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22 Jul / 2014


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Hi everyone, my name is Boomer. I’m a good-natured, active, lovable, in the prime of my life friendly boy who is currently in the market for my forever home. I’ve had some bad luck and a few false starts so far in life. Just as I get all comfortable and settled into a new home and life, I get the rug pulled out from beneath my paws, and I find myself back the shelter. Believe me, it is stressful to not be able to find your rightful place in this world.

I’m not giving up on finding my family. I want to love again. I know that in order for you to adopt me and make me your forever boy, you need to get to know me, right? Ok, so here goes. First of all, I’m a big boy. 73 pounds big. But I’m tall, and lanky, and I’m just the right weight for my frame. I’m strong on the lead, but I’m gentle on the heart. I’ve got the most gorgeous brindle coat, too. It’s soft and sleek. I’ve been told I’m quite handsome, and I’ve got the softest, most expressive brown eyes. I so want a chance to melt your heart.

You should know that I’ve never met a squirrel I didn’t want to chase, and I’ve never met a sofa that I haven’t wanted to curl up and sleep on, but if you don’t want me on your sofa, that is OK too. I will be very happy on my dog bed. I should mention that I’m dreaming about having my very own backyard, and I’ll be on squirrel patrol if you need me to be. Running and playing in a yard is a favorite past time of mine, and I love to while away the hours sunbathing or sitting on the deck with you in the evening watching the sun go down.

Besides a back yard of my own, I’m dreaming about a kid free, cat free home, too. Cats are my nemesis, and children make me nervous and unsure. I can sometimes be confused by the fast and somewhat loud noises that little kids can make. Best that I find a home without them. If you have young ones that stop by to visit, I’d be happy to go to my kennel in another room and sleep there while you entertain. My foster family doesn’t kennel me. I’m so well behaved that they tell me to go to a bedroom and I follow their instructions and stay in the bedroom.

I’ve got great house manners, plus I’m house trained! And I have lived with another dog, too, so if you have a dog close to my size and one who needs a pal, I’d love to meet to see if we get along. I spent a lot of time snuggling with my dog brother on the couch in my previous home. We played a lot, too. I actually taught my dog brother how to play tug of war! How smart am I! I also know a few commands that I’m willing to do when asked. Sit & down are two of my favorites.

My idea of a perfect day is doing things with you. I would enjoy walking or jogging with you, sunning outdoors while you garden, chewing on a bone while you eat, and getting belly rubs while we snuggle. Playing with a toy or two would make the day absolutely sublime. In short, my perfect spot in the whole world is anywhere you are.

What I want the most in this world is to have you find me. I don’t know why finding a forever home is so hard for me. I’ve tried my best to put my heart and soul into family life. I’m protective and I want to give my love to you. My foster homes simply rave about me. I’m friendly, loving, gentle, affectionate, well behaved and I just know I charm the pants off anyone who meets me. Why do all the others get picked and I can’t find you?

I want you to know this. I, Boomer, promise to love you with all my heart, to give you a shoulder to cry on when you are sad and depressed, and I’ll be close by and happy for you when times are the best. I’m loyal like that. I’m willing to be with you through thick and thin. I’ll be your best friend, your confidant, and your protector. Could you be all that for me? Please email and we can set up a meeting. I so want my chance at love again.

Love from Boomer

21 Jul / 2014


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Mike Lawver has 1,920 miles to go, only $80 in his pocket and three dogs relying on him, but he’s full of gratitude for Great Plains SPCA and others helping him on his journey today.

Mike is trying to get across the country to his family who lives in Yelm, Washington in pursuit of a new job, but he needs help. He and his three companions, Tink, Devin and Tank, are currently at Great Plains SPCA where he is getting a welcome rest while his dogs receive medical care.


Devin is one happy rottie!

Every day Great Plains SPCA is helping not just pets, but the people by their sides, and that is especially the case today. Great Plains SPCA is providing medical care to Mike’s three Rottweiler Mixes with support from Friends of KC Animals and Rottweiler Rescue of Kansas City.

Devin with vets

Devin receives vaccinations from our Veterinary Care Team.

