Late last year, KC Pet Project opened their new Canine Resource & Relocation Center, an innovative 4,000 square foot facility approximately one mile from the Kansas City, MO, Animal Shelter. This building provides alternative sheltering options for dogs that need more time to cope with the stressful shelter environment or dogs in need of fear-free training resources to help them better cope mentally and physically with their surroundings while learning critical social skills.
One of the biggest challenges for an open admission shelter is finding placement for medium and large breed dogs with high energy levels or stress-induced behavior issues. Medium and large breed dogs make up the majority of dogs in the shelter and when a dog arrives with social deficits or begins to exhibit stress-induced behaviors, they sometimes stay in a shelter longer – which can exacerbate the problem.
KC Pet Project is utilizing this new Canine Resource & Relocation Center for dogs exhibiting these types of behavior challenges by moving them to this new facility that will provide innovative real life living situations, low stress socialization, and behavior & training resources from trained professionals to help increase the dog’s social skills and adoptability. A large play yard at the facility gives dogs daily exercise, socialization and enrichment opportunities, and a low stress environment to meet prospective families. The goal is for more harder-to-place dogs to learn new skills and thrive in this new environment, helping to save the lives of more homeless dogs from our community by finding them loving homes.
Since opening the doors to the new Canine Resource & Relocation Center, the results have been truly remarkable. Beauty was a 5-year old dog that was completely shut down after arriving at the shelter. She was relinquished to the shelter in August due to the health of her owner and had only known one family her entire life. She was so frightened and stressed out in the shelter environment and would not solicit any attention from staff or volunteers and did not allow any other dogs to approach her. Beauty’s options for adoption placement were limited. Within three days of Beauty’s arrival at KC Pet Project’s new Canine Resource & Relocation Center, Beauty was already soliciting attention from our training staff and volunteers. She also began playing successfully with other dogs at the facility. Beauty was adopted to her forever home in December 2017.
KC Pet Project’s lifesaving Canine Resource & Relocation Center was made possible thanks to the support of a local family who generously purchased the building for the organization’s use. A Lifesaving Impact Award from the Petco Foundation in the amount of $500,000 in early 2017 provided funding for the renovation of the building, as well as the furnishings and supplies. Grant funding in 2017 from the Shumaker Family Foundation provided support for the organization’s training program. Funding from the ASPCA helped purchase the kennels and installation.
Local construction company Grand Construction managed the renovation of the building and worked with many local sub-contractors; with many of them donating some of the labor and supplies for this project.
The KC Pet Project main shelter location, the Pet Adoption Center in Zona Rosa, and the Petco Pet Adoption Center are open seven days a week. KC Pet Project also has 6 Petco stores in the metro area to adopt cats.