Shawnee animal control department modifies procedures to help local shelters, animals
Shawnee police and the Great Plains SPCA are reminding people about lost animal protocols that can help the nonprofit organization, the police and the found animals.
The Great Plains SPCA is in a period of transition after closing down its Lost Pets Center in Merriam. The building had served the Kansas City region for 50 years after being donated to the organization. However, failing infrastructure in the building forced the Great Plains SPCA to close its doors and consolidate its animal intake operations into its Pet Adoption Center.
To help Great Plains SPCA, Shawnee police have implemented several strategies to limit overcrowding the shelter.
“We want to streamline the process as much as possible,” said Shawnee Animal Control Officer Scott Hunter.
Hunter said he and his department are now, more than ever, reminding citizens of procedures that have been in place for several years.
Those procedures are that the city will continue to pick up stray and lost dogs, but if an animal control officer is not on duty, the reporting citizen may be asked if they can keep the dog until an Animal Control Officer is on duty.
Additionally, officers will continue to practice the policy of not removing cats from any residential property unless the cat is ill, injured or has bitten a person. The department is also recommending that found feral cats be reporting to local shelters who can, neuter or spay it, then release it back where it was found. Hunter said this strategy has been incredibly effective in limiting the feral cat population in Shawnee.
To assist with locating the owner of a domestic animal that has wandered from its home, Animal Control Officers are requesting pet owners ensure their pets have some type of owner identification; a tag, phone number on the collar or an electronic chip.
Hunter said Shawnee residents are incredibly considerate when it comes to helping lost animals find their way back home.
“We have great citizens in our city, especially when it comes to trying to get animals back to their homes,” Hunter said.
However, when there are delays in getting an animal home there is not always space at local shelters to take in the lost animals. So, Hunter recommends calling ahead to local shelters to see if they have space to keep an animal.
People can call Great Plains SPCA at 913-831-7722, Kitty City Cat Rescue at 913-971-0101, The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City at 913-596-1000, Heart of America Humane Society at 800-384-3143, Unleashed Pet Rescue at 913-831-7387, or Wayside Waifs at 816-761-8151 when in need.
Hunter said one of his department’s biggest priorities is to avoid impounding an animal in the city’s impound. He said the department has been able to do that through its streamlined protocols for handling lost animals.
“I am happy to say that I take home more animals than I take to the impound,” Hunter said.
For more information on the city’s animal control policies, visit www.cityofshawnee.org.