KC Pet Project finds success with Zona Rosa location

Northeast News
December 11, 2013

Since opening its Zona Rosa pet adoption center in November of 2012, the KC Pet Project has adopted out 1,454 pets from that location alone.

Employees were hoping to meet the 1,000 mark and exceeded that goal, said Teresa Johnson, chief executive officer and executive director of KC Pet Project.

“This seems to be a phenomenal success,” Kansas City City Council member John Sharp said during the Dec. 4 Public Safety and Emergency Services committee meeting. “I don’t think anyone envisioned we would adopt that many animals from there.”

Johnson said KC Pet Project, which operates the city’s animal shelter, received a prime spot across from Dillards at the shopping center. Their storefront is also becoming a destination location, she said.

“We hear a lot of people who travel to Zona Rosa specifically come to the pet adoption center and (then) do more shopping while they’re there,” she said.

A number of Zona Rosa retailers offer shopping discounts to those who adopt animals through KC Pet Project, and Zona Rosa restaurants have donated food for various events, Johnson said. Old Navy has even invited the animal shelter operator to the store on several occasions to show off animals available for adoption. This year, Zona Rosa chose KC Pet Project as one of six recipients to benefit from the Change for Charity program.

“I think we have a great partnership with them (Zona Rosa),” Johnson said.

This month, KC Pet Project will expand into space next door, gaining an additional 1,800 square feet.

That extra space will allow the organization to provide additional volunteer opportunities, host dog draining classes and pet owner education classes.

While adoptions are up by 52 percent compared to last year, the shelter intake number is also up by 20 percent, said Brent Toellner, president of the KC Pet Project Board of Directors.

“Our increased intake is definitely a burden,” Toellner said.

Compared to last year, the shelter has taken in an additional 1,250 dogs and cats, but has still maintained a 91 percent live release rate for 2013.

However, maintaining that live release rate is a challenge, given the age and size constraints of the current animal shelter, 4400 Raytown Rd.

“I think you’ve done
a tremendous job with some very tough limitations,” Sharp said. “I think this committee knows that shelter is just simply inadequate. It’s too old, it’s too small; it’s got all sorts of issues as far as the HVAC system or the lack thereof. It really is something the city at some point is going to have to address.”

Recently, KC Pet Project spent $60,000 in facility renovations to keep the shelter in compliance with the Missouri Department of Agriculture regulations.

About $45,000 is being used to update its play yards for dogs by installing artificial turf. The remaining is being used to repair and replace kennels.

Vaccinations and discounted adoptions

In October, KC Pet Project hosted a vaccination clinic in Historic Northeast for low-income pet owners which resulted in 150 pets being vaccinated, microchipped and licensed with the city.

This month, KC Pet Project will be offering adoption specials, and cost is $25 per cat and $50 per dog. Cost also includes spay and neuter surgery, microchipping, deworming, age appropriate vaccinations and 30 days of free pet insurance. For more information about KC Pet Project or pets available for adoption, visit

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