While they were many, one of the major successes was that we finished 2015 with a 93.4% live-release rate – the highest in the history of the Kansas City, MO animal shelter. Adoptions have increased 146% since KC Pet Project began operating the shelter in 2012. The number of pets surrendered by their owners was down 18% in 2015 due to efforts by our staff in providing counseling, food, medical, and training resources to help families keep their pets.
Thanks to the incredibly generous support of the Petco Foundation and Grand Construction, our new Veterinary Care Center opened its doors to help the ill and injured pets arriving at KC Pet Project. This center, built from mobile construction trailers, expanded our clinic space by five times compared to the former clinic space available in our 1972 Kansas City, Mo animal shelter. Mayor Sly James, City Manager Troy Schulte, city council members, and other city officials were on site for the grand opening celebration.
We launched our Petco Cat Adoption Program where cats and kittens are available for adoption from KC Pet Project at five local Petco stores in Grandview, Kansas City (136th Street), Overland Park (75th Street), Independence, and Olathe. We’re proud to partner with Petco and the Petco Foundation to help save the lives of more cats in our community.
C.L.A.S.S., or Canine Life and Social Skills, is a new program at KC Pet Project designed to enrich and significantly improve the lives of thousands of larger breed dogs in Kansas City’s animal shelter (most of whom are pit bull-type dogs) by teaching them the basic skills. The goal is to decrease the length of time dogs stay in our shelter, significantly increasing the dog’s chance of adoption, and decreasing euthanasia. Dogs relinquished to our shelter having little or no training or lacking social “manners” are taught critical skills needed to become a more well-behaved and confident members of a new family – saving the lives of more local homeless dogs and making Kansas City a more humane and safe community.
In 2015, KC Pet Project and Operation Breakthrough joined forces to form a new education program, Operation Pet Project. Operation Pet Project seeks to educate children in the urban community about responsible pet ownership and pet care. By creating a positive and safe environment where kids can interact with animals, this program will shape Kansas City’s youth into more compassionate adults and create a safer, healthier environment for Kansas City’s pets.
We continue to save lives in our parvo ward with sick puppies and dogs that come in with the deadly virus and treated over 70 puppies in our modest isolation room at the shelter. Overall it’s been another great year at KC Pet Project and we’re very proud of the success and growth of the organization as a start-up organization just 3 years ago.
We’re very excited for the year to come as we have a lot of new initiatives that we are looking forward to sharing.