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‘Very desperate situation:’ KC Pet Project reports drastic uptick in strays


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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV) — The month of June was a blur for workers and volunteers at KC Pet Project as they cared for a nearly record-breaking number of animals.

Typically, the shelter takes in about 1,000 pets from May to August but the shelter cared for about 1,400 animals last month.

Tori Fugate, Chief Communications Officer at KC Pet Project, says the rise in intake numbers has to do with a variety of factors but it occurred at the same time cities were lifting COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.

A large number of pets have been relinquished by their owners because the owners can’t financially afford to care for the pets anymore or were recently evicted.

Fugate says many of the strays at the shelter have never been in the system before.

“We can really tell that a lot of these are new animals, predominantly 1 to 3 is the average age that we’re seeing,” explained Fugate.

Workers are used to managing about 40 pet intakes a day, but that number increased to 80 some days in June.

Fugate said it is hard on staff to care for so many animals, but the shelter is always willing to make space and tries to never turn down an animal.

The Independence Day holiday added to the busy past few weeks at the shelter. Many pets get loose or run away when they get scared by fireworks.

Before noon Monday morning, the shelter had taken in more than 40 pets in a 24-hour period.

Fugate says that if the shelter continues seeing a large number of animals daily through July, it will face major space issues and will have to figure out how to handle the desperate situation.

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