Dooley and Stenger trade barbs over animal control

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KPLR) - A war of words over animals has become one issue in the race for St. Louis County executive.

County council member Steve Stenger, who is challenging current county executive Charlie Dooley in the August Democratic primary, held a news conference Tuesday on the subject of animal euthanasia.

He claims during Dooley's ten years on the job, some 50,000 dogs and cats have been euthanized by the St. Louis County Health Department. He also says this comes despite the new $4.5 million dollar St. Louis County Animal Shelter paid for with taxpayer dollars.

Steve Stenger, St. Louis County Councilman (D): It really boils down to priorities in St. Louis County and I think this is something that was avoidable with simple measures.  I do have a plan for addressing this situation. It begins with partnerships.

Stenger suggests the county works with other rescue groups and also improve its adoption process.

Charlie Dooley released a statement saying, “Stenger's claim that the new shelter is underutilized is not true.”

Dooley says "when we opened the new animal shelter, 181 animals were euthanized due to lack of space or for other conditions at the old facility. The number of animals put down due to lack of space is now zero. The only reason an animal is euthanized is for public safety reasons.”