Toriano Porter

Kansas City needs a state-of-the-art animal shelter

The concept to design, build and operate the $26 million Kansas City Campus for Animal Care in Swope Park should be approved by the Kansas City Council.
The concept to design, build and operate the $26 million Kansas City Campus for Animal Care in Swope Park should be approved by the Kansas City Council. File photo

Kansas City needs a new state-of-the art facility to replace the third largest no-kill, open admission animal shelter in the United States and the City Council should respect the will of voters and approve the Kansas City Campus for Animal Care.

Voters overwhelmingly approved a measure in 2017 to build the new shelter, a joint venture between the city and the nonprofit KC Pet Project.

Kansas City will provide $18 million, and the animal care group will contribute $8 million in construction costs for the 60,000-square-foot facility. Animal welfare advocates have already pitched in $6 million in funds and in-kind donations. The group will also pursue an additional $4 million for an endowment.

The campus would replace the 40-year-old city shelter on Raytown Road near the Jackson County Sports Complex.

The Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners has already recommended the cooperative agreement to the City Council for approval.

Mayor Sly James called the shelter “a generational opportunity,” and KC Parks and Recreation Director Mark McHenry gave KC Pet Project a ringing endorsement, stating the organization has the knowledge, expertise and financial backing to efficiently operate the shelter.

Hopefully, the City Council agrees.

Toriano Porter, tporter@kcstar.com

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