Sep 29 2010

Why I Love Working at Wayside Waifs

Marla Svoboda, Wayside Waifs Director of Development

Marla Svoboda, Wayside Waifs Director of Development

Wayside Waifs is such an incredible place on so many levels.  This morning when I pulled up our long drive and visually took in the front half of our gorgeous 44 acres, and bright, beautiful building standing up proudly against a perfect blue sky.  And I smiled to myself as I thought how lucky I am to get to work here.  But it was after parking my car and walking towards the door it hit me…I saw a green vested Wayside volunteer having sharing a special moment with a St. Bernard named Maggie that I really started to get emotional.  They were off to the north of the building, and Maggie was looking up at our volunteer so still and loyal, while our volunteer scratched her ears and spoke to Maggie gently.  For that moment, Maggie wasn’t a homeless dog in a shelter, but a special, loved dog just waiting for her perfect family.  Witnessing the bond of a human and dog, almost even more so with the selfless giving volunteer and homeless animal…it can be overwhelming.  What a gift.

And then there are Wayside Waifs employees.  When I began my work here as Development Director almost four years ago, I remember being blown away by how smart everyone who worked here was!   I suppose I was expecting more passion than intellect (no offense, coworkers!), but Wayside Waifs has a way of attracting the cream of the crop in both categories.   Over the years, I have never worked so hard, or enjoyed anything so much as raising money for thousands of animals who come to our doors each year. It is so fun to tell new people where I work. I joke that there is only one degree of separation between Wayside and the greater Kansas City Community…everybody knows and loves Wayside!

My job allows me the opportunity to talk to people one on one on a daily basis about their pets, and what they mean to them.  Stories of disease, dying and death, stories of loss, of disaster and divorce.  And how their animals, their beloved pets, were the one thing that got them through it all.  Amazing.

My office looks out over the parking lot and some afternoons I will take a break and look out and see brand new adopters gently coaxing in their new waifs into their cars…and I think about excitement of the bond that is just now beginning; that will grow so much over their years together.  That special pet will no longer be one of hundreds in our building, but one precious and valued family member, who will not only be loved but give so much more love in return.  To be a part of that process is humbling, and it is truly an honor for me.

Marla Svoboda
Director of Development

Sep 22 2010

A Life Changing Adoption

Nolie lost 150 pounds by exercising with her Waif, Casey!

Nolie lost 150 pounds by exercising with her Waif, Casey!

Three years ago, Nolie Watters walked into Wayside Waifs in search of a new pet.  She didn’t know how much her life would soon change… for the better!  

Nolie made an instant connection with Casey, a young mixed breed with a lot of energy.  It didn’t take long before Nolie realized that Casey would benefit from daily walks, to help burn off all her extra energy.  Their daily walks became longer and longer… and slowly Nolie started seeing a positive change in the mirror.  The more they walked, the more the pounds melted away! 

Just about a year ago, Nolie and Casey took up running.  Now, just 12 months later, Nolie has lost 150 pounds.  She and her running buddy, Casey, are now up to 8 miles a day and in the best shape of their lives!  This Saturday, the dynamic duo will run their first organized 5K at Strutt With Your Mutt!  

Nolie hopes her weight loss story will inspire others to not only start exercising but to also adopt a pet to help get them moving!  Research shows that pet owners are happier and healthier than non-pet owners. 

Nolie is now working towards becoming a personal trainer to help others lose weight and get in shape! 

Written by: Ashlee Parker
Communications Relations Manager

Sep 17 2010

Here in This House

One of our wonderful adopters posted this on the Wayside Waifs Facebook Page.  We were so moved by it, that we wanted to share it with all of you.  Enjoy!

Sherman happy and relaxed at home!

Sherman happy and relaxed at home!

