We need to let everyone know what has happened with KCMO animal control. They showed up here Thursday afternoon to inspect us. We have a big binder with every dog that is in our program and all of their paperwork. Because we were unable to get our domestic avocation permit (because ONE neighbor wouldn’t sign off on it), we are just like any other citizen or household in Kansas City. We can have up to 4 animals over 4 mo. of age and there is no limit on how many puppies we have, as long as they’re under 4 mo, or 16 weeks. When we do take in an animal into Chain of Hope, we were told by Special Investigator Simmons that we have 3 days to get it’s rabies and city license. Those are our parameters and we have been following them perfectly.
When animal control showed up Thurs., 12-15-11, Chain of Hope had 3 adult dogs, 2 different litters of puppies with only 2 puppies in each litter, and two baby kittens. Two of our adults had their rabies and city license. We had taken a darling Boxer in late Tues., 12-13-11. On Wed., I took her to Independence Animal Hospital to get her rabies vax. They do not sell KCMO licenses, so I planned on getting it the next day, still within my 3 days.
When the ACO was finished walking through the house, he told Marilyn that he was calling his supervisor because the puppies’ ages were “questionable”. Marilyn told him that they were under 4 mo., but of course he didn’t believe her and had to waste even more time calling a supervisor. The supervisor came over and went through the house as well. They both went outside to talk and I’m sure talked to the director, Patrick Egberuare. They stayed outside for an hour, discussing. They had Marilyn’s driver’s license and she really needed to get going. She called me and said that they were still just sitting out there talking. I told her to go ahead and tell them that she had to get going and asked them if they were finished inside. They told her she could lock up, but they’d have to finish writing our tickets! “Tickets for what?” Marilyn asked them and they said that all of the puppies were over 4 mo. Marilyn told them that they had no proof of that and asked him how did he know and the same aco that had had to call his supervisor because they were “questionable”, replied to Marilyn, “because I know!”. Unbelieveable. They told her that they could write us tickets for the two pit puppies, however he was “giving us a break”, but “they’d better be gone tomorrow”. They wrote us a ticket for not having Tasha’s city license, even though we legally still had time to get it. Jake’s collar had fallen off earlier, I’d found it on the floor and I had tossed it on my desk to put on him later. They were going to write us a ticket for Jake not wearing his tags, when we told them what happened and Brittney showed them Jake’s collar.
Animal control was here for almost 2 hours total. Really? An aco and a supervisor had to spend all that time to hassle Chain of Hope again? Isn’t there enough to do out there regarding cruelty and neglect? Like this call that Chain of Hope has called in twice and both times animal control has said No Violations:
There are two dogs at this house, one chained on each side of the steps leading up to the front door. One is a reddish mixed breed dog, about 30 lbs. and one is a blk/wh bird dog mix?, about 30 lbs. (couldn’t get a picture of it). The black and white dog is pretty thin. Both of them are on chains and neither of them have shelter. The dogs have dug holes in the dirt that they lay in, all curled up, trying to stay warm. I have driven by early in the morning because I wanted to verify for sure that they were out there all night. They’d be curled up under the porch, in their dirt holes on a really frosty, freezing morning. There is never food or water. It kind of looks like the people don’t even live there-who knows? Maybe they come over and feed them a couple times a week. You can never know. The dogs are aggressive acting, so we can’t even get to the front door to knock. Regardless, these dogs are in a pretty bad situation. We called it into animal control on 11-28-11. When we called the action center to get the results of the animal control visit, we were told that there were “no violations”. Couldn’t believe it, got rather upset (we were having some freezing cold nights!) and called it in again on 12-7-11 at 4:50 p.m. We couldn’t quit thinking about those freezing dogs on chains, curled up in the dirt. When we called after the second animal control visit, we were again told that they found “no violations”. I can’t even tell you how angry this makes my volunteers and me. It is such a frustrating feeling to know that these dogs are in terrible circumstances and nobody with the city gives a crap. These dogs are STILL over there with no shelter. The only absurd thing I can think of is that they are counting that porch as shelter and believe me-that is not shelter. I have sent an email and picture to Mr. Egberuare and received no reply.
Chain of Hope is essential to the inner city pet owners. We average 30 calls a day. We are on outreach 6 days a week. We are checking addresses and driving alleys. We are knocking on doors, talking with people, educating them and offering them resources. We will spay and neuter people’s pets for free if they can’t afford it (we make them pay for shots if they want them and a lot of people scrape together $10 and $20 for vax). People don’t have to show us their W-2, pay stub or whatever in order to “qualify” for hay and food, like other agencies require. We average $1200 in medical bills per month. We help a lot of elderly people in the hood. We transport their animal to the vet and we pay the bill if they can’t, which is almost always. If that helps an elderly person hang onto their beloved pet, we’re happy to do it.
