Great Plains SPCA faces capacity concerns at new Independence facility

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - The Great Plains SPCA just moved into its new Independence Animal Shelter two months ago. It is already far beyond its capacity.

"In the last two months, we've seen an intake of 1,371 pets, which is three times as many that the city saw in the same time period last year," Chief Operating Officer Shannon Blizzard said.

Shelter organizers are calling it a crisis and are finding creative ways to accommodate.

"Every office has animals living in it," Blizzard said. "We've got space that would normally be an employee break room that we've setup temporary housing for cats -- litters of kittens."

Blizzard said a lot of the animals are lost pets, and volunteers are hoping for the owners to come retrieve them. They encourage owners searching for a pet to check the shelter multiple times.

In just the last two days, 71 animals have been brought in, and Blizzard said the only way to see an end to the overcrowding is with help from the community.

"We're a no-kill facility. We're committed to the no-kill mission. Animals are not going to be euthanized for a lack of space or resource," Blizzard said. "But we need the community to respond with that. They've got to come down and be a part of that solution."

Blizzard asks new pet owners to adopt from a shelter. She also said getting animals spayed and neutered is the only long-term solution.

For information on how to adopt, donate or volunteer visit

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