Tink, a young male, is being neutered this afternoon, and then he and the female Devin will receive much needed vaccines. The youngest dog, Tank, is recovering from an illness, which inhibits him from being neutered and vaccinated today. Great Plains SPCA is ensuring he is helped by another animal shelter in Washington state when he’s fully recovered and will cover that cost.

Tank and Mike

Mike and Tank

Mike has been incredibly thankful, saying to Great Plains SPCA staff “You guys saved my puppies’ lives and mine. I’m not used to getting help because I’ve always been more accustomed to being the one who’s helping others. I’ve found a lot of humility getting help from such great people and am so thankful to have their support.”

With the unstable economy, many people around the country have been hit hard, and Mike is one of many needing not a hand out but a hand up. Great Plains SPCA is here to help people like Mike, just like it is helping local pets in need of homes, medical care and adoptive families.

Anyone wanting to help Mike on his journey to Washington to be with his family and start a new job can donate to help him and other human companions like him by clicking here or clicking on the donate button below. Our goal is to fill his gas tank to the cross-country journey, fill Mike and his pup’s bellies along the way, and ensure that when he’s feeling better that Tank is neutered and vaccinated. We expect this journey to cost nearly $1000. Every little bit will help.


09 Jul / 2014

Volunteer Spotlight – July

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Here’s to all volunteers, those dedicated people who
believe in all work and no pay.
 - Robert Orben

We heart volunteers… and this month we are featuring two very special volunteers who help make a world of difference at our Merriam and Independence Campuses:

Merriam – Mary Kay McGinty and Violet


Mary Kay and her amazing daughter Violet are two volunteers who KNOW cats! They come every week and work with the cats helping to clean litter boxes, fill water bowls, and socialize them. While they have not been volunteering for years they have nonetheless made a huge impact on our cats. Violet is my special “cat whisperer!” She is the most kind and gentle little girl you will ever meet. I think she is so good with the cats because she understands them. She is calm, quiet, and just has a way that can bring any cat out of its shell. In fact, Violet even walks like a cat – very slow and observant, as well as deliberate. No wonder the cats look forward to the day when Violet and her mom come to the shelter! Thanks to you both for all that you do for us at Great Plains SPCA.

 Independence – Terri Hoeflicker

terri and freesia

Terri is sweet, tough, and dedicated! Terri donates about 50 hours of talent a month – exercising and socializing dogs of all sizes and needs, partnering with them to show them off at offsite events, and matching them up with new families. Her kindness and enthusiasm draw people in; she is always willing to help a new volunteer, try her hand at helping in another department, and pay loving visits to her buddies at the Merriam campus. Whenever a long-term resident needs some extra love or a new, nervous pooch needs some reassurance, Terri goes out of her way to make them feel at ease. And the dogs LOVE Terri! You can almost always find Terri getting covered in puppy kisses, her own face covered with a huge smile. Terri, we thank our lucky stars to get to work with such an inspiring woman. And we thank you for everything you do and the easygoing attitude with which you do it. We couldn’t be who we are without you!

Independence – Dikki Slavens

dikki and flora

Dikki loves learning about how dogs learn! Dikki’s first C.L.A.S.S. partner Flora was her pride and joy. C.L.A.S.S. is a 6-week shelter program wherein volunteers work with our dogs to help them increase their adoptability. Dogs learn trust, communication, and good manners while volunteers learn how to strengthen human-canine relationships through positive reinforcement training. Dikki was immediately hooked – both on Canine Life and Social Skills and on Flora! She worked with Flora one-on-one every week, sharpening both their skills. She enhanced Flora’s online bio to share more detailed information with potential adopters. She sought the help of a very talented volunteer videographer (a great and easy volunteer job, by the way!) to make a special video to show off Flora’s skills, sweet personality, and gorgeous good looks. Dikki took Flora on field trips to gain exposure. After months of working, playing, and bonding with her sweet girl, Dikki met Flora’s forever family – a family whose surname is Flora! We’ve received updates from the family that Flora Squared is doing great, and Dikki has been working with a new canine partner at the shelter. While we know Dikki and Flora miss each other, this is the kind of happy ending we all dream of. We so look forward to more updates on Flora in her Flora family and more amazing work between Dikki and our shelter dogs. We are so happy to get to work with such a dedicated, big-hearted advocate for our shelter pups! Dikki, thank you for all you do, from the bottoms of our hearts and paws!

