Remarkable Randy Grim and his Stray Rescue of St. Louis team are the City's partners in a determined effort. Our common goal is to treat all animals humanely and to change the habits of those who do not. Working with the City's Health Department (and other groups), Stray Rescue recovers and cares for lost and discarded animals, and returns them to city residents as companions.
Words generally fail me when I try to describe what the partnership with Stray Rescue means for St. Louis and what it has already accomplished: more dogs than ever before have been recovered and adopted; far fewer animals have been euthanized. The practice (and culture) of the City has shifted from Kill to No-Kill.
There still remain too many stray and discarded dogs. And there are still people who commit crimes against them. For years, Randy has been asking police and prosecutors for a more aggressive attitude towards animal abusers; and, for almost as long, for greater security when he and his crews confront abusers.
Both Chief Isom of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and Jennifer Joyce of the Circuit Attorney's Office subscribe to the program. And word has filtered down through law enforcement ranks: cruelty to animals is a serious crime in St. Louis.
This week, the other members of the Board of Estimate & Apportionment joined me in doing something more. We approved a contract that will allow Stray Rescue to retain a pair of part-time, dedicated officers to ride along with their crews and to "respond to criminal activity associated with animal control, including but not limited to dog abuse and fighting." Health director Pamela Rice Walker will continue to be the City's point person on this subject, working with Mr. Grim and Chief Isom to work out the details when the t's have all been crossed.
I have been asked (several thousand times) to "devote more resources to finding and prosecuting those involved" with animal abuse. This is another step to doing that.