Wayside Waifs

Life Saving Commitment

Wayside Waifs is committed to leading the way to end the euthanasia of adoptable animals in Kansas City.  To achieve this goal, Wayside Waifs transitioned from an Open Admissions Shelter* to a Limited Admissions Shelter** in 2006.  Making this change has allowed us to have a more personal relationship with the people and animals we serve.  We are able to talk to the public about the issues they are experiencing that makes them feel surrendering their pet is the best option.  We focus on educating the public and providing resources to pet owners to correct problem behaviors.  Our goal is to provide pet owners the right tools to keep the pet in the home with the family.  However, when keeping the animal is not an option, we schedule a surrender appointment for the animal, or recommend other available alternatives in the community.

All animals entering our shelter are given a medical and behavior assessment.  In most cases, animals who are surrendered by their owners are evaluated for adoption at the time of intake.  This provides the pet owner with an instant answer about whether their pet can be admitted to our adoption program.  If the animal cannot be evaluated at the time of intake or fails the evaluation, the owner is made aware of their options:

  • The owner can take the animal home, and we will provide the pet owner with information and tools to work on the issues of concern.  The pet owner may then bring the animal back for evaluation at a mutually agreed upon date.
  • The owner may leave the animal at the shelter for three days, giving the animal time to acclimate and adjust.  We will re-evaluate the animal after the third day and inform the owner, who wishes to be notified, if the animal is not going to be a candidate for our adoption program.  The owner then has the option to come and reclaim the pet.  Animals that are deemed to be un-adoptable will be humanely euthanized unless the owner reclaims the animal.
  • The owner can sign the animal over for humane euthanasia if the animal has severe medical issues with poor prognosis, or other issues that are beyond our capabilities and resources to treat.

Animals come into our shelter as:
  • Owner surrenders
  • Strays
  • Transfers from other facilities who are out of space
  • Animal Control- we have contracts with several cities to house animals picked up by Animal Control Officers.

Just as we feel strongly about our commitments to the animals, we are equally committed to the public that we serve.  Animals that are deemed to be aggressive or who pose an unacceptable danger to other animals, themselves or the public are candidates for euthanasia.

Wayside employs two full-time veterinarians who provide for the medical needs of our shelter animals.  We treat animals for upper respiratory infections, heartworms, ear, eye and skin infections, lacerations, and we perform tumor removals, amputations, dentals etc. for our shelter animals.  If we are able to treat the condition, we will.  However, there are times we are not able to meet the medical needs of the animal at our facility.  In those cases, we may seek outside support from rescue organizations to meet the needs of the animal, or our medical team may recommend euthanasia for animals with poor prognosis, animals who are not responding to available treatment, or when the condition of the animal poses a serious health risk to other animals in the shelter.


Definitions:

* Open Admissions Shelters accept any and all animals regardless of available space in the facility or the animal's medical or behavioral disposition.  Often, Open Admissions Shelters have to euthanize (adoptable) animals to make space for other animals needing to come into the shelter.  Addiditonally, they often have limited ability and resources to treat animals with medical or behavioral concerns because of the high volume of animals they care for on an annual basis.  Open Admissions Shelters provide an immediate resource for the public who are unable to wait for an appointment at other facilities. 

** Limited Admissions Shelters typically accept animals by appointment which provides the opportunity to learn more about the animal's background and personality.  This enables the agency to make intake decisions based on the organization's ability to care for and meet the animal's needs, as well as move animals through the shelter and adoption process as quickly as possible.  However, because Limited Admissions Shelters do not euthanize animals for space reasons, there is usually a waiting period before an animal can be admitted into shelter.

***No-Kill Shelters are places where all adoptable and treatable animals are saved and where only un-adoptable and non-rehabilitatable animals are euthanized.  "No-Kill" does not really mean there is no euthanasia-only that there is no euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals to make space for other animals.

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