Thelma is one of 10 “known owner” dogs that were not reclaimed this week.
She is an 80-pound American Bully and a social butterfly who loves everyone she meets. With her charming personality and gentle nature, Thelma has won the hearts of many, both human and canine alike.
This lovable pooch has a knack for making friends wherever she goes. Her friendly demeanor and wagging tail instantly put people at ease, making her a favorite among friends, family, and even strangers. Thelma’s warm and welcoming nature makes her the life of the party, always ready to bring joy and laughter to any gathering.
When it comes to other dogs, Thelma is a true ambassador of friendship. She has a remarkable ability to get along with her fellow canines, making her a great companion for playdates and doggy social events. Whether it’s a game of fetch or a romp in the park, Thelma’s playful spirit shines through, creating lasting bonds with her furry friends.
Thelma’s good behavior extends beyond her social skills. She is a dream to walk on a leash, making strolls through the neighborhood a breeze. With her calm and composed demeanor, she walks by your side, never pulling or causing any trouble. Thelma’s leash manners are a testament to her well-rounded and obedient nature.
One of Thelma’s greatest joys in life is playing with toys. From squeaky balls to plush stuffed animals, she delights in the simple pleasure of a good game. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she’ll happily entertain herself or engage in playtime with her human companions. Thelma’s playful nature brings a sense of joy and liveliness to any environment.
But amidst all the fun and games, Thelma has a soft spot for belly rubs. She absolutely adores the feeling of gentle strokes on her tummy, and it’s guaranteed to put a smile on her face. Thelma’s love for belly rubs is a testament to her affectionate nature and her desire for human connection.
If you would like more information or to schedule a meet and greet, please get in touch with Midwest Animal ResQ in Raytown, Missouri.
We recently connected with Erin Morse and have shared our conversation below.
Erin, so good to have you with us today. We’ve always been impressed with folks who have a very clear sense of purpose and so maybe we can jump right in and talk about how you found your purpose?
Discovering my purpose to establish a non-profit animal rescue has a been a transformative journey. Despite having a successful and financially rewarding career in automotive software, I felt an ever-growing sense of emptiness. Something within me was not being satisfied despite the accolades I was achieving within my career. To help fill this sense of emptiness I decided to get a dog. I am a researcher by nature, so I started learning about what kind of dog would best suit my lifestyle, and in doing so stumbled across how many homeless pets there were here in the KC metro. I dug a little deeper and learned that Missouri is the puppymill capital of the world, with over 30% of the nations mills located here, I had no prior knowledge in animal care, heck I had never even owned a dog before, I just knew I needed to be part of the solution, I needed to be their voice. Thus, I adopted my first dog, and dipped my toe in the world of animal advocacy. Advocating for those that have no voice gave me the sense of purpose and passion I had been yearning for. So the time came to overcome the fear of the unknown and make the courageous decision to leave behind the comfortable lucrative career and dedicate myself wholeheartedly to the cause of animal welfare, I can honestly say I have never looked back, and with every step forward in this new direction, I am motivated by the fact that every animal deserves love, care, and a chance at a compassionate home. Though the road I have chosen is a challenging one, I am determined to make a lasting impact.
Thanks for sharing that. So, before we get any further into our conversation, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and what you’re working on?
Midwest Animal ResQ is unique! We are small enough to get to know all of our animals really well, but large enough to have a great selection of companion animals. We employ the highest number of staff per animal in the metro, which means not only do our animals get a high level of care, they also spend a tremendous amount of time outdoors, on walks, and in play groups. We get to know our animals really well, so we can do a better job matching them with potential families. We also offer fostering, trial adoptions, and doggie day outs, so families can get to know all sorts of pets to assure they find the perfect match for their families. We are passionate about the animals in our care, but we are passionate about people as well, our mission is completing families, one tail at a time!
There is so much advice out there about all the different skills and qualities folks need to develop in order to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment and often it can feel overwhelming. So, if we had to break it down to just the three that matter most, which three skills or qualities would you focus on?
Compassion- This is a personal journey that involves kindness and understanding, not just of others…but for yourself as well. Acknowledge shortcomings in yourself and others and give them grace. Offer support and encouragement not judgment, Active listening to ensure that you really understand the struggles of others and empathize with their journey. Just being present and attentive, and showing genuine interest in people’s experiences, is often enough for people to feel heard and valued.