Do we think we’re animal control? Absolutely not! We have absolutely no power, except the power of compassion and the power of education. What we do have is a group of very dedicated volunteers that will go where no other group will go and will be strong advocates for neglected animals. Are we emotional? You bet we are. We see some pretty ugly, nasty things. We’re even more emotional when the agency that is supposed to ensure the welfare of the animals turns their head to a substandard situation.
To continue our story with last Thursday’s animal control visit, I loaded up all 4 of the puppies “in question” the next morning and took them to a vet for aging and documentation. Both litters were aged and documented as under 4 mo. of age. I purchased the Boxer’s city license, so that was taken care of on her third day. We were in total compliance, yet we have to hire an attorney again and waste time fighting these ridiculous charges, when we could be using that money and that time to help even more animals.
The next day after the animal control visit, Chain of Hope was visited by a codes inspector. She delivered the news that we had 15 days to vacate the property! She said that we were operating a business, which we told her we are a 501c3 not-for-profit. She said a complaint had come in to the mayor’s office. I’m sure it did-from animal control. Basically, it appears that animal control is harassing Chain of Hope. Our attorney is working on all of these matters, as is our landlord. We will aggressively fight this. Kansas City needs Chain of Hope. I’m sure the mayor has no idea the essential services that we provide in the urban core. He needs to know and so does the city council and other city administrators. Please contact city officials regarding this issue and let them know that Kansas City’s animals need Chain of Hope. They need to be aware of what Chain of Hope provides in this city and what animal control is trying to do to us. Please call, email and spread the word! To express your opinion about animal control’s treatment of Chain of Hope, let’s band together and let city hall hear our voices for these animals. Let’s show them the true community support we have, let your voices be heard! Contact all city officials listed below and show the support for Chain of Hope and the animals that have no one but us! Thanks for keeping us going!
Mayor Sly James
Neighborhood and Community Services
David Park, department director
Animal Control Director Patrick Egberuare
1st District Councilman Scott Wagner
Phone: 816-513-6503 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Assistant: Kimberly Randolph • firstname.lastname@example.org
1st District Councilman Dick Davis
Phone: 816-513-6505 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Assistant: Jackie Burton • email@example.com
2nd District Councilman Ed Ford
Phone: 816-513-6507 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Assistant: Lisa Minardi • firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd District Councilman Russ Johnson
Phone: 816-513-6509 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Assistant: Meg Conger • email@example.com
3rd District Councilwoman Melba Curls
Phone: 816-513-6511 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Assistant: Reva Simmons • firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com
3rd District Councilman Jermaine Reed
Phone: 816-513-6513 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Council Aide: Petrina Gooden • firstname.lastname@example.org
4th District Councilman Jim Glover
Phone: 816-513-6515 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Assistant: Erica Torres • email@example.com
4th District Councilwoman Jan Marcason
Phone: 816-513-6517 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Councilwoman: Jan Marcason • firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant: Susan Borge • email@example.com
5th District Councilwoman Cindy Circo
Phone: 816-513-6519 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Assistant: Gina Boucher • firstname.lastname@example.org
5th District Councilman Michael Brooks
Phone: 816-513-6521 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Assistant: Tonia Titus • Tonia.Titus@kcmo.org • email@example.com
6th District Councilman Scott Taylor
Phone: 816-513-6523 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Assistant: Lisa Sturgeon • firstname.lastname@example.org
6th District Councilman John A. Sharp
Phone: 816-513-6525 • Fax: 816-513-1612
Assistant: Araceli Gallegos • email@example.com
Please stay tuned for more info.coming shortly. We are their voice. They can’t speak for themselves and they just have to sit there and take it. Chain of Hope needs to be able to do our work in the inner city. Critical information will be forthcoming soon. Be sure and check back on Tues.
Oh btw-the next morning when the pit puppies “had better be gone”, they were at Santa Fe Elementary visiting a 3rd grade class to help educate the kids about our outreach program, as well as about pit bulls. The kids did a donation drive for Chain of Hope. Thank you Lindsey Meyer’s class. Lindsey and her husband adopted one of our rescue dogs from a couple of years ago named Nelson. He lived on a chain and was very shy and now he is the very spoiled kid of the Meyers! They brought him down for a visit and it was awesome to see how happy he is!!! Makes all this grief from animal control worth it.