Jun 15 2018

History of Wayside

On June 5, 1940, a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, known as the Jackson County Animal Betterment Association, was incorporated in the State of Missouri. In 1944, it was revived with new leadership under the name of Wayside Waifs, Inc.

Fenby Webster was the lead contributor who helped to found Wayside Waifs. Her leadership and dedication is still seen throughout the shelter.

Through contributions, Wayside Waifs was able to purchase a 20-acre farm. The shelter was built in southeast Kansas City, Missouri in 1945 and remained until 1999 when a state-of-the-art facility was built adjacent to the original building. Additional acreage was acquired over the years, bringing the total acreage to 50 acres.

The Top of the World Pet Cemetery (now known as Wayside Waifs Pet Memorial Park) was founded in 1946. It was established to provide a convenience to people who wanted their pets put to rest in the peace and beauty of an established haven. More than 12,000 pets are interred on our three pet burial grounds making Wayside one of the largest pet cemeteries in the United States.

Wayside Waifs is a nonprofit humane society and animal shelter. It is not endowed or supported by local, state or federal funds, or national humane organizations. It is financially supported primarily from memberships, bequests, the pet cemetery, adoptions and gifts from the public, businesses and foundations.

During the 1951 flood, Wayside was on duty day and night. In May of 1957, the agency participated in rescue work following the Ruskin Heights and Martin City tornado. Wayside patrolled these areas, bringing in injured and homeless animals. And again in 1993 when floodwaters were rising, Wayside met the challenge and accepted hundreds of animals in need. In recent years, Wayside has also participated actively in raids of illegally operated “puppy mills.”

In December 2012, Wayside Waifs opened the doors of a newly expanded and renovated shelter veterinary clinic.  The 47,000 square foot building can shelter up to 800 animals. In 2011, Wayside cared for more than 6,500 abandoned, abused and homeless pets.  Wayside Waifs is a comprehensive animal welfare organization providing: animal rescue, shelter veterinary care, retail pet boutique, pet adoptions, off-leash dog park, humane education programs for more than 30,000 school children each year, volunteer opportunities, secure pet care for local domestic violence shelters and pet memorial services and cemetery.

Wayside Waifs is committed to finding homes for all adoptable pets. Wayside is the largest no kill pet adoption campus in Kansas City, placing approximately 5,400 animals each year. Wayside does not euthanize adoptable animals, and there are no time limits for animals in our care. Only animals suffering from significant medical issues or those that pose a danger are humanely euthanized. Wayside Waifs is proud to be a part of Kansas City’s no kill community.

Have a story to share? Did you adopt, volunteer or just have a special memory? We want to hear about it! Share your story with us now! Please consider visiting us during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.


Jun 13 2018

Waif Wednesday

Please welcome our Waifs of the Week: Dollie, and Heathcliff!

“Hi there, I’m Dollie!  I want to be your dog.  I want to play and exercise and cuddle with you every day.  I’ve spent too much time being homeless and I’m so ready to finally find my forever family.  I hope that’s you!  I’ve been waiting my whole life for you.  I’m smart, fun, energetic, and I never have a bad day.  I will make a wonderful companion for you! I’m an adorable, 3 ½ year old, 47 pound sweetheart with beautiful and unique markings.  I first came to Wayside last fall as a transfer from New Orleans.  And I was adopted twice, but neither of those homes worked out for me.  One of my owners was allergic and I was too active for the other.  That’s ok though and I understand that things sometimes just don’t work out as planned.  At least I had a break from the shelter and I’m happy that someone wanted to give me a chance.  During my time in a home, I was able to show off a few of my good qualities.  I’m crate trained, I enjoy car rides, and I even do well at the groomers.  I’m friendly and social with most everyone I meet.  I love to go walking or running, and a harness helps to keep me from pulling.  I’m athletic and strong and sometimes I forget my own strength when I’m out walking.  I’m good at sharing and I’m not protective of my stuff.  I love toys and balls so much!  I can keep myself entertained when I have my favorite toys to play with.  After a day filled with exercise and fun, I love to be close to you and I’m quite an affectionate and loving dog.  I’m friendly and eager to please and easy to train.  Please teach me what you expect from me and I’ll try my best to follow all the rules. I love to play hard with other dogs and I even get to participate in doggie play groups with other energetic and playful dogs at Wayside.  My play can get rough though, so I might be too much for older or more laidback dogs.  And I might be too much for young kids as well.  Please bring the whole family to meet me and we can see how we all get along.  I will need daily exercise in my new home to keep me happy, healthy, and calm.  I’m not the sort of dog who will be happy being left alone in a yard or crate all day.  I need you to be active with me and exercise with me.  A daily walk, run, or hike is something I need from you and I hope you enjoy it too.  I’ll be a great partner if you need motivation to stay in shape, because I’ll be your constant companion.  Also, please be sure to supervise me when I’m outside.  I didn’t have a fence in my last home and I was known to wander off from time to time.  I’d love a big yard with a fence to keep me safe and secure! I want to go on adventures and make great memories with you.  And I want to share my happy attitude, delightful personality, and zest for life with you. We will be best buddies and share so many good times together.  I can’t wait!  Please come out to meet me today!”

