Our Vision

The vision of Open Door Animal Sanctuary is to offer a loving environment and eventual home for every cat and dog in need of our help. We take in and adopt out nearly 1,400 dogs and cats per year!

Open Door Animal Sanctuary is one of the area’s largest no-kill animal shelters. Since our founding in 1975, we have provided hope, help and healing to tens of thousands of animals. We serve the community by taking in stray, homeless and otherwise unwanted cats and dogs. Each day, we provide shelter, food, medical care and most of all LOVE to 350 animals. Many of the precious angels who arrive at Open Door recognize for the first time in their lives that there can be love and trust in the world. Every animal that comes to us has a home and a second chance at life. We have a lifetime return policy which means if a family can no longer care for a cat or dog that was adopted from us, it must be returned to our sanctuary.

Our Mission

The mission of Open Door Animal Sanctuary is to provide homeless cats and dogs with the highest quality of life and a second chance to find a forever family.

  • We are a “no-kill” animal sanctuary; we do not euthanize cats and dogs for space or because they are hard to adopt.
  • We provide dedicated love and care to over 350 homeless cats and dogs each day.
  • We provide our residents with a largely cage-free living environment.
  • We reduce pet overpopulation by offering a low-cost spay-neuter program and a humane education program to the community.
  • We operate a pet food pantry to provide support to families in need.



Quality of life is our top priority for the animals and Open Door sets the standard for animal welfare. Our facility provides comfortable accommodations for 350 cats and dogs – 365 days a year!


Cats lounge comfortably in Kitty City, Pampurred Place and Second Chance. Each area has multiple kitty condos and beds, window perches, toys and treats and tender loving care from plenty of volunteers who visit regularly.


Our dogs spend their evenings comfortably lounging on Kuranda beds in large individual living spaces equipped with heat, air-conditioning and outdoor runs. However, during the day and weather permitting, our dogs are outdoors playing or being walked by our employees and volunteers.

Our Community Programs

In addition to the average of 350 cats and dogs we serve each day, we offer programs to help the homeless animals in our community.
Each of our community programs are highlighted below.

Spay & Neuter Program

We offer a low-cost spay and neuter services to qualifying low-income pet owners.

Reasons to spay/neuter your pet:

  • Spaying or neutering a pet can help it live a longer, healthier life. Research has proved that spayed or neutered pets are less likely to develop reproductive-related health problems such as ovarian and testicular cancer. In fact, many believe that the earlier in life a dog or cat is altered, the better.
  • Without the urge to mate, a companion animal is more likely to focus on its guardian which provides a closer bond with the pet.
  • Pets who get out and look for a mate face the dangers of getting hit by a car, getting into a fight with another animal and being exposed to a disease from another animal.
  • Spaying or neutering a pet also helps to eliminate the pet overpopulation problem.

Humane Education Program

Open Door’s Humane Education Program brings pets to the classroom to teach children the basics of responsible pet care, humane treatment of animals, cat and dog safety, and, most importantly, compassion and empathy for other living things. Our staff, accompanied by specially-selected shelter residents, share these messages with hundreds of local young people per year. For more information, contact: volunteer@odas.org. Although our humane education programs are free, we do recommend students get involved by collecting donations of desperately needed pet products that they can present to the shelter. For our list of items needed, click the link below:

Supply Wish List

Pet Food Pantry

Open Door’s Pet Food Pantry Program serves low-income individuals by providing supplemental food for companion animals. Approximately two weeks of food per month can be provided to enable individuals to keep their pets despite financial difficulties. This program is not intended to provide all the food necessary to sustain a pet, rather a supplement to help in a difficult time.

Families of the Pet Food Pantry Program must meet the following requirements:

  • Individuals must show proof of their low-income status. This includes Social Security Award Letters, Unemployment Award Letters, Disability Award Letters, Medical Cards, etc.
  • All animals must be spayed or neutered and verification must be provided. (Note: If an animal is not spayed/neutered, it may be eligible for our low-cost Spay/Neuter Program.)