We adopted Sherman (formerly Patron) from Wayside back in May. He is the sweetest, laziest, most loving dog there is. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers that took such good care of him while he was with you. We absolutely love having him with us. I found this story today and thought I would share it with you. I’m sure if he could talk this is exactly what he would say:

Here in this House

Here in this house… I will never know the loneliness I hear in the barks of the other dogs ‘out there’. I can sleep soundly, assured that when I wake my world will not have changed. I will never know hunger, or the fear of not knowing if I’ll eat. I will not shiver in the cold, or grow weary from the heat. I will feel the sun’s heat, and the rain’s coolness, and be allowed to smell all that can reach my nose. My fur will shine, and never be dirty or matted.

Here in this house… There will be an effort to communicate with me on my level. I will be talked to and, even if I don’t understand, I can enjoy the warmth of the words. I will be given a name so that I may know who I am among many. My name will be used in joy, and I will
love the sound of it!

Here in this house… I will never be a substitute for anything I am not. I will never be used to improve peoples’ images of themselves. I will be loved because I am who I am, not someone’s idea of who I should be. I will never suffer for unruly, or not cute enough. My life is a responsibility, and not an afterthought. I will learn that humans can almost, someone’s anger, impatience, or stupidity. I will be taught all the things I need to know to be loved by all. If I do not learn my lessons well, they will look to my teacher for blame.

Here in this house… I can trust arms that hold, hands that touch…knowing that, no matter what they do, they do it for the good of me. If I am ill, I will be doctored. If scared, I will be calmed. If sad, I will be cheered. No matter what I look like, I will be considered beautiful and known to be of value. I will never be cast out because I am too old, too ill, too sometimes, be as kind and as fair as dogs.

Here in this house… I will belong. I will be home.

From Wayside Adopter Erin

Sep 14 2010

Whiskers & Wags Outfitters Now Open!

A glimpse inside the beautiful new boutique at Wayside Waifs

A glimpse inside the beautiful new boutique at Wayside Waifs

Do you love animals?  Love to shop?  Well… Wayside Waifs is just the place for you!  The new boutique, Whiskers & Wags Outfitters, is now open to the public.  This beautiful retail store is located inside the Adoption Center at Wayside Waifs.  The shop is stocked with everything pet owners need for their pets including food, leashes, collars, toys and treats.  The shop also features must-have items for every pet lover including stylish apparel, jewelry, children’s books, stuffed animals and more!  Wayside Waifs is also selling its exclusive “Rescue Me” blend of Roasterie coffee.

“Whiskers & Wags Outfitters provides Wayside Waifs adopters and the general public with unique, quality pet supplies and gift items at a competitive price,” said Marla Svoboda, Wayside Waifs Director of Development.  “The bonus is that all proceeds go directly into saving the lives of homeless animals in Kansas City.”

Whiskers & Wags is open to the public during regular adoption hours.  100% of the proceeds from the boutique will help Wayside Waifs further its mission of helping thousands of abandoned, abused and homeless animals in the Kansas City area.  Everytime you shop at Whiskers & Wags, you’ll help Wayside Waifs save a life!

Written by: Ashlee Parker
Wayside Waifs Communications Manager

Sep 8 2010

Honor the Memory of Your Pet This Weekend

Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Services

Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Services



Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Services staff invites you to honor the memory of your pet on September 12, 2010.  Pet Memorial Day was started in 1972 and is observed on the second Sunday in September each year.  This special day was established to recognize pets for their lives lived, and the unique companionship that is shared between pets and their humans.  Often on Pet Memorial Day, the families will visit their pet’s grave and memorialize with flowers and share stories with other pet families who have experienced the same loss.  Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Services staff will be available 8am to 4PM on Saturday, September 11th and 10am to 4PM Sunday, September 12th in observance of Pet Memorial Day.   Light refreshments will be served in the new Pet Memorial Service building behind Wayside Waifs main shelter.


Wayside Waifs has been providing a dignified cemetery option since 1946 with over 11,000 burials on our grounds.   All revenue from the cemetery operations support the care given to the thousands of waifs that are brought to Wayside each year.  Wayside is a No Kill Shelter, and in 2009 Wayside Waifs found permanent homes for 5200 loving animals.  Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Services is available to provide end of life services for area family pets.  Ask your vet to contact Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Services, or contact us directly with any questions you may have about after life care for your pet at 816-986-4457.

