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Animal shelter reaches crisis capacity after taking in 400 animals

By Kelly Eckerman

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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KMBC) — KC Pet Project said it is at crisis capacity. It’s taken in 400 animals in a matter of days. Shelter workers said it’s the economy. Prices are going up and it’s more expensive to care for an animal.

A playroom that’s typically for dogs at KC Pet Project is now lined with pop-up kennels. The shelter is more than 100 dogs overcapacity, and it’s not just strays. There’s a dramatic increase in pets being surrendered and heartbreaking stories.

“For a lot of people that are having to bring their pets in, this is the hardest thing that they have had to do. And they may be going through a crisis themselves. And so this is just one more thing that is added on top of that already existing crisis,” said Tori Fugate, of KC Pet Project.

There are new programs providing resources so some families can hang onto pets during a crisis. But the need goes way beyond what the shelter can offer. KC Pet Project said what’s happening to these animals reflects what’s happening in the community.

“Until we have more affordable housing that allows dogs, especially dogs that are over 30 pounds and especially pit bull-type dogs, then we are going to continue to be in this situation where people are having to come and give up their beloved pets that they’ve had their entire lives simply because they can’t find a place to live with them,” Fugate said.

KC Pet Project is about to launch an adoption special. It’s also looking for foster homes and more volunteers.

“We’re going to need this ongoing support throughout the rest of the year because this has no signs at all of slowing down,” Fugate said.

The adoption special starts Thursday and goes through the weekend. The shelter said it’s $30 adoptions for dogs over 30 pounds and for adult cats.

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