What should I do if I’ve been bitten by an animal?

Seek medical attention if necessary. Call the Health Department at 785-229-3530 to file a report. Call Animal Control at 785-242-2561 to contain the animal for rabies observation.

Why should I spay/neuter my animal?

Simply put, there are just not enough homes! Currently 7,000,000 animals are euthanized in the United States each year because there are not enough homes for all the animals born.


Additionally, spayed/neutered animals live longer, healthier, happier lives as they are at decreased risk of developing cancers associated with the reproductive organs. Spayed females no longer experience a heat cycle and neutered males are less likely to roam, mark territory, or get into fights.


Do I have to spay/neuter an animal I adopt from the shelter?

No, all of our pets are already spayed/neutered prior to adoption.

What if the animal I adopt is injured or becomes ill after adoption?

While no animal would be adopted out without disclosure of a known medical condition, all costs, veterinary and otherwise, are the responsibility of the adopter after the adoption is finalized. Protecting your new family member’s health with Pet Insurance makes it easy to give them the best medical care while protecting your bank account from unexpected, and expensive, veterinary bills.

Why is indoors the most appropriate housing for cats?

Health Concerns (from Americanhumane.org)



The American Feral Cat Coalition estimates that there are approximately 60 million feral and homeless stray cats living in the U.S. Many of these cats may carry diseases that can be passed on to your cat if he or she comes into contact with them. A number of these diseases can be serious or potentially fatal. Common examples include:

  • feline leukemia (FeLV)

  • feline AIDS (FIV)

  • FIP (feline infectious peritonitis)

  • feline distemper (panleukopenia)

  • upper respiratory infections (or URI)


While usually not life-threatening for cats, several common parasites can be picked up by your kitty when venturing outdoors, including:

  • fleas

  • ticks

  • ear mites

  • intestinal worms

  • ringworm (a fungal infection)

These parasites can cause a variety of moderate to severe symptoms, such as scratching, skin infections, vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, these creepy crawlies can hitch a ride into your home and infect your family. Parasites can be very difficult to eradicate from your pet, from humans and from your home.


If You Decide to Let Your Cat Outside:


Protect your kitty from other cats. Keep her on a leash or secured in a cage or other confined space where she can’t get out (and other cats can’t get in).
Make sure an adult supervises your kitty’s outdoor time to ensure strays cannot come into contact with her.
Take her to the veterinarian at least once every year for lifesaving vaccines, as well as parasite screening and treatment.


Safety Concerns
A major consideration for cat lovers thinking about letting their cat venture outdoors is safety.  In addition to the risks posed by fellow cats, other potential hazards that can seriously threaten your cat’s well-being — and even her life – include:




Contrary to popular belief, cats do not have the innate instinct to avoid busy streets, and they frequently get hit by cars.


Animal cruelty:


Roaming cats may be at risk for animal cruelty. Sadly, some people have been known to shoot cats with BB guns or arrows, while some cats end up being trapped, abused and killed in the name of “sport” or “for fun.”


Loose dogs and wild animals:


We may think of our feisty felines as good hunters who are capable of taking care of themselves with sharp teeth and claws. Unfortunately, cats may be good hunters, but they also often wind up being hunted. Cats are commonly attacked by loose dogs and wild animals, such as coyotes, raccoons, foxes and even alligators (depending on where they live). Injuries from wild animal and stray dog attacks are very serious and often fatal.


Toxins and poisons: Outside cats also face danger from coming into contact with toxins, such as antifreeze, that are often ingested because they have a pleasant taste. Cats may also end up accidentally exposed to rodent poisons when they hunt and eat rodents that have recently ingested poison bait.


Trees: Trees can be a source of some danger for cats who climb to a place where they are afraid or unable to climb down. In some cases, they may be up in a tree for days until they become so severely dehydrated and weak that they fall and suffer severe, serious or fatal injuries.


Killing birds and small animals:


A cat’s prey drive is so strong that even well-fed cats may naturally enjoy hunting birds or other small animals. Although the impact made by one cat might not seem like a big deal, it is important to think about the total impact of all the cats who are allowed outside. Loose cats are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of birds each year, yet birds are believed to be only 20 percent of the wildlife stray cats kill. Birds are especially at risk around homes with feeders and birdbaths.

What do I need to do to reclaim my cat or dog from the Shelter?

If you know your pet is safe at Prairie Paws Animal Shelter you need to reclaim your animal as soon as possible. The Kansas State Statue indicates the stray hold period is 3 days before the pet is put up for adoption.  Please go to prairiepaws.org and click book an appointment to set up a pickup time. There will be fees involved. Some proof of ownership is required.  Remember each year to have your pet’s microchip scanned to make sure it is still working.

Why is there an adoption fee?

 The adoption fee helps to cover these costs and the additional costs associated with veterinary care, feeding, housing, grooming, and otherwise caring for all of the animals in our Shelter.



Are you a no-kill shelter?

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter operates as a no kill facility.  Prairie Paws defines no-kill as saving both healthy and treatable dogs and cats, with euthanasia reserved only for unhealthy or untreatable animals.

We do not euthanize animals for the purpose of space. Incoming animals are scheduled by appointment. If space is not currently available at our shelter, we must delay the intake of animals until space becomes available.

There are absolutely no time limits for animals at our shelter. Animals remain available for adoption as long as they remain physically and mentally healthy, and of sound temperament. We do at times transfer animals that have been awaiting adoption for over a long period of time to other shelters or rescues in hope that a change of location may increase their chance of being adopted.

We provide medical care for animals with ailments such as, upper respiratory infections, mange, allergies, Ringworm and urinary tract infections. We rely on our vet partners for surgeries and treatment for other expensive conditions such as heart worm disease. We also rely on the skills of our volunteer veterinarians (we do not have a veterinarian on staff nor can we offer vet services to the public) for determining the health condition and appropriate medical treatment for the animals.

