City won’t repeat door-to-door pet census

This Midtown cat, who asked that his name not be used, is among the 90 percent of city pets who are not licensed. But the city says it won’t do another door-to-door census to try to get more pets into legal compliance.

Only about 9 percent of pet owners in Kansas City have current licenses, but the city will only push so far for compliance.

A door-to-door effort four years ago looking for unlicensed pets will not be repeated, Patrick Egberuare, manager of animal health and public safety, told the city council Thursday.

“That was not well received by the citizens,” he said.

So the city took a softer approach a year ago. It lowered some licensing fees, started a publicity campaign and sold 181 more licenses last year than the year before.

By now it has recruited about 34 vets to sell licenses and Banfield Pet Hospital inside the PetSmart stores will start selling them next month. But few of the vets are in the central city, raising concerns among councilmembers.

The city has also gone into partnership with Spay and Neuter Kansas City, which sells licenses at its main site at 59th Street and Troost Avenue. Spay and Neuter also has a deal called T.L.C., in which it will provide a rabies shot, a city license and a microchip for $30.

The embedded microchip has a number that is in a directory and can tell who owns a lost animal and allow for its return.

Spay and Neuter on Thursday played a public service video it did that shows Bullet the dog escaping when his collar and tags were off and having a hard time of it  – lost, alone and unidentified.

Councilman John Sharp suggested putting the video on channel 2, which shows the city council meetings.

“It’s certainly more entertaining than some of the things we have on there,” he said.

Egberuare said the Kansas City rate of unlicensed pets stands at just over 16 percent for dogs and 2.5 percent for cats, almost exactly in line with the national averages. They will continue to try to improve it, he said.

Councilwoman Cindy Circo said she had a microchip put in her dog after it escaped once with its collar and tags removed.

“One of the reasons she doesn’t wear her tags is they jingle all the time,” she said. “We’re constantly taking them off at night and forgetting to put them back on.”

Perhaps part of the problem is having a tag for the rabies shot and another for the license and address, she said.

Pet licenses can also be purchased online at or at the city animal shelter.

More information and a list of vets that sell licenses


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