Learn more about Dollie here. She also has a video, which you can view here.

“Thanks for reading about me! My name is Heathcliff. I’m a single silver tabby male, and I LOVE to cuddle. Oh and I love to talk, too. So if you are looking for a special someone to fill your days and nights with affection and conversation, I’m the perfect guy for you.  We can chat and snuggle while you gaze into my perfectly lined, soulful olive green eyes. A nice lady found me with some pretty severe wounds to my legs. She tried to find my people, but had no luck, so she brought me here to Wayside, where I could get veterinary care and find a new family. So … here I am! In my time here at Wayside, I have become one of the most popular cats with staff and volunteers. Seriously,  I have people lining up to come cuddle with me in my room. As I mentioned, I do like to talk, and I have a rather loud, gruff-sounding meow. Please don’t let that put you off … I’m really a love bug and teddy bear at heart. I’m a chill, laid-back guy, but I also like to play. I am smart, too. I have a puzzle feeder in my room, and I’m very adept at taking out my food, one kibble at a time, and savoring it slowly. Working a little for my food helps me maintain my lean, muscular physique as well as providing mental stimulation. There’s one more thing I should tell you: I have tested positive for FIV. It’s really no big deal. It just means that I need regular veterinary care and an indoors-only lifestyle. But once you see what a sweet, loving boy I am, you will never want me far away from you anyway. I’m getting lots of love here at Wayside, but I am dreaming of a lap–and a home–to call my very own. Maybe yours?”

Learn more about Heathcliff here. He also has a video, which you can view here.

Meet all of our adoptable animals during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.


Jun 8 2018

Meet Kathi Bassett

Meet Kathi Bassett – Wayside’s longest consecutive employee! She has worked in every department, and is now transferring to become a veterinary assistant. She sat down with us and answered ten questions about shelter life, animal welfare, and her time helping thousands of animals find homes.

1. How long have you been at Wayside Waifs?

“It’s going to be nineteen years in October.”

2. What made you decide to work in animal welfare?

“I’ve always loved animals and happened to hear about Wayside from a friend.”

3. What has been your favorite department to work in, and why?

“My favorite department is admissions. We are helping animals, but we are also educating the public.”

4. Do you have animals personally, and if so, how many?

“I have several Waifs. Three dogs and three cats.”

5. How do you work in animal welfare and not get compassion fatigue?

“It’s important to take a break. Often time people feel overwhelmed and then guilty. It’s easy to let animal welfare consume you. Finding a healthy balance can be difficult, but important for longevity.”

6. How do you feel about euthanasia? 

“Euthanasia can be difficult for many people. I have learned that it can be very emotional and sometimes as a shelter worker, it makes you feel like you have failed in some way. Offering end of life compassion is a very important responsibility. It isn’t always something shelter workers like speak about, but I’m grateful to be apart of a team that makes every moment count.”

7. What made you choose shelter work instead of private practice?

“Shelter work was always my number one choice. Giving animals a new beginning is the most rewarding thing.”

8. What does your new position entail?

“Becoming a veterinary assistant will allow me to learn more about the medical side of the shelter. I never want to stop learning.”

9. What was the old shelter like?

“The old Wayside was very different. We are extremely lucky to have and to be able to offer the things we do. There once was a time that many things were very limited. Growth is always an amazing thing.”

10. Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue a career in animal welfare?

“My advice would be to remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of the animals. Always have an open mind and heart. Through our love and determination, we are changing the world each day.”

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication Kathi! We love having you on Team Wayside, and the animals benefit from your care so much.

Consider visiting us during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.


Jun 6 2018

Waif Wednesday

Please welcome our Waifs of the Week: Jasper, Phiona, and Tuffy!