Individuals who meet these requirements are eligible to receive food once per month – subject to the availability of food. For more information, contact us at office@odas.org

Trap / Neuter / Return Program

We provide guidance on how to manage feral cat colonies.  Open Door’s Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) Program helps reduce the feral cat population in Jefferson County and ultimately reduces the number of cats entering local shelters each year. For more information, contact: Tracie@odas.org

What is Trap-Neuter-Return?

  • Trap: Humanely trap all of the cats in a colony (a group of cats living outdoors together).
  • Neuter: Take the cats in their traps to a veterinarian or clinic to be neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped (a universal symbol indicating they have been neutered).
  • Return: Return the cats to their original outdoor home.


Open Door Animal Sanctuary is staffed by a lean and efficient team consisting of the executive director, director of development, office manager and staff, dog kennel manager and assistant, cattery manager and assistant, social media coordinator, volunteer coordinator, two veterinarian techs, two part-time veterinarians and a group of kennel and cattery staff and volunteers who spend 100% of their time caring for an average of 350 dogs and cats every day.  Each uses their unique talents and love of animals to provide the best quality of life for our residents.

Executive Director

Contact: Tracie@odas.org

Tracie Quackenbush is the Executive Director at Open Door Animal Sanctuary. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Business Communication from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Tracie has served ODAS for over 20 years. She began by volunteering at the shelter and serving as President of the Board of Directors. In 1999 she left a career in purchasing to join ODAS as the Executive Director. Tracie’s love for animals started when she was 2 years old. Every animal that wandered in her yard became hers for life. She currently has 11 cats and is the caretaker for 6 feral colonies. Tracie’s mission in life is to make the world a better place for animals and she hopes that one day, we will have laws that ensure people care for their animals as she does. In her spare time, Tracie loves to kayak, bowl, and enjoy nature.

Director of Development

Contact: Development@odas.org

Lynese Cargill is the Director of Development at Open Door Animal Sanctuary. Lynese earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration & Accounting from Southeast Missouri State University.  Lynese was excited to join an animal welfare organization after decades of working in the marketing and public relations industry. She has two grown children and a German Shepherd named Dakota. Lynese volunteers her time at several nonprofit organizations in St. Louis including the St. Louis Alumni Chapter of Southeast Missouri State University, Angels’ Arms and the Fenton Area Chamber of Commerce. She enjoys traveling to the Rocky Mountains and the beaches of Florida, attending live music events, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

Office Manager

Contact: Melissa@odas.org

Melissa Biediger is Open Door Animal Sanctuary’s Office Manager.  She has always known that she was meant to work with and help animals.  She’s had animals her whole life and would adopt every homeless animal she came across if possible. Melissa spent 18 years in the veterinary field in Washington State.  In 2017, she moved to Missouri to be closer to family and joined the ODAS Team in December of that year as our Assistant Cattery Manager.  With her extensive experience working in an animal office setting and with customers, she was promoted to Office Manager in June of 2019.  Her four-legged family includes three semi feral cats adopted from ODAS: Randy Travis, Marshall, and Kanga and 4 Pomeranians named Fendi, Dude, Fennec and Rex, along with her 3 roosters Nugget, Dumpling and Picatta.  Around the office, she has set the bar high on finding the perfect gifts for her co-workers.  Outside the office, she is an outdoor girl who loves fishing and hiking and has a passion for true crime shows.

Cattery Manager

Contact: Cats@odas.org

Amanda Duncan is Open Door Animal Sanctuary’s Cattery Manager. Although she’s been rescuing animals her entire life, her professional rescue career started at ODAS in 2004 when she decided to follow her passion for animals. As soon as she started working in Pampurred Palace as an Animal Caretaker, she fell in love with the organization. In 2011, Amanda was promoted to Cattery Manager where she dedicates her time to improving the lives of the nearly 250 cats ODAS cares for on a daily basis. She has adopted 3 semi-feral cats from the shelter and spoils them rotten. Amanda is our resident geek and away from work she plays video games, watches anime, travels for Comicons, and collects Pez dispensers. She also enjoys cooking and has a slight obsession with lunch boxes.