Sep 7 2010

Super September Events

Wayside Waifs is excited to announce our September line-up of amazing events!  There’s truly a way for every pet lover to get involved with Wayside Waifs this month!

September 10-12
Fall Adoptathon 

Join us this weekend for our semi-annual Adoptathon!  We will try to find new homes for every animal in the shelter.  To help all our of wonderful waifs find their forever families, all adoption fees will be reduced to half-price on every animal at Wayside Waifs.  Puppies and kittens will be $65.  Dogs will be $55 and adult cats will be just $37.  All animals are current on their vaccinations and spay/neutered.  Adoptathon starts bright and early at 6 a.m. on Friday, September 10th with extended hours all weekend.  Our media partner, 106.5 The Wolf will be broadcasting live from Wayside Waifs all weekend.  Stop by Wayside Waifs and meet your new best friend!

September 12
Ciao Bow Wow

Enjoy pizza with your pooch!  Spin Pizza (Lee’s Summit & Overland Park locations) is hosting its annual Ciao Bow Wow event, benefiting Wayside Waifs.  Doggies get a special pizza dinner and desert prepared by Three Dog Bakery.  Cost is $25 per dog.  Seatings begin at 4 p.m.  Reservations required. 

September 25
20th Annual Strutt With Your Mutt

Fetch your friends, family and co-workers and Strutt With Your Mutt in beautiful Brookside for Wayside Waifs.  This year festivities also include our first 5K Fun Run, Cat Walk and Kids Run.  We’ll also have a pancake breakfast, great shopping in Vendor Village and contests on the main stage!  Don’t miss the 20th Annual Strutt With Your Mutt!  Register now at

September 26
Ciao Bow Wow

Spin Pizza’s Main Street & Olathe locations host Ciao Bow Wow.  Your dog will enjoy his own pizza dinner and dessert… cost is $25 per dog, plus whatever food and drinks you order.  Seatings begin at 4 p.m.  Reservations required.

Sep 2 2010

Dynamic Duos!

Wayside Waifs Presents
Dynamic Duo Weekend
September 4th and 5th

Come on out and meet these incredible pairs of animals who are looking for a home together!  They’ll be hanging out in our lobby this weekend, just waiting to meet you in person.

Featuring our very own….





Ace and Teddy – Goofy, fun, entertaining, unique, and housebroken…these two 4 year old Welsh Corgi/Australian Shepherd mixes are volunteer favorites! They are sure to bring a smile to your face and a spark to your life.  They are soft, sweet, and so much fun. 






 Wilma and Betty – Well behaved, great on a leash, calm and housebroken…these two girls are true gentle souls, just looking for a home of their very own.  They’re 5 year old shepherd mixes and have lived their entire lives together, relying on each other.  They’ve touched our hearts and know they will touch yours too!






Magic and Midnight – Adorable, soft, sweet, just waiting to come out of their shells and really enjoy life…If anyone deserves a happy ending, it’s these two.  They’ve had a rough start in life, and they’re so ready to put their past behind them and start anew with a loving and caring family.  Magic and Midnight are 5 year old Border Collie mixes who have a very close bond with each other.  They just need a chance to shine!

When animals come to us who are already extremely bonded with one another, we make it our top priority to find them a home together.  It isn’t always easy, but it’s so worth the effort to keep them happy and healthy and less stressed until they find their forever home together.

The adoption rate for these Dynamic Duos is only $165 for both animals.  What a bargain!

You can feel comfortable that these animals will get along great together and help each other with the transition to their new home.  Once they’re part of your family, they will entertain each other and keep each other company.  And having two dogs around will add that much more love to your home!

So please head on out to Wayside this weekend and check out these amazing animals.  They’re so anxious to meet you!

Powered by WordPress, Created by Spur Communications