Recent News FAQS

Great Plains SCPA will exit our contract with Jackson County to run the Independence animal shelter on July 15, 2019, to focus on our mission of bettering the lives of pets and the people who love them while running a sustainable organization.

Great Plains will renew our focus on where we started: our Merriam shelter, where we serve nearly 6,000 animals annually by reuniting grateful families with lost pets and providing vital adoptions for animals in need.

We are proud of the work we have done in Independence and Jackson County and are truly grateful for the outstanding support we have received over the years.

The animals from our Independence campus will remain in the care of GPSPCA and placed into foster homes, adopted, or relocated to our Merriam shelter.

In 2018, the Jackson County Regional Animal Shelter cared for more than 3,300 animals.

June 3, the City of Independence, Jackson County and Great Plains SPCA announce a finalized agreement has been approved for the Jackson County Regional Animal Shelter. On Monday, May 13, City of Independence Council members approved a proposed agreement with Jackson County in which the City would begin operations of the Jackson County Regional Animal Shelter in July 2019. The Jackson County legislature approved this agreement today, June 3. The initial term of agreement is good for up to two years. The Shelter will continue to be operated as a “no-kill” shelter and every effort will be made to find all adoptable animals a home.

“Our citizens have repeatedly told us animals and their welfare are important to them,” Independence Mayor Eileen Weir said. “We have worked closely with Jackson County leaders to ensure a smooth transition between Great Plains SPCA, Jackson County and the City of Independence.”

Jackson County legislators reviewed and approved the agreement on June 3. As part of this agreement the County will purchase the land on which the shelter is located. This means the County will own both the building and the property on which it sits.

“Members of my staff and the legislature have worked collaboratively with the City of Independence to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of all parties involved,” Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr., said. “Great Plains SPCA has provided a great service to our community and I am confident in the City’s ability to continue to provide the same level of services and care that animals need and deserve.”

The City began the process of hiring 26 new positions by July 1 in May. These new positions were posted through the end of May on the City’s website (indep.us/jobopportunities). The City is working with existing shelter employees and encouraged them to consider these new positions as it prepares for the transition this summer.

Great Plains SPCA will be holding an adoption special through July 14 to decrease the number of animals at the shelter during the transition period. You can find the adoptable pets at greatplainsspca.org/adopt.

“While we are sad to leave the Regional Animal Shelter, we are happy to continue our mission at our main shelter in Merriam, Kan., and are glad to collaborate with the City of Independence and Jackson County on a smooth transition,” Great Plains SPCA CEO Tam Singer said.

Volunteers play an important role in the day-to-day operations of the Shelter, and all those volunteers interested in volunteer opportunities at the Shelter are encouraged to contact cheinen@indepmo.org to learn more. Donations will continue to be accepted. If you are interested in donating unopened food or toys for the animals, please contact cheinen@indepmo.org

Jackson County owns the shelter building and the City of Independence owns the land on which the building is situated, so those entities will determine what happens to the facility. Great Plains SPCA has no ability to direct what happens to the facility.

We are hopeful that the new shelter operator will have the same dedication and commitment to animals in the community as Great Plains SPCA. We have heard from the community that a No-Kill shelter is now their expectation.

Our board, staff and volunteers are committed to providing as much assistance, education and support to the new shelter operator as possible. While we don’t know what that will look like yet, we want to make sure that we share our best practices and lessons learned, such as how we do enrichment for the animals, how we rotate them for play and exercise and how we work with volunteers and the community.

Yes, this program for Merriam is not going away. While we remain in Independence, we will continue to support the program there.

The staff will be kept on at the Independence location while Great Plains SPCA is operating the shelter. Any open roles GPSPCA has at the Merriam shelter will be available for current staff to apply. We will recommend that the new operating entity for the Independence location utilize the seasoned and dedicated employees, as well as the excellent volunteer force. 

Our 2018 Form 990 is currently posted here.

The Board of Directors sets the compensation for the executive leadership team of GPSPCA utilizing informational resources such as GuideStar’s Nonprofit Compensation Report, SAWA’s Compensation & Benefits Survey, and local compensation survey data.

Streamlining our operations will allow us to continue our lifesaving work in our Merriam location which serves more than 6,000 animals annually.

