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November  2016
Animal Services seeks help in identifying dog fighting rings
Pit bull fighting isn't just a police problem, it's a community problem and we need help, said Capt. Brent Allred, WPD Support Services Commander.   Dog fighting was a topic of discussion during the October Animal Control Advisory Board meeting after a pit bull was found near 9th and Grove that had obviously been involved in dog fighting.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, Animal Control Officers were dispatched to the area of Ninth and Grove on a call of an injured dog running at large.  They found a black pit bull that had open wounds to the back of the neck and so it was immediately taken to an emergency veterinarian for treatment. The dog had several missing teeth and some had been filed down. It exhibited obvious signs of abuse and mistreatment. The dog was transferred to a local animal rescue, and then underwen t surgery at a veterinarian's office  at the rescue's expense.   Investigators believe this dog was used as a "bait dog" for entertainment and gambling.

"We need help from the community in gathering evidence so we can identify and prosecute these individuals who are engaged in dog fighting," said Capt. Allred.  He encouraged the public to call 911 on anything they find suspicious.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 267-2111, call 911 or call Animal Control between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 350-3360.
Click here for information on how to recognize signs of dog fighting.
Wichita Dog Park Survey
The Animal Services Advisory Board was asked by a citizen to consider recommending age limits for children who visit dog parks.  The citizen felt like it was a safety issue as not all dogs are child friendly.  The Board is seeking community input.  Please take a few minutes to take the survey.  The results will be shared in a future newsletter.

Social media: the good, the bad and the untold
Facebook and other social media have proven to be useful tools in the animal world - connecting many unwanted pets with welcoming forever homes.  Nextdoor.com has been used to help solve neighborhood crime.  Social media has also proven useful in holding people and institutions accountable for their responsibilities. However, it is also possible to misuse these social tools, to lose sight of facts and fairness, and in the zeal of rescue, to be disrespectful and just plain mean.  This, of course, is unacceptable.

Unfortunately, some well-meaning animal lovers recently have crossed over that line, posting some inaccurate and unduly hostile items about Wichita Animal Control staff and members of the Animal Control Advisory Board. 

Consider these facts before rushing to judgment:
FACT : City of Wichita Departments don't have staff devoted to monitoring social media 24-hours-a-day in order to respond to and correct inaccuracies and tell the other side of every story.  Thus, situations are often misrepresented by a single storyteller, because even if they contain some facts, they only tell a portion of the story.  
FACT : The Wichita Animal Shelter has one of the lowest dog euthanasia rates in the country. It was only 8% in 2015, and the rate for the first 10 months of 2016 is 7%. The ASPCA estimates the national average at around 31%.  It would appear to be in everyone's best interest to work together to improve this rate even more.
Here are some more facts about two cases in point:

1.       A story was recently posted on social media regarding an underweight Malamute, accusing Wichita Animal Services of not taking action.  There were photographs included that would have moved even the hardest heart.  But, as is often the case, there is more to the story.  Animal Services Officers investigated this situation and learned that a stray dog had jumped the fence and impregnated the female Malamute.  Sadly, she suffers from a serious dietary condition for which she is under a vet's care and has to be on a special diet.  The birth of the puppies and their nursing further exacerbated the mother's condition.  The Animal Services Officer entered the residence and examined the prepared raw food for the mother dog's diet as prescribed by the Vet.   Additionally, the Officer contacted the Veterinary Clinic where the dog is being treated and confirmed the information that the owner provided.  Animal Services also educated the owner on the City ordinances regarding breeding dogs and selling puppies. 


2.      Another heart wrenching story was shared about a dog that was put to sleep, portraying Animal Services staff as "ruthless killers."  When in fact, a diverse group of animal rescues regularly pull animals from the City Animal Shelter.  Some of the rescues are breed specific, some take animals that have extensive medical needs and solicit money from the public to help defray the cost; other rescues only pull animals with minimal health issues in order to make their dollars stretch and save more animals.  Regardless of how each rescue chooses to operate, it is imperative that they tag the animals that they want to pull from the Shelter in a timely manner.  If the animal isn't tagged, it will be humanely euthanized as the City cannot hold animals indefinitely.  If a rescue doesn't tag an animal, then it's unfair to blame Shelter staff when it is later euthanized. 

Facebook and other social media can be useful tools in the hands of public servants, pet lovers and animal rescue activists - but only if these tools are used responsibly. The opinions, feelings, and information shared must be fair to all concerned, and align with the facts.  There's an old adage, "It doesn't matter how thin you make the pancake, it still has two sides." The same is true here. 

Experts advise Internet users to carefully examine the credibility of all online information. In other words, when you see something posted online, it's a good practice to test it before swallowing it whole.  Consider the story being told, and ask yourself what might be left untold?  
Getting to know Animal Services Board member Stephanie McCurdy
Stephanie McCurdy
The Wichita Animal Control Advisory Board is comprised of eight members who are appointed by the Wichita City Council.  Each Council member has one appointee and the Mayor has two.  Stephanie Fisk McCurdy is currently in her second year as a Board member and also as the Board Chair.  She was appointed by District II Council Member Pete Meitzner. 

