Wayside Waifs

Services are By Appointment Only, until further notice.

In an effort to slow COVID-19 transmission and keep the pets and people of Wayside Waifs healthy and safe, Wayside Waifs services are by appointment only. Please see red bar at top of page and follow our social media accounts for shelter updates.


    Current Shelter Services & Hours:

    Services being suspended:
    - Pet Adoption Center is open by appointment only. Hours are Monday-Sunday 9am-5pm.
    - No public or onsite education classes, tours/visits or non-staff visitors at all

    Services That Will Continue:
    - Our contracted Stray Services for the cities of Belton, Grandview, and Riverside will continue through Animal Control Services.
    - Bark Park is open. Social distancing must be practiced.
    - Pet Food Pantry assistance is available. Please call 816-761-8151 to learn more.
    - Fostering Services will continue. (Animals and supplies will be brought to your car. Text the Foster Department when you arrive.)

    All Wayside Services by Appointments Only:
    - Our Pet Adoption Center is offering virtual pet adoptions and a limited number of in-person pet adoptions by appointment only. In-person pet adoptions are limited to groups of (4) people. Learn more and get started here.
    - Vet Clinic: call 816-761-8151 when you arrive for your appointment. (Veterinary services are only for shelter animals in foster, adopted pets undergoing heartworm treatments, and recently adopted pets needing a vet check.)
    - Pet Memorial Services/Cremations by appointment only by calling 816-986-4406
    - Lost Pet/Return to Owner: If someone has lost their pet go to our Lost & Found page at WaysideWaifs.org to view stray animals at our shelter. Return to Owner appointments will be 9 am-5 pm by appointment only at 816-761-8151.
    - Pet Surrender: Please visit our Pet Surrender web page to learn more about alternatives to surrendering your pet, especially at this time when space is limited at all area shelters. Proactively reach out to family, friends, or neighbors for possible rehoming options. If someone needs to surrender their personal pet due to an emergency situation, this will be by appointment only by calling Admissions at 816-986-4404 or by starting the pet surrender process on our website under Pet Surrender under the Resources tab .

    Additional items of note:
    - Stray animal? If someone has found a stray animal, please either try to find the pet's owner or take that animal to the Animal Control facility in the city in which the animal was found.
    - Media Inquiries: please call Casey Waugh at 913-909-4397 or Robin Rowland at 913-424-5331.


    Message from Geoff Hall, Wayside President

    Dear Animal Friends,

    First of all, I wanted to reassure you that the shelter animals are doing great. They've been getting around the clock care and love from our amazing foster volunteers and dedicated staff. Even during the pandemic, we've figured out an innovative way to adopt many shelter animals into loving families through Virtual Pet Adoptions!

    As stay at home orders begin to lift to varying degrees across our community, I wanted to keep you updated regarding Wayside Waifs. Beginning May 15 at the shelter:

    - All shelter services will continue to be by appointment only. This means if you do not have an appointment, you will not be allowed to enter the main shelter building.
    - Appointment-only shelter services that will continue include: virtual pet adoptions, memorial services, animal intake/admissions, return-to-owner, and veterinary services and heartworm treatments for recently adopted animals.
    - The Bark Park will reopen to Bark Park Patrons. (Social distancing must be maintained.)
    - All staff and visitors must follow these safely guidelines: wear face masks, social distance, and wash hands frequently.

    We hope to be able to welcome volunteers, campus visitors, and youth back to campus sometime in June, These decisions will be made after evaluating COVID-19 community spread. If community markers indicate infection rates are decreasing, Wayside will begin to expand services and allow small groups and the general public back to the shelter. Now and going forward, Wayside will continue to diligently work to create a safe campus for staff, volunteers, and visitors. These safe measures will include things like social distancing, face masks, hand hygiene, and asking people to maintain a no-touch environment.

