KC Pets

Two animal shelters team up to reduce overcrowding

Updated: 2013-06-23T02:45:50Z

By ALICIA STICE

The Kansas City Star

For local animal shelters, the warm summer months mean more animals coming in, which can fill facilities beyond their capacity.

Two groups, the Kansas City Pet Project and Great Plains SPCA, are now teaming up to try to adopt out 200 animals by the end of the month. The organizations have lowered the price of adoption to $35 for all animals, except for adult cats, which will be free, until the end of June.

This summer has seemed especially difficult for both organizations. Courtney Thomas, chief executive of Great Plains SPCA, said she’s never seen this many kittens come into the shelter during such a short time. The shelter is already over capacity, and the intake of animals is outpacing the adoption rate.

“They are coming in in droves,” she said. “Tuesday and Wednesday we took in 96 animals. We’re not sending 96 animals home.”

Both the Kansas City Pet Project and Great Plains SPCA run no-kill shelters, which means they don’t euthanize animals because they don’t have space.

When the shelters reach capacity like this, both the Kansas City Pet Project and Great Plains SPCA work with other rescue agencies to take on animals the shelters can’t care for. Just last week, Great Plains SPCA sent more than 55 dogs to an animal shelter in New York. They also work with families who foster pets until they can find permanent homes.

The Kansas City Pet Project has euthanized fewer than 10 percent of the animals that come through its doors for the past 11 months. If it can continue this in June, it will be the third largest shelter in the country to do so for a full year, spokeswoman Tori Fugate said.

Even though lowering the price of animal adoptions means taking a financial hit, people at both organizations hope it will allow them to reduce the overcrowding.

“We do whatever we can to make space,” Fugate said. “We lose a lot when we do these adoptions, but we think it’s the right thing to do to get pets into homes.”

Anyone interested in adopting a pet should visit one of the shelters.

Great Plains SPCA Shelters:

• 5424 Antioch Drive in Merriam. It’s open weekdays except Tuesdays from noon to 8 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.

• 21001 East 78 Highway in Independence. It’s open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.

Kansas City Pet Project Shelters:

• 4400 Raytown Road. It’s open noon to 6 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends.

• Zona Rosa location, 7351 N.W. 87th Terrace. It’s open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.

To reach Alicia Stice, call 816-234-4070 or send email to astice@kcstar.com.

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