reneged on its agreement with St. Louis
to serve as the city's default animal shelter.
In a letter to city hall on Monday, Stray Rescue founder and president Randy Grim wrote that his agency would no longer take in single strays or animals whose owners no longer want them. Instead the agency will concentrate only on injured animals or dogs running in packs.
Grim's letter comes weeks after several members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen refused to give Stray Rescue $250,000 in donations that were to fund a new St. Louis shelter called Animal House. When Animal House failed
to materialize last summer, the city was left in the lurch. Its old shelter on Gasconade was too dilapidated to humanely accommodate animals, and the mayor's office and health department hurriedly forged a deal with Grim to have Stray Rescue serve as the city's default shelter.
No doubt about it, Grim is an extraordinary advocate for animals
. He also has a flair for the dramatic and can be notoriously thin-skinned.
I remember Grim calling me in tears a few years ago over an article I wrote poking fun at legislation he supported to change any reference of "pet owner" in city statutes to the more politically correct term of "pet guardian." Grim himself admits that he suffers from "anti-social disorder"
and "[doesn't] like people."
No wonder, then, that Grim was aghast in May when he entered an aldermanic committee meeting thinking he was going to get the $250,000 and was instead grilled about how stray dogs continue to roam the streets.
"I didn't know I was walking into an inquisition," Grim told the Post-Dispatch
at the time."It was awful. Awful."
Yesterday, via Facebook
, Grim took a potshot at a few of those aldermen and wrote that Stray Rescue can now return to its roots.
We will continue to do what we always do -- rescue the street dog. We don't need the city to tell us. Everything will be the same except we will be doing it on our terms. The big difference is now the animals come first -- not politics
Actually I am getting excited -- freedom to do what we do best, save lives. No more nutcase Troupe or Flowers or Carter or politics and greed. We are liberated.
Troupe, more than others, earned the ire of animal advocates when he suggested that the city simply euthanize stray dogs instead of sending them to Grim's no-kill shelter. The $250,000 sitting in city coffers, he'd argued, could then be used to address greater needs.
Recently Fox 2 tried to nail Troupe
for his comments, but the alderman from the rough-and-tumble First Ward held his ground. In his view stray dogs aren't worth the fuss, especially with so many other societal ills.
"Yeah, I'm in favor of killing dogs that cause a threat to human life and wellness. We kill people," he said.
Politically incorrect? Yes. But I can see the alderman's point, just as I can understand Grim's frustration.
So what's the solution? Pretend you really want Stray Rescue back but secretly rejoice at the fact that Grim dumped you and -- in so doing -- took the responsibility of ending this messy relationship off your shoulders. Then I'd suggest the city take the $250,000 and use it to build its own shelter as outlined in the city charter
, which states that the "health commissioner shall have charge of the
quarantine, the dog pound."
That way the city will only have to deal with its own "nutcases" and not worry about outside influence -- however well-intentioned it may be.
Perhaps the weather is to blame, this being the dog days of summer and all. Whatever the case, a pissing match between a local drama queen and a few politically incorrect politicians reached its zenith yesterday when Stray Rescue