We have experienced ongoing issues with insufficient and inconsistent funding which has greatly challenged the financial health of our organization. This was the largest challenge in maintaining operation of the Jackson County Regional Animal Shelter.

Adoptions FAQS

Visit our Adopt page to see all of our pets that are currently available for adoption. Check back often because we update this page frequently – sometimes multiple times a day. You can also follow us on Facebook to see particular pets highlighted.

We have dogs, puppies, cats and kittens of all shapes, sizes, colors, ages that are all looking for a forever home. Sometimes we do have birds, guinea pigs, and other smaller animals available for adoption.

All adopted pets receive spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, a care bag and more.
See our How to Adopt page for more details.

Our adoption fees vary by pet type, age, and situation. Visit the Adopt page to see all of our pets. You can click on the pet to see their bio and adoption fee. Periodically we have adoption specials to help encourage adoption when our shelter is full.

First, visit the Adopt page to see all of our pets that are currently available for adoption. If you would still like more information, call our Adoptions Team at (913) 742-7355, or better yet, come visit the pet and see if it’s a match.

We recommend potential adopters research breeds to find what pet will fit into their lifestyle. You may visit our pets at the shelter and spend some quality time with one or multiple pets.Other members of the family should be introduced (two-legged and four-). You’ll complete a brief adoption survey, and our staff will be there to help.

When a match has been made, you pay the adoption fee and sign an agreement.
Take your new pet home, visit a veterinarian, and get accustomed to your new family member. Keep in contact and let us know how the pet is doing.

We want you and your new pet to be as happy as possible. If for any reason you feel that the pet you have adopted is not right for your household, you may always return that pet (please call for an appointment). If you return a pet within 30 days of adoption, we may issue an exchange certificate for another adoption. We do not issue refunds.

While the majority of our pets are custom mixes, about a quarter of our pets are generally purebred.
Be sure to look at our Adopt page to see who we have available now.

We always have pets that are appropriate for seniors. These pets are calmer, well-behaved, well-mannered and may be older as puppies require much attention and energy.

Call our shelter and they will direct you to ideal pets.

You can be a Hero for our shelter pets by helping us care for them. Check out our Volunteer page for opportunities.

You can give a gift online or donate items from our Wish List.

Lost Pets FAQS

First, you need to call your local animal control then the shelter or veterinary where they take pets they find (calling is more effective than email).Go to your area’s shelter to see if your pet is there, and call other pet facilities in the area. Ask how often you should call back to update your report.

At Great Plains SPCA, lost reports are automatically cleared from our database after 30 days. Learn more on our Lost a Pet? webpage.

A few recommendations for finding the owners of the pet: look for tags on the pet, take the pet to a shelter to scan for a microchip, make posters, post the pet online, alert animal control, shelters, or veterinary offices.
Read our Found a Pet? web page to learn more actions you can take.

Pet Admissions FAQS

If you feel that you must surrender your pet, we are here to help. However, please understand that our help may be providing you with other resources. We always make our decision about taking your pet based on what is best for the pet and what we can do with the resources we have. Read more about the process on our Relinquish your Pet page.

There are resources available to help you keep your pet under almost any circumstance – financial, environmental, medical, behavioral, etc.We are here to provide you with the resources to help you maintain the special bond with your pet.

Read about alternatives on our Relinquish your Pet page.

General FAQS

Yes, Great Plains SPCA is a Missouri 501c3 organization tax-exempt organization.

The mission of Great Plains SPCA is to save, protect and improve the lives of animals, while strengthening the relationship between pets and their human companions.

We offer 7 live-saving programs:

  1. Adoptions
  2. Lost Pet Reunions
  3. HERO (Humane Education and Resource Officers)
  4. Behavior and Training
  5. Volunteering
  6. Fostering
  7. Legislative Initiatives

Great Plains SPCA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, separate from the ASPCA.
However, we are connected with this national organization through funding, animal welfare initiatives and more.

Whether you’d like to volunteer as an individual, family or group, we welcome your gift of time.
Our volunteers are Heroes for pets and help Great Plains SPCA to be able to support needy pets in the community.Learn more about volunteering on our Volunteer webpage.

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