ST. LOUIS – At 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 10, four teenage robbers held employees at the City Paws Clinic in south St. Louis at gunpoint just after closing, stealing money and medications.

“They demanded the ketamine and other controlled substances once they got that, took the narcotics as well currency from the cash register, and fled the area,” SLMPD Captain Michael Mueller shared.

The most notable drug that was stolen is Ketamine. For animals, the liquid short-acting anesthetic is used daily to help in surgery.

“It helps with sedation and also with pain,” Brentwood Animal Hospital Practice Manager, Laura Fitzgerald, explained. “So without it, the animals do not have what they need for pain, whether it’s a spay, or a neuter, or mass removal.”

The break in, a concern for all.

“We were scared for them, scared for us, it is close, we are a community, and we all work together,” said Fitzgerald.

For criminals, ‘Special K’ as it’s referred to is an intoxicating high with hallucinations. The DEA said 2022 street prices of ketamine in the St. Louis metro area goes for $80 per gram or $13,000 for a half kilogram. That’s why the agency requires every veterinarian to make it hard for thieves to access it.

“Cameras all over the building and any drugs are kept in locked boxes with only access for certain people,” Fitzgerald revealed.

Although this crime isn’t common, extra security provides comfort for those.

“It just hurts because we are here to help the animals,” said Fitzgerald.

The suspects are still on the loose. The St. Louis Metro Police Department asks anyone with information to contact them at 314-231-1212.