ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – In the past 10 years, nearly 50,000 dogs and cats have been euthanized at the St. Louis County Animal Shelter during Charlie Dooley’s tenure.
That’s according to St. Louis County Councilman—and a candidate for County Executive—Steve Stenger.
At a press conference Tuesday, Stenger accused Dooley of mismanagement, even though the Director of St. Louis County Department Director, Dr. Dolores Gunn, oversees the $4.5 million shelter.
He told KMOX that he’s not bringing his concerns to Dr. Gunn because she is appointed by Dooley. He adds that she should have repercussions, but that’s up to the County Executive.
“He has direct supervision over Dr. Gunn, so the buck stops with Charlie Dooley on this issue,” Stenger says.
This Tuesday, Stenger was joined by animal rights activists calling for an end to the deaths and more transparency. They’re also complaining that there are not enough being adopted, and a veil of secrecy surrounds the shelter.
Helena Servis, a county resident, says she spent an entire week documenting the activities outside the shelter.
“No staff member even came out walking a dog,” says Servis. “It is just unconscionable to use the kind of taxpayers’ money that we have used to provide so little comfort and enjoyments for the animals that are ultimately put to death.”
Dooley says that Stenger is using puppies as a political ploy. He says that the health department only euthanized animals when it had to.
“We euthanize individual pets, if they are sick, or for public safety, that’s what we do,” says Dooley. “Other than that, we do not euthanize pets.”
He insists that the new animal shelter in the county is the best in the state and second to none.
In a release, Dooley says that his opponent’s plan to reduce pet euthanization sounds a lot like the one he proposed in 2007. It also says that the new county facility now has plenty room for stray animals.
The St. Louis County Animal Shelter website currently shows 11 dogs and six cats available for adoption.
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