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St. Louis City Pound Closes For Good | News

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St. Louis City Pound Closes For Good
News, Pets

The St. Louis city pound is finally closed, seven decades after it opened. The city's stray animal operations are now being conducted by the non profit Stray Rescue, out of a new downtown shelter, but a big surprise has come up: every dog moved is sick, and getting them healthy is going to be expensive.

When you walk in the new Stray Rescue shelter on Pine Street, the barking dogs seem to be singing a new tune. Instead of "please help me", it's as if they are saying "thank you".

"They're so happy and content to be here," says Stray Rescue founder Randy Grim. "They have toys and walks, and a lot of love."

The dogs came from the 70-year-old city pound, which is a dirty, disease-infested, inhumane shelter. It closed Monday, for good. But all the dogs are sick, says Grim.

"Mainly upper respiratory infections, but some have even gone into labor on us," he says. "If you love dogs like I do, there's no doubt in your mind this is the right thing. We're going to need some help though, to pay for the medicine. Medically it's going to cost us well over $100,000 to take care of these guys, but it's worth it to me. I'd rather heal them than kill them, so this is awesome."

There's an urgent call for donations and manpower. Stray Rescue has 300 volunteers now, but Grim would like 200 more to nurse all the patients back to health, "The more volunteers we have, the fewer staff we have to pay and the more we can spend on the dogs."

There are already success stories: a pitbull mix named Spike is a different dog since moving from the old pound, says city health director Pam Walker.

"He'd get up on the fence like, 'I know you can get me out of here, why can't you get me out of here?', and I'd cry every time I'd leave, because of the way he'd look at me," she says. "Well they moved him last week, and when I went up to his cage, he threw himself up against the glass, he was smiling. I used to call him Eeyore because he never smiled, but he was so happy last week to be where he's loved and cared for an in a safe environment."


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