KC Pet Project takes over all KCMO animal control services
By John Sharp
“If people are concerned about the welfare of an animal they should call us.”
That was the comment of April Moore, chief of animal services for KC Pet Project, the non-profit agency that took over all animal control services in KCMO on December 1 under a contract with the city approved by the City Council in July.
KC Pet Project also operates the Kansas City Campus for Animal Care at 7077 Elmwood in Swope Park which serves as the city’s no-kill animal shelter that cares for over 10,000 animals a year.
Moore, the former animal services supervisor in Austin, Texas, widely recognized as the nation’s largest no-kill jurisdiction, stressed in an interview that the agency’s focus will be on solving the root causes that lead to persons complaining about pets’ behavior or how they are being treated by their owners.
“They don’t want a pet gone. They want it to be safe,” she said.
She said KC Pet Project’s animal services officers will help connect pet owners with the information and resources they need to properly train and care for their pets.
Moore said with frigid winter weather approaching, KC Pet Project can help pet owners in need by supplying dog houses and bedding for animals that spend significant amounts of time outside.
Persons should still call 311 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday to report any animal control related issues. For after-hours or weekend emergencies, such as an animal that has been hit by a vehicle or wildlife such as bats entering persons’ living areas, persons should call KC Pet Project’s main line at 816-683-1383 to get help from an on-duty or on-call animal services officer.
During a three-month transition period, KC Pet Project and city officials have met regularly to assure an orderly transition of animal control services with no lapse in services.
Teresa Johnson, president and CEO of KC Pet Project, said the agency has been preparing to provide animal control services for the city for over two years and has assembled a diverse, community-minded team that is prepared to foster positive changes by providing needed information, access to resources, enforcement of animal cruelty and neglect laws and protection of public health and safety.
KC Pet Project has hired 16 new animal services officers to provide animal control for the city who have all undergone more than 50 hours of classroom training and over 40 hours of hands-on training covering subjects such as safe animal handling. The agency also has hired dispatch specialists to handle all calls for service who will work out of the animal care campus.
The agency is still hiring for a number of positions including animal services officers, bilingual animal services officers and dispatch specialists. Persons may view available positions at www.kcpetproject.org/careers.