    I know these are challenging times for everyone in our community and I want to thank you for your understanding and flexibility. Our goal is to keep our staff safe and healthy so they can continue to provide high-quality and compassionate care to the shelter animals now and into the future. I want to give a very special thanks to our dedicated and generous donors who make our life-saving mission possible every day.

    Geoff Hall
    President, Wayside Waifs


    Emergency Pet Plan & Behavior Resources

    If you haven't already done so, now is an excellent time to create a Pet Emergency Plan should you become ill and unable to care for your pet. Here are some suggestions to consider when making your plan.

    - Make sure your pet is wearing ID at all times. If you haven't updated their microchip information, now would be a good time to do so by contacting the microchip company directly.
    - Confirm three different people that will be able to take your pet should you become unable to do so. It's important to select people from different households. Consider asking a neighbor, family member, or friend to care for your pet while you are recovering.
    - Gather up a 2-4 week supply of items and place them in an easy to find location in your home. Items to include: food, medicine, vet information, vaccination history, leash, kennel/carrier, pet bed, and any special toys or treats.

    While it is extremely unlikely you will find yourself in this situation, we highly encourage you to take action now to prepare. These preparations will give you peace of mind now and in the future.

    - Tips for Preparing Your Dog for Your Return to Work

    - Socializing Your New Puppy During Quarantine


    A message from Eric Kelly, DVM, Chief of Veterinary Medicine, Wayside Waifs

    Dear Friends:

    As you may have now seen, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and is symptomatic. It was not widely reported or published, but a domestic house cat in Belgium also appears to have tested positive late March. Otherwise there have been very few reports of animals testing positive and even less showing signs. There is no reason to panic. I do want to take a few minutes to share some facts, current thoughts, and resources regarding COVID-19 and animals.

    · Currently the AVMA's COVID-19 page is the most reliable source of up-to-date information pertaining to animals and veterinary medicine.

    · There is still no peer-reviewed or well thought theory that any animal acts as a transmission source for spread of COVID-19 to humans.

    · Any animal can act as a fomite (objects likely to transmit infection) for COVID-19 and thus potentially test positive (the same as how a cardboard box or door handle can test positive).

    · There are no studies, that I can find or are peer-reviewed, that show any coronavirus (SARS, MERS, etc.) in an animal that is a source for spread to humans. It is still considered to only spread from human-to-human.

    · There will continue to be reports, articles, etc. that come out over the next weeks to months. The studies are part of the scientific process and can be misrepresented easily while the scientific community is trying to work globally to find ways to bring forth knowledge and treatments. Again, I would direct you to use the AVMA's COVID-19 page as the most reliable and up-to-date source for animals and veterinary medicine.

    · If a person is known to have COVID-19 or suspected of being ill with the disease, they should limit interactions with any animal or person and take precautions as it can be potentially transmitted.

    · Everyone must continue to be diligent regarding hand hygiene (which includes washing your hands before and after touching your pet), not touching your face, and maintaining social distancing.

    Next Steps:

    · Wayside is asking all staff to wear a mask while at the shelter.

    · Please take a few minutes to read the following two webpages from The AVMA.

    . Facts for Pet Owners: FAQs FOR PET OWNERS PDF

    . COVID-19 Info for People and Pets: SARS-CoV-2 in animals, including pets

    · Wayside will continue our Stray Service Contracts with Belton, Grandview, and Riverside and take in cats, dogs, and small mammals from their Animal Control Officers.

    · Staff are being advised to increase their monitoring and handling protocols.

    · Any foster cat or dog showing upper respiratory signs will be treated via telemedicine, unless it appears to be an emergency.

    · Wayside is developing a proactive quarantine plan for animals showing an upper respiratory infection, as a precautionary measure, should the data support a change in protocol.

