By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis – Nestle Purina has donated $550,000 to help the non-profit Stray Rescue finish its new shelter.
Nestle Purina Pet Care North America president Terry Block presented the check to Stray Rescue founder Randy Grim on Monday, the same day that Stray Rescue's new facility on Pine St. began accepting the 90 animals still housed at the city's aging pound on Gasconade St.
"If you go inside Gasconade, it's a building that's not capable of caring for animals. Period," Grim said through tears as he accepted the check from Block. "So my goal was to build a building that's capable of caring for our city's animals and we're almost there."
The money, Grim said, will allow him to purchase industrial-sized washers and dryers, and outfit the veterinary suite at the Pine St. facility. It will also pay for air conditioning.
Grim has to raise about an additional $600,000, and the fundraising effort will have to be ongoing. By August 16, Stray Rescue will be the primary animal control facility in St. Louis. City employees will capture the animals, but Grim will care for them without any city help.
Even though his operating budget will nearly double, Grim was confident he will get enough funds.
"I believe in St. Louis, and I'm not a quitter, and I'm never going to quit for these animals," he said.