Dear Great Plains friends and family,
My name is Tam Singer and I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to serve the animals in our community as Great Plains SPCA’s CEO.
After a decade in the corporate world and seven years leading a nonprofit animal welfare organization focused on community outreach, spay and neuter, and advocacy, I followed my passion to Kansas City to join in Great Plains’ mission.
When I began my role as CEO this past November, my goal was to lead an organization with compassion, kindness, transparency and accountability.
Over the last few months, Great Plains has gone through significant changes. Today, I am writing to let you know the steps we have taken, to share the lifesaving work we continue to do and to tell you why we deeply need your help.
As many of you know, we gave notice earlier this year that we would discontinue our Merriam campus’ public-facing, low-cost veterinary services in February and exit our contract to operate the Independence, Mo., Animal Shelter on July 15th.
Since we started the Clear The Shelter adoptions special on May 22nd, Great Plains has adopted out 578 animals. In that same period, we have taken in 728 lost and homeless pets.
Please know that while Great Plains SPCA’s last day of public adoptions at the Independence Campus will be Saturday, July 13th, the shelter itself is not closing. The City of Independence will take over managing the building and animals in the community as a no-kill animal shelter.
To help facilitate the transition of management, Great Plains’ Independence campus will be closed to the public on Sunday July 14th.
Thank you to everyone in the community for your caring, support and love for the animals for our six years in Independence. We appreciate all the outpouring of support we’ve received and we hope you are able to stop by and see us this week.
Until we had the agreement for the new shelter operator in place, we could not share much about these decisions. In fact, that contract is still not fully approved, but we expect that it will pass its last hurdle, the Jackson County Legislature, on June 3rd.
I know many of you wondered why we made these changes. The truth is, the model of how Great Plains was functioning wasn’t sustainable.
Over the last several years, Great Plains SPCA expanded both its programs and its scope. Unfortunately, this well-intentioned growth lacked the necessary financial support.
Great Plains’ Board and executive leadership came together early this year and made a choice to run a more focused, sustainable organization. It deeply saddens us to leave Independence and to close our Veterinary Care Center, but we knew if we didn’t, we would not be able to continue any part of our mission.
Our goal is to get back to basics and focus on where we started, and what we do best.
We are working hard to ensure the organization remains strong and regains financial stability. Our Board and leadership are making necessary changes to better serve our core mission – taking care of the animals and the people who make it possible.
We are committed to this work and our communities, and we will continue to develop better and more efficient ways to improve the lives of animals, seek sources of funding and deepen our presence in the community.
At the same time, we are still maintaining so many lifesaving efforts out of our Merriam campus. With your vital support, we will continue to:
- Find loving, adoptive homes for more than 400 animals each month
- Reunite nearly 110 lost pets with their owners each month
- Offer more animal behavior and training classes to staff and the community
- Help to care for more than 250 pets and educate their owners through our HERO community outreach program
- Distribute nearly 3,000 pounds of pet food monthly to families in need of help through the Pet Food Pantry
- Host 75 youth ages 8-12 in our compassionate animal education summer program, Young Heroes Camp
- Spend time with our community at events and gatherings, including our Young Professionals Board’s Pup Crawl June 8, and Relay for Rescue June 29
- Volunteer to give a dog a break from shelter life with our brand-new dog field trip program, Adventure Tails
With all of this amazing work, I know Great Plains can get to a place where we are stable and thriving, and we need your support to get there. There is a lot ahead of us, but we can get back on track with you by our side.
We can’t do this mission without you. Please make a donation today and together, we will improve the lives of animals and the people who care for them.
Tam Singer, CEO