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Kansas City animal shelters are in a crisis: 'We have no kennel space left'

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Two Kansas City-area animal shelters say their kennels are full, and in one shelter, animals are living in offices and training rooms.

Inflation and residual effects of the pandemic have caused an influx of pets arriving to Kansas City's animal shelters.

"We have no kennel space left," said Tracy Lewandowski, director of operations at Great Plains SPCA.

More pet foster homes are needed to help open kennel intake space and remove animals from the stress of shelter living, according to Casey Waugh, communications and annual giving manager at Wayside Waifs.

Adoptions went up at the onset of the pandemic, but opportunities to socialize pets through obedience classes and dog parks decreased.

That lack of socialization has meant shelters are seeing more behavior concerns in dogs that have been surrendered, resulting in a longer average stay at the shelter.

Lewandowski and Waugh joined Up To Date to share how dire the situation is, what to do with a stray animal, and how they're working with the public to reduce the number of animals in the shelter.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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