    As a reminder, there is no need to panic. I want to commend you all for what you are doing to support the pets and people of Wayside Waifs. I have been extremely impressed and humbled by the efforts of staff, volunteers, donors, and adopters during these past few weeks. #StayHomeKC

    Eric Kelly, DVM
    Chief of Veterinary Medicine
    Wayside Waifs


    FAQs about COVID-19 & Pets

    Can I get COVID-19 from my pet?
    From The AVMA: There is no clear answer as to whether SARS-CoV-2 can infect pets at this time. That said, currently, there is little to no evidence that pets become sick. Infectious disease experts, as well as the CDC, OIE, and WHO indicate there is also no evidence to suggest that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection with SARS-CoV-2, including spreading COVID-19 to people. More investigation is underway and, as we learn more, we encourage you to follow CDC.gov and AVMA.org for the latest medical information.

    Because animals can spread other diseases to people and people can also spread diseases to animals, it's a good idea to always wash your hands before and after interacting with animals.

    I have pets. What should I do if I get COVID-19?
    From The AVMA: If you are sick with COVID-19 you need to be careful to avoid transmitting it to other people. Follow the CDC common-sense measures (handwashing, masks, social distancing, etc.) to prevent transmission. Stay at home except to get medical care and call ahead before visiting your doctor. Minimize your contact with other people, including separating yourself from other members of your household who are not ill; using a different bathroom, if available; and wearing a facemask when you are around other people or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider's office. Wash your hands often, especially before touching your face, and use hand sanitizer. Use a tissue if you need to cough or sneeze and dispose of that tissue in the trash. When coughing or sneezing, do so into your elbow or sleeve rather than directly at another person.

    Out of an abundance of caution, the AVMA recommends you take the same common-sense approach when interacting with your pets or other animals in your home, including service animals. You should tell your physician and public health official that you have a pet or other animal in your home. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

    So, if you are ill with COVID-19, have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don't share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet or service animal. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. While we are recommending these as good practices, it is important to remember there is currently no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19 to other animals, or to people.

    What do I do if I become too ill from COVID-19 to care for my pet?
    Please be proactive now and make a Pet Emergency Plan.
    - Have your pet wear ID at all times.
    - Assemble items in one place that your pet will need, like food, medicine, carrier/kennel, and medical information.
    - Reach out to family, friends, or neighbors to confirm who will take your pet should you become too ill to care for them. Confirm more than one person to be extra safe.

    What is a trusted veterinary source that you recommend?
    We're so glad you've asked this important question. We recommend two websites for the general public.
    - AVMA.org: The American Veterinary Medical Association
    - CDC.gov: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


    Family Activities for You, Your Kids, and Pets!

    Each year Wayside's Education Team reaches more than 16,000 youth through fun and innovative programming. With many of us sheltering in place currently, our Education Team wants to provide you resources you can access right now from the safety of your own home.

    Check out our Humane Education's You Tube Channel for video lessons and our library of fun worksheets and project ideas you can directly download.

    Compassion In Action
    Do You Have the Time for an Animal?
    Dog Food Challenge
    Offsite Kids In Action Project
    Secret Agent
    Self Compassion
    You Can Change the World

    And visit our Pinterest page to check out fun projects like pet origami, cat puzzler games, and more!


    How You Can Help

    We’ve heard from animal lovers all over the community asking how they can help during this difficult time. Here are a few options to consider

    - Share a special message with the staff caring for the shelter pets during this time. You can email it to info@waysidewaifs.org or mail it to: Wayside Waifs, 3901 Martha Truman Rd., KCMO 64137.
    - Shop our Amazon Wish List directly. These are the items we need right now.
    - Make a one-time gift or become a monthly donor through our Best Friends Giving Program. All gift amounts are welcomed and appreciated!
    - Consider becoming a trained volunteer. Once we reopen to the public, we will definitely need more volunteers! Trainings are on-hold currently, but you can still sign up and start receiving communications now.
    - Follow our social media channels and share posts that resonate with you with your friends. Who knows, that one post you share may inspire someone you know to adopt a shelter pet into their loving home once we reopen!