Project TLC to help lost pets safely reunite with owners

By LESLIE COLLINS
Northeast News
January 23, 2013 

Kansas City’s Animal Health and Public Safety Division is hoping to reunite more animals with their owners through the recently launched Project TLC (Tag, License, Chip).

“If everyone would comply with the TLC program, our (city’s) shelter intake would drastically decline and officers would be able to reunite these pets easily in the field with their families,” said Whitney Mathis, operations manager of Spay & Neuter Kansas City.

Spay & Neuter Kansas City has partnered with the city of Kansas City to promote Project TLC. Typically, Spay & Neuter averages 50 city pet licenses and microchips per month, but since the launch of Project TLC, Spay & Neuter sold nearly 60 pet licenses and microchips in two weeks alone. Project TLC costs $30 per pet and includes a city pet license tag, a microchip and a rabies shot and tag. Spay & Neuter will offer the TLC package at its vaccination clinic, 1116 E. 59th St., Kansas City, Mo. The goal is to tag, license and chip 10,000 pets in 2013, Mathis said. Offering all three in one package provides more avenues for lost pets to reunite with their owners, she said.

All licensed pets qualify for the city’s “Free Ride Home Program,” which allows a pet to receive one free ride home each year if it’s wearing a city pet license tag. In addition, the first ticket will be waived for the pet running at large and no shelter fees will apply if the owner is home when the pet is returned. If the owner can’t be located and the animal is taken to the shelter, the owner can retrieve his or her pet at the shelter and receive half-off the shelter fees.

Last year, the city’s animal shelter, 4400 Raytown Rd., took in 7,600 animals. Nearly 500 of those animals weren’t dogs or cats and ranged from llamas to pigs to alligators to owls, among others.

“You name it, we get it down there (at the shelter),” said Brent Toellner, president of Kansas City Pet Project, which operates the city’s animal shelter.

More than 3,000 dogs and cats were adopted from the animal shelter and 955 animals were reunited with their owners in 2012.

To further promote adoptions, Kansas City Pet Project opened a satellite adoption site at Zona Rosa.

“This has been a really outstanding outreach opportunity for the shelter to have a presence north of the river,” Toellner said.

Not everyone is aware of the animal shelter south of the river, he said, and having a presence north of the river provides more opportunities for adopting out animals.

Kansas City Pet Project secured three grants totaling $25,000 to host a Mega-Match-A-Thon which resulted in 145 adoptions in three days and will utilize the other two grants for foster programs and to provide vaccinations and rabies shots for pets in more economically challenged areas of the city.

 

How to license your pet:

•Visit Spay & Neuter Kansas City, 1116 E. 59th St., the city’s Animal Shelter, 4400 Raytown Rd., contact your local veterinarian, or register online at www.petdata.com

•Cost is $10 for a one-year license

•License fee revenue goes toward funding animal shelter operations

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