To learn more about volunteering at Great Plains SPCA, click here.

To watch a story from 41 Action News about a very special volunteer/shelter dog relationship, click here.

07 Jul / 2014


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A note from Patch’s foster family:

What can you say about Patch, our sweet big boy?! Patch came to us in September 2013 after being found left tied to the fence at Great Plains. He was in depressing shape. Weighing in at 70 pounds, Patch could hardly walk and his undercarriage would drag on the ground when he did. Great Plains SPCA staff knew he needed long term care, dedication, and love in order for Patch to become a healthy and happy dog again. We are so happy and blessed he found his way to our home! Patch began his stay at our home with a regiment of morning and evening walks. To be honest, “walks” might be stretching the truth a bit. They were glorified trips to the corner with multiple stops for smelling and resting. If we made it 100 yards total it was a good attempt. Patch had difficulty standing up. He would scooch himself, using his front legs to slide around on his back hips on our floors. It was sad. He needed help to stand. The two stairs from the house to the patio or front walk must have looked like mountains to him.

Our other dogs Sally (a 3 year old female black lab) and our first foster failure LaLa (a 3 year old Shepherd mix) are about as sweet as they come. They loved and respected Patch from the start. Patch likes other dogs and gets excited when he sees them on his walks or from the front door. In his first few weeks with us, Patch would more or less lie in the grass and watch the other dogs run and play. He was content to be a spectator, at least for now. A simple series of barks/howls as the other dogs and our kids ran by was his way of participating. At night, Patch didn’t care much for sleeping on the plush dog beds in the family room with our other dogs. He whined and barked at the bottom of the stairs. So for months, I would carry Patch to the second floor of our home every night and then down again every morning. He would sleep next to the bed near my wife. He just didn’t want to be left alone. I don’t blame him. So in the weeks to follow, Patch’s walks became steadily longer. He wouldn’t need to rest as much or for as long. The intervals between our stops became longer. We had increased or walks to about 1/2 mile each, totaling 1 mile per day. On weekends, Patch would join us at the farm. Initially he’d rest in the shade of a tree in the orchard as the other dogs would chase ATV’s and enjoy their fence-less freedom.

As weeks passed, Patch became less and less content to idly sit and watch. He explored more, he chased (although again, that word might be a stretch) more, he was simply a DOG more. Patch became more and more mobile as weeks passed. He began to play with our other dogs instead of just watching. One morning he made his way downstairs following our daughter. That next week he hopped up a full flight of stairs. Today, he has no hesitation to go up and down the stairs as he pleases. Patch’s increased mobility was a direct result of his weight loss. The strict portions of prescription dog food and the exercise regimen worked wonders. He now weighs roughly 45 pounds and needs to make strides for continued weight loss.

While you can still see the remnants of his former self in the folds of loose skin, he’s literally a new dog. When the weather permits, our walks today include all 3 dogs. Patch keeps up just fine. He has an amazing nose and will let you and the neighborhood know if a squirrel or rabbit has recent crossed his path. He enjoys meeting people and other dogs when the opportunity presents itself. Patch is a really sweet and smart dog. He barks in the car. He whines when it is time to eat. If our other dogs get in his way or near his food he lets them know who’s boss. But he wags his tail when he’s excited/happy now and he didn’t used to. Sadly, maybe he couldn’t when he weighed so much. He likes a REAL dog treat, even though he rarely gets one. He’s used to getting green beans for a treat! He loves to wrestle with our 7 year old or my wife while he lies on the floor. He now rolls over and scratches his back on the rug, something I never thought possible the afternoon I lifted him into the backseat of our car. He snores when he sleeps, not as much as he used to though. When he first arrived here, sleeping was difficult with him in our room. But now, after the kids are in bed, I’ll find Patch nestling up next to my or my wife’s feet. But I shouldn’t be surprised, Patch made a habit of lying next to my chair or feet while I was in my office almost every day. I’m pretty sure our lab Sally is still waiting to reclaim her spot when Patch finds a new home. Which leads me to this point, letting Patch go and be adopted by you will not be easy for me, my wife, our kids, or our dogs. I have carried him up and down stairs for weeks on end. Patch and I have spent hours on sidewalks together. We’ve sat under street lamps to rest. We’ve howled at the scent of rabbits under evergreens for pure enjoyment. We’ve made countless friends on our strolls. People have supported his efforts and are amazed at how far he has come. He is part of our family and much has been invested in his recovery. He’s a wonderful dog and deserves the very best of homes moving forward.

