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The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

It’s Fur Real-There’s a new animal shelter in KC

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Slider Image by Ben Fine

At the beginning of this year, KC Pet Project (KCPP) opened a new adoption shelter in Swope Park, Kansas City. 

KCPP started up in Kansas City a little over 8 years ago. Before it was established, about 70% of animals that came to Kansas City shelters were euthanized. They took over the existing animal shelter and converted it into a no-kill shelter.

Their original building was located by the Chiefs’ and Royals’ stadiums. The buildings used to be storage spaces for the two stadiums and were not equipped to be a shelter. Councilwoman Teresa Loar, who spearheaded the fight for a new shelter and commenting by email, said that, because of the lack of space, “all dogs and cats were stacked on top of each other in one room.” Along with this, the rooms were damp and noisy, which added to stress and spreading of diseases in the facility. 

Loar recognized the need for a new shelter which is why she campaigned for the building starting in 2015. She explains that, her role in city council is “to champion the shelter.” She represents animal protection by updating animal treatment codes and pushing for city leadership and funding for a new shelter. 

Loar recognizes that, for success it’s crucial “to have the city’s leadership not only involved but lead[ing] on these issues.” 

The process of approving a new shelter wasn’t easy. On April 5, 2018, the Kansas City, MO City Council unanimously approved funding for the Swope shelter. A bond for $800 million was proposed that covered not only the shelter but also the improvement of roads, bridges and stormwater drainage. This bond, a government obligation (GO) bond, was a municipal loan that allowed KCPP to repay their debt both through taxes and their eventual revenue. The bond became a ballot issue that the public voted on and passed with a large majority and planning soon was underway. 

The idea became a reality when private funding groups raised $10 million along with the city pledging $16 million for the construction of the shelter. Engineers and architects were hired along with a construction company agreeing to build the shelter. “It was nothing short of a miracle,”Loar describes.

The location was chosen after negotiations between the Parks Department and the City where they settled on a property in Swope Park. The City also commissioned a private builder for construction to save money. The council oversaw the development and construction of the shelter and were kept up-to-date on progress. The shelter officially opened Jan.1, 2020. 

 “The benefits of the new shelter are too numerous to name,” expresses Loar. The new facilities are more welcoming to the public, with the building being three times as big as the old shelter. It is also open to community events, such as birthday parties, and it serves not only as a shelter but also includes a veterinary clinic. 

Most importantly, the new shelter is a clear upgrade for the animals. KC Pet Project created a space that eliminated overcrowding through separation of dog species, canceled out excessive noise and barking, and added a fully-equipped veterinary clinic in the same building. The stress of being in a shelter has taken a large dip, and with this, the need for medications for animals dealing with trauma have decreased rapidly. 

“[The shelter] is state of the art in so many ways”, Loar says. It’s “inviting for people and animals,” and it encourages pet adoption in a non-stressful and exciting way. It’s clear that the efforts and resources used to make this new shelter has paid off, and that this new shelter will be a PAW-some addition to Kansas City.

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