Charlotte’s Story

I am a chocolate Labrador retriever and, like a lot of ladies, I do not wish to discuss my age and think it is sufficient to say I’ve been around a while, and admit I am over weight. Anyway, I was in several different homes and have had many litters of puppies that were sold. The last people who had me decided they did not want me and called animal control to pick me up and take me to the local animal shelter.

It was okay there. I had friends and did not have to be outside all the time. I went to foster with a shelter worker for a while and that was pretty neat; I really liked it there with other dogs and some cats. On November the 11th, a date I shall never forget, on Sunday night, the shelter director (also named Charlotte) took me to meet a man and a woman who had come all the way from California just to meet me after they saw me on PetFinder. They like Labs and usually had three, but one died, so they had been looking for another, had met at least 30 but nothing seemed to click with them. They spent quite a bit of time with me and I knew right away I really liked them and was sure hoping they felt the same way. And they did!

We spent the night in a motel in St. Louis and took off to California the next morning in an airplane. We finally got home (and you probably cannot understand how good it is to say “home”), and I met Zander and Benjamin and now they are my brothers. One is black and one is yellow, and we have a lot of fun together. We swim and go on walks, go to the beach and stuff (swimming was scary at first, but now I like it). I got to help pick out the Christmas tree and loved to sit under it.

When I went to the vet’s office for a check up, the x-rays showed bullet remnants in various places of my body. I do not want to dwell on how that happened or why someone wanted to do that to me. I am just glad that is behind me and I am with the best people on the face of the earth. I try to be very good and do what they want because I really am grateful. They try to feed me right so that I will lose some weight, but one day I got led into temptation. Passing by the pantry, I could smell something nice and tracked the smell to this cabinet thing and managed to climb up and get the bag of food down on the floor, slit it open and eat every piece of kibble. It felt great at first, but later it did not feel so good to be over-full and bloated. I don’t think I’d do it again, but they put a lock on the cabinet just in case.

Anyway, enough about me. It is so warm and nice in California, and one day I heard the weather forecast for Missouri and was so very sad. When my family asked what was wrong, I told them I was concerned about all of my friends in the shelter who had to be in kennels and sleep on cold concrete with only thin blankets. They thought about it and, being kind people, they arranged to donate enough Kuranda beds to the shelter so that ALL of the dogs in kennels could be off the cold floor, and then arranged for a couple of people who specialized in installing the beds to come all the way from New York to put the beds together. This makes me very happy to know my friends will have these beds until they find homes.

It’s like a fairy tale that a dog like me was chosen by some wonderful people who are now helping other dogs until they can get chosen too. When I say my prayers at night, I say thank you for my family and ask for help for other homeless pets.

2015 Statistics


Cats brought in by the city: 104
Cats received from public or born: 159
Total cats: 263

Dogs brought in by the city: 148
Dogs received from public or born: 239
Total dogs: 387

Total Intake: 650

Cat adoptions: 226
Cat RTO: 5
Total cat placement: 231

Dog adoptions: 322
Dog RTO: 39
Total dog placement: 361

Total Placement: 592

Missing, lost or stolen: None

Euthanized: No dogs and 19 cats (all at end stage of FelV, FIV or FIP)

Died: 27 cats and 7 dogs. Most were neonates.

Average shelter population was 129 pets per month.

Total intake was significantly less than 2014 when intake was 938 as opposed to 650 for 2015.
Reasons for this include possibly more animals being spayed/neutered by the public, terrifically high intake of cats from feral colonies in 2014 that depleted that source, and much less litters taken in from other areas. January 2014 was by far the largest month of intake. We were blessed with caring people who adopted some of the long-term pets and cats with FeLV and FIV. We currently have no FeLV cats and FIV population is down. Help is still needed in the areas of long-term pets and FIV cats Both adoptions and income are usually good in December, especially so in 2015.

2014 Statistics


Cats brought in by the city: 185
Cats received from public or born: 187
Total Cats: 372

Dogs brought in by the city: 159
Dogs brought in by public or born: 407
Total Dogs: 566

Total Intake: 938

Cat Adoptions: 215
Cat RTO: 6
Total cat placement: 221

Dog Adoptions: 506
Dog RTO: 63
Total Dog placement:569

Total Placement: 790
Total RTO: 69

Missing, lost or stolen: 11 cats and 3 dogs. Cats escaped during move and after from new cattery, which since has been made secure.

Euthanized: 4 dogs and 17 cats. 2 of the 4 dogs were elderly and in poor condition and 2 made vicious attacks on other dogs who were badly injured but not killed. All of the kittens
and cats had incurable disorders,the most prevalent being FIP.

Died: 6 dogs and 30 cats, nearly all of which were neonates with failure to thrive. It was a
terrible year for large intake of cats who were sickly and/or had never had vet care.

Average monthly cat population: 72
Average monthly dog population: 55
Total monthly population: 127

Total intake was 22 less than last year. Intake contains a degree of estimate as we do not always have information on the kittens born in foster care and are never at the shelter.

Placement rate (Based on same number): 91%.

Euthanasia rate (Based on viable intake): 2%

Other deaths: 4%

Intake started out moderately, then grossly increased from July through October, largely due to cats, pregnant cats, motherless kittens and kittens born to the pregnant cats. We saw a huge number of cats in poor condition and there have been quite a few with FIV and FIP. What would help most is for the feral cat colonies within the city limits to be totally banished as that is where 99% of this is coming from. Help is needed in placement of FIV cats and feral cats. We had an excellent year for placement of long-term pets, especially dogs with approximately 20 being placed that had been at the shelter six months or more, some as long as several years with Maddie being the one there the longest.
Spay-neuter funding would be a tremendous help with general population. We had a very good year. November and December were especially heartwarming with large amount of adoptions and very wonderful support, both moral and financial. The new shelter is terrific and we are always finding ways to improve how we do things. The relationship with the city is good. We have the best volunteers on the face of the earth. We are truly blessed.