Leadership- This is SO important, even more so in a non-profit. You must be able to communicate your vision in a clear and concise way and get people excited about it. You need to know when to be inspirational, when to be motivational, and when to be transactional. You need to know when to jump in and get your hands dirty, and when to stand back and let your team soar. Leadership is understanding that no task is beneath you, but all employees should look up to you. You must always lead with integrity and demonstrate ethical behavior. Hold strong to your moral compass, and make all decisions based on what is best for the whole, respect will follow
Adaptability- My industry, like so many others is changing rapidly. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and solve problems on the fly is crucial when starting, and growing, any business. As an entrepreneur, i’ve encountered countless setbacks and obstacles along the way. Being adaptable has allowed me to pivot and embrace those obstacles and turn them into potential opportunities. Take the time to analyze all the data, and make an informed data driven decision based mostly and on facts with a little conjecture, block out the chatter.
Is there a particular challenge you are currently facing?
The biggest challenge I am facing right now is a national animal sheltering challenge. The number of homeless animals has increased exponentially across the country over the prior year. The sheer volume of stray animals, combined with several other factors like housing insecurity, a national veterinarian shortage and inflation, has led to the perfect storm within the animal welfare industry, resulting in unprecedented numbers of animals entering shelters across the country.
These Kansas City area animal shelters are in crisis. Here’s how you can help by Eric Adler (KC STAR)
The Kansas City area’s animal shelters, overwhelmed since COVID, have hundreds of dogs up for adoption. The situation at KC Pet Project in Kansas City has become so critical that the shelter has now felt forced to euthanize dogs for reasons that go beyond obvious illness or severe behavioral issues such as unresolvable biting or aggression.
Leaders at several Kansas City area shelters offer ways the public can help ease the kennel crisis:
How you can help
▪ Adopt. Every area shelter posts online photos and stories of pets that need homes. See the list of shelters below.
▪ Foster. Volunteers willing to take larger dogs are in special need.
▪ Volunteer. More animals mean shelters need more help with tasks such as walking dogs or special events.
▪ Help lost animals get back home. If you find a stray, post about it on social media and on sites like Nextdoor, Facebook or Instagram. Getting them home on your own helps keep animals out of already-packed shelters.
▪ Donate. Greater need requires more resources, such as towels to clean up after cats and dogs, medicines and food. At KC Pet Project, the things most needed are kitten supplies, large and extra-large wire kennels, soft treats, and new or used leashes. KC Pet Project publishes its own online wish list. So do Great Plains SPCA and others. Money is always appreciated.
Kansas City area animal shelters
▪ KC Pet Project, 7077 Elmwood Ave., 816-683-1383, kcpetproject.org
▪ Wayside Waifs, 3901 Martha Truman Road, 816-761-8151, waysidewaifs.org
Great Plains SPCA, 5424 Antioch Drive, Merriam, 913- 831-7722, greatplainsspca.org
▪ Melissa’s Second Chances, 11015 W. 75th St., Shawnee, 913-364-1822, mscrescue.org
▪ Human Society of Greater Kansas City, 5445 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas, 913-596-1000, hsgkc.org
▪ Midwest Animal ResQ, 10312 E. 63rd St., Raytown, 816-919-1364, midwestanimalresq.org
▪ Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter, 1356 Highway 9, Parkville, 816-587-0918, parkvilleshelter.com
▪ City of Liberty Animal Shelter, 2801 Riverview Road, Liberty, 816-439-4791, libertymissouri.gov.
▪ Independence Animal Services, 21001 E. Highway 78, Independence, 816-325-7207, ci.ndependence.mo.us.
When Little Buddy was picked up off the streets of Raytown, Missouri, and brought to Midwest Animal ResQ, he looked like most of the other strays.
“He was dirty but otherwise healthy,” Erin Morse, founding director of Midwest Animal ResQ, told The Dodo. “He was a little scared at the shelter but quickly melted the hearts of staff and volunteers here.”
And whether he knew it or not, Little Buddy also had a secret — he’d been missing for six years.
Little Buddy wasn’t at all afraid of the people working at the shelter and was ready to make emotional connections right when he got there.
