Animal Control Taking Positive Steps

The Olathe Animal Shelter continues feeling pressure, not only from budget challenges, but also from space constraints. The current shelter located behind the public safety building was constructed to serve a population a fraction of what it is today, and space needs are at a premium. Largely due to that space shortage, closing the shelter and contracting with Animal Haven in Merriam, Kansas was considered.

Ultimately, the City Council elected to continue shelter operations in Olathe in the 2010 budget for a number of reasons, and the Olathe Police Department is tackling the challenge on several fronts. In addition, the community is stepping up to help. To address the space needs, the Police Department is placing a significantly greater emphasis on placement of pets for adoptions. Simply put, the more animals that find loving homes, the less space needed at the shelter. With the community’s help, new adoption related programs and other approaches are being developed.

As part of the effort, a proposal was presented to the City Council on December 8th that included the following: free adoptions to animal rescue groups, continued and expanded public awareness pet adoption campaign, utilization of local veterinary clinics for animal bite observation periods, utilization of animal hospitals and local veterinary clinics for distribution of pet licensing information, utilization of donated funds to spay/neuter as well as vaccinate and groom adoptable animals, sponsoring reduced cost vaccination and licensing clinics, implementing multi-year animal licensing options, creating permanent metal animal license tags, and mailing or emailing postcard license renewal notices to residents.

Some of these recommendations will necessitate modifications and subsequent approval to current animal control ordinances.