The talking heads can say all they want about how the economy is just fine, but I don't think those of us out here in the real world would agree. Especially not the animal lovers. All of us at For Love of a Dog were shocked, though I guess we shouldn't have been, that the City of St Louis has closed one of its animal shelters.
According to the Humane Society of Missouri, in late May, the City of St. Louis made significant changes in the operation of their animal control and shelter services. Since June 1, they have ceased receiving stray and owner surrendered animals at their Gasconade St. facility. While the City is working with two other organizations to provide some animal sheltering services, their capacity is very limited and, according to City officials, will be limited for some time to come.
Annually, more than 6,000 animals from St. Louis City are taken in by the Humane Society of Missouri at a cost of more than $1 million and at no cost to St. Louis City taxpayers.
What seems to be a tradition of challenging summers at the Humane Society of Missouri continues in 2010. In recent past summers they have rescued and rehomed thousands of hurricane survivors; operated an emergency cooling center for hundreds of St. Louis area pets; rescued and rehabilitated hundreds of dogs from the ravages of substandard puppy mills; and lead the largest dog fighting raid, rescue, sheltering and adoption effort in U.S. history.
The summer of 2010 has been even more challenging for them and the animals. In just the last two months since the City closed its shelter, Their Macklind Avenue shelter has seen a 26% increase in the number of stray animals taken in from the City. In that same time period, they have received more than 1,300 animals from the St. Louis City area. Every day they receive 20 to 50 animals just from St. Louis City.
In effect, the Humane Society of Missouri, along with the APA (Animal Protective Association), has become the de facto animal control shelter for St. Louis City. While this significant additional intake of animals severely strains their already limited resources, they are doing the best they can to help animals in need.