The State of Missouri statues says 7 days. Saint Louis City ordinance says 5 days.
STL Lost Pets is a collaboration of the Animal Protective Association (APA), St. Louis County Animal Care and Control and the Humane Society of Missouri. 90% of lost, stray and unwanted pets in the St. Louis area end up at one of the three agencies, so if your pet is missing, there is a very good chance they could be at one of these shelters.
Read and use -- Lost dogs, contact these agencies.
Read and use -- Lost & Found page, hosted by Saint Louis County Health Animal Control
Read and use -- Secrets of successful pet finding
This booklet will help you succeed in the recovery of your lost or stolen pet. After reading it you will know what to do, why to do it and how to do it. Think positively! Avoid shortcuts and follow through.
Statutes and Ordinances
Missouri statutes -- http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusmost273_010_405.htm
These Missouri statutes comprise the state's dog laws. Among the provisions include laws for impounding loose dogs, licensing, rabies control, and the Animal Care Facilities Act, which regulates commercial breeders/pet shops.
Impounding of dogs (redemption -- fees -- penalty)
273.100. 1. Every city or town marshal of every incorporated city or town in this state, within their jurisdiction, shall take up and impound in a suitable place, the location of which place shall be given by a notice posted in some conspicuous place in his office, all dogs found running at large in their respective cities or towns without collars around their necks, marked as herein provided, and they shall keep such dogs for a period of one week, and at the expiration of such period shall put such dogs to death by humane methods.
St. Louis City Ordinance 66384 -- http://www.slpl.lib.mo.us/cco/ords/data/ord6384.htm
Significant entries from ordinance 66384 that relate to subject:
10.04.130 Notice to owner/guardian.
Upon the collection and holding of any animal there shall be kept in the records of the Animal Regulation Center a detailed description of each animal. The Animal Regulation Center shall immediately notify the owner/guardian from whom the animal was taken, if the owner/guardian can be determined. These records shall be available for public inspection.
10.04.170 Adoption of strays.
After notice required by Section 10.04.130 has been given, if the owner/guardian is known, and after the five (5) days of holding for all stray animals required by Ordinance 60878, or any subsequent ordinance, has elapsed, then such animal may be released to any person upon payment of the fees required under this section or any other ordinance and provided all other requirements for adoption are met. No dog or cat should be finally released unless procedures approved by the Commissioner of Health to have it spayed or neutered have been followed.
10.04.190 Disposal of unclaimed animals.
Animals not claimed by their owner/guardians shall be held for five days or for ten days (for dogs or cats under observation for rabies), after which the animals may be disposed of as provided for in Section 10.04.170 or 10.04.200 or may be humanely put to death in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Health.
10.04.350 Penalty for violation.
Every person found guilty for the first time of a violation of any provision of this ordinance shall be punished by a fine... (see Ordinance 66384 for all details). http://www.slpl.lib.mo.us/cco/ords/data/ord6384.htm