29 Jul / 2014
Vote NO on Amendment 1: The Right to Farm to STOP Puppy Mills and Other Animal Abuse AND Support Local Farmers
On Tuesday, August 5th, Missouri residents will be able to vote on this important law, but even if you’re not a Missouri resident, please spread the word. We need everyone at the polls to ensure the safety of the animals in Missouri and beyond.
The “Right to Farm”… It sounds great, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled!
Missouri Farmers already have the right to farm (and this legislation has been in place since the 80’s). We want to keep it that way to protect local family farmers. If passed, this amendment would change the Missouri constitution, endangering the future of local family farmers as well as companion animals. It would eliminate regulation of breeders.
To put it simply, Amendment 1 would ELIMINATE ANIMAL CRUELTY laws. Pets in breeding facilities would no longer be required to have annual veterinary exams, humanely sized cages for housing, or exercise. Furthermore, there would be no accountability for pets who are suffering from inhumane conditions. Farmers and ranchers who are not treating their animals well will be protected by their “right to farm,” which is more like a “right to harm.”
Additionally, if passed, Amendment 1 would turn over farming to “Big Ag,” meaning there would be few regulations in place to protect our food quality. Let’s not give the rights of Missouri Citizens away to industrialized agriculture and giant corporations – many of which are foreign.
The Missouri House overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to this legislation which would have excluded dogs and cats. This is not simply about farming – it’s about weakening all pet and animal protection.
A few questions to ask yourself…
1) Are you okay with abuse and neglect of animals in Missouri, especially in puppy mills? No.
2) Are you okay with Missouri farmers being overtaken by foreign-owned factory farms? No.
3) Are you okay with the runoff from corporate hog farms infiltrating your drinking water without restrictions? No.
4) Are you okay with having a hog farm set up operations in your backyard? No.
If you would say No to all of the things above that can happen if passed… Vote NO on Amendment 1 to let our local farmers farm and protect Missouri’s animals from cruelty.
Not many people realize what this amendment is about or that it’s even up for vote! So, we need you to help us defeat this amendment. Every vote matters! Your vote will absolutely change the future for local animals. Please be a part of making positive history and protecting the rights of the animals and family farmers counting on us!
What you will see on the ballot…
The wording is intentionally ambiguous and vague and if it becomes law, will OVERRULE the laws and regulations that protect our animals from abuse and neglect today. Please make sure you vote and spread the word today!
29 Jul / 2014
Hi there! My name is Cody, and I’m a super sweet little guy that would love to go home with you.
I know what you must be thinking. . . “what a sweet face on that tiny gentleman, but I wonder what happened to make him look like a pirate?” You see, when I came to Great Plains SPCA, I would constantly get little eye boogies in my eye that just wouldn’t go away. My staff and volunteer friends would try to wipe them away for me, but they couldn’t get them out of there! They could tell that it was bothersome for me and it would make my eye water, and make their eyes water when they looked at me too, so the wonderful vets here decided that my damaged eye needed to come out and WOW! I feel SO much better!! I get around great, and I actually get compliments — people seem to think I look pretty cool as a pirate pup! Arrr! The only possible concern I have with my new look — and you would have it too — is that sometimes when people touch me on my blind side it startles me! Bigger kids and grown-ups are awesome at remembering to talk to me and touch me where I can see first, but little guys often forget. That’s made me start to prefer hanging out with older kids and grown-ups.
Another cool thing I’ve done while waiting for you is go on slumber parties with a nice volunteer! While I was preparing for my surgery and then after they removed my eye, she took me home so I could recover and get used to living with the single eye. She said I am doing great and have adjusted well. I can do stairs with no problems whatsoever and am just as sweet and loving as I ever was! I love going for walks with my friends and love being snuggled and cuddled. I am also housebroken and can be left alone in the house without any worries while you are gone. I get along great with other dogs too!!! I am just an all around good little boy. If you are looking for a super sweet, super snuggler, I am probably your guy!!! Please come to Great Plains SPCA very, VERY soon! I am waiting to give you my heart and just can’t wait to go home with you!!
All my love…Cody
25 Jul / 2014
The “Right to Farm.” It sounds great doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled!
Missouri Farmers already have the right to farm and we want to keep it that way, especially for family farmers. On August 5, Amendment 1 which would change the Missouri constitution, goes to citizens for a vote. If passed, Amendment 1 the “Right to Farm,” would endanger not only the future of local family farmers but also companion animals and would eliminate regulation of breeders. Amendment 1 would ELIMINATE ANIMAL CRUELTY laws which protect animals across our state. Pets in breeding facilities would no longer be required to have annual veterinary exams, cages of humane size for housing, exercise, and there would be no accountability for pets who are suffering in inhumane conditions. Additionally if passed, Amendment 1 would turn over farming to “Big Ag” where there would be few regulations in place to protect our food quality. Let’s not give the rights of Missouri Citizens away to industrialized agriculture and giant corporations. Let our farmers farm and lets protect Missouri’s animals from cruelty. Vote NO on Amendment 1.
Read more about why the Right to Farm Bill is WRONG for Missouri
22 Jul / 2014
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a meeting. I so want my chance at love again.
Love from Boomer
21 Jul / 2014
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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 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
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.
24 Jun / 2014
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 email@example.com
Love from Rocco
17 Jun / 2014
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?
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