First animal shelter to open in Sumner Co., organizers hope to reduce kill rate

Positive Connections

SUMNER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – A long-time dream to open an animal shelter in Sumner County is coming true.

The Wellington Humane Society is scheduled to open in late November, following a November 17 open house.

“It has taken a lot longer than we’d hoped, but it will be worth it once it’s done,” said organizer Linda Stewart. “I will probably cry, I imagine. It’s been a real project.”

The more than $3 million dollar facility boasting 27 dog beds and room for about 40 cats is a dream Stewart has been working toward for more than 20 years.

“I have always been an animal collector and we lived with our four children south of town in the country, just out of the city limits and, so I felt at some point, we felt like the humane society because a lot of people dumped pets out there,” Stewart said.

Right now, there is not an animal shelter in Sumner County.

The Wellington Police Department told KSN it is the only agency in the area that offers animal services and employs an animal control officer.

However, they do not have a facility to house stray animals. The animals are housed at a contracted veterinarian’s office.

Stewart said before the partnership between police and the veterinarian was created the animals were kept in a less than ideal facility.

“We literally had a wire shed out in the dump and that was where they kept the dogs that were picked up by the dog catcher,” Stewart said.

Wellington police said they do what they can to save stray animals, however because they do not have a city-owned pound or city-owned facility they are forced to put some of the animals down.

Number of animals euthanized from 2016 – 2018, according to police records

  • Year: 2016:
    • Dogs taken in: 195
    • Dogs euthanized: 51
    • Cats taken in: 149
    • Cats euthanized: 145
  • Year: 2017:
    • Dogs taken in: 211
    • Dogs euthanized: 44
    • Cats taken in: 120
    • Cats euthanized: 119
  • Year: 2018:
    • Dogs taken in: 137
    • Dogs euthanized: 35
    • Cats taken in: 70
    • Cats euthanized: 63

Stewart said she is optimistic the Wellington Humane Society will provide shelter for dozens of animals in need.

“Hopefully, we can keep them long enough so we can find some homes for them,” she said. “It’s really heartrending to be involved because you can’t keep everyone. You just hope you can find a home for everyone.”

The Wellington police chief said he believes the humane society will have a positive impact on the community.

“I have said for years that Sumner County as a whole has needed a facility of this nature,” said Wellington Police Chief Tracy Heath. “Kudos to the people who have spear headed this project. It’s going to be a tremendous resource for the City of Wellington.”

The Wellington Humane Society is a 5013c.

The facility is looking for a director and volunteers to walk animals, clean kennels and help with daily tasks.

Click here for more information.

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