Meet Patch at our Merriam Campus today!

24 Jun / 2014


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Wanna meet your new best friend? Charming, dashingly handsome, friendly, energetic and playful – that’s me, Rocco, and I’m currently searching for my forever home!

I’m a young boy – full of life and love! I’m chock full of energy and athleticism, and I’ve got a rowdy play style with my doggie pals. All my friends think I’m one of the smartest boys at the shelter because I’ve got a razor sharp memory. It hardly takes any time for me to learn new commands! I already know “sit,” “down,” “shake,” “leave it,” “stay,” and “wait at the door.”

I love to take car rides because I’m always up for adventure… and when your car ends up in the drive-thru at Wendy’s, believe me, I’m a very happy boy! I’m patient, though, so you don’t have to worry about me trying to steal your meal! I turn up my nose at french fries, but I will sit quietly awaiting a small piece of your grilled chicken. More is always better, but I promise I wait for you to decide how much I can have. I am a calm boy in the car, and I’d love to do errands with you or even go on a road trip! Anybody for the beach?!I really hope to score a big backyard in my new home so I can run off my energy and enthusiasm for life. Maybe I could be your running or jogging partner? I really love to run, so if you like to run, and I like to run, well, what do you think? Match made in heaven! Running is always better with a friend.

I probably shouldn’t go home with young kids (not that I don’t like them) but I still have so much puppy left in me, and I am a big guy, and I don’t always keep all 4 on the floor, ya know what I mean? I need someone wonderful to come along and teach me more about life and help me become an even better dog than I already am! I want to find a friend who loves the great outdoors as much as I do. One of my favorite things to do is plop down in the soft grass and have someone rub my belly. Another thing I love to do is give kisses!!! I have been told I am the best kisser at the shelter!

Will you come for me and adopt me? If you will, I promise to be your true and faithful friend for a lifetime! Please come and meet me and give me a chance, would you? I am now spending weekdays at Man’s Best Friend Pet Resort in Belton, where I am able to play with other dogs and they have big play yards where I can run and play. I am having a blast and get to still see my admirers from Great Plains SPCA. They come to visit me because they love me so much – I am that special of a boy. I am so much calmer now since I get good ol’ play time. On the weekends, you can find me at the Great Plains SPCA Lost Pet Center located at 9800 W. 67th street in Merriam, KS. Please email one of my admirers (Lisa) to arrange for us to meet and/or for more information on me. I promise you I’m worth it! Her email address is

Love from Rocco

Fruity drinks with umbrellas. White sand beaches. Beautiful scenery as far as the eye can see. You’ve done it. You’ve booked your vacation. But wait! Who will take care of Fido while you’re gone?

dog in suitcase

When booking a vacation, don’t forget that Fido will need his vacation reservation at a boarding facility, too. Each pet is different and it is important to make sure wherever they stay, it is the best fit for their needs. With so many options for boarding facilities in the Kansas City area, it is important to follow these tips from Great Plains SPCA CEO Courtney Thomas when choosing where to board your pet:

1. The facility requires vaccines (especially Bordatella). You don’t want your dog getting sick while you’re away, so making sure that the facility requires all boarding pets to be up-to-date on vaccinations is a must!

2.  The facility is clean, sanitary, and organized. Before you board your pet, ask to take a tour of the facility. Take note of the cleanliness of where your pets will be sleeping, as well as common areas where they will be exercised. Bedding should be clean and dry, and pet excrements should be picked up often (and litter boxes cleaned) to prevent the spread of disease. Check to make sure there is sufficient ventilation also, as some diseases are spread through the air.

3. Staff is knowledgeable and can answer your questions. The staff should be able to spot potential health issues and understand animal behavior. Protocols should be in place and the staff should be able to explain those to any person looking to board their pet, including what will happen in the case of a medical emergency with your pet.

