New $4 Million Animal Shelter Appears Dead Now That Mayor Slay Wants Facility A.S.A.P.

New shelter at Francis Slay Sr. Park looks like a lost cause. -
New shelter at Francis Slay Sr. Park looks like a lost cause.
Mayor Francis Slay's announcement yesterday that the city would no longer wait for construction of a new $4-million city animal shelter must have been something of a blow to his father, Francis R. Slay.

It was just last fall that Ellendale Park at the corner of Arsenal and McCausland was renamed in honor of the mayor's dad. One of the crowning features of the rather drab park along River Des Peres was to be the city's new Animal House. Architecture firm HOK already had the designs drawn for the center, which was to be a state-of-the-art facility with environmentally friendly accoutrements such as a grass roof.

Those plans appear d.o.a. now.

This morning Daily RFT called up the mayor's spokeswoman Kara Bowlin who tells us that as she understands it the money raised thus far for the new animal shelter will likely go to retrofitting an existing structure elsewhere.

Slay wants the city's current animal shelter at Gasconade and I-55 closed by summer because, as he says, "its age and obsolete design, the City's Animal Control Center is no longer able to provide humane care for stray animals."

Daily RFT has left a couple messages hours ago with Animal House Fund, the non-profit organization that's raising money for the new shelter at Francis R. Slay Park. We've yet to hear back from anyone. The agency's website indicates that it's only about halfway toward its $4-million goal.