More dogs, cats finding homes after stay at St. Louis County Pet -

More dogs, cats finding homes after stay at St. Louis County Pet Adoption Center

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A cat at the St. Louis County Pet Adoption Center (Credit: KMOV) A cat at the St. Louis County Pet Adoption Center (Credit: KMOV)

OLIVETTE, Mo. ( -- Dogs and cats have a better chance now than ever to find a forever home after passing through the St. Louis County Pet Adoption Center, according to County Executive Steve Stenger.

Stenger notes the center had its highest live release rate in December 2017, with 97 percent of animals being adopted, returned to their owners, or taken in by another animal rescue group. That is in stark contrast to the situation in 2014, when 44 percent of animals at the center were euthanized.

“Those are incredible numbers when you consider how many animals we take in,” Stenger said about 272 live releases in December. “St. Louis County has 524 square miles and we take in thousands of cats and dogs throughout the year.”

Stenger gives a lot of the credit to the center’s new director, Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock, who says the goal is simple - avoid putting down animals, which requires getting sick animals medicine, treatment and finding homes when they are ready to go.

“We are working hard with rescues, not only in the St. Louis area but around the state and letting citizens in St. Louis know, there are a lot of animals here to be adopted,” said Vesco-Mock.

While the numbers since Vesco-Mock took over are encouraging, she recognizes the coming months will be difficult because the Spring and Summer often bring an influx of animals.

“People are much more active, animals are running loose, people are moving, traveling. You are much busier in the summer than winter. Also, all shelters fill up so our transport partners cannot take as many because they fill up, too. And people adopt less in the summer, traditionally, because they have so much going on like vacation,” she said.

Vesco-Mock, along with County leaders, say they are committed to lower euthanasia rates.

“I care because I view animals as our friends and in many cases, as family,” said Stenger.

If you are interested in adopting, the center’s director recommends you stop by with an open mind and see which animal you connect with. The pet adoption center is located at 10521 Baur Blvd in Olivette. It is open for adoptions Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. There is a $40 adoption fee, which is one of the lowest in the area. You can call (314) 615-0650 with questions.

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