The KC Pet Project has made some significant improvements since taking over the Kansas City animal shelter nine months ago.
The latest change involves a place for dogs to play so they are not so cooped all day, putting volunteer time and money into building outdoor play areas.
A cage is no dog's first choice, lined up with others like a crowded, canine apartment complex.
"I've never seen such a change from the cages personality of a dog and the outside personality of a dog," said longtime volunteer Sharon Gartin who pushed the project. "It's just so nice for them to be free and the people can see how they really look, how they really act."
But this change is just the beginning. A volunteer team cleared an unutilized lot of city property last month, equipped with dirt movers, chainsaws and a vision.
"There is going to be about eight runs total where people can go in and interact with the dog," marketing director Tori Fugate said.
Makeovers have been a big part of the nonprofit's year. The past two months, the shelter has had a 91 percent live-release rate, animals returned to owners, adopted or sent to private rescues as shelters.
The same two months last year, that rate was 65 percent.
"Most city facilities the dogs are just here. They're brought in as strays and then they stay in their kennels unless they're walked by a volunteer or a staff member," Fugate said.
The KC Pet Project is thirsting to stand out as something more than just a city pound. And they've been making it happen by using more than just city tax dollars, chasing down tax-deductible donations to become a bona fide adoption facility.
So far, they've raised $6,000 for the project and spent a little more than half of it on the three gated areas. But to get the section in play they need $10,000 more.
The shelter is holding an adoption special Friday: $25 for all dogs weighing more than 25 pounds. For more information, click here.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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