“Hi there, I’m Jasper!  I’m happy and friendly and playful and full of fun.  I love life and I never remember having a bad day.  I’d love more than anything to be able to share my zest for life with you!  I hope you come to meet me and realize that we were meant to be together. I’m a handsome, 1 ½ year old, 45 pound sweetheart of a dog.  I might possibly already be at least partially house trained, because I keep my kennel at Wayside clean and I know to go to the bathroom when I get outside.  Please stay patient with me when we get home though, because it’s hard to keep up my routine here at the shelter.  I’ll try my best to follow all the rules in my new home.  Anyway, I came here to Wayside as a transfer from another shelter.  I love it here and I’ve already made all sorts of great new friends. I’m a typical hound in many ways.  I’m friendly and sweet and I love to explore the world with my nose.  I’m curious and I can be vocal when I have something to say.  I hope my hound voice is music to your ears and I hope you will keep me safe and secure when I’m outdoors, so that I don’t follow my nose into the next county before anyone even notices I’m gone.  I’d love a fenced in yard to tend to and explore.  I love tasty treats and I’m eager to please, so training me should be a cinch.  If you praise me when I’m a good boy, I’ll quickly learn what you expect from me.  I get so excited when it’s time to go for a walk!  I pull just a bit on my leash, but a harness will work great for me if you want to keep me close to your side.  I’m young and energetic, so I will need daily exercise to keep me happy, healthy, and calm. I’m pretty adaptable and easy-going, so I should do just fine with most active families.  I love to be by your side and I hope you’re the sort of person who likes to have your dog as an active part of your life.  I love attention from you and I like to lean into you to show you how much you mean to me.  I like most other dogs just fine and I have good dog social skills.  I know how to make appropriate corrections to other dogs and I’m friendly and polite with them.  I’ve been participating in doggie playgroups here at Wayside.  It’s so much fun!  I do best with the low to medium activity level dogs.  I’d love to meet any other dogs you have before we go home together, so feel free to bring them out to Wayside if you like. I hope you need me in your life as much as I need you!  I can’t wait to be part of a family.  I’m here at the shelter with my bags packed and I’m ready to go home!”

Learn more about Jasper here

“Pleased to meet you! My name is Phiona, and I am one of the cutest, sweetest and most loving kitty cats you could ever hope to meet. As you can see from my photos, I have an unusual coat. I’m what you would call a dilute tortie, meaning my fur contains muted colors of blue/gray and apricot. I also have a white bib, boots and gloves like a tuxedo. So I am dressed for any occasion. I have very soft fur, which you will probably enjoy petting as much as I enjoy being loved on. I also have very soulful, expressive golden/green eyes. I have a very cute, quiet little meow. Sometimes it is practically silent. It will melt your heart, or so I have been told. I enjoy having a nice conversation, but what I’m really all about is giving and receiving love. When you meet me, once I feel comfortable with you, I will probably reach up and give you a hug. If you are sitting, I will probably curl up in your lap, if you don’t mind. When I came to Wayside, the vets here discovered that I had some dental issues. My teeth were hurting me a lot, so the doctors decided to pull them all. It’s wonderful not to be in so much pain. I do need to eat soft food for the rest of my life, though. You might have noticed that I am 8 years old. Some people think that is old, but it’s barely middle age for a cat. If you take good care of me, we can look forward to many happy, healthy years together. Are you looking for one of the loviest cats around? Please come to Wayside and ask for me, Phinona!”

Learn more about Phiona here.

“Hi there, I’m Tuffy!  I want to be your dog.  Please?  No one has ever given me a chance before, but I know what I’m capable of.  I know I will be the best companion ever, if someone will just believe in me.  I’m smart and friendly and so affectionate.  There’s no place I’d rather be than right by your side. I’m still under a year old, so I’m really just a pup in many ways.  And at 38 pounds, I’m a perfect medium size.  I can’t wait to curl up next to you on the couch as we unwind for the day.  I came to Wayside as a transfer from a rescue group where I had been staying for a while.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a real home before.  But just arriving at Wayside gave me so much hope!  I’ve been making friends and learning lots of new stuff.  So now I’m ready for you!  And believe me; the family that finally decides to adopt me will be mighty lucky indeed. I’m still learning all about life and where I fit in, so I’m a work in progress.  But I’ve come so far so fast, with just a little love and attention.  When I got to Wayside, I didn’t know how to walk on my leash at all and I was panicky and afraid to even try.  But with patience and time, I’m getting the hang of it.  I’m still a little skittish when I see others during my walk and sometimes I weave back and forth, but I walk fine and I don’t pull at all on my leash.  I like to check in with you to make sure you’re there.  Your encouragement gives me confidence and makes me feel content.  I hope to practice my leash skills with a daily walk through our neighborhood.  Once I know the routine, I’ll get more comfortable and confident.  I love to explore and check out my surroundings.  And after my exercise, there is nothing I want more than to snuggle with you.  I’ll even crawl up in your lap if you let me!  I just like to be as close as possible to show you how much you mean to me. I’m one smart cookie, so I hope you don’t mind taking the time to continue my training.  I love to make you happy and proud, so once I figure out exactly what that means, I’ll be all over it!  I can be sensitive, so please stay positive with me and praise me when I’m a good boy, so that I learn what you expect from me.  I’m generally relaxed and playful with other friendly dogs.  If you need a playmate for your current dog, I might be a good match for you. I have a delightful, loving personality and it feels natural for me to work my way right into your heart.  You’ll know what I mean when you come out to meet me.  I just want to belong and be a part of a real family.  That’s all.  I’m ready and I’m waiting for you now.”

