- Associated Press - Saturday, June 28, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City’s municipal animal shelter has taken in more than 900 animals since the start of the month and currently has more animals than ever before, forcing it to convert bathrooms, closets, locker rooms, the basement and the employee break room to find enough space for them all.

The KC Pet Project takes in the third-highest number of animals among all no-kill, open admissions municipal shelters in the nation, according to the No-Kill Advocacy Center. The shelter’s director, Teresa Johnson, said the shelter needs to be three times its current size to accommodate all of the pets it holds, The Kansas City Star (https://bit.ly/TEDOfI ) reported.

“This shelter is old and looks like a Sarah McLachlan video,” she said.

Because it is a no-kill, open admissions shelter, it can’t turn animals away. To reduce the overcrowding, the shelter is conducting its third annual “Red, White and Woof” pet adoption event through July 6, during which adoption fees will be reduced to $25 from their normal $75 to $200 price tag.

Nearly a quarter of the 912 animals taken in during June were dropped off because their owners no longer want them, Johnson said.

“This shelter is looked at as an easy dumping ground for pet owners of Kansas City,” she said. “We need to be viewed as a last resort.”

Also contributing to the pet population at KC Pet Project are animals picked up by the city’s animal control or seized in criminal cases, she said. That includes 80 of the 150 cats seized in a hoarding case in early June - most of which still need to be adopted.

The city spent $1.1 million on KC Pet Project last year and budgeted $1.2 million this year. KC Pet Project raised an additional $1.3 million in the last year, but Johnson said its current budget can’t cover the costs for taking in so many pets.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

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