“He would whine and paw at the cage door anytime someone would walk by, wanting to be let out,” Morse said. “He had all the humans here wrapped around his paw pretty quickly.”
Prior to arriving at Midwest Animal ResQ, the animal control officers who found Little Buddy realized he was microchipped. They began sending chip alerts to the attached contact information, but those alerts initially went unanswered.
“His owners originally thought the email alerts were a scam because so much time had passed,” Morse said. “Once we actually called the prior owner on the phone and told him we had his dog, he was over the moon.”
“When we heard he had been missing for nearly six years and he was so far from home, we couldn’t believe it!” she added.
Little Buddy was adopted from a rescue organization in 2017 and lived with his dad outside of Springfield, Missouri, until he went missing. According to local news station KMBC, his dad put up fliers and drove around the neighborhood looking for him without any luck — and no one contacted him using Little Buddy’s microchip information, either.
So when Midwest Animal ResQ reached out, Little Buddy’s dad immediately hopped in the car and made the four-hour drive to reunite with his long-lost pup. And when the two met again, it was like no time had passed at all.
“Little Buddy went straight to his dad, and his little tail wagged so fast!” Morse said. “As soon as he got a good sniff and heard his dad’s voice, he immediately started licking his face. By that point, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.”
It’s not often the team at Midwest Animal ResQ gets to be a part of such a positive experience, making this reunion extra special.
“It really warmed our hearts to see such a lovely reunion with someone who had never given up hope on finding their Little Buddy,” Morse said. “It made it even better that Buddy’s dad felt so passionate about animal adoption and microchipping. It was almost too good to be true!”
Morse said that Little Buddy’s story is the perfect example of why it’s so important to microchip your pets, “and most importantly, to keep your contact information up to date, no matter how long your pet might be missing."
And if you’re the parent of a missing pup, Morse thinks that Little Buddy’s story is one of hope and possibility. She said, “Never give up hope that one day your Little Buddy might be found!”
‘Heartbreaking’: Stolen Raytown dog found dead in Leavenworth, animal shelter says, By BY Bill Lukitsch (KC Star)
One of three dogs reported stolen from a Raytown animal shelter over Labor Day weekend was found dead in Leavenworth, the service organization said Wednesday. In a statement on Facebook, the animal shelter, Midwest Animal ResQ, provided the “heartbreaking” update, saying the American Bully had been found dead the night before. Shelter leaders said the case was an incredibly difficult one for its staff and all involved.
The three dogs were reported stolen before daybreak Saturday morning after Raytown police responded to a burglary alarm at the shelter to find the back door forced open. All were American Bullies, including one that recently underwent a surgical procedure and needed medical attention. Shelter leaders have pleaded with the public to help get the dogs back by assisting Raytown police. Meanwhile, the rescue shelter is still offering a $5,000 “no questions asked” reward for the safe return of the two surviving animals.
“These dogs are truly in danger, and someone must know their whereabouts,” the shelter said in the Facebook post. Anyone with information on the canines’ whereabouts is asked to the Raytown Police Department at 816-737-6020 or the shelter at 816-919-1364.
NEWSKANSAS CITY PUBLIC SAFETY 3 dogs stolen early Saturday morning from Midwest Animal ResQ, by KSHB 41
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Midwest Animal ResQ of Raytown is asking for the public’s help to recover three dogs that were stolen early Saturday morning.
Raytown police report officers were dispatched around 5:35 a.m. to the shelter at 10312 E. 63rd St.
The burglary of the dogs resulted in damage to a door, door jam and fence, which the shelter tells KSHB 41 News will be costly to repair.
More importantly, the shelter says it is worried about the safety of the dogs, all American Bullies.
The two gray dogs recently had surgery and the red dog requires medication for an infection.
Midwest Animal ResQ says the shelter’s security cameras captured the incident, telling KSHB 41 the theft was quick and may have lasted around two minutes with police arriving around 10 minutes after the crime occurred
Further, the shelter said there is reason to believe a white Hummer was involved.
All three dogs came to the shelter on Aug. 25. Since then, the shelter says one person tried to reclaim them but did not want to pay the associated animal control fees.
At this time, no persons are in custody.
Anyone with information is asked to call the shelter at 816-919-1364, TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477 and/or Raytown police at 816-737-6020.
