Kansas City Campus for ANimal Care Breaks Ground Swope Park

KC Campus for Animal Care Breaks Ground in Swope Park

Kansas City Campus for ANimal Care Breaks Ground Swope Park

New Kansas City, MO facility will serve as home of KC Pet Project, providing services to over 10,000 animals and 25,000 families throughout Kansas City
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Kansas City, MO:   History was made today in Kansas City as ground was broken on The Kansas City Campus for Animal Care, a public-private partnership that will represent the best practices in animal sheltering across the United States.  Mayor Sly James, City Manager Troy Schulte, Kansas City Councilmembers, Parks Board Director Mark McHenry and Parks Directors, KCMO GO Bond voters, and generous civic and philanthropic leaders were all on the new shelter site today for the historic and exciting event. 

The Kansas City Campus for Animal Care will be located in Swope Park at the corner of Gregory Boulevard and Elmwood Avenue. Construction will begin on the new state-of-the-art facility this week.  It is expected to open its doors to the public in Fall of 2019.  The construction project will adhere to the City’s minority hiring, workforce development and One Percent for Art programs.  Local architecture firm HNTB is designing the Kansas City Campus for Animal Care; Grand Construction will serve as the construction manager for the campus project.

The facility will be operated by KC Pet Project, the organization responsible for the turnaround of what is the third largest no-kill, open admission animal shelter in the United States.  This public-private partnership project will be built in Swope Park at the corner of Elmwood and Gregory, and will be owned by the City when completed (similar to the Kansas City Zoo and Starlight Theatre).

“We have before us a generational opportunity,” noted Kansas City Mayor Sly James. “The way in which a City treats its animals speaks not only to our humanity, but also to the experience of tens of thousands of Kansas Citians and their families.   This public/private partnership ensures that the Kansas City Campus for Animal Care will serve as a beacon for the next generation of animal welfare in America.” 

“The new Kansas City Campus for Animal Care will be a welcome addition to Swope Park,” said Mark McHenry, KC Parks and Recreation Director.  “Situated between the Lakeside Nature Center and the KC Zoo, the Campus will be easily accessible from throughout the metro area,” he continued.  “We look forward to bringing the Parks Board cooperative agreement to the City Council for approval soon.”  

City Councilmember Teresa Loar noted that “this has been a Herculean effort for years by so many advocates in the community; it’s so exciting and rewarding to finally see it become real.  The City owes a debt of gratitude to those who have worked tirelessly for both two and four-legged citizens of Kansas City.  All of us on the City Council are particularly proud to have played a role in bringing such a critical institution come to life.”  

Private Sector Funding

On April 5, 2018, the Kansas City, MO City Council unanimously approved the cooperative agreement for the Kansas City Campus for Animal Care.  This agreement authorized the design and construction of the new animal care campus in Swope Park and appropriated $18M in KC GO bond funding to the facility project account.

It also authorized the Kansas City Campus for Animal Care to enter into professional services, design, and construction contracts to complete the project. In addition to the City’s contribution, the private sector has already extended significant generosity to this project, contributing over $5M in cash commitments and almost $5M in pro bono services toward the construction of the Kansas City Campus for Animal Care.   Naming opportunities for the Campus are available for those who wish to invest in the future of our community’s pets.
“Time and again, the private sector has stepped up both impressively and passionately on our journey to groundbreaking,” noted Raise the Woof Co-Chair Roshann Parris.  In partnership with the late Adele Hall, along with Co-Chair Kristi Wyatt, Parris noted that to date, “no one has said no. It’s been an incredibly heartwarming endeavor,” she continued. 

“Thanks to a deep bench of foundations, businesses and individuals who see this as a game-changing investment in our city’s infrastructure, Kansas City will – for the first time in its history – be able to join the ranks of U.S. cities that exemplify best practices in animal welfare,” Parris noted. “We have more to go, but the generosity of this community has already been extraordinary.”

Parris said that the private sector has already exceeded its commitment to the City to raise $10M in a combination of cash and in-kind contributions.  The total private sector raise is now targeted to be at least $15M.  

Co-Chair Kristi Wyatt noted that the private sector response has been so strong in part because of
the game-changing Animal Health Corridor and animal welfare focus in our region.  “One of our longstanding civic goals has been to continue to grow Kansas City as a global animal health capital,” she explained.  “We can think of no better way to continue this effort than by bringing our animal welfare efforts up to national standards at long last.”

Saving Lives

“This is an incredible day for our city and its pets,’ said Teresa Johnson, CEO/Executive Director and Chief Lifesaving Officer of KC Pet Project.  “Over the past six years, we’ve exceeded expectations against challenges in our old construction shed, and we cannot wait to have the opportunity to advance all of our lifesaving programs in the new shelter.”

Councilwoman Jolie Justus noted that the Kansas City Campus for Animal Care will embody the best of Kansas City.  “What we’re doing here is bringing basic City services into the next generation, in a situation that has been an incredible embarrassment for far too long.  This is about demonstrating what we, as a community, are made of.”  

“This facility,” she continued, “under the operation of the KC Pet Project team, will be one of the most progressive shelters in the United States.  I couldn’t be more grateful to live in a city of people who believe that the way we care for the helpless among us says everything about who we are as
human beings.”
For more information about the Kansas City Campus for Animal Care and the entire Raise the Woof campaign, visit www.raisethewoofkc.org.

About KC Pet Project

The KC Pet Project main shelter location, the Pet Adoption Center in Zona Rosa, and the Petco Pet Adoption Center are all open 7 days a week.  KC Pet Project also provides cat adoptions at 7 Petco stores in the metro area.

KC Pet Project is a 501c3, nonprofit charitable organization operating the Kansas City, Missouri Animal Shelter.  KCPP cares for more than 10,000 animals a year and works collaboratively with Animal Control and other animal welfare organizations to increase the number of homeless pets adopted.  KCPP focuses on lifesaving programs promoting pet retention, identification, lost pet reunions, and pet ownership education throughout the community.

KC Pet Project is the 3rd largest No Kill, open admission animal shelter in the U.S.

About The Kansas City Campus for Animal Care

The Kansas City Campus for Animal Care, coming to Swope Park in 2019, will be one of the premier animal sheltering facilities in the United States. Focusing on pet adoption, pet retention, education and outreach to both adults and youth and operated by KC Pet Project, this facility will be the first animal shelter built for the City of Kansas City, MO.  It will house and care for over 10,000 pets a year. 

The Campus will offer a broad range of programs and services that define the standard of care for animal welfare in America, and will impact the lives of over 25,000 Kansas City families annually—serving both 2-legged and 4-legged citizens of our region every day.

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