KC Pet Project gets national award for shelter operation

The non-profit that operates the Kansas City animal shelter is the first to receive a new national award from the Petco Foundation.

KC Pet Project leaders on Wednesday announced their award to the city council public safety committee.

The plaque will hang at the shelter, they said, and they are proud of it.

The Paul Jolly Compassion award was created after Jolly’s recent death from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Jolly for many years was director of the Petco Foundation.

The foundation issued a recent statement that said the Pet Project was an easy choice because it ‘stands out as an organization that is achieving lifesaving success despite very limited resources.”

Councilman John Sharp on Wednesday again praised the group for work it has done despite the aged and inadequate shelter.

The foundation release stated: “In 2013, after only its second year of operating the Kansas City, Mo., animal shelter, Kansas City Pet Project saved the lives of nearly 7,000 pets in part by increasing the number of adoptions by more than 130 percent.”

It saved 92 percent of pets that entered the shelter.

Susanne Kogut, foundation executive director, said: “The Kansas City community should take pride in the efforts of this organization because their dedication and determination to help animals and save lives in the Kansas City community despite the many challenges they face daily is truly inspirational.”

More challenges are ahead, pet project officials told the public safety committee.

Admissions are running 20 percent higher this year and they are working toward more adoptions to match them.

Teresa Johnson, director of shelter operations, said they opened a new adoption center this year at the Petco store in Overland Park at 95th and Quivera.

Since late March, 135 pets have been adopted there, she said.

At their Zona Rosa adoption site, 2,263 pets have been adopted since Nov. 13, she said.

There will also be a series of pet adoption events at different places throughout the year, she said.

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