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City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.

www.kcmo.org

CONTACT: City Communications, 816-513-1349

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2011

Halfway Home Pet Adoptions transition

The City of Kansas City, Mo., contract with the current operator of Halfway Home Pet Adoptions, Kansas City’s animal shelter, expires on Saturday, April 30, 2011. The City has made arrangements to assume control of the shelter at the end of the contract. The City will run the shelter until a contract can be executed to establish a new vendor to operate it.

As part of the process to secure a new operator, a Request for Information (RFI) was issued by the City and responses are due April 28, 2011. Information obtained through the RFI will be used to prepare and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP). A new vendor will be selected from those who respond to the RFP.

It is the City’s intent to ensure the shelter operates as efficiently as possible while ensuring the humane treatment of animals housed there and to facilitate the adoption of as many animals as possible when they are not claimed by their owners.

Many have called for the shelter to become a “no-kill” operation. While the volume of animals that enter the shelter may make it difficult to operate as a no-kill shelter, the City will strive to achieve this as a goal. Under the current contract, the euthanasia rate for dogs fell from 57 percent to 21 percent and from 78 percent to 65 percent for cats. Other shelters, rescue organizations and animal welfare groups have offered to help. Assistance from these crucial partners is appreciated.

Concerns have been expressed about respiratory illnesses and other diseases in the animals housed at the shelter. A new veterinarian will examine all of the animals, order laboratory tests and prescribe treatment and operational changes as needed to control diseases that may be found.

The City’s animal shelter facility was constructed in 1973 and was not designed for the long term sheltering of animals. Updates and equipment replacement are needed. An inspector with the Missouri Department of Agriculture will inspect the facility during the first week in May to identify deficiencies that need to be corrected. It is anticipated that this will result in unbudgeted expenditures, but the City is committed to making the necessary corrections to the fullest extent possible.

The public is encouraged to assist by adopting a dog or cat and keeping pet licenses up to date. Adopting a dog or cat from an animal shelter saves it from an unpleasant outcome. Adoptable dogs and cats can be found by searching at www.Petfinder.com.

Revenue from pet licenses provides the funding for the operation of the shelter. Only about 10 percent of the dogs and cats in Kansas City are licensed as required by city ordinance. Getting more pets licensed will help ensure funds are available to provide the proper level of care for animals that are brought to the animal shelter. All pet owners are urged to ensure their pets are currently licensed.

The shelter will be closed on Sunday May 1, 2011, while transition activities are underway.

As of Monday May 2, 2011 business hours for the shelter will be:

- Monday thru Thursday 12 – 6 p.m.

- Friday and Saturday 12 – 4 p.m.

- Closed on Sunday

Off-site adoption events for Sundays are planned.The City is exploring ways to extend business hours beyond 6 p.m. during the week.

To report any animal-related issues, contact the City's 3-1-1 Action Center, by dialing 311 or 816-513-1313. To report animal-related issues afterhours (7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday) and on the weekend, please call 911.To contact the animal shelter directly, please call 816-921-0201.

Media inquiries should be directed to David Park, the director of the Neighborhood and Community Services Department, 816-513-3231.

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