Archive for Thursday, February 23, 2006

Safe Harbor worker’s plea: Spay/neuter your pets

February 23, 2006

Jessica Kirby defers to a tried-and-true piece of animal-lovers' lore when she's asked what's the best thing people can do to help make sure the Safe Harbor Prison Dogs program can continue.

"The best thing everyone can do is neuter/spay their pets and be responsible for them. They are living beings and they trust us to be good caretakers," said Kirby, who continues working in the program in the aftermath of the Feb. 12 escape of Lansing Correctional Facility inmate John Manard,

Manard is thought to have fled with the help of program founder Toby Young. The escape has left the program in turmoil, although it continues to be contacted about saving dogs from almost-certain euthanasia.

"All the e-mails asking for help and wanting to send their dogs to the program are turned away with the suggestion of contacting other rescues," Kirby said.

The Safe Harbor program will have another dog-adoption clinic beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at the PetSmart at Lackman Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway in Shawnee.

"I don't know about the future adoption clinic at this point," Kirby said this week. "I do know that we need to adopt all the dogs out then take stock of future of the program if there is one."

There were about 50 dogs in the program at the time of Manard's escape and Young's disappearance.

But to Kirby, neutering/spaying pets is a larger problem than Safe Harbor's future.

"I suggest the audience look up in the dictionary two words: responsibility and stewardship," Kirby said.

She said pet owners could check with No More Homeless Pets in KC for information on where to get low cost neuter/spay. The phone number for the organization is (816) 333-PETS and the organization's website is


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