A committee of the Board of Aldermen failed to approve a bill today that would have allowed the City to give funds collected to build a new animal shelter to Stray Rescue, an advocacy group and shelter that has partnered with the Health Department to collect more unwanted and abused dogs, adopt out more dogs, and kill far fewer dogs than we have in years.
The partnership with Stray Rescue is effective ' and unique. Some people apparently find both qualities unsettling. The passion (and experience) that Randy Grim, his staff, his board, and his volunteers bring to the rescue and adoption of animals is a resource that government cannot match. And an agreement grounded upon a commonly held belief in the humane treatment of animals trumps four hundred pages of government specs.
Someone close to the situation said today that he thought the committee's 4-4 vote was more reflective of some of its members' antipathy to a fellow alderman's position on an unrelated issue than of opposition to the overall plan to transfer donated funds to Stray Rescue. I will take him at his word, though this was the third or fourth hearing on this same subject.
I ask Randy and his team to continue their important work.
For my part, I will do 2 things: I will continue to press this matter at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen so that its members can have a (televised) opportunity to vote this up or down. It is a matter strongly supported by a majority of city's residents and I believe that the full Board shares - and will reflect - their constituents' views.
I will also be on my telephone this summer urging my own supporters to lend their time and give their financial support to Stray Rescue. Those resources, reliably committed, will be even more important for Randy's efforts.