Extreme Winter Weather Causing High Intakes at KC Pet Project

dog in cold weather

Shelter has reached crisis capacity – no open kennels to take in new pets

Kansas City, MO – KC Pet Project’s Animal Services Division has been very busy this week responding to a flood of calls regarding general neglect concerns for pets left outside in the elements. The first 15 days of January have witnessed an astonishing 87% surge in call volume related to general neglect concerns for dogs in this weather compared to the total number of calls received in December for the same concerns. KC Pet Project’s Animal Services Division urges pet owners to bring their pets indoors for their well-being during these extreme winter weather events.

Due to the high volume of these calls and pets coming in from the public, the shelter is experiencing a crisis due to the surge of incoming pets, combined with low adoptions due to the winter weather. Every kennel at the KC Campus for Animal Care is full and dogs are waiting in intake kennels for a permanent kennel on the main adoption floor. Shelter officials are struggling to work to find adopted or foster homes for the pets that are in their care while also wanting to help pets in the community get the care that they need.

“Every day here is a nonstop struggle at the shelter,” said Tori Fugate, chief communications officer at KC Pet Project. “In one hour, our Animal Services Division will bring in multiple dogs come from one house that were left outside in the elements, 7 dogs will come in from the public that have been found or are being surrendered, dogs that are abandoned in our parking lot, and hardly any animals are finding homes through adoptions because of low traffic due to the weather. Our phones are ringing off the hook with people asking about surrendering their pets. There isn’t an end in sight to this crisis. We’re doing everything we can to save lives, but we need the community’s help to do so.”

The last thing that shelter officials want to do is euthanize pets to make space for the new arrivals, but many dogs are at-risk of euthanasia because there are so many new dogs coming in. Here is how you can help KC Pet Project save lives today:


Every Wednesday is Waived Fee Wednesday at KC Pet Project where all dogs 20 pounds or more and 6 months of age or older are free to adopt. Additionally, KC Pet Project’s Shed Some Shelter Pounds adoption special starts on Thursday, January 18th and runs through Sunday, January 21st where all dogs 30 pounds or more and adult cats are $30 at their three adoption centers. Pets in foster homes also qualify for the special.

All dogs that are on KC Pet Project’s At Risk List are also free to adopt on any date. Foster-to-Adopt options are also available for these dogs, and more information about this new program can be found on the page listed above.

Foster Pets:

Fostering a dog will help make space for these new dogs critically in need of shelter. Appointments are available this week to come pick up a dog to temporarily care for in your home. Learn more and sign up online at http://kcpetproject.org/foster.

Help Found Pets Get Back Home:

If you find a pet in your area, you can help them get back home so they don’t have to come to the shelter. Visit KC Pet Project’s Found Pet Resources page on their website for more information. KC Pet Project posts all pets that are lost or were found on their website and on a Facebook page. You can look through the album or listings to see if pets were found in your neighborhood. Sharing these pets will help them get back home faster.

Bring Your Pets Inside:

If your pet normally lives outside, the best thing that you can do is bring pets indoors during these extreme temperatures. If you are concerned about an animal in distress that is outside in Kansas City, MO, you can report that to 311 or use KC Pet Project’s online portal to submit information, including photos, which are very helpful. Take note of the date, time, exact location, and the type of animal(s) involved and write down as many details as possible about the situation. Video and photographic documentation of the animal, the location, the surrounding area, etc. are very helpful to Animal Services. If KC Pet Project’s Animal Services Division finds animals exposed to the winter conditions, they may be subject to immediate seizure and impoundment of the pet to the shelter and prosecution of animal cruelty. Priority of calls will be assigned for responses to emergency services and for welfare checks for animals in distress.