4. Each pet has individual kennel space and playgroups are supervised.  Make sure kennel space is adequately sized for your pet and that they have the ability to get off the floor in a raised bed. Playgroups should be supervised by trained kennel staff who understand animal behavior and use positive methods to deal with their four-legged clients. If playgroups are held outside, there should be sufficient covered space to block pets from the elements (rain, snow, sun). If your pet is not comfortable with a playgroup situation, ask if there is the possibility for your pet to receive individual playtime instead.

5. You should feel good about the space. When you walk in to the facility, what kind of vibe do you get? If you do not feel comfortable, then do not leave your pet there. No one wants to spend their whole vacation worrying about the well-being of their pet, so make sure you feel good about the place you are entrusting your beloved pet to, and check their Facebook page or website for reviews from clients. Once you find a place you like, consider doing a trial-run while you are still in town (just overnight or for the weekend) to get your pet comfortable with the staff and facilities. Trust us, it will make those fruity drinks with the umbrellas taste that much sweeter knowing that Fido is safe in the hands of a trusted boarding facility!

16 Jun / 2014


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 Hi, Taco here! I am a distinguished gentleman, looking for a loving home in which to spend my golden years. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly over-the-hill yet! No sir! I’m 12 years young, enjoying life and planning to spend plenty more years continuing to do just that. The folks here at Great Plains SPCA are super, but a guy likes me needs a forever home of his own. Being an experienced pet, I know that I can bring a lot of love and happiness to whomever will give me that chance. I’m a very sweet guy. I just love to be petted and to cuddle. Give me a nice warm window perch and lots of love and we’re set! I’m too old to climb your curtains but not to old to climb into your lap! So I hope you’ll come down to Great Plains SPCA’s Merriam Campus to meet me today. I’ve got my bags packed and am ready to go home with you if we hit it off! Time to start enjoying those golden years together. The best is yet to be!!!

Love, Taco

03 Jun / 2014

Kindest Kansas Citian

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Kindest Kansas Citian? We’re blushing!

Cottonwood Point Elementary second grader Tristen wrote an essay for a school project about who she felt was the Kindest Kansas Citian, and we were honored to hear that she thought Great Plains SPCA deserved the title!


When Tristen’s parents wrote to tell us that their daughter had nominated Great Plains SPCA, they shared:

On April 8, 2013, we adopted Spirit Horse from your agency.  Our family pet, Larry, had passed away in January 2013.  Although we had intended to adopt a much smaller dog, Tristen had really taken a liking to a larger dog called “Spirit Horse” during her visits to your shelter  Ultimately, this larger dog was more the size that Larry had been and was, according to the volunteers at the shelter,  incredibly patient.  This sounded ideal given  and our five and seven year old girls.  Tristen and Spirit Horse are very close. Although Tristen is only in second grade, she has been going to Cottonwood Point for their special development program for years before she was even in kindergarten.  Tristen had a serious speech delay and some other issues that have made things a little more challenging for her.  This is the first award she has ever received.   It was a no brainer for Tristen to nominate your agency  and it’s wonderful volunteers for the Kindest Kansas Citian Award.



Grace, a member of our shelter staff, accompanied Tristen to the awards ceremony and was so excited to share in Tristen’s special day. 
While we are so honored to be Tristen’s “Kindest Kansas Citian,” we are even more thrilled to hear of her incredible bond with Spirit Horse. Stories like this are why we do what we do. We have lots of pets just like Spirit Horse who are just waiting to make that special connection with you.

Thank you, Tristen, for choosing us as your Kindest Kansas Citian!


28 May / 2014

Volunteer Spotlight: May 2014

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Volunteers are not paid — not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.  – Unknown

We are so thankful for our amazing volunteers, who we depend on to keep our organization running. Without them, we simply couldn’t do it! We want to shine the spotlight on a few volunteers who take the title of “volunteer superhero” to the next level!

Independence Campus

LavernLavern is a problem solver. Whenever we run into a challenge, Lavern is ready to lend a hand. For example, after an incident in which two dogs met accidentally because their volunteers weren’t able to see each other, she donated ten large, curved mirrors to hang in the corners where hallways meet. Now we can all see when another dog is coming around the corner and keep everyone safe and happy.

