New Wichita Animal Shelter guideline put on hold after pushback

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – After the Wichita Animal Shelter released its new guideline that would go into effect later this month, quite a bit of feedback came in, prompting officials to take another look.

The new guideline was sent to local rescues on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

It’s less lenient than before.

The guideline says healthy animals will only be able to stay at the shelter by the due out date, which is eight days after the animal arrives, unless a two day extension is given. Animal shelter officials would evaluate and decide on those extensions.

WAS Rescue Guidelines (Courtesy: Randi Carter)

According to the policy guideline, the changes were put into place to avoid jeopardizing the increasing holding times that extend beyond state requirements.

The guideline changes also state that sick and injured animals will not be granted extensions and dogs deemed potentially dangerous will no longer be available to rescues, only their owners.

Rescues organizations like Beauties and Beasts Rescue, as well as some out of state volunteers said this would put a damper on their already strained resources.

“This is something we have taken pride in mastering, being able to rescue these animals from the shelter,” said Randi Carter, Beauties and Beasts Rescue. “Now, they’re taking that away.”

But, not all rescues oppose this change. Some said human euthanasia does exist, and this would prevent animals from miserably sitting in cages for weeks on end.

“They’re trying to eliminate dogs staying in kennels for long periods of time while rescues try and place them,” said Ellen Querner, Pals Animal Rescue. “The thought that any rescue can take in all of these animals and have them place them appropriately and properly as opposed to warehousing them, is not a viable situation.”

Some said the long wait periods could push animals into unreliable or unprepared homes.

“They’re relying on heightened emotion for people to make a decision to go out and save an animal,” said Toni Wenger, Kansas K-9 ResQ.

But, others disagree and said the strict time limit would only make it tougher on rescues and the people out of town who are willing to help the animals.

“We’re the ones who do all the leg work,” said Carter. “We find the other rescues, we transport them to a vet, we get their health certificates, we do it all. We’re not paid to do this.”

Carter said if the policy is pushed forward, she will no longer work with the Wichita Animal Shelter.

“There’s no way that I’m going to go in there and evaluate dogs, put my hands on them and kiss them and hold them and tell them it’s going to be alright when I know it’s not,” said Carter.

City officials said the new guideline will not take effect on Saturday, Sept. 1 as originally announced.

Those officials and employees at the shelter will talk to stakeholders while reviewing the policy before making any further decisions.

Officials at the shelter said there is no exact timeline for when the guideline will be complete.

Stay with KSN as we continue to follow this developing story.

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