Animal control understaffed; Dogs not walked for days

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - Wichita's Animal Control facility is facing major staffing shortages that result in dogs not being walked. 

"This has been a problem for years," said Lt. Brian Sigman, Wichita Police Department. 

The current facility is five times bigger than the original, but that expansion did not come with more personnel. It means there are more dogs and less staff members to care for them. 

"The question was, do the dogs get walked and the answer was no," said Jaden Lim, animal activist, after a recent trip to animal control's facility. "A lot of dogs are living in their own urine and feces, dogs that are out of water, dogs that don't have enough room to stand up and turn around."

Lim says her recent trips to the facility have raised some concern. These feelings are shared by local animal resume volunteer, Stacie Lim. 

"They don't have somebody fighting for them because they're nobody's pet," explained Lim. "When I go in there, and I see animals that aren't getting walked, they're in their own urine and feces, without blankets; it's upsetting and disturbing."

KSN took these concerns back to animal control to ask what they are doing about staffing shortages. 

 "Would we like to have more animal control officers? Yes. Do we need them? Yes. Is the city busy enough when it comes to animal issues? Definitely yes," explained Sigman. 

Sigman told KSN that they have attempted to get more funding from the city and have been unsuccessful. So, animal control is working on a Plan B. 

"Our plan is to have volunteers in here helping us with cleaning the shelter, in addition to being able to take some dogs out for walks."

Sigman says the animals can be in their facility for 10-12 days. The volunteer program is aimed to help create a more healthy environment for the dogs while they're there.

If you are interested in hearing more about the volunteer program project, call Animal Control at 316-350-3360. 

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