Warren County Administration Building

Warren County officials have directed a nonprofit animal shelter in the Pendleton area to cease operations due to lack of a proper permit.

No Time To Spare Animal Rescue announced last week that it will temporarily close after receiving a letter from County Attorney Mark Vincent, directing the shelter to cease its operations and remove all animals from the shelter within two weeks. A copy of the letter shared on the shelter’s Facebook page states that the county will take legal action if the shelter does not comply.

No Time To Spare is a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter located on Pendleton Lost Creek Road, east of Highway EE. The shelter has operated there since 2018.

Presiding County Commissioner Joe Gildehaus said the county’s planning and zoning office recently received multiple written complaints about the shelter. In response to the complaints, the county determined No Time To Spare had never received a required conditional use permit (CUP).

Warren County’s planning and zoning ordinance includes a list of land uses that are only allowed in certain areas after receiving a CUP from the county. Gildehaus said the animal shelter requires a CUP to operate in the agricultural zone it is located in.

Gildehaus commented that county officials don’t want any harm to come to the animals, and that the county must fairly apply the rules that govern any business in Warren County.

“We need to make sure we’re doing what’s right for planning and zoning throughout the county,” Gildehaus said.

He also clarified that No Time To Spare is welcome to continue connecting animals already at the shelter with adopters and moving them to permanent homes. But they shouldn’t be taking in new animals, Gildehaus said.

Following outcry from the shelter’s supporters, Warren County released a statement clarifying that No Time To Spare can seek the necessary permit once it removes all shelter animals and is in compliance with the zoning code. The county stated it will extend any deadlines for legal action if the shelter submits a plan for removing the animals over a longer period of time.

In response to some comments the county has received, the statement also says no officials ever ordered or suggested that any animals be euthanized.

A representative of No Time To Spare had not returned a call from The Record seeking comment as of Wednesday morning.

On the shelter’s Facebook page, the group said its issues with the county began because one or more neighbors complained about noise from barking dogs. The shelter said it serves a valuable role in Warren County.

“We do a great service to the county (at no charge to the county) by taking in many stray dogs, pigs, horses and lost dogs (which) we reunite with their owners while providing education and even low-cost spay/neuter/vaccines/food and microchips if necessary,” the Facebook statement reads.

Since being directed to stop taking in animals, shelter representatives have sought to quickly adopt out the animals that remain there, and raise funds to pay an attorney. The shelter said it had connected 26 dogs with adopters at an Aug. 3 event in Wentzville.

Carol Mosele, with the shelter, also shared information through Facebook thanking everyone who has supported the shelter. She stated that an attorney for the shelter is working with county representatives to come to an agreement.

“I am just muddling through my day-to-day work trying to be patient and optimistic,” Mosele wrote.

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