Communication from Health Director Pam Walker:
You are probably hearing a lot in the news about Stray Rescue and the City's plans, so I wanted to give you a brief summary. Runs are being installed today in the Pine Street facility for 69 dogs, plus more if they are social and not sick and can share. We will begin transferring 20 dogs per week, beginning July 15 or sooner, until all but the bite dogs are transferred. The sick will go first. Department of Health will locate another 20 runs at Stray Rescue on a temporary basis. We will transfer the cats by August first. DOH staff will begin to drop off strays to Stray Rescue by August first or sooner. Animal House is still negotiating with a near by building owner for additional capacity. Stray Rescue will operate it. DOH will continue to encourage owner surrenders to try to find a home for their unwanted pet before taking them to any shelter where they have a 20 to 40% chance of becoming ill or euthanized. We will continue to share the PetLovers brochure with pet owners so that they can contact rescue groups as well. Gasconade will close to the public by August 15th or later. Staff and approximately 10 bite dogs are all that will be housed there. DOH will continue to maintain, and we will enhance, our enforcement efforts in the areas of public safety and animal abuse. We will review our procedures and set clear priorities. For example, we go on over 200 calls a month called "responded but animal not present." This is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars. Stray Rescue is very much going to need your continued help doing what you have always done. Loving and caring for the animals. The animal welfare community holds the volunteers and rescue groups who have helped the City shelter in spite of the conditions and your treatment in the past in high regard. Please plan on continuing your schedule and efforts to support our animals being housed at Stray Rescue. Thanks so much for helping to make this happen. The animals deserve this.