusted in his new home. We couldn’t ask for a better ending to this story. Thank you to everyone who supported this little guy throughout his journey. We love you, Dodger!

Our Fall 2014 Newsletter

Our Summer 2014 Newsletter

Our Spring 2014 Newsletter

 Dodger’s Rescue and Welcome Home Party!

Dodger came to Open Door on September 25, 2013 after he was found dragging himself along Highway 30. He had been shot. Many wonderful people helped us save him by contributing to his care. We are grateful to everyone, including our friends at Nature’s Variety, who paid for his surgery, his foster Mom Risa, who took him into her home and to his daily hydrotherapy sessions and finally Emily and Earl ,who gave him his forever home! Here’s a look at his rescue and party!

Watch him on the Red Carpet

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Toby Turns 12 and It’s Time to Paw-ty!

Toby was adopted from Open Door in 2001 – he was a puppy. Several years later, his owner passed away and he came back to live with us. He’s a one-of-a-kind guy and loves life. So when he turned 12, we threw a party! Many of his pals brought gifts and our friends at Treats Unleashed made a special cake for Toby.

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Purina 50 Years. 50 Shelters Anniversary Celebration!

In 2013, Purina celebrated the 50th anniversary of Purina® Cat Chow®.  Their 50 Years 50 Shelters initiative gave back by selecting 50 shelters across the country, one in each state, and donated up to $2,000 cash and $1,000 worth of needed items to each. Beyond donating money, they also conducted four shelter facility makeovers valued at nearly $100,000. The goal was to make each shelter as adoption-friendly as possible. Not only did Open Door win the cash and other items, we were selected for a  makeover in Kitty City! In most cases, the kitties that live in Kitty City, Open Door is their forever home, so we couldn’t have been more thrilled to make their “large living room” even nicer. Thank you Purina! You can watch Purina’s recap of all makeovers here – Open Door’s Kitty City is featured in several segments of the video!

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Our Dog Park From Start to Finish!

Our dogs had a dream that they would one day have a nice large dog park. In May of  2012, their dream became reality! Watch the dog park come together… step by step.

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Our 35th Birthday Party!

On November 7, 2010 we celebrated our 35th Birthday and held a huge party. Dozens of  friends came by to help us celebrate.

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