WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Animal Shelter could lose out on $400,000 if the latest city budget is passed. Due to the pandemic, Wichita has to cut $11 million from the 2020 budget.
Along with the cut would come a shift in duties for the animal control officers.
“The (city) manager want us to get out of the business of taking in stray animals and focus our animal management only on dangerous animals,” said Mayor Brandon Whipple.
“We will not be open for residents to drop off their animals into our shelter and that will then fall back on to other providers,” said Bob Layton, Wichita City Manager.
Christy Fischer, executive Director for the Wichita Animal Action League, says this is a burden that non-profits are not equipped for.
“Most of the rescues we already have a pretty significant number of animals in care already that we are responsible for especially from a fiscal perspective. So contemplating taking in these other animals, I can speak for my organization we just cant do it.”
If the city makes the cut, it could potentially leave thousands of strays animals on the streets.
Last year on average, there was about 6,000 stray animals that were brought into the city animal shelter by the public.
Fischer says the budget cut could unleash problems that could come back to bite the city.
“Statistically, what we are going to see is a lot more bites. We are going to see a lot of animal versus animal attacks. You know animals start getting desperate for food and water to survive.”
Although Layton says animal control would still take calls. WAAL is still worried that could take resources away from more important duties.
“Their call volume is going to rise exponentially, which means they are not going to have enough time to be running things like welfare checks for animals in the community and that is really concerning for us,” said Fischer.
Wichita Police Department says they are not going to comment since this is a budget issue.
Wichita City Council will be discussing the budget at their next meeting Tuesday, August 4.
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