Caring for animals in Chesterfield Valley
The Humane Society of Missouri’s Kuehner Center, in Chesterfield, offers pet adoptions, a veterinary care center for the community, receiving services for unwanted animals, humane education programs and even a pet-themed gift shop– all to benefit animals and the people who love them.
The facility, at 17357 Edison Ave., opened in 2006 and is one of three Humane Society of Missouri animal adoption centers/veterinary clinics in the St. Louis area – there are also locations in Maryland Heights and St. Louis. The Chesterfield site was designated the Kuehner Center in 2014, endowed by Kim Kuehner in memory of his parents Horty and Howard Kuehner and his sister Kerry Kuehner.
“All three centers together average about 8,400 pet adoptions a year, of not just dogs and cats but other critters like rabbits and guinea pigs,” said Angela Smith, the Humane Society of Missouri’s senior marketing manager.
Since 1870, the Humane Society of Missouri has provided a safe and caring haven to all animals in need – large and small – that have been abused, neglected or abandoned, she said.
The animal welfare organization’s mission is to end the cycle of abuse and pet overpopulation through rescue and investigation efforts, spay/neuter programs and educational classes. The society is committed to creating lasting relationships between people and animals through its adoption programs. More than 80,000 animals and tens of thousands of children and adults benefit every year from the life-saving, life-enriching programs and services offered by the organization, Smith said.
“We receive no funding from the United Way or other charities; any local, state or federal government entity; or any national animal welfare organizations,” she said.
“We rely on support primarily through private contributions and fees from services, and that money goes mostly to animal care.”
At the Kuehner Center, staff and volunteers total about 75 people.
“We can always use more volunteers, who do things like help walk dogs, help with some of our humane education programs, do laundry like towels and bedding, lend a hand with administration and special events, and more,” Smith said.
“A canine kennel enrichment program lets volunteers work with specially selected dogs to help them become more adoptable.”
All volunteers must be 18 and older, though there are educational opportunities for younger people. Volunteers must commit to a minimum of six months of service and contribute an average of two hours per week. For those interested in volunteering, informational open houses take place throughout the year. There is a $10 registration fee, which includes a t-shirt. Volunteers are also asked to pay a one-time $10 application fee.
The Kuehner Center offers a unique habitat for homeless pets.
“Much like going to see a new baby in a nursery, potential adopters can peek in to see animals without anything obstructing the view through use of “invisible” cage fronts made of tempered glass that let both the animals and people get a good look at each other,” Smith said.
Open Mondays through Saturdays, the Kuehner Center’s Animal Medical Center of Mid America full-service veterinary clinic, along with those at the other two locations, is nationally accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association, Smith said.
“It’s open to the public, and proceeds from all services go back to help shelter pets,” Smith said.
“The clinic offers everything from routine wellness exams to more sophisticated therapies like laser therapy, and we even have an in-house ultrasound.”
The center’s gift shop offers everything from pet apparel to pet supplies, home décor and gifts for pet lovers like dishes, bowls and treats.
Among education programs for young people is a Shelter Buddies reading program where kids ages 6 to 15 are able to read books to dogs to improve the children’s reading skills and help socialize shelter dogs so they become more adoptable.
Among future plans for the society in West County is a new Maryland Heights facility, the Best Buddy Pet Center, to be built in 2017 at Page Avenue and Schuetz Road. The society has long had an adoption center at 2400 Drilling Service Road in Maryland Heights, but it will be closing in 2017.
“That center will include a state of the art animal shelter and veterinary clinic and also will have space for humane education programs and the same receiving services as at our other shelters,” Smith said.
Animal adoption fees vary based on the type of pet, but every adoption pet is spayed or neutered, will have a microchip, be up to date on vaccines and is sent home with a starter bag of Purina food.
The Kuehner Center’s adoption center hours of operation are from 10am to 6pm Mondays through Fridays, 10am to 5pm Saturdays and noon to 4pm on Sundays.
For more information on the society, call 314.647.8800 or visit the website HSMO.org. Those wanting to volunteer can contact the society at 314.951.1577 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.