The Pet Overpopulation Crisis & How We Can Help

In 2023, “a total of 900,000 animals have entered and lingered in our nation’s shelters since January 2021” according to Shelter Animals Count. We see this fact displayed clearly in our own shelter pets with adoptable animals like Tom and Luke waiting for their forever families for over a year. Numerous shelters in the Kansas City area share our plight, facing maximum capacity as the animals keep flooding in. Though it’s a constant juggling act, Great Plains SPCA does our best to help the entire community at every turn.

Partnering With Shelters To Make An Impact

Starting off 2024, Great Plains SPCA has partnered with multiple shelters in our community to transfer animals to our program. From litters of puppies to large adult dogs, we open our arms to pets in need whenever space opens up. Notably we have welcomed Genie, Gnomeo, and Brandy to our crew in a recent partnership with KCK Animal Services. They are three amazing dogs and three kennels are now open for future pets in need.

But our work doesn’t stop at simply transferring animals to Great Plains SPCA. In 2024, we hope to host another community-wide Spay/Neuter event that will help curb the overpopulation crisis at its source. Coupled with consistent TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) clinics, the Kansas City Mega Match Adoption Event, and many other initiatives, we hope to promote positive change alongside our fellows in animal welfare.


2023 At A Glance

The statistics from 2023 show a clear picture of why the situation is so dire for shelters across the nation.

Dog adoptions are at an all-time low, “still 5% lower than in 2019” according to Shelter Animals Count. Great Plains SPCA has witnessed this trend first-hand, with previously achievable adoption goals becoming more and more difficult to reach. In the event that successful adoptions do take place, we have noticed a notable lack of tolerance for normal dog behaviors. Despite rigorous behavioral counseling and a robust foster-to-adopt program, time and again we are seeing “bomb-proof dogs” returned to our facility.

Another concerning fact is that “non-live outcomes [have] increased by 15% compared to 2022,” according to Shelter Animals Count. Highlighting why working together is so important. Teamwork truly does save lives, and it will take both our community and other shelters working together to pull us out of this crisis.

How You Can Help

Pet overpopulation crisis is a community-wide crisis, and we need everyone’s help to address this issue. Here are a few ways that you can make a difference:

  • Adopt, Don’t Shop: If you’re considering bringing a new pet into your home, choose adoption over purchasing from breeders or pet stores. There are countless loving animals waiting for their forever homes in overcrowded shelters.
  • Foster: If you’re not ready for a long-term commitment, consider fostering a pet. Fostering not only provides a temporary home for animals but also helps free up space in overcrowded shelters.
  • Volunteer: Shelters are always in need of dedicated volunteers to help care for animals, clean facilities, and provide much-needed attention and socialization.
  • Donate: Great Plains SPCA relies on donations to care for our animals. Every contribution, no matter how small, can make a significant impact on the lives of homeless pets.
  • Spread Awareness: Share the stories of abandoned pets and the challenges faced by shelters on social media. The more people are aware of the issue, the more likely they are to get involved.
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