Woman charged with animal abuse, neglect after 53 dogs are rescued in Missouri, By Emily Rittman KCTV 5
JOHNSON COUNTY, Mo. (KCTV) - A woman is facing animal abuse and neglect charges after 53 dogs were rescued from a property in northwest Johnson County, Missouri.
Midwest Animal ResQ, Old Drum Animal Shelter and Risen from the Ashes are caring for the dogs that were removed from the property.
“They were living in deplorable conditions,” said Midwest Animal ResQ Founding Director Erin Morse. “When you’ve got 50-some-odd animals coming out of one location, it’s a big undertaking.”
According to court records, investigators received an anonymous call about neglected animals at Merna Scarborough’s property in Pleasant Hill. When investigators went to the property, they say they found severely ill dogs outside of the home and could hear dogs barking inside of the house.
“When you see them living in squalor, it is heartbreaking. There were a lot of dead animals on the property that we didn’t get there soon enough to help,” Morse said. “To somebody who has dedicated their life to animal welfare, it takes a toll.”
Court records state several dogs were diagnosed with sarcoptic mange and were in severe conditions with hair loss, open wounds, scabs and scarring. One German Shepherd was emaciated to the point it could not stand properly and had one-inch wide, deep wounds on its hind limbs consistent with being in a kennel for long periods of time.
“A lot of them had communicable diseases. Zoonotic diseases so those are contagious to humans, not just to other dogs,” Morse said. “They had different types of mange and parasites.”
A search warrant was executed at the property. According to charging documents, the home was covered in dog feces and urine, and the living conditions were not sanitary or safe for animals or humans.
Scarborough is charged with two counts of animal abuse and two counts of animal neglect or abandonment.
The dozens of dogs are being cared for by Midwest Animal ResQ, Old Drum Animal Shelter and Risen From the Ashes until the animals can be cleared for foster and adoption.
“All three of us are in the same boat needing donations, adoptions and fosters,” Morse said. “The need is everywhere. We will absolutely need forever homes once our goal of getting them healthy and happy is reached.”
Animal rescue advocates hope additional charges will be filed. They say animal abuse and neglect are far too common in Missouri.
“As certain breeds become more popular, there are unscrupulous people out there trying to make a quick dollar at the expense of the animals,” Morse said. “My preference is that everyone is able to adopt but, if you are going to purchase a pup, there are reputable breeders out there. If they won’t let you come to their house or meet the parents, those are all big red flags.”
Raytown animal shelter out $30K due to stolen check
By: Andres Gutierrez
Posted at 9:21 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 10:13 PM, Jun 15, 2022
RAYTOWN, Mo. — An animal shelter in Raytown is trying to figure out how to cover expenses after thieves targeted them.
Erin Morse wears many hats at "Midwest Animal ResQ."
The shelter's founding director's latest challenge is to come up with almost $30,000 stolen from the nonprofit's bank account.
"We don't even make that at one of our largest fundraisers of the year," Morse said.
She recently dropped off a check at one of the mail collection boxes at the USPS Post Office located at 10501 E 63rd St.
"Rather than leaving it in a normal mailbox where people can just open it," Morse said. "That's why we take the extra step to put our mail at the post office assuming that those are safe."
But the check never reached its final destination, so she did a "stop payment" on it.
Then, Morse learned this week that someone wrote three fraudulent checks in the amount of $9,400 each, using the animal shelter's routing and bank account number.
"For the last two days, I've been scrambling, trying to figure out how we're going to cover payroll, how we are going to cover vet bills, how we are going to get our account closed and reopened," Morse said.
When she filed a police report, the Raytown Police Department's records clerk wrote to her that they've taken a few reports for stolen checks from that post office.
On social media there are similar tales. Robyn Burky believes her missing check is in the wrong hands.
"I’m really concerned with the fact that somebody could still create fraudulent checks that would hit my account," Burky said.
KSHB 41 News reached out to USPS, who connected us to Paul Shade, a postal inspector out of Overland Park.
He said that USPS is aware of the thefts happening at their 63rd street branch in Raytown.
According to Shade, there's a team of about a dozen postal inspectors looking into such cases across the Kansas City area.
