Today was spay/neuter day in Kansas City. Every month Spay/Neuter Kansas City does a monthly MASH clinic that offers spays/neuters to low-income people for very low cost. These people are people who without this service would be unable to afford to get their dogs fixed.
This was a special day for SNKC because of the National Spay/Neuter Your Pet Day scheduled for February 27th by the United States Humane Society. They were doing their part to make this a success.
Meanwhile, it has come our attention that many politicians have no idea what services are being offered to needy pet owners in the KC -- and that with more funding, resources and locations, many more dogs and cats would be voluntarily spayed and neutered by people throughout the metro area.
So, many members of Kansas City Dog Advocates, Mid America Bully Breed Rescue, Spay/Neuter Kansas City, No More Homeless Pets KC and DIG volunteered to help out at the clinic. While other members of SNKC and KCDA volunteered to give tours to local political hopefuls of the facility during the MASH clinic. Political hopefuls got to see the spay/neuters in action and see the dogs that were being kenneled waiting their turn.
They also got to see the inner-workings of the cat spay/neuter clinic, the big map on the wall with all of the locations of animal control calls in 2005. This helps SNKC determine which areas are to target as "high risk" by the number of animal control calls come in from certain locations. These areas are often candidates for more funding from Jackson county and various grants such as Bob Barker's foundation.
They also got to meet one of the many dogs rescued by local volunteers. She had been hit by a car on a weekend and animal control wasn't around to be called. With their limited funding and resources, AC isn't open on the weekends or evenings.
As an added bonus, volunteers with the Winter Assistance program were there loading up supplies (straw, food, blankets, collars, etc) to take out to animals that were left out in the cold (it has turned VERY cold her again in Kansas City).
The media was invited to this event...and of course, didn't think that political hopefuls attending a spay/neuter event was newsworthy (although a stray pit bull is prime-time news). You certainly wouldn't want positive press to get out there.
Special thanks to the candidates that showed up today to find out what really goes on behind the scenes and to see the power of the volunteers in the animal welfare community. These volunteers are the same ones that many current politicians want to ignore (even though many are doing things a well-staffed animal control would be doing) and even tick off by making the volunteer work more difficult by instituting bad laws. I can't imagine the issues KCMO would face if it weren't for these huge networks of volunteers that take care of a huge number of animal issues. The general public just doesn't understand how much time, and money, local volunteers spend taking care of dogs, and dog owners, in need. I think this event opened more than a few eyes...
Candidates in attendance were Garrett Denzer (Sixth In-District), Mark Forsythe (Fourth In-District), Ezekiel Amador (Fourth In-District), Deth Im (Fourth District At-Large), Cindy Baker Circo (Fifth District At-Large), Brandan Ellington (3rd In-District), John Tancredi (4th District At-Large) and a representative from the Michael Brooks (Fifth District At-Large) campaign.
I think it shows a lot when candidates are willing to learn more about what is happening in their city and listen to their constituents. Candidates who are willing to listen to their constituents on animal welfare issues are likely to be the same ones that listen to you when issues arise in your neighborhood.
These candidates are among the list of dog-friendly candidates that are running for office (election is TUESDAY!). Kansas City Dog Advocates has been following up with our candidates to get a gage for how all of the candidates feel about animal welfare issues. If you live in the KCMO area, please check out the KCDA website for ratings and commentary on the individual candidates on animal welfare issues.
As a dog owning population, it is our responsibility to vote for dog-friendly candidates. This is our opportunity to make our voices heard come election time.
VOTE on Tuesday.