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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 26, 2009

Animal shelter operation shifts to private operator

As of March 1, the operation of the City of Kansas City, Mo., animal shelter located at 4400 Raytown Road will be managed by Veterinary Management Corp. This change is expected to save the City $175,000 annually.

Shelter operations include caring for animals that have been picked up, and serving as an adoption center. Licenses will continue to be available at the shelter. The shelter will be called Halfway Home Pet Adoptions.

"This change improves the likelihood more animals find homes, lost animals find their way back home, and allows animal control officers to focus on investigations and enforcing City ordinances," said Councilwoman Cindy Circo, 5th District at large. Circo led the effort to create this partnership at the shelter.

The employees in the Animal Health and Public Safety Division of the Neighborhood and Community Services Department who formerly worked in the shelter will be re-assigned to provide additional pickup service of stray, sick and injured animals. The division staff will continue to enforce animal and fowl ordinances, and conduct investigations and inspections. Employees started moving their offices to 4900 Swope Parkway on Feb. 23.

"The Veterinary Management Corp. is looking forward to taking over the animal shelter with our enthusiastic team of dedicated employees and volunteers. Halfway Home Pet Adoptions is busy creating four new adoption areas at the shelter to help in finding new homes for the animals that arrive every day," said Dr. R. Wayne Steckelberg, founder of the Veterinary Management Corp. "Halfway Home Pet Adoptions also is working with KC Pet Program to raise money for the improvements that are so badly needed for the 38-year-old facility."

For more information about the fundraising efforts with KC Pet Program (a separate non-profit organization) call the new telephone number for the shelter, (816) 513-9850.

To file a complaint or concern about an animal, residents are asked to continue to call the 3-1-1 Action Center, (816) 513-1313 or 311.

Media inquiries about the Neighborhood and Community Services Department should be directed to Teresa L. Clark, public information officer, (816) 513-3247.

    
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