People can report mail theft to USPS by calling 1-877-876-2455 and clicking option #3.
They can also do so online at usps.com/postal inspectors, or on the Postal Inspection Service website.
In addition, they'll also want to reach out to local authorities.
Victims believe USPS isn't doing enough to solve the problem and is failing its customers.
"I certainly think so. I mean, if we're giving them directly to the post office, and those checks are somehow getting put in the hands of criminals, then I would say absolutely," Morse said.
Burky agreed with Morse.
"It doesn't seem like a solution is taking place and so yeah, they're certainly letting us down," she said. "You know, residents want to be able to trust the postal service and rely on them."
"Frankly, I don't know the safest way to send mail at this point," Morse said.
Shade also shared this statement with KSHB 41 News:
"The U.S. Postal Service delivers almost 130 billion pieces of mail a year to over 163 million customers at some of the most affordable postal rates in the world. Postal Inspectors are the federal law enforcement branch that is in place to investigate reports of Mail Theft and other crimes that are related to the mail."
Kansas City-Based Pet Insurance Company Donates $130,500 to Local Animal Rescue Shelters, 15 and the Mahomies Foundation
KANSAS CITY, Aug. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Companion Protect, a leading pet health insurance company based in Kansas City, today presented a check for $130,510.09 to eight local animal shelters and the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation. The check represents proceeds from the sold-out 2020 Kansas City Pet Calendar.
The Pet Calendar project was the first in a partnership with Companion Protect brand ambassador Brittany Matthews and featured 14 members of the NFL champion Kansas City Chiefs, as well as 14 local shelter dogs.
“The project was a touchdown from the beginning,” said Companion Protect CEO Casey Masters. “We wanted to ensure our donation had a significant impact on the lives of shelter animals in our hometown. A big thanks to everyone who purchased the calendar and supported this effort, I’m confident we succeeded.”
Matthews and her boyfriend Patrick Mahomes were featured on the cover of the calendar along with their dogs Silver and Steel. All proceeds from the calendar were earmarked to bring awareness to local shelters and the pets that need homes.
Matthews is a fitness trainer, business owner and a former professional soccer player, and a proud advocate for animal rights and safety.
“Companion Protect shares my passion as an advocate for animals,” said Matthews. “This donation is just the beginning of what we can do together in this community to make animals' lives better.”
The proceeds from the calendar are being distributed to eight local animal shelters: KC Pet Project, Wayside Waifs, Great Plains SPCA, the Greater Humane Society of Kansas City, Midwest Animal ResQ, Central Missouri Humane Society, Mission Driven and Melissa's Second Chances, along with the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation.
Local animal shelters have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adapting to a virtual environment has meant increased costs and fewer funds available as shelters address the challenges of caring for and placing pets into loving homes durgin the pandemic.
“We hope this donation will make a real difference for local shelters,” Masters continued. “We’re grateful for our team’s work, our ambassador, Brittany, and all those who supported the project and purchased calendars. Your donations mean more than you know.”
By: Cat Reid
Posted at 12:17 PM, Mar 17, 2020
RAYTOWN, Mo. — A van used by Midwest Animal ResQ to transport pets and supplies was stolen Tuesday morning and later found destroyed, according to the organization.
According to a Facebook post from the group, security cameras captured a black Pontiac pulling into the shelter's parking lot on 63rd Street in Raytown around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. Several people got out, broke the windows of the 2014 Ford van, hotwired the vehicle and drove off, the post said.
Midwest Animal ResQ (MARQ) posted around 11 a.m. Tuesday that the van had been found, but it was set on fire and is a total loss.
The vehicle was located at 12th Street and Ball Lane in Kansas City, Kansas.
"I don't know how we will get much-needed pet supplies out to our community, I don't know how we will transport pets in need, I don't know how we will afford a replacement when we are already struggling with no fundraising and adoption events," wrote MARQ founder and director Erin Morse. "All I can say is I'm heartbroken."
According to the group, the van was insured, but the monetary value won't cover the actual replacement amount, and the deductible is high.
This is the second rescue group to have a vehicle stolen this year.
In February,someone stole Unleashed Pet Rescue's van from the shelter's parking lot in Mission. Four dogs were inside at the time.
The van was later found in KCK with all of the dogs still inside.