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Sunday, February 10, 2008



by April Rosenthal

January 16, 2008

Buddy was a blond, 13 year old cocker spaniel. As usual, his owner let him out of the house to use the bathroom on January 3rd, 2008. Unfortunately, Buddy did not come back. His owner spent a frantic week calling everyone she could think of about her dog but could not find him. She is 87 years old and has no car so she could not go out to the Animal Shelter on Raytown Road to look for him. Finally, on January 9th, she called the Lost Pet Registry and talked to me. I took down the information for the Registry and then I listed it on I sometimes do that for people who do not have a computer.

On Friday morning, I got an email from someone at KC Animal Control (I thought) describing a dog who had been picked up by Animal Control. I verified with the owner that this was her Buddy and immediately sent two emails to the email address I was given explaining that the owner was coming to pick up the dog by Saturday January 12, 2008. I also called and left a voice mail since no one answers the Animal Control phone.

I took the owner to the shelter on Saturday afternoon only to be told that Buddy had been euthanized on Friday despite my emails and phone call. The owner broke down and cried. She is 87 years old and this was her only companion. She did not even get a chance to say good bye. I took her home and I will never forget the sight of her walking to her door with her shoulders bowed in grief, clutching Buddy’s collar and leash.

I was very upset myself and I filed a complaint with the Action Center on Monday. I did receive a phone call from Lesly Forsberg, Director of Animal Control. She explained that Buddy had been hit by a car and was in very poor condition. The decision was made to put him out of his suffering. Animal Control never bothered to check my email s or voice message, so they never knew the owner was coming. Ms Forsberg was also upset about the incident and promised to compensate the owner by giving her another dog when she is ready to adopt. We are waiting to receive that promise in writing.

Ms Forsberg went on to explain that they are trying to make changes at Animal Control. She said that anyone trying to contact AC about coming in for their pet should call her at 816-513-9814, the animal technician or the Outreach Education Coordinator She talked about how the current shelter dates back to the 1970s and is inadequate for the current task of confining lost and stray animals. That may be. But Animal Control needs to be responsive and responsible to the citizens of Kansas City.

It is nearly impossible to reach Animal Control by phone. You have to call the Action Center and then they take the complaint or try to transfer you. If you do reach a human they only whine and tell you to come out to the shelter. If you go out there to claim your pet, the process is complicated. You have to go into one building to get a card with your pet information, take that card to the front office in another building to pay fines and then go back to the other building to pick up your pet.

The personnel are difficult to deal with. I think it would be easier dealing with al Qaeda than dealing with Animal Control personnel.

One of my dogs was taken there in September because she nipped someone. I was standing there and talked at length with the AC officers and gave them her vital information. When I went to visit her, they had her listed as the wrong breed and as a stray! I called or visited every day to ensure she was not euthanized by accident.

Mayor Funkhauser, you sent out emails on Election Day about your pro pet owner stand. That is precisely why I voted for you. I am not interested in dog parks or new animal shelters at this point. I want a change in procedure at Animal Control! I do not want to EVER hear or see an elderly person grieving because their pet has been euthanized by Animal Control by mistake again.

Let's get this information out there! We have to stop things like this!

Here are the ways to get in touch with the Animal Control Facility that was responsible for the death of the 87 year old's only companion.

Animal Health and Public Safety Division
4400 Raytown Road
Kansas City, MO 64129
Phone: (816) 513-9800
Fax: (816) 513-9822

Please send an email, letter or make a call. We have to let these people know that we know what they did and we do NOT approve.

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