McCurdy said she loves the real estate industry and giving back to her community. Her many business accomplishments include Wichita Business Journal 's 40 Under 40 Class of 2013 and Wichita Business Journal's Women In Business Award in 2015.  She serves on the Board of Directors as Vice-President for the Wichita Crime Commission ,  Board of Directors for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center (WASAC)  and  Wichita Animal Action League . McCurdy was presented with the Citizen Activist of the Year in 2014 from the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office & the Willard Garvey Crime Prevention Award from the Wichita Crime Commission in 2015. She is currently the Associate Broker at Keller Williams Hometown Partners LLC.  

In her free time McCurdy enjoys traveling, watching sports and loving on her three dogs: Anabelle, Bianca and Chanel. 
Board to meet a week early - Dec. 14; cruelty court case process will be discussed

The Animal Services Advisory Board will meet a week early in December in order to avoid absences due to the holidays.  The meeting will take place at 4 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the Transit Adminstration Building, 777 E. Waterman. The Board will review the City's ordinance and procedures that govern animal cruelty cases. To see the full agenda, click here.  
Murfin Animal Complex
Wichita Animal Control and Kansas Humane Society
Citizens still confused over operations
Although the Murfin Animal Complex located at 3303 N. Hillside has been in existence since 2009, many citizens are still confused over who does what.  The City of Wichita Animal Shelter is the building on the north and the Kansas Humane Society is the building on the south.  

The land the buildings sit on is owned by the City and the Kansas Humane Society leases it.  The Animal Shelter is a government entity; the staff are members of the Wichita Police Department, and are governed by the City Manager and the City Council.  The Kansas Humane Society is a nonprofit agency and has its own director, staff and Board of Directors.  

The Wichita Animal Shelter only takes in animals that are strays, or are picked up by Animal Control Officers.  The Kansas Humane Society only takes animals that are owned and are being surrendered by their owner.  If you take an animal to the Murfin complex and you go to the wrong building, you will be directed to the appropriate location.  

The Wichita Animal Shelter has not done adoptions since 2009 when the Kansas Humane Society opened their new building at the Hillside location.  Since that time, only KHS does adoptions.  If a citizen sees an animal in the Wichita Animal Shelter that hasn't been reclaimed and they would like to adopt, they can go next door to the Kansas Humane Society, place a deposit on the animal, and then adopt it. All proceeds of the adoption go to the Kansas Humane Society.

Animals in the Wichita Animal Shelter must legally be held for three full business days.  The rightful owner can re-claim their animal at any point during that three-day period.  Animals that are not re-claimed by the owner are either transferred to an animal rescue group, or are transferred to the Kansas Humane Society for adoption. The animals that are not transferred are humanely euthanized.  The Animal Shelter has recently extended the number of days it will hold an animal if a rescue group has tagged it for pick up.  The Wichita Animal Shelter is funded with tax-payer dollars.   

Information Links
Read last months Animal Services
Advisory Board meeting minutes  here

Click here for information on the Dangerous Dog Committee

Click here for information on the Spay Neuter Committee

Click here for information on the TNR Committee
Click here for tips from the ASAB

Click here for Board contact information

Click here to connect to the Animal Services webpage
Lost your pet?
  • Go to the website  www.petharbor.com.
  • Enter your Zip Code or City name in the appropriate field and click the "Find Shelters" search button.
  • Check the box next to "Wichita Animal Shelter" and click the "Search Now" button.
  • Click the "I Lost My Pet" button.
  • Click the button for the type of animal that you have lost (Dog, Cat, or Other).
  • You may choose to narrow your search by breed, gender, size, age, and predominate color at this time but please keep in mind the more narrow your search, the less results you will receive. If you do not specify any criteria in the search fields, and just click the "Search Now" button you will be able to browse all of the entries from the Shelter. It is a much broader search, but improves your chances of finding your lost pet. Please remember that your description of the animal may be different than the description posted on the website. We advise that you keep your search as broad as possible. If you have lost a pet we still advise that you visit the Wichita Animal Shelter regularly.
  • Most of the animals will have a picture accompanied with the date the animal was impounded to assist in proper identification and a timely return to the owner. If the animal listing does not have a picture and you suspect that the animal may be yours, visit the Wichita Animal Shelter at 3303 N. Hillside.
  • If you find your animal on the website, call the Wichita Animal Shelter at 350-3366 and notify staff. They will need the animal number displayed to the right of the picture.
If you do not see your lost animal using this service, we recommend you visit the Wichita Animal Shelter at 3303 N. Hillside (K-96 & Hillside) during business hours to make sure the animal wasn't picked up. Lost and stray animals are only held for 3 days starting the day after the animal is impounded. You may call the Wichita Animal Shelter at 350-3366 for more information and tips on finding a lost pet, but remember that only you can identify your lost pet, so please visit the shelter at least every 3 days.
Using the Pet Harbor Mobile App
Now you can browse adoptable, lost, and found pets in your area from the comfort of your smartphone or tablet! PetHarbor Mobile uses your geographic location to locate animals near you.
You will receive the same results and have the same search functionality that you would using the web version of PetHarbor but optimized for mobile devices!
City of Wichita, Office of Community Services | 316-352-4879
jcjohnson@wichita.gov | http://www.wichita.gov
City Manager's Office
455 N. Main, 13 Floor
Wichita, KS  67202
Have questions or concerns? For animal services questions  e-mail 
jschroeder@wichita.gov  or  call 316-350-3366
For Board or newsletter questions e-mail 
jcjohnson@wichita.gov or call 316-352-4879