ST. LOUIS COUNTY ( - A new audit released Monday reveals the scope of the problems at the St. Louis County Animal Care and Control Center. 

The county hired Citygate Associates Consulting firm out of California earlier this year to perform the audit after receiving multiple complaints about the shelter. 

The audit finds a number of issues including the shelter not properly cleaning kennels, a lack of cages for medium and bigger dogs, and misreporting of how many dogs are euthanized.

According to the 268-page audit, dog owners who surrendered their pet were told to check a box on a form that says "ORE," but were given no explanation. ORE means owner-requested euthanasia, and an owner checking that box allowed the shelter to not count that in its euthanasia statistics.

“It re-affirmed that our staff are caring and dedicated staff, and that many of the things that were happening here were inefficient or chaotic or inconsistent with policy or procedure," said Spring Schmidt, acting director for the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. 

The Department of Public Health now overseas the shelter and says some of the recommended changes are already in place. 

“Change is hard and we are trying and moving forward with that. We understand that people have lots of perspective about these things and this is a process about we are moving forward as much as possible," said Schmidt. 

Rick Ramin has worked with the shelter for years, taking pictures of the animals to help them get adopted. 

“It’s a good organization, could be better. Hell, you could say that about anything," said Ramin. “They mean well, they really do. It’s just gonna take the right person to maybe get it done."

Schmidt says the Department of Public Health will post regular updates as it completes the recommended changes. 

You can read the full audit here

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