July was the toughest month we’ve seen in nearly 11 years at KC Pet Project. More dogs arrived than ever before in our city’s history (818 dogs), fueled by a 24% increase in the number of dogs being brought in last month by the public as strays.
Throughout the month, we shared our challenges transparently with our community about our need for help — and about the heartbreak we experienced in having to euthanize too many dogs who became at risk in these unprecedented times. Our boards of directors, city officials, and civic leaders are working alongside us to identify new ideas to address the tough challenges we face.
In July, we received or provided care for 1,443 new dogs and cats that arrived, plus 17 guinea pigs, 2 rabbits, 1 lizard, 1 parakeet, and 5 pigs. Despite the numerous challenges our teams faced last month such as no open kennels for incoming animals, slower adoptions, staffing shortages, and storms taking out some of our power and air-conditioning units, many notable accomplishments were achieved:
- In the first 7 months of 2023, we’ve already taken in and provided care for 9,124 dogs, cats, and other animals in need.
- Stray/lost pets brought in by the public arrived at the highest levels ever recorded in Kansas City – up 118% from 2018 totals. The number of stray animals arriving is already 35% higher than last year’s record setting numbers.
- 1,003 pets were adopted in July (437 dogs, 554 cats, and 12 other pets). Adoptions of dogs and cats continued at a slower pace than the numbers of new pets arriving.
- Our veterinary team performed a record 1,049 spay/neuter and specialty surgeries in July (totaling 4,784 surgeries year-to-date).
- We provided free spay/neuter surgeries and veterinary services for 30 owned dogs in July that were reclaimed and reunited with their families (for a total of 200 reclaimed dogs that left our shelter spayed/neutered this year).
- Lost/impounded pets being returned to their families through our Return-to-Home Team and by our Animal Services Officers are up 81% over 2018 totals.
- We hosted a State of the Shelter Town Hall at the end of July for our board, staff, and volunteers to communicate about our capacity crisis. More than 100 people joined us to learn more about our internal capacity for care, rising intake challenges, and ways they could help.
- Two of the Pro X student interns from KC Pet Project teams WON grand prize awards for their presentations which provided scholarship money for their college educations. We’re SO proud of them!
- In July, 920 volunteers gave 6,263 hours of services to KCPP – the equivalent of 36 full-time employees.
- 307 KCMO families received services last month from our Keep ‘Em Together KC programs, including pet food assistance, veterinary care assistance, or temporary foster care for their pets.
- 345 dogs/puppies and 356 cats/kittens were sent to foster homes last month.
Don’t miss our incredible lifesaving stories from the field shared by our Animal Services team, the puppy Enchanted who had a “rocky” start to life, and the heartwarming story of Jeremiah who had been living in his car with his two beloved cats and a dog until KCPP’s Home Away from Home program gave him the time he needed to find permanent pet-friendly housing so they could all be together again.
Thank you so much to our lifesaving staff for the incredible talent and dedication they bring to this team and to our mission!
President/CEO of KC Pet Project