Council told fewer pets killed at animal shelter

In a report on the animal shelter, the city council heard this week that the ratio of adopted to euthanized pets has been changing since the Pet Project took over its operation. This chart shows that the number of animals killed has decreased between May of 2012 and January of 2013.

The Kansas City animal shelter built in 1972 is too small, outdated and inadequate, but it is operating so well that it has become essentially a no-kill shelter.

The Kansas City Pet Project took over its operation at the start of 2012 and reported progress Tuesday to the mayor and city manager.

When it took over, only 68 percent of animals taken there were released alive. The rate for 2012 was 86 percent, just below the 90 percent that is considered a no-kill shelter.

The rate for December and January was well over 90 percent. Some animals always have to be killed because of sickness, injury and biting personalities.

Brent Toellner, president of the pet project board, also reported that the number of animals dropped off at the shelter by owners or residents increased dramatically in 2012.

“Our focus this year is to get the word out,” he said, so people know they can trust the shelter and pet owners know where to come to look for lost pets.

Councilman John Sharp said, “We’ve seen tremendous progress,” but the city must accept the fact it will eventually have to build a larger and better animal shelter.

Patrick Egberuare, manager of city animal health and public safety, also reported that his department made changes about two years ago that greatly reduced the number of animals they take to the shelter.

When they find more than the allowed four animals at a home, they now give owners time to correct the problem instead of taking the extra animals to the shelter, he said.

Also, they used to take pit bulls that were not spayed or neutered to the shelter, but they now give owners two weeks to get the job done.

In August 2011, his staff took more than 700 animals to the shelter. In January of this year, they took in 300.