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Frequently Asked Questions About Animal Health and Public Safety

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  • When is the Animal Shelter open?

    The shelter is open for adoptions noon - 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday. Adoptable animals can be viewed at

    Admissions is open 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday.

  • Who do I call about dead animal pickup?

    Please contact 311.

  • What should I do if I think my dog has been picked up by an Animal Health and Public Safety officer?

    Contact 311 or visit the KC Campus for Animal Care (Animal Shelter) at 7077 Elmwood Avenue during the hours it is open to the public. You can also view lost and found animals. We encourage all residents to license their pets to guarantee a speedy trip home.
  • Why do I need a City license for my animal if I have a current rabies tag?

    Each dog, cat and ferret living within the city limits of Kansas City, Mo., must have a current City license (animal tag) displayed on its collar at all times. This assists in monitoring and controlling the pet population. A City license also makes it easier for you to be contacted if your pet is impounded or running loose.

  • What should I do if I cannot keep my animal?

    If you need to relinquish your pet, please contact the KC Campus for Animal Care (Animal Shelter) to schedule an appointment. Appointments will generally be made within 72 hours. At the time of the appointment, the KC Pet Project will try to gather as much information as they can about your pet to help make it more likely that your pet can be rehomed or to better direct you to other resources that may help you keep your pet.

  • I have a problem with stray cats in my neighborhood. Why doesn’t the City pick them up?

    There is no leash law for cats in Kansas City, Mo., so animal health officers are not able to impound cats found running loose. The shelter will accept stray cats if they are humanely caught and brought in during public hours; there is a fee for this service.

  • Why don’t you pick up wild animals in my yard?

    The Animal Health and Public Safety Division does not have jurisdiction over wild animals in their natural habitat. If the animal is outdoors, it is considered to be in its natural habitat.

  • What can I do about the wild animal in my attic?

    Animal Health and Public Safety Division officers do not remove wild animals such as squirrels, raccoons or opossums from underneath porches, on rooftops, inside attics or unfinished basements. To locate a company that specializes in this, look up pest control services in the Yellow Pages or on the Internet. If the wild animal is inside your living area, an animal health officer will respond; first, however, try providing an easy exit route so the animal can leave on its own.

  • What can I do about my neighbor’s barking dog?

    We suggest the following steps to residents who feel a dog is barking excessively:

    First, speak with the dog’s owner about the barking. Your neighbor may not be aware that the dog is causing a disturbance. If speaking with the owner does not resolve the problem, contact 311. 311 staff will ask you the following questions:

    1. Are you a neighbor within 100 yards?
    2. Are you willing to do a signed complaint?
    3. If you are unable to do a signed complaint, the City will be unable to pursue.
    4. If the answer to #1 or #2 is yes, you would be required to come to 2534 Prospect (Animal Health & Public Safety Office) to do a signed complaint. Formal complaints are taken weekdays from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. However, if you have certain limitation(s) that prevent you from reporting to 2534 Prospect to do a signed complaint, please contact 311 who will alert the Animal Health and Public Safety customer service staff. The staff can provide you assistance with the signed complaint.
    5. A signed complaint form will be done after Animal Health staff verifies that your address is within 100 yards of the address you wish to complain about.
    6. At that point, a letter will be sent to the dog owner and the citizen information will be sent/given to you.
    7. After a 7 day waiting period for when the letters go out, the letter will tell you that if the violation persists, please contact our office and submit any further documentation if applicable and the initial signed complaint will be filed as a criminal charge and a court date will be set in Municipal Court. Please note: You would be required to appear in court to testify.
    8. When the parties get to court, that is when mediation will be offered.
    9. If the dog owner is found guilty of violating the excessive animal noise ordinance, a fine between $75 and $500 could be assessed.
  • What can I do about my neighbor’s neglected dog?

    City ordinance requires that animal owners provide their animals with adequate food, water, shelter and care. If you believe that your neighbor’s dog is the victim of neglect, contact 311 to report the problem.

  • Are pit bulls illegal?

    No, but they must be spayed or neutered.

  • How many animals are allowed per household?

    Each household may own four domestic animals (dogs, cats, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs and ferrets) in any combination.

  • How long will it take an Animal Health and Public Safety Division officer to respond to my call for service?

    Calls are processed in the order received with priority given to calls that meet specific emergency criteria, such as dog bites. Emergency calls are handled first.

  • How do I initiate an investigation by the Animal Health and Public Safety Division?

    Contact 311 and give the customer service representative the following information:

    • Your name and address
    • Tthe address of the violation or the nearest cross-street
    • A detailed description of the violation and the animal(s) involved

    Before you hang up, make sure you write down the call activity number and reference that number anytime you call regarding the same violation.