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Animal Control Plan Phase II_5_1

Animal Control Plan Phase II_5_1

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Published by: St. Louis Public Radio on Nov 02, 2011
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11/02/2011

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PHASEIIST.LOUISCITYSTRAYRESCUEANDANIMALCONTROLPLANTheCityofSt.LouisclosedtheGasconadesheltertothepublicayearago.Sincethen,theCity'sanimalcontrolpartnershipwithStrayRescuehasresultedinfewerstraydogsonourstreets,fewercomplaintsaboutstraydogs,moreadoptionsandfewereuthanizationsatlesscosttothetaxpayers.Inshort,ithasbeenanimprovement.But,asfaraswehavecomeinoneyear,wecandobetter.Thatisthepurposeofthisadditiontoouroriginalplan.Gasconadewasobsoleteandinhumane.
It
wasbuiltduringWorldWarIIasacatch-and-killfacility.Dogswereheldforonetofivedays,andeuthanized.Nothoughtwasgiventothecomfortofanimals.Diseaseandinfectioncontrolwerealmostimpossible.ToomanyofthehealthystraysinGasconadewereeuthanized.So,theCitypartneredwithStrayRescueandAnimalHousetoimplementacatch-and-adoptpolicy.Formingpartnershipswithresponsiblenon-profitsiscommoninpublichealth.Wedoittoreducechildhoodleadpoisoning,addresshomelessness,preventAIDS,andreduceSTD's.Thepartnershipisworking.StrayRescuetookmoreanimalsoffthestreetsthaninanyprioryear.BecausetheCityisrunningasmalleranimalcontrolfacility,itsemployeesaremorefocusedonenforcingthelaw.So,itisissuingmorecitations.Theresultisadramaticreductionineuthanizeddogsandincreaseinadoptions.TheCitizensServiceBureauisgettingsignificantlyfewercallsforstrayanimals.Thepublicissaferandanimalsarebeingtreatedbetter.Thedifferenceinperformancebeforeandafterthenewpartnershipisstark:Before:Tookin1,700dogs.After:Tookin2,400dogs.Before:Shelterfor170dogs.After:Shelterfor150dogsplus250infosterhomes.Before:Adopted303dogs.After:1,200dogs.Before:Euthanized1,000dogs.After:Euthanized310Before:TheequivalentofthreeACO'spickedupstrays.After:Theequivalentof5.5ACO'spickupstrays.Before:Issuednotickets.After:Issued140ticketssinceJanuary.
 
OurplanalsotakesintoconsiderationthetougheconomictimesandthehardbudgetchoicestheCityhastomake.Buildinganew,state-of-the-artanimalcontrolfacilitywouldcostmorethan$4-million.Staffingitwouldcost$l-millionperyear.Whenweformedthispartnershiponeyearago,weknewweweregoingtohavetomakeadjustmentsandimprovements.Weare.Ourgoalsintheaddendumtoouroriginalplanarethefollowing:UsetheAnimalHousefundasitwasintended,tohelpwiththecostofcreatingamodem,humaneanimalshelteratStrayRescue.IncreasethenumberofCityanimalcontrolspecialistsonthestreetstoremovemorestrayanddangerousanimals,andtocitemoreirresponsiblepetowners.IncreasekennelcapacitybyaddingaCityownedandmanagedshelter.StafftheCity'snewshelterwithpeoplewhocareaboutdogs,andafulltimevet.ImprovecommunicationsamongAnimalControl,theCitizensServiceBureauandtheSt.LouisPoliceDepartmentregardingdangerousanimalstospeedupresponsetocallsforstrayanimals.Expandadoptioninplacetohelplow-incomefamilieskeeppetsthattheycouldnototherwiseafford.AllowfortheownersofdogsandcatstocallCSBtorequesttosurrendertheirpettotheshelterwiththefullunderstandingthattheanimalwillmostlikelybeeuthanizedandthereisa$100surrenderfee.Createandmanagearegistrytohelppetownersreunitewiththeirlostdogs.CreatewrittenagreementsbetweentheCityandStrayRescuetodefineeachrole,andamongtheCityandothernon-profitanimalorganizations.Forinstance,StrayRescuewillkeepadoptableanimals,whichisthevastmajorityofdogs.Dangerousanimals,bitedogs,andunwantedpetswillgototheCity'Snewfacility.ProvideStrayRescuewithaliaisontoSt.LouisPoliceDepartment.Topayfortheadditiontotheplan:$250,000fromtheAnimalHousefundtopayforStrayRescuefacilities.$300,000fromtheCityCapitalFundtoretrofitanewCitymanagedfacilityfordogs.TransferfundswithintheHealthDepartmentbudgetforthefollowing:$80,000fulltimevet.$50,000leasenewdogshelter.$30,000forsuppliesfornewkennel.$30,000forshelterinplace.
 
Inaddition,theCitymustidentify$222,000forthefollowing:$84,000fortwonewanimalcontrolofficers.$88,000forvet.technicianstaffforthenewCityfacility.$50,000foronepublicinformationofficertomanagethelostpetregistry,assistwithadoptions,promoteeducationandlowincomeoutreachprograms.

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