KC Animal Control no longer responding to nuisance and stray animal calls

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KANSAS CITY, Mo -- Animal control officers in Kansas City will no longer be responding to stray animal calls.

It's a decision animal activists say will put lost pets in danger.

"It`s not going to be a good winter," freelance animal rescuer Teri Deister said. "We have no way of helping these dogs because if animal control is not going to come out and pick them up, these animals are just going to be left to wander the streets."

Like an old dog found wandering up and down North Oak Trafficway on Wednesday.

Instead of the help of KCMO Animal Control, the animal activist who found the dog tried to keep it safe by putting it in someone's backyard with a note on the door.

"He's not there right now, and I looked in the backyard and he`s not in the backyard." Deister said after she went back to check on the dog.

Deister is afraid this old dog will either be hit by a car or freeze to death if left on its own -- when it could be safe in the shelter.

On Monday, the Kansas City Council voted to take animal control away from the city and turned it over to KC Pet Project. Although the move is not official until May 1, some changes are immediate.

"Really what we're hoping is residents of Kansas City don't see any change at all because the calls we are answering today are the calls we answered last week -- predominately 90% of them," said KCMO Animal Control Spokesperson John Baccala.

That 90% is made up of emergency calls like bites, animal cruelty, assisting police and wildlife removal from homes.

It's the remaining 10%, including stray animal calls, that will no longer be answered.

"If officers are responding to stray animal calls and that animal has been long gone by the time they`re able to be there and looking for that stray animal, that is unfortunately a waste of resources," Tori Fugate with KC Pet Project said. "So this is really focusing on true animal emergencies, which is positive."

For a $20 fee, KC Pet Project will still take stray animals if they are dropped off at the shelter. There's also information on their website about resources if you find a lost or stray pet.

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