When you think of an animal shelter, images likely come to mind of sad and depressed animals, cold and sterile environments and general despair not only for the animals, but humans too. Before this Adventure Of A Lifetime, that is what we thought of as well. However, many of the shelters and rescues that we have visited thus far have surprised us. And when we reached St. Charles, Missouri on our trip, we chose Five Acres Animal Shelter to show you. Why? They are proving that a shelter can be a place of refuge, a place of hope and a place of fun for animals in need.
When we pulled up to Five Acres Animal Shelter, we felt an immediate sense of community. With attractive buildings on five acres of land, we could feel their mission, as explained on their website, in action.
“Our mission is to end pet homelessness, promote responsible pet ownership, and advocate for animal welfare. Five Acres Animal Shelter is the only no-kill animal shelter in St. Charles County, Missouri.”
We met with Lauren, the Development Director of Five Acres who so enthusiastically told us about this place that she originally was a volunteer for, but just couldn’t see herself working anywhere else. She truly loves this place and it shows.
As we spoke about in our video, Five Acres has a program called “Shadow’s Fund”. Shadow’s Fund is a special needs program which benefits their animals that require life saving medications, prescription food and or vet care. Shadow was a long time resident of Five Acres. He suffered from Lupus which eventually took his life. Their special needs program, Shadow’s Fund, was created in his memory to benefit the many special needs animals that Five Acres cares for and finds loving homes for on a daily basis. These animals would not have a chance at an overcrowded and underfunded shelters, but Five Acres believes in giving animals second chances so they can find their forever family, like Buddy below.
We met Buddy, one of their animals that definitely is in need of special care.
Buddy was born with a deformed leg and desperately needs special assistance to help him walk as he is a big, sweet boy. Just an incredible dog, a special wheelchair may help him with this, but is at least $750. You can help contribute by clicking here. We just love Buddy and wish there was room in our RV for him!
Yes, we are apparent dog lovers, but one of the reasons we chose this shelter to visit was their devoted care to their feline residents that most other rescues or shelters would have given up on. Five Acres is the only shelter in their region with space dedicated to cats diagnosed with FIV or FeLv. And what a space it is. These cats may need treatment, but Five Acres treats them and offers them at a reduced adoption fee in order to live out their lives.
What else makes Five Acres so special? Can you say Cat Yoga? Did you catch that in our video above? Yes, it is true! They dedicate the first Monday of every month to Cat Yoga…and it is what you think! They suggest a donation amount for participants. Just one of the creative ways they raise to care for more animals.
When we walked around the beautiful Five Acres Animal Shelters, we took notice. We noticed calming music being played. We noticed their resident animals enjoying their day. We noticed the clean facilities, the play yards and the happy volunteers caring for their shelter. Lauren proudly told us about their gift shop where many items are donated and hand made. In every detail here, animals are being cared for.
Every single animal here has a story. And every single animal here matters to Five Acres Animal Shelter. They started off small, but have grown due to dedication, events, fundraising and community support. We think that other shelters and rescues should take notice of how Five Acres operates in such a way that gives their residents a true quality of life before being adopted.
With a Buddy Program that allows volunteers to take animals for the day for socialization, to organized play groups at the shelter for behaviorally challenged adoptables, they invest in the animals they have saved with enrichment, dedication, beautiful, clean facilities and love. Pure love.
We learned from Five Acres Animal Shelter that a shelter can be a place to come and feel better! A place where animals have been saved and have a wonderful place to lay their heads until their forever family finds them. And if that forever family comes under hard times, Five Acres can help with that as well.
Through their AniMeal Pet Food Pantry program, they help the pets of individuals on limited incomes, or those who have fallen on hard times feed their pets. Many of us who have been through hard times know that we will spend money to feed our animals and take care of them before ourselves. Sometimes, people are forced to give up their animals just when they need each other the most. Five Acres helps these families keep their pets and are currently helping over 40 families and 100 animals stay together. Again…Five Acres is love…precious to this community.
In order to continue the good that they do, they rely solely on donations.
Five Acres Animal Shelter is a 501c3 non-profit organization and does not receive any tax funding- we rely completely on private donations, corporate support, events and grants.
We felt so good after leaving Five Acres and meeting with Lauren and speaking with their enthusiast volunteers and employees. The animals that have ended up in their care may have difficult stories. But their stories will most certainly have a happy beginning due to this wonderful, beautiful shelter that we were so privileged to visit. It is our hopes that other rescues and shelters around the world will see how much love, dedication, devotion and hard work can make a shelter beautiful…inside and out.
Five Acres Animal Shelter
1099 Pralle Lane, St. Charles, MO 63303
Thank you to the state of Missouri and the city of St. Charles for welcoming us with open arms and paws!