Pamela Rice Walker

(Warren Nichols/St. Louis Department of Health)

The nearly 10-year-old effort to build a new city animal shelter came a big step closer to completion today, when the Board of Estimate and Apportionment approved the use of $170,000 in capital improvement funds to retrofit an old vehicle emissions station on St. Louis's north side to safely and humanely house animals.

(Johanna Mayer/St. Louis Public Radio)

A new city animal shelter on the north side, a full-time veterinarian and vet techs to staff it, and more animal control officers are all on the wish list for the city of St. Louis in the second phase of its new animal control strategy.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

What Ald. Stephen Conway called a comprehensive animal control strategy for St. Louis is somewhat in limbo tonight after an aldermanic committee passed one bill, rejected a second, and waited to take action on a third.

What passed:

(Photo by Warren Nichols/St. Louis Department of Health)

Last year, 90 dogs left the St. Louis city pound for what Mayor Francis Slay hoped would be a better life. The move marked the end of an attempt by the city to replace its aging pound with a state-of-the-art shelter funded by donations.

From that day on, Stray Rescue - a non-profit with 24 employees and an army of volunteers - cared for all but a handful of dogs and answered the city's animal control calls: all without taking a dime of city money.

If you believe the city’s health department, there are fewer strays on the street, and more dogs are being adopted. But there are questions about how long the success will last.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

In December, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote that money collected via tax bills for a planned new animal shelter in the city of St. Louis was sitting in a special fund with no place to be used.