On July 1, 2013, KC Pet Project officially achieved 12 consecutive months as a no kill shelter.
Our little organization took over operations of the Kansas City, MO shelter in January 2012. The shelter is a completely open-admission shelter serving the entire city of Kansas City (population 460,000).
The shelter had gone through a couple of different stages of management in recent years, some public, some private. As recently as 2008, 62% of the animals that entered the shelter were euthanized.
While quite a bit of improvement had been made, there was a long way to go.
In our first year with the shelter, we finished 2012 with an 86% live release rate. This was a huge improvement over previous years. This also came after a run of 6 straight months above 90% at the end of the year.
Through the first 6 months of this year, the success continued.
In the 12 months, July 1 2012 through June 30, 2013 KC Pet Project achieved a 91.3% live release rate for dogs and cats. During that time, we adopted out 3,730 animals (more than a 100% increase in adoptions), reunited 1,035 with their owners, and transferred another 1,280 to other shelters and rescue groups -- totalling more than 6,000 positive outcomes on the year.
By my best calculations, I believe the feat makes KC Pet Project the 4th largest open-admission no kill shelter in the country.
We're no doubt thrilled with achieving this -- but I dare say we're in no place to say "mission accomplished". No kill is a journey, not a destination. As with any open-admission shelter, we continue to see a lot of animals coming through our doors. Our shelter is small, and very outdated, and these limitations add to the challenges.
We continue to need support from the community and our partners in helping us sustain. We continue to need the community support by adopting, helping keep animals out of the shelter, their volunteer time and their donations. We continue to need rescue support in helping us with the placement of dogs and cats -- particularly some of the the larger and more challenging ones. And we have many neighboring communities that have very bad laws for pets (strict pet limits, prohibition of TNR, breed bans) that make for pet population issues in the area. Some of our own city laws are outdated and regressive.
I can't say enough about what a huge team effort this has been. We have an amazingly talented staff that works day in and day out at the shelter. We have continued to build a team that buys into the vision and mission of the organization and works miracles daily. Several of our team members -- you know who you are -- have been with us from the beginning; including some of the very rough early months. Thank you for hanging in there.
And we have developed an amazing team of volunteers who never cease to amaze me with their spirit and dedication.
And we've had a few friends, some old, some new, that have come in and provided a lot of guidance, advice and moral support. I'm not sure we could have done it without you.
Thanks to everyone who has bought in, helped, laughed, cried and supported us along the way.
Now, on with the journey.