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« Catching up | Main | A rough week for advocates of breed bans »

September 08, 2009

Comments

Nathan Winograd

Thanks for bringing this to light Brent. I agree with you and want to add that there is another aspect of city investment in the lifesaving process. Working with private shelters is great and important, but for purposes of a true partnership and sustainability, they should be additive to what the city does itself to increase adoptions, reduce intakes (through pet retention efforts for example), and increase owner reclaims. I am grateful that the HSGKC is saving these animals. It is time for the city to step up to the plate beyond simply giving HSGKC access to the animals and implement core programs comprehensively as well. That way, the animals are not completely reliant on HSGKC either.

michelle

I agree as well with the hard work the HSGKC has put into this program to save those lives. Great Accomplishment! It is hard work and will only get harder and more difficult to sustain unless laws change and more importantly the truly indigent pet owners are provided "very" low-cost or even "free" spaying and neutering service.

Providing low cost spay and neuter and expecting pet owners to voluntarily comply isn't enough, you must focus on the pet owners who will never call - go find them! Work with animal control - and provide an all out MASS sterilization in the low income areas of KCKS. With a population of some 150,000+ this seems very obtainable.

Dan

Kudos to HSGKC and Ray of Hope. That is great work, and an important part of what needs to happen.

And Michelle is correct, you have to take it to 'em. We just did 138 dogs and cats in two days with two surgeons, (mostly dogs, and nearly half of the dogs were spays) for about $42 each, no cost to owners. Many of those owners had not been to a vet in years - a voucher program or low-cost spay/neuter was meaningless to them. Far less expensive than adopting out unwanted litters, and prevents the cruelty that will result.

Overpoulation is a problem that is going to take a multi-pronged approach. Prevent what you can, and fill homes with altered animals. Then the shelters can become shelters again instead of harvesting operations.

dan

Susan

I don't live there, but it sounds like it is time -- and a good time, with election day only months away -- to start getting animal lovers to call and write their city councilmembers and tell them what needs to be done. If you could raise $100k in two weeks, how much more could be done when it won't cost people a dime -- just the time for an email or a phone call.

KC KS Kills Dogs

A lot of the pets entering this city's shelter system are not strays. The city has overly restrictive pet laws - BSL, MSN, 2 dog limit, TNR illegal, foster homes illegal w/o special permit that costs $350++ and approval from the planning commission.

Susan - this is a city with an extremely corrupt city govt. Nothing will change until that "machine" is broken.

Michelle - working with the ACO's is not an option. The neighborhoods with the most unaltered dogs are in our "high crime" areas. ACO does not service these areas unless force to.

mariusz

Really good post. I completely agree with you.

Melody Kelso

The Ray of Hope project has primarily focused on getting dogs and cats out of what once was a high kill environment. It's not the only bit of progress that has occurred in the last few months.

Karen Sands, HSGKC, and myself have had many conversations that have turned in to actions that have improved things for Kansas Citians. The amount of time spent by rescue groups and individuals on this adoption effort is enormous. However, Sands, leads it well, but is not the only participant that focuses a great deal of time on this effort in general.

1. Cleanliness and disinfection of vehicles used to transport stray animals helps to reduce overall disease.
2. Spay/Neuter outreach efforts by HSGKC including a reduction in spay/neuter prices with additional grant assistance.
3. Outreach efforts and targeting efforts from TPC to s/n pets in the most problematic of areas so that shelter numbers are affected and are reduced.
4. Collaboration between ACO and local groups to end breeding by enforcing the spay/neuter law by ticketing. These dogs are not being confiscated unless the owner is in violation of some other ordinance.
5. KCK for the first time ever is helping devise payment plan systems so that owners can more easily get their pets "out of jail" on a plan so that they don't just die because someone didn't have the money to pick them up.

Efforts to just pull animals out of the shelter would consider honorable mention, but there is really a lot more going on with this project as talk about reducing overall shelter numbers is a popular topic and one that we will be discussing on a regular basis until the problem is more manageable. It doesn't seem infeasible that the community would spend an additional $100,000 to save hundreds of pets. Shelters have million dollar operating budgets. Creating a no kill community is a priority of everyone involved so the money is always well spent. This community will continue to support this effort.

Brent

Melody,

That's great that KCK as a city is becoming so open to working with you and HSGKC. For years (as you know) they were unwilling to work with anyone.

The concern wasn't really the one time group of donations to keep things going for HSGKC -- I've long contended that people in the metro will step up and give to worthy causes when people are doing the right thing.

The problem, in my mind, was that the success of the Ray of Light program was not sustainable unless there was at least some level of civic support. KCK has had some of the worst AC laws in the area, and keeping up with the continual impounds was a huge drain on Animal Welfare resources. At least ending having dogs confiscated due to their MSN is a great first step -- as is the payment plan so animals with owners that care about them don't go into rescue because their owners don't have enough money to pay the fines.

And obviously, working with them to clean up their facilities/trucks is a huge deal.

This is good news on the KCK front. It was great news before -- just when all of the animals were being saved...but even better news when it's leading to positive changes in some of the city policies that will allow the progress to be sustainable.

There are obviously a couple of big policy steps that need to take place there at the city level....but their willingness to at least be taking baby steps is a great first step...

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