She has walked our dogs almost daily for over a year now, brought in cats for Operation Furballs, made many generous donations including several shade canopies for the dog play yards, and is always all smiles. Every staff member who’s ever mentioned her to me has said something like, “Do you know Lavern? She is a seriously awesome lady who has been helping me with…”

We love Lavern and are so grateful to have her on our team!!

– Tomomi Suenaga, Volunteer Manager (Independence)



We love having Coretha on the Feline team! She is always full of smiles and a huge help during morning feeding, cleaning, and getting cats set up for the day. Coreth first stopped by the shelter and inquired about volunteering a few months ago. She was excited to help out where she could, and was very careful to select a volunteer position she could commit to, and one where she could shine. We think Coretha does an amazing job and love and admire her hard-working nature.

Our staff is so grateful for her help in the huge job of caring for all our kitties. Undaunted by the beginning of “Kitten Season,” Coretha has made time to come in several times a week. Whether it’s fun and glamorous (snuggling purring kittens and decorating their kennels) or tough and dirty (you know), Coretha has us covered.

We are so happy to have you, Coretha!! Thanks a million!!

– Tomomi Suenaga, Volunteer Manager (Independence)

Merriam Campus

May - Barbara Jones - Merriam

Barbara Jones is a true gem! She has been volunteering with Great Plains SPCA for a year and a half, but it feels like much longer. Barbara is a part of the dog wash team and not only transports the animals to U-Wash Puppy, but gives  baths on site as well. Most days that she is at the shelter she can be seen wearing one of our lovely bathing smocks. Barbara’s kindness extends beyond the animals as I have witnessed firsthand her compassion for people as well.

Barbara is more than willing to volunteer for special events and even those that are not so glamorous!  One of her favorites at the shelter is Tally and because she is a favorite, Tally is always extra clean!

Thank you, Barbara, for all of the help you give us and for your wonderful sense of humor!

– Jamie Straley, Volunteer Manager (Merriam)

Thank you to these three amazing ladies for the work you do to give our shelter pets loving care every day!

If you would like to volunteer at Great Plains SPCA, check out our website for more information.

By: Andrea Steinbreuck

Obi Brandi 2014We love hearing stories of people finding the perfect addition to their family, and recently we received an e-mail from the Wiemann family that found their “perfect match” at Great Plains SPCA – TWICE!

In December of 2011, Mica and Jake Wiemann visited our Merriam location searching for a new companion for them and their two young boys, ages 2 and 5. After meeting several adoptable dogs, they still had not found the perfect match for their family. That’s when one of Great Plains SPCA’s Adoption Counselors suggested they meet with Brandi, a staff-favorite who also happened to be pit bull mix.

At first, Mica and Jake were hesitant to even consider a pit bull. “We have heard all the hype and stories in the media about ‘violent, aggressive pit bulls.’ We went home, did our research, and learned more about what the breed is like without the bias.” After talking it over, they agreed to meet Brandi.

Brandi instantly stole their hearts. She was exactly what the family had been looking for. “She was an immediate hit – full of energy to keep up with my two boys, but very loving and so sweet-natured.” Brandi helped break down the pit bull stereotype and opened the family’s eyes to what wonderful dogs they are.

Obi Cooper 2014

After a couple years with Brandi, the Wiemanns decided it was time to add another pup into the mix. They visited Great Plains SPCA’s Independence Campus in 2013, and this time, were specifically looking for a pit bull. That is when they fell in love with a large brindle boy, whom they named Obi wan Kenobi, since their sons are big Star Wars fans. “He lives up to his name of a courageous Jedi,”  Mica explains “and Obi adores our boys.”

Thanks to the recommendation of the Adoption Counselor, who was able to match the needs of the family to the perfect dog, Mica and Jake Wiemann are now self-proclaimed pit bull advocates. They strongly encourage those looking for a new family member to consider adopting a pit bull, as they now have two that have shown them more love than they could have ever imagined. “I just encourage everyone that I meet to have an open mind,” Mica explains “because every dog (breed) is capable of love – and pit bulls are no exception.”

Mark Obi Dec 4 2013Please check out our website to see our many amazing dogs available for adoption – including many pit bull mixes! We have Adoption Counselors on-site that can help you find the perfect pet for your family.

Thank you to the Wiemann family for sharing their story and for being advocates for pit bulls!

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