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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Animal Regulation indeed

Mayor Slay’s campaign literature in this past election kept repeating that “St. Louis will be a great city again!!!!!” It implied that we are not currently great (bullshit!), and that if elected, Mayor Slay himself would personally make this city into a shining beacon of urbanity.

Well, today I got a letter in the mail from the City of St. Louis Department of Health. We just had our cats vaccinated, and now the city wants us to pay its standard $4 vaccination and registration fee. At the bottom of the page, it said:

Interesting. The implication seems to be that 1. we’re not a great city right now (again, bullshit!) and 2. the only thing keepin’ us down is that our kitties and puppies are reproducing too much.


Rick Bonasch said...

Politics aside, there is no doubt that St. Louis has a feral dog and cat problem.

Feral animals are dangerous to public health.

When the lives of domestic pets or young kids are threatened by good dogs and cats gone bad (yes-blame their long-gone owners), we're not a great city anymore, we're more like a third world country.

Susan said...

To that I would say we are a great city because we have the fantastic Stray Rescue, which actually goes out and catches feral dogs and cats and rehabilitates them so they can become pets. We also have great people working to build a new city animal shelter, the Animal House. But it is sadly true, there is still a feral animal problem.

And as far as that $4 per cat fee, you might call Animal Regulation because if you had your cats vaccinated at a vet's office the vet probably already paid the city fee. That was my experience anyway.

Back to the mailer, why does our mayor get to put his campaign slogan on city mailings? It's bad enough we had to hear how awful he thinks the city is in his commercials.

Rick Bonasch said...

Have you ever visited the city's animal shelter on Gasconade? We went there once on a pet adoption crusade.

What does it say about a city that would operate a facility like that for such a long time?

That place is an embarassment. Credit the workers there for doing the best they can in such conditions. They try very hard to treat the animals humanely and with respect.

The fact that we as a city would continue to allow such a facility to operate for years doesn't say much about US.

susan said...

I got my dog from the city animal shelter in March. The conditions are deplorable. And you're right about the great staff and volunteers. They made what I expected to be a very tramatic experience as pleasant as possible. They really are doing the best they can with what they've got. They've even got a good website with videos of the animals for adoption.

It does say a lot that a city would operate its animal shelter in such a facility for the last 50 years. Let's hope the new shelter gets built soon, and they are smart enough to make it a no-kill shelter.

Rick Bonasch said...

How does a no-kill shelter manage?

Do they support the care and feeding of every orphaned animal until it is eventually adopted?

That is a lot of case work and must cost a ton.


susan said...

I think no-kill shelters rely on foster families who will take the animal in until they can find a permanent home. And they have to get a lot of donations. But I'm no expert, I'm sure there's alot more involved in it.

Joe said...

The City of St. Louis ARC and Vector Control have a new director - Kelly Hawkins - who used to work for St. Louis County Animal Control and at APA before that. I think she's interested in making some changes and improvements to the way in which they operate and disseminate information now, even in advance of the new pound being built (which could take years, given funding limitations).

That form is pretty much a standard thing they send out; I don't know who decided to put that silly tagline on the bottom, but it obviously was done when Richard Stevson was in charge. He, you may recall, was fired because he allegedly leaked a civil service exam to an employee seeking a promotion from vector control to animal control.

Anyway, check with your vet, but they've probably already paid the fee. Go ahead, fill out and send in the form, but don't pay an additional fee. I think it's just a check to make sure they have the proper registration information. That's what I did in the past, and haven't had any problems.

Anyway, the main number for the ARC is (314) 353-5838, if you want to call and ask them for clarification.