Happy birthday to the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center, aka PAC! The facility is celebrating its 20th year this month, and it has “grown up” to be a tremendous resource for sheltering and adopting animals, reuniting lost pets with families, and educating the public on animal welfare.

Located at 4850 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters, the PAC operates under the St. Charles County Department of Public Health’s Division of Humane Services. When it opened in 1999, the county’s population was approximately 280,000. The facility had two dog kennels with 36 indoor kennel runs for strays and one dog kennel room for adoptions that had 20 indoor kennel runs. There were only two adoptable cat rooms with 15 kennels each.

Today, the county’s population is nearly 400,000, and through the years, adjustments have been made to keep up with that population growth: More people means more pets. The facility now has 122 dog kennels and 159 cat kennels, along with a food pantry and numerous programs. The foster pet program has placed more than 5,000 animals over 20 years, the trap-neuter-return program for feral cats has altered approximately 7,000 cats in the 15 years it has been in operation, and the facility has a low-cost spay and neuter program. It’s an extremely busy operation!

In addition to a staff of 20, dedicated volunteers contribute to the PAC’s success. Since 2012, volunteers have provided more than 35,200 hours of service in a variety of tasks, from bathing and grooming, to walking and playing with animals, to helping visitors meet animals designated for adoption.

“The staff loves caring for animals,” says Division Director Katie Willis, “or we wouldn’t be here. We have, of course, seen a lot of dogs and cats over the years, but, every once in a while, we get an animal brought in that’s a bit of a surprise – like a sugar glider or a tarantula. That will break up your day!”

The PAC has dogs, cats and other animals of all ages, sizes, colors and activity levels. The $60 adoption fee for dogs and cats includes a health examination, initial vaccinations, spay or neuter, microchipping, and other services that are not always included when adopting elsewhere. For hours and to view pets available for adoption, visit the PAC’s website or stop by the facility.

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