Spay & Neuter Kansas City brings affordable care to pets

Kate Baxendale

Spay & Neuter Kansas City is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to reduce the number of stray and unwanted pets entering shelters in the Kansas City area.

It offers affordable spay and neuter services for pet owners who might not otherwise be able to afford these services. In addition to spaying and neutering, SNKC offers basic pet care needs, such as vaccinations, heartworm testing and a walk-in wellness clinic.

Kristy Taylor, the surgery call center manager, highlighted the goals of the organization.

“We believe in our hearts that every family deserves a pet, no matter what their financial situation may be,” she said. “We want to keep pets in their loving homes.”

SNKC participates in a Pet Outreach Program in which staff and volunteers go door-to-door in areas of Kansas City responsible for 80 percent of animal control calls. The organization focuses primarily on the northeast section of Kansas City.

The program is designed to educate pet owners about responsible pet care, provide food and other pet supplies and schedule spay and neuter appointments.

“We use what is called a geographical information system that tells us which areas have had problems with animal control,” Taylor said. “The different colored dots on the map indicate which type of animal problem was reported.”

Taylor said the vast majority of pet owners reached in the Pet Outreach Program openly accept SNKC’s helping hands.

“We help people who didn’t think spaying and neutering their pets was an option because they couldn’t afford it,” she said. “These people absolutely want their pets to be spayed, neutered and vaccinated.”

SNKC also offers a pet food pantry program in which more than 500 pets are enrolled to receive food free of charge about once per month. Pet owners must qualify for the program by filling out an application that explains their financial situation.

“We rely on grant funding, private donations and corporate sponsorship to keep our pet pantry and veterinary clinic stocked,” she said.

When SNKC is running low on supplies, a newsletter is sent out to the community in hopes of a response.

Taylor said the Kansas City community is happy to help its efforts by donating pet supplies.

“We serve a wide range of clientele,” she said. “We serve many students who work part time and are living on student loans.”

SNKC has partnered with Kansas City Animal Control in a new Tag License Chip Program. Pet owners can have their animals tagged, licensed and chipped for just $30 if the animal is spayed or neutered.

“The beauty of this program is that the chip is a pet’s ticket home,” she said.

“Animal organizations, like veterinary clinics and pet stores, have scanners that pull up the owner’s information so the pet can make its way home.”

Kansas City Animal Control rewards pet owners who have their animals chipped by bringing the lost pet home for a fraction of the price that an animal shelter would charge.

Cats can be spayed for $50 and neutered for $35. Dogs can be spayed for $100 and neutered for $75.

SNKC is located at 59th Street and Troost Avenue. It is open for surgeries Monday through Thursday and the Walk-In Wellness Clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

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