KC Pet Project blames disposals on lack of viable homes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In the first four months of 2022, 804 animals were released to KC Pet Project.

And in April alone, the shelter welcomed more than 500 new animals, which the shelter says is alarming to see this start to the year.

“It’s just been relentless with the number of pets that come through our doors,” said Tori Fugate, communications manager for KC Pet Project. “He shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, we expect more animals to arrive during the busier months.

Fugate says the current housing crisis in the community is having a direct impact on shelter operations.

Shelter statistics show that 275 animals were abandoned this year due to housing issues or financial burdens from January 1 to April 15. For dogs, these two reasons account for nearly 40% of owner abandonments.

Total number of owner redemptions (dogs, cats, etc.): 804

Can’t afford: 44
Housing – Loss of home: 43
Housing – Moving/Moving: 64
Accommodation – Restricted: 35
Incompatible with Lifestyles: 89

Total number of owner redemptions (dogs only): 397

Can’t afford: 18
Housing – Loss of home: 21
Accommodation – Moving/Moving: 40
Accommodation – Restricted: 24
Incompatible with living conditions: 51

“People call us every week saying, ‘I don’t want to give up my pet, but I can’t find a place to live with them,'” Fugate said. “Eviction, moving out, can’t find a place that will allow their animal to live with them, can’t pay the rent deposits…There are just a number of reasons why people have to give up their homes. animals.”

Some apartment complexes have weight or breed restrictions, making it harder for pet owners to find viable options. On top of that, with veterinary care continuing to break the bank, owners have no choice but to make a tough decision.

KC Pet Project provides the Keep ’em together, KC program where pets can be fostered until their owners find a long-term solution. But with host families and volunteers already overwhelmed, Fugate hopes change will happen locally.

“Changes are going to have to be made in Kansas City where there are more affordable housing options for people who have pets,” Fugate said. “And there has been legislation that has evolved at the state level to potentially limit all race restrictions in the state of Missouri, which would be super, super helpful.”

KC Pet Project also works with local organizations and agencies to provide food and housing assistance to pet owners – the shelter donated more than $96,000 last year to help owners pay for their pets. medical bills.

Fugate says the lack of affordable housing is a serious problem with an even more difficult solution, which is why host families and volunteers are invaluable to the organization.

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