Local disc golfers concerned new KC Pet Project animal shelter will disrupt Swope Park course

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For Andrew LaFever, there is no better place to play disc golf with his friends.

"There’s so much to do at here and this really is part of one of those main attractions of being out here at Swope," LaFever said.

Since 1981, the course and the sport of disc golf have blossomed, and Kansas City has been at the center of that.

"You can see that in the courses that we have, that have continued to pop up, but it starts here at Swope. Swope has been the cornerstone," Jack Lowe, of the Kansas City Flying Disc Club, said.

Lowe said this cornerstone could be in jeopardy with the development of a new animal shelter.

"It completely changes this entire course. We are no longer going to have Swope Park as the disc golf course that people have come to know and love," Lowe said.

The new shelter would be for KC Pet Project. Voters approved the building of the facility in April. It's a decision that city spokesman Chris Hernandez said has not been finalized.

"We are evaluating what sites might work." Hernandez said, "We want to make sure that everyone walks away from this happy with what has happened."

More than 1,300 people have signed a petition to save the park. One that Lowe said is not to stop progress.

"It was voted on, it’s approved, we get that. We want to help be supportive as much as we can but we think there should be a true partnership involved in it," Lowe said.

So folks like LaFever can continue calling Swope Park home.

"I know people love it, I don’t know why anyone would want to take that away from anyone," LaFever said.

KC Pet Project released the following statement:

KC Pet Project was so privileged to receive this piece of land in Swope Park by the Parks Board and the City of KCMO, a site that is walking distance from other animal welfare organizations in our community, including the Kansas City Zoo, Lakeside Nature Center, and the Swope Park Dog Park.

We are excited that the shelter will continue to impact thousands of families each year who will utilize KC Pet Project’s services, while bringing new visitors and a heartwarming energy to historic Swope Park.

We are still developing the new shelter design and the site plans with our architectural and construction teams, and are in very close touch with our Parks Department and City Hall partners every step of the way.  We hope to share more information as soon as their process allows, and look so forward to "raising the woof" on the future home for Kansas City’s most vulnerable pets.​

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