Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer, right, received a plaque from American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals representatives Tim Rickey, left, and Bryan Hayes at last Thursday’s County Commission meeting.

Bryan Hayes and Tim Rickey of the American Society  for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals [ASPCA] found a willing partner in Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer

Rickey is vice president of ASPCA’s field investigation and response (FIR) team, whose emergency vehicles are kept on the Sheriff’s Department grounds.

He and Hayes attended last Thursday’s Ste. Genevieve County Commission meeting and presented Stolzer with a plaque and letter of appreciation.

“We want to make sure everyone appreciates how much the ASPCA appreciates that resource of having those trucks parked here,” Hayes said.

In one case, a call came in about 26 dogs in a terrible situation. Hayes and another investigator were able to quickly get to their vehicles and get to the scene.

“We came out, all of our stuff was right here,” Hayes said. “We were able to go out and took some dogs from a not real good situation and got those animals placed at a partner shelter out in Kansas City, Missouri.”

Last year, when the southern United States was battered by three hurricanes in short order, the Ste. Genevieve parking site again saved important hours for the team.

“The real big truck that you see back there [in the sheriff’s lot] is our personnel support vehicle,” Hayes said. “What it is is really just a big camper. We go into a disaster area, there’s obviously no hotels for guys to house our people in and to assist in the disaster response. We have housing and a command center in there. We have satellite, we have radio, everything we need to run our operations from there.

“I went down to [Hurricane] Harvey and spent a couple of weeks down there, got back to Ste. Genevieve. I called Gary on the way back and said, ‘Hey I’ve got to have an 18-hour turnaround.’ I had to get some sleep and turn around and get down to Florida for [Hurricane] Irma.”

He explained to Stolzer that the vehicle had to be cleaned and ready for the next crew to take off in.

“I pulled up and he’s got a crew sitting there, waiting for me to pull up,” Hayes said. “I pulled up and those guys jumped from the trailer and started cleaning. I went home and got some sleep. At 7 o’clock the next morning, I’m on the road to Florida.

“That partnership just makes me proud.”

Ste. Genevieve Herald