Learn more about Tuffy here.

You can meet all of our adoptable Waifs during the adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.


Jun 1 2018

Long-Term Residents: Ellery and Oreo

It’s that time again for a monthly segment of our long-term residents. A long-term resident is someone who has been here at least thirty days or longer, and we try to narrow it down to some who have been here even longer. Last month we featured Edna and Jammers, and they are both still looking for their forever homes! This month, we are going to feature Ellery and Oreo.

“Purrleased to meet you! My name is Ellery and I’m a gorgeous two-year-old Maine Coon mix with fluffy, orange fur. You see, it’s not often that you find a female orange tabby. I’m extra special! I’m looking to find a family who is just as special as I am. I’m hoping to find a quiet home with an adopter who will groom me regularly. If I’m not brushed often, my regal orange fur can get a little out of control. I enjoy being brushed and it’ll be great time for you and I to bond. Around here they call me a Sidekick. That means I’m a confident kitty who’ll stick by your side no matter what life throws our way. I enjoy being pet after I’ve had a chance to sniff out a new situation. I have a great purr! I’d love to show you! Being at Wayside has been great and I’ve made a lot of new friends. I can’t help but dream of having my own home to relax in. I can’t wait to find a family who I can love forever and ever. If you’re looking for a sweet best friend, look no further. I can’t wait to show you how great I am.”

Learn more about Ellery here. She also has a video, which you can view here.

“Hi there, I’m Oreo!  I’m happy, smart, affectionate, and I like to stay busy.  I’m always game for a good time!  And I’m looking for a brand new family who wants to play and snuggle and hang out with me.  I hope that’s you!  I hope that maybe you’re looking for me now, just as I’m searching for you.  I can’t wait for our paths to cross. I’m a darling, 1 year old, 40 pound sweetheart of a dog with shiny fur and gentle brown eyes.  I’m already fully housebroken and crate trained too, although I’m so well behaved that a crate isn’t really necessary for me.  I came to Wayside as a stray, after I was found sad and alone by a nice couple who rescued me.  But I was so afraid at the shelter.  It was a confusing time for me and I panicked whenever anyone came near me with a leash or collar.  I’m so happy that there were people here who understood dogs like me and they never gave up on me.  I slowly started to trust and I made progress each day, until one day when my favorite volunteer became my foster mom.  That was the best day ever!  Now I’m busy learning all about life in a real home as part of a family…and I’ve never been happier! After such a rough start at the shelter, it’s pretty incredible how quickly I’ve adapted into a happy, affectionate dog who loves to have my belly rubbed.  From the start, Foster Mom let me go at my own pace and she gave me the time and patience I needed to feel safe and relaxed.  She is quick to praise me when I’m a good boy, so that I learn what’s expected of me as I continue to gain confidence.  I still feel nervous sometimes when I meet new people, but once we bond, I’m a wonderful companion.  Foster Mom has a dog door and I love the freedom of being able to decide when I want to go outside.  I’m fully housebroken and I don’t bother a thing in the house, even when no one is home.  I have a crate and sometimes I like to hang out there with the door open.  I’m very well behaved in both my home and fenced in yard.  I love car rides and toys, I don’t bark excessively, and I’m not a clingy sort of dog who needs to be with you all the time, although I will happily come to you when you call.  I’m just a really nice and compatible dog to have around. I’m young and active, so I will need daily exercise in my new home.  I love to go walking or jogging and I’ve been practicing my leash skills.  Sometimes I still feel a little anxious when getting leashed up, but with practice, I’ve become more comfortable each day.  A harness also works great for me during walks.  I’ve had two different foster homes.  One of them had other dogs that I loved to run and play with.  We mostly got along, although sometimes I felt possessive of my toys.  I am the only dog in my current foster home and I like that just fine too.  Since I can be fearful, especially at first, I will need a home without kids under the age of at least 10.  Why don’t you bring the whole family to meet me and we can make sure we’re all a good match for each other. Sometimes all you need in life is for someone to believe in you.  I never knew how that felt until now.  And because of what I’ve learned, I’m ready for you.  I hope you’re ready for me too and I hope you need a dog just like me in your life.”

Learn more about Oreo here. He also has a video, which you can view here.

You can meet all of our adoptable Waifs during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.


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