Maria Keena

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  There’s a plan to open a new animal shelter in north St. Louis and free up animal control officers.

The building along West Florissant was built in the 1990’s and will require some retro-fitting.

There’s just one problem, and it’s a big one — the money to move the project forward is not in place yet.

City health director Pamela Walker says she’s been meeting with budget officials to find places where funds can be redirected.

“I have seventy-thousand dollars in a supply line, but I eliminated the air program this year which was thirty-four people, so I don’t need that big of a supply line,” Walker tells KMOX News.  “I have a veterinary contract for euthanasia that’s forty-thousand dollars, which has cost me about ten-thousand dollars so far this year.  I can redirect those funds to a full-time veterinarian.”

The goal: to completely mothball the nearly seventy-year-old animal shelter on Gasconade just south of downtown that would not meet the new Canine Prevention and Cruelty Act that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

As for talk she hears from time to time that there’s a problem with packs of “wild dogs” running loose in north city?

“That is not true,” Walker insists.  “These are loose dogs that are owned by people.”

She adds that city dog catchers along with Stray Rescue pick those animals on a daily basis, and have issued 469 citations to absent owners this year alone.

Copyright KMOX Radio


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