Kennel Manager

Contact: Dogs@odas.org

Diane Kennedy is Open Door Animal Sanctuary’s Kennel Manager. Living in Ohio at the time, she visited Open Door in the fall of 1999 on a whim and instantly fell in love with the organization and animals there. She applied, and was later hired as an ODAS Animal Caretaker, where she worked with both dogs and cats. Diane’s extensive background in dog training and handling led her to apply and earn the title of Kennel Manager in 2005. Diane loves enriching the lives of Open Door’s canine residents and focuses on ways to improve their quality of life inside the shelter. In her free time, Diane enjoys spending time with her husband, son, granddaughter, and adopted dog named Whoops.

Volunteer Coordinator

Contact: Volunteer@odas.org

Maria Sage is the Volunteer Coordinator at Open Door Animal Sanctuary. In 2016, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Missouri State University. Maria joined the ODAS team in 2022, but has been working and volunteering in shelters all over Missouri since 2017. Her furry family consists of two rescue dogs named Mango and Kiwi. Outside the office, Maria enjoys reading, spending time with her adorable nephew, and collecting mugs during travels with her husband.

Social Media Coordinator

Contact: Jeanette@odas.org

Jeanette Curtin is the Social Media Coordinator at Open Door Animal Sanctuary. In 2010, she signed up to foster her first dog and quickly got completely hooked on rescue. She has a passion for elderly and “unadoptable” animals and feels privileged to be in a position to help match them with their perfect families. She acts as servant and steward to her senior cats, Lewis and Platypus; senior lab mix, Nella and small hairy criminal bent on world domination, Marvin. She enjoys art, science, literature and dressing up animals in adorable costumes.

Our Board of Directors

Open Door Animal Sanctuary’s governing board of directors generously donates their time to provide input to guide the long-term success of the Sanctuary. The board is committed to maintaining strong governance practices and understands that adherence to sound principles of transparency and accountability are critical to earning and maintaining the trust of donors. The board has responsibility for establishing policies and overseeing the management of the Sanctuary, which has responsibility for day-to-day operations. Board members are kept informed about the Sanctuary’s activities through a variety of means, including monthly board meetings, committee meetings and frequent updates from the executive director.

The board is responsible for assuring that:

  • Adequate capital and managerial resources are available to implement programs.
  • The systems of financial and internal controls are adequate.
  • The organization conforms with applicable laws and regulations.
  • The assets of the organization are utilized effectively and capital expenditures are reviewed.


Brian Stevens – President
Sherry Wood – Vice President
Jane Geiler – Vice President
Vicky Crist – Secretary
Ryan Kanatzar – Treasurer
Teresa Bippen – Director
Wendy Borowsky – Director
Victoria Conell – Director
Kristi Cozart – Director
Cathy McCredie – Director
David Wood – Director

Advisory Board – Gary Ault

Friends of Open Door

The Friends of Open Door provides support services to the governing board. This group plans and executes various fundraising events for the sanctuary throughout the year. The Friends meet monthly in the Kirkwood area and are always looking for new members to help raise critical funds for our dogs and cats!  Check out their Facebook page: The Friends of Open Door Animal Sanctuary to learn more or contact Co-President, Jean Gutchewsky at 314-960-2403.


Formerly the Auxiliary Officers

Jean Gutchewsky – Co-President

John & Kathy Meder – Co-Presidents

Shona Lamond – Treasurer/Secretary


All governing officers and directors, advisory directors and Friends of Open Door officers and members are volunteers and do not receive any salaries or fees for their service.

Year End Review

Donors such as yourself help us provide care for our animals, whether making a monetary or in-kind donation, volunteering or fostering an animal. Open Door Animal Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and relies on private donations, corporate support, events and grants. Our 990 is available for review at our office, email Tracie@odas.org to schedule an appointment. For more information, click on the link below to read our 2021 Annual Report.

2021 Annual Report