FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 3, 2005
Free spay/neuter vouchers available at drive-up rabies clinic
In an effort to drastically reduce the number of unwanted pets locally, the City of Kansas City, Missouri’s, Animal Control Division is partnering with several animal welfare organizations to offer a groundbreaking program that will provide 300 free spay/neuter vouchers to those in need.
The free spay/neuter vouchers will be offered as part of the Kansas City Pet Program’s third drive-up rabies clinic open to all pet owners Oct. 8. The event is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the City of Kansas City, Missouri’s, Health Department, 2400 Troost Ave.
This clinic also will include City licensing and free rabies vaccinations for pets of Kansas City, Mo., residents. All others will be charged $5.
The program is a partnership of the Animal Control Division of the Neighborhood and Community Services Department, Spay and Neuter Kansas City, No More Homeless Pets in Kansas City, and AnimalKind. These groups have a mission to decrease pet overpopulation in Kansas City through education, progressive spay and neuter programs, and by working with other animal welfare organizations.
By targeting animals at high risk of contributing to pet overpopulation, program partners hope to drastically decrease the number of animals entering area shelters.
“We have been successful in spaying or neutering nearly 10,000 dogs and cats in Kansas City in the last three years, but we need to continue the fight against pet overpopulation,” said Michelle Dormady, president of Spay and Neuter Kansas City. “We will continue this battle until we see a dramatic decrease in the number of animals entering our shelters.”
The goal of the event is to schedule 300 free spay/neuter appointments for those in need and provide 500 free or low-cost rabies vaccinations. In addition, 50 $20 cash incentives will be offered to pit bull owners to encourage them to spay and neuter their pit bulls. Kansas City, Mo., residents also will be required to purchase a City license at a cost of $7 for altered pets and $30 for unaltered pets.
Although the City has stepped up enforcement efforts for licensing pets, officials in the Animal Control Division estimate that less than 10 percent of pets in Kansas City are licensed. Mike Schumacher, manager of the Animal Control Division, also estimates that many unlicensed pets are not current on their rabies vaccinations.
“Pets that aren’t vaccinated create the potential for a rabies outbreak and pose a danger to citizens,” Schumacher said.
Schumacher said thousands of unwanted and stray animals are taken in by the City’s animal shelter every year. The Animal Control Division is forced to euthanize those that cannot be adopted.
“The problem of pet overpopulation belongs to everyone and only through active public involvement and support will we be able to reduce the number of unwanted pets,” said Gail Longstaff, president of No More Homeless Pets in Kansas City. “We need every pet owner to have their pets spayed or neutered, and if they can’t afford it, we have programs to help with the cost. Cost does not need to be a reason for failing to take care of your pet.”
Longastaff said public donations are always needed to help provide low-cost or free spay/neuter services to people who could not otherwise afford to have their pets spayed or neutered.
For more information about spaying and neutering pets, dates and locations of rabies/license clinics, or to donate, contact: Mike Schumacher, manager of the Animal Control Division, (816) 513-9810, www.kcmo.org; Michelle Dormady, president of Spay and Neuter Kansas City, (816) 353-0940 (office), (816) 519-0023 (cell), www.snkc.net; Anne Henry, president of AnimalKind, (913) 706-9336, www.kcnet.com/~animalkind; or Gail Longstaff, president of No More Homeless Pets in Kansas City, (816) 333-PETS, www.kcpets.org.