As recently as 2007 the shelter killed nearly 7,000 dogs and cats. As recently as 2008, the shelter killed more than 60% of the dogs and cats that entered.
Everyone knew we could, and had, to do better.
In 2009, the city made the decision to privatize the operations of the animal shelter. While there were significant improvements made, not everything was going as well as everyone had hoped. In April, 2011, the city took over the operations from the private contractor while they searched for a new vendor.
In January, 2012, the Kansas City Pet Project began the operation of the city shelter after a lengthy search by the city for a new partner. KC Pet Project is an organization I'm very proud to be a part of.
It's been a wild ride -- but we have an amazing team with talented and compassionate staff and volunteers that have been working their butts off to create an amazing story for Kansas City. The shelter is still small. And outdated. And clearly not designed, in its location or layout, for lifesaving. But we're making it happen.
Honestly, there's a lot I could say about the changes, but I think the best story I can show is by showing the numbers over the past 7 years.
One quick note on the numbers: In 2009, 2010 and the first half of 2011 the operators of the shelter logged all rescue transfers to non-brick-and-mortar rescues as "adoptions" instead of "transfers" - so many of the "transfer" numbers for those years are much lower than they should be and "adoption" numbers are much higher.
For the year, we had a total 85.7% live release rate. It was 87.1% for dogs, 82.4% for cats. Since July 1, it's been better than that: 90% for dogs, 85% for cats -- for a total of 89% live release rate. The live release rate was calculated using the Asilomar Accords and Maddies Fund formula -- however, our euthanasia numbers include owner-requests for euthanasia (which most shelters don't include).
I've opted to include just information about dogs and cats -- but KCPP is an open admission facility and takes in everything from animal control -- so we have saved more than 250 chickens, goats, alligators (I'm not kidding), ferrets, pigs, owls, rats, and snakes over the past 12 months also.
We have a lot of work still ahead of us, but the progress is certainly there. I'm really proud of our team.
I also want to thank Susan at No Kill News for the kind words about our organization.