New Animal Shelter Opens In St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-- The city of St. Louis finally has a new animal shelter located at 2801 Clark Street.The animals have moved into their new clean home.   The inspector who checked out the new shelter found no violations.

It was the first time St. Louis City Health Director, Pam Walker, could remember that happening. 

“[The inspector] said it’s a new era for animal control in St. Louis city,” Walker said.  “It’s a new day.  It’s just a new attitude.”

There are about 50 dogs and cats in 10,000 square feet in the new shelter.  There is a new staff.  They offer large, new cages; with beds and bedding plus laundry and a dishwasher.  There is also a a full-time veterinarian on staff with assistants.

Among the biggest improvements is the sealed, infection-control, floor.

“That doesn’t absorb bacteria, viruses, the smell...it’s a very important component of this building.  We spent about $30,000 for it,” Walker said. 

The new shelter still has a “death row”. Animals too sick or too aggressive for adoption will be euthanized. They are enough of an exception to lure the shelter’s vet out of private practice in the suburbs.

“Is it as rewarding as private practice?” asked Fox 2’s Andy Banker.

“I’d say moreso,” said shelter veterinarian, Dr. Dan Domer.  “To be able to see dogs actually find homes...whenever you do see that happen, it’s extremely rewarding.”

She estimated there would be 10 euthanizations a week. That number was down by more than 2/3 from 2010. There are about 20,000 animals were euthanized in St. Louis County every year.

Walker said it took about $300,000 to renovate the new shelter; the yearly operating budget is about $1.1 million.

Animals will be adopted through the Stray Rescue shelter and are posted on the Stray Rescue web site:  www.strayrescue.org

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