KC rescue group directs sharp criticism at city’s Animal Control division

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- There's harsh criticism of Kansas City's Animal Control. The director of Chain of Hope says when it comes to rescuing dogs from distress and potentially life-threatening situations, the city gets a failing grade.

The battle between Chain of Hope and Animal Control has been raging for years.

"It's exhausting because it should not take four phone calls to get an emaciated dog out of a horrible situation," Chain of Hope Director Kate Quigley said.

"That's an erroneous claim. We follow up on all of cases," KC Animal Control Spokesman John Baccala retorted.

During her seven years as director of the outreach and rescue group, Quigley says she and her 10 volunteers have repeatedly stepped in and rescued countless dogs from dirty and potentially deadly conditions.

"You can just see the mud, the rain water and the bowls. They hadn't been fed," Quigley described of two pit bulls they recently helped.

Quigley says Animal Control officers won't go to those lengths.

"Many times we're calling them out a second, third time out on the same address, because it's obvious they're not following up on their part," she said.

She insists the city's Animal Control officers consistently drag their heels when it comes to rescuing dogs from distress.

"We need a new director of Animal Control," she said.

Baccala insists the department's 13 officers and two inspectors thoroughly investigate 1,500 complaints a month.

"Our Animal Control health officers are so dedicated. Animal Control does everything they can. I realize for some people it's not enough, but they don't realize the process," he said.

Despite the criticism, Baccala says he still wants people to call the city's 3-1-1 action line whenever they see a dog in potentially harmful situation.