Mayor Commemorates One Year Of Fighting Animal Abuse Alongside Stray Rescue

Blues Hockey Star Steen Pleads For Stray Rescue Donations To Save More Dogs

September 25, 2013 | 3 min reading time

This article is 11 years old. It was published on September 25, 2013.

Yesterday marked one year since "Mayor Slay's Animal Cruelty Task Force," partnered with Stray Rescue of St. Louis, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Circuit Attorney's Office and the City's Health Department to tackle animal abuse and neglect.  The Animal Cruelty Task Force is the first of its kind in the City's history, and the future wellbeing and safety of St. Louis' two and four-legged residents is looking brighter by the day.

Together, they have investigated more than 126 cases of animal abuse or neglect. They have arrested 26 people. And, they have issued more than 300 animal control citations over the past year.  Since it's inception one year ago, the task force has created a proven track record of making St. Louis streets safer for both animals and people.  We are sending a message that we will not tolerate people who torture animals.  

"This isn’t just good news for animals, but it’s also good news for people. We know that people who abuse animals often go on to commit crimes against people. Police tell us that there is a direct relationship between animal crimes and domestic violence abusers, who think of their victims as an object," says Mayor Slay.

"Randy Grimm and his staff here at Stray Rescue have been essential in the Task Force’s success. They’ve literally been on the front lines of combating animal abuse and providing a safe haven for abused, neglected and abandoned animals. Randy himself is often the first responder; the first good person a dog sees after abuse," says Mayor Slay.

Thanks to our partners at Stray Rescue, St. Louis is well on its way to becoming a more compassionate City that is virtually no-kill.

And, Stray Rescue now needs our help.

It costs a lot of money to rescue and care for so many animals. Stray Rescue provides a critical service for our City. In order for Randy and his team to continue helping our four-legged friends, we are rallying community leaders and businesses to invest in Stray Rescue any way they can.

However, Stray Rescue's involvement comes at a high cost. While the organization receives no federal, state, or city funding and donations are coming in at a trickle, Stray Rescue continues to tighten its belt, dig their heals in, and persistently find ways to rescue and care for severely abused and neglected companion animals in need. In fact, the group's emergency medical fund, The Stracks Fund, is quickly approaching $2 million per year and shows no sign of slowing down.

While the organization is here to stay and is deeply committed to the continued improvement of the city, they require additional support in order to sustain their groundbreaking work. Stray Rescue has delivered St. Louis to the brink of becoming a no-kill city, all while serving as a national model for tackling the problem as compassionately and humanely as possible, and some community leaders want to make sure the city does not backslide.

To help ensure Stray Rescue can continue saving lives, St. Louis Blues' Alex Steen and his girlfriend, Josefine Olson, have announced a donation of $10,000 and are challenging others to give in order to ease the heavy load Stray Rescue is shouldering.

"I imagine a day when animal abuse no longer exists in St. Louis, and Stray Rescue is taking very concrete steps towards making this dream a reality," said Steen. "I don't know of many organizations doing so much for the city, elevating it to a more caring, safer place, and I feel it's our responsibility to get behind their tireless work."

Stray Rescue has altered St. Louis' landscape for homeless animals, as well as the people who love them, for the better. Not only has the rescue and shelter organization played an instrumental role in the task force, often being the first responder and building cases against animal abusers, but they have also led the way in decreasing euthanasia by 98%, increasing animal intake by 52%, and increasing adoptions by 90%. Stray Rescue also focuses on preventative measures through compassionately delivered programs, including spay/neuter and youth education programs, to underserved communities.

"I'm very proud of the difference we have been able to make, and the progress we have made with the Mayor's task force is unheard of," said Grim. "With kindhearted leaders like Alex Steen bolstering Stray Rescue and investing in this positive change, the sky is the limit as far as what we can accomplish. We're in it for the long haul, and St. Louis could truly be the most pet-friendly city in the country."

With Stray Rescue's help, the task force has systematically reached its goals of increasing animal abuse and neglect case convictions, reducing criminal activity of all kinds in order to make neighborhoods safer, and acting as a firm, unified voice against animal cruelty.

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