Animal advocates say shelter on Raytown Road is cramped, out of date in presenting proposal for new facility

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- City leaders want to build a new animal shelter in Swope Park, if taxpayers approve of a public private partnership to pay for it.

Animal advocates say the current shelter on Raytown Road has long been cramped and out of date.

The new shelter would be the centerpiece of a multi-million dollar bond issue that voters will be asked to approve in April.

The current shelter, which is more than 40 years old, is only 14,000 square feet.

City leaders want to build a new, modern facility of up to 60,000 square feet on 7 acres at the corner of Gregory and Elmwood avenues.

Combined with private fundraising, animal welfare advocates say this will allow KC Pet Project to better care for and adopt out 10,000 potential pets that it takes in every year.

"What we are proposing is a public private partnership where there will be private sector fundraising along with public support for a brand new facility," said City Manager Troy Schulte. "A modern facility with an adoption facility, medical facility, not accommodating them in trailers and the issues we have working with K-C Pet Project."

Kansas City already has the third-largest no-kill municipal animal shelter in the nation.

Doing that in a construction trailer that was supposed to be temporary has been a difficult challenge.

At any one time there are more than 400 animals crowded in the shelter.

Although the city has yet to put a price tag on how much a new shelter would cost, taxpayers in Florida spent more than $15-million on a 40,000 square foot shelter opening this year.