Pet ownership comes with responsibilities

Nikki Lansford
Editorial Assistant

If you’re an avid Facebook user who consistently peruses any page pertaining to the Northeast, then you’ll know some of the most common posts on these pages are about stray animals in the area. It seems almost weekly, if not daily, someone is posting about a dog they found roaming around without any type of identification.

The sheer amount of posts highlight just how big of an issue there is in the Northeast. It’s a cycle. A lost animal gets posted on Facebook, the owners pick it up, either from the poster or from the Kansas City Pet Project (KCPP), and inevitably it gets out again.

If your animal keeps escaping, then keep it indoors where you can keep an eye on it. And if you want a place for your animals to roam free, then go live on a farm. The Northeast, like any other city, is too busy and has too much traffic to allow for any type of animal, especially dogs, to just roam as they please. It becomes a matter of neglectful pet handling.

On my very first day of working at the Northeast News, as soon as I pulled into the parking lot, I was greeted with three dogs who seemed to have no care in the world. They especially did not care as they strolled right into the middle of oncoming traffic. The cars avoided them, luckily, but at that moment I thought it would be a one-time situation, a fluke that would never happen again. Boy was I wrong!

I saw many other dogs, and a couple cats, almost get hit by traffic as my time went on at the Northeast News. In particular, I frequently saw those three dogs roaming around the area. While it upset me that they were still out and about, still running into traffic, I almost took some solace in the fact that I at least saw them alive.

And then one day after a couple months of this routine, I noticed one was missing. Now I don’t want to make assumptions about what happened to it, but my mind can’t help but go to the worst case scenario. Especially because I have seen the worse case scenario play out in the Northeast with other animals since then.

So, what is the solution? Report. Report. Report. KCPP took over as animal control for the City last December. About a month ago, I wrote an article to update our readers on how that transition went, and it really highlighted some serious issues with KCPPs new system.

The number one problem brought to our attention from people we talked to was KCPP’s policy on neglect situations, which stated that KCPP tries to keep animals with their owners as much as possible as long as the pet is not in danger. While in theory this sounds like a good idea, in practice it turns into somewhat of a logistical nightmare.

Other small rescue organizations I talked to complained about the policy creating a cycle that KCPP claimed the new policy was supposed to stop. A report would be made about a neglect situation, KCPP would come in to help the owner in order for them to keep the animal, but the owner would not change their ways, causing everything to start over again.

So, every time you see the same animal roaming the streets, report it to KCPP. The more reports they have of a particular owner being neglectful the better. It is harder to justify keeping a pet with an owner if there are multiple reports made on them.

And if you are tired of dealing with KCPP, try other smaller rescue organizations in the area. A smaller organization might not have all the manpower that KCPP does, but it’s better than some pet getting out again because KCPP refuses to take them away from the owner.

Additionally, if you have neighbors who are stubborn in their ways of letting their pets roam freely, at least try to encourage them to take all the precautions they can. Tell them to chip and spay or neuter their pet. Many rescue organizations will do these services for next to nothing.

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