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Concerns grow over St. Louis County’s animal shelter after family’s dog goes missing

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By Web Staff

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    ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KMOV) — Kerry Obert says there’s no care or control within the St. Louis County’s Animal Care and Control Center (ACC). “Your job is to control animals and now mine is gone,” she said.

Her dog Harley was sent to Animal Control back in May after a biting incident with a neighbor’s dog. According to county ordinance and Missouri law, dogs involved in an alleged biting incident are required to undergo a 10-day quarantine.

“They were so excited. We were supposed to get her back that day,” she recalled. On the day Obert was scheduled to pick up her dog, an ACC employee who was transporting Harley to a veterinary in South County lost control of the dog, allowing the dog to run away.

Obert told News 4 she didn’t learn her dog had been missing for nearly eight hours, which is when someone from Animal Control contacted her.

“I was ‘like where could she be? Where was she? How did this happen?” she said.

News 4 found there have been other incidents involving animals under quarantine at the county shelter. A federal lawsuit filed in May details the harrowing encounter of how county employees mistakenly euthanized a 6-year-old terrier.

According to the lawsuit, animal control staff euthanized the dog the same day it was dropped off after a biting incident. Court documents reveal the owner told staff before leaving that the dog was not to be euthanized. The next day when the owner showed up to the facility to check on the dog, she learned the dog was dead.

“They need to get rid of the people in charge up there, that would fix a lot of things so no other family has to go through this,” Obert said.

News 4 reached out to the county for a comment on both cases, but they said they can’t comment on pending litigation.

News 4 has reported on issues around the county’s animal shelter dating back to 2014. In 2019 the county commissioned an audit after several incidents. The audit found there was misuse of the euthanasia policies and procedures by county employees.

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