Our animals are evaluated to determine adoptability based on their behavior and temperament. Animals that have aggressive tendencies or are behaviorally unsound and not safe to be in a public setting are humanely euthanized. We believe it is important to provide behaviorally sound, healthy, nonaggressive animals to the individuals and families who adopt from our shelter.

If you find a stray how long do you hold it?

The Kansas State Statue indicates we hold all stray animals for three business days waiting to be reclaimed. After that time, animals are evaluated to ensure that they are suitable for adoption.

Do you pick up stray animals?

No, we are unable to offer this service. You must contact your local law enforcement agency.


Are you funded by the state or other government entity?

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter is contracted with the City of Ottawa and Franklin County to house stray dogs and cats. This represents 10% of our budget.  Our program revenue represents another 23% while we have to fundraise 67% of $930,000 per year to support our operations. (5.20.20)

Do you board animals?

No. We do not have space or a boarding license to board privately owned pets. Check online under boarding kennels or ask your veterinarian, friends and family for recommendations.

How do I Protect Myself From Dog Bites?

Tips to prevent dog bites:

Never approach a dog you don’t know or a dog that is alone without its owner, especially if the dog is behind a fence, tied with a rope or chain, or in a parked car.

Never approach a dog that is eating, sleeping or guarding something. Dogs naturally guard their puppies, food, bones and toys.

Never chase or tease dogs. Don’t poke, hit, pull, or pinch a dog.

Always ask the owner’s permission before petting a dog.

Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.

If attacked, give the dog an object, such as a jacket or backpack to bite or chew on.

If you are approached by a dog who may attack you, follow these steps:

Resist the impulse to scream and run away.

Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.

Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight.

If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.

If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.

Where can I get low cost Spay / Neutering?

Do you know about Pet Resource Center of Kansas City (AKA Spay and Neuter Kansas City (SNKC) – It is a 501c3 organization, formed in 2002 with a primary goal of promoting affordable spay and neuter services to help decrease pet overpopulation in the Kansas City area, but they will also spay and neuter pets outside of the KC area as well. Their primary focus is reducing the surplus of pets that are at highest risk of contributing to pet overpopulation and service those pet owners who cannot otherwise afford such services.

If you are finding the prices of spay and neutering your pet too high for your budget in the area you are in, please think about calling Spay and Neuter Kansas City and making an appointment. They are a little bit of drive but if it is going to save you a hundred dollars and help the pet population in your area isn’t it worth it? Tell them Prairie Paws Animal Shelter sent you.

Pet Resource Center of Kansas City (AKA Spay & Neuter Kansas City (SNKC)

1116 E. 59th Street
(NE Corner 59th and Troost)
PO Box 410303, Kansas City, MO 64141
Ph: 816-353-0940 | Fx: 816-523-0887


Low Cost Spay/Neuter Options:

1) Pawprints on the Heartland – mobile van services: Pawprints operates in five counties in Southeast Kansas and two counties in Missouri. https://www.facebook.com/pawprintsontheheartland/

2) Pet Resource Center of Kansas City (AKA Spay & Neuter Kansas City)
1116 E. 59th Street
(NE Corner 59th and Troost)
PO Box 410303, Kansas City, MO 64141
Ph: 816-353-0940 | Fx: 816-523-0887

3) The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City
5445 Parallel Parkway
Kansas City, KS 66104
phone: 913-596-1000
fax: 913-596-2483

4) Lawrence Humane Society 
1805 E 19th Street
Lawrence, KS 66046

5) NAWS Spay/Neuter Clinic
3400 NW Vivion Road
Riverside, MO 64150

6) STOPP Animal Clinic
9909 East 63rd Street
Raytown, MO 64113

7) Bannister Veterinary Clinic
8201 E. 87th St.
Raytown, MO

What is the difference between a “feral” cat and a “stray” cat?

Feral cats are typically cats that were born outdoors and have never had any kind of human contact other than the occasional person who feeds the neighborhood cats. They tend to pick an area and form a sort of “colony” of cats. Feral cats over the age of 8-10 weeks old are not likely to become tame house cats. They were born and raised in the outdoors and are better left there. Even better if they are caught spay/neuter and returned to their colony location. If you remove the feral cats permanently from the location more ferals will just move in.

Stray cats are classified as cats who have been abandoned, dumped on the street, or have become lost and never found their was home. These cats are more often than not, friendly cats that just need a family to take them in. These cats are an adoptable pet. We charge a reasonable adoption fee to cover some of the costs we incur when we vet these adoptable cats. We only intake adoptable cats.

Do You Have a Vet on Staff? Can I Bring You An Injured Animal?

We do not have a vet on staff. Please bring injured animals to your local vet, we can not provide services to injured animals. Most vets have emergency phone numbers for off hour emergencies.

I Found Kittens, Now What?

Remember if you find neonate kittens (under 4 weeks) don’t scoop them up. That’s a common mistake people make. Odds are the Mother is around and can be gone up to 6 hours. Best chance for those kittens to survive in regard to health is to let the Mom take care of them until they are ready to eat on their own.

It is estimated that over 20 million kittens are born during this time. If you are interested in fostering bottle babies (2-3 weeks old and need to be fed every 2 – 3 hours) or kittens (older than 3 weeks) that are not quite ready to hit the adoption floor because their immune systems need to still grow big and strong send us an email at info@prairiepaws.org We NEED fosters to care for the kittens in their homes because their immune systems are not ready to tackle shelter life.

Any donation of heating pads and kitten feeding bottles is greatly appreciated.