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Mythbusters

How much do you know about the Kentucky Humane Society? This section clears ups common misconceptions about the state's oldest and largest animal welfare agency.

The Myths


Myth: The Kentucky Humane Society is an affiliate of other animal welfare groups.

TRUTH: We are not an affiliate of any other local, regional or national organization.

The Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) is a private, nonprofit organization that advocates the humane treatment of companion animals through leadership and proactive solutions to pet overpopulation, including adoptions, rescue, education and spay/neuter efforts. We do not receive state or federal funding, nor are we an affiliate or branch of any national humane organization.

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Myth: The Kentucky Humane Society and Metro Animal Services are the same organization.

TRUTH: The Kentucky Humane Society and Louisville Metro Animal Services are separate organizations.

KHS is a private, non-profit organization that relies solely on private supporters. Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) is the city government agency and is supported by tax dollars. LMAS has jurisdiction to handle animal control in Metro Louisville, including stray pick-ups, cruelty investigations and licensing. While KHS and LMAS are separate organizations with separate missions, both organizations - along with Alley Cat Advocates - are partners in the ASPCA Partner Community program. More info.

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Myth: Pets have time limits at the Kentucky Humane Society.

TRUTH: There is no time limit for dogs and cats who are up for adoption.

Some pets are adopted within a few hours, while other pets remain in our care for months. If a pet passes our health and temperament evaluations, they will be placed up for adoption at one of our nine adoption sites. All cats and dogs remain available for adoption as long as they remain healthy and behaviorally sound.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (502) 366-3355.

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Myth: The Kentucky Humane Society euthanizes pets for no apparent reason.

TRUTH: We do not euthanasize healthy, temperamentally sound pets.

KHS is committed to saving every healthy, behaviorally sound cat or dog who comes through our doors, and we never euthanize for space, ever. We see pets of all ages, breeds and sizes, as well as varying levels of temperament and health. If a pet passes our health and temperament evaluations, they will be placed up for adoption at one of our nine adoption sites. All adoptable cats and dogs remain in our care until they are adopted.

Unfortunately, some pets do come to us with life-threatening injuries, terminal illnesses or severe behavior problems that keep them from being placed for adoption -- thus requiring they be euthanized.  We humanely euthanize by lethal injection. All animals are treated lovingly by a trained staff member during the entire process.

Our goal is to continue increasing our adoption rate each year until all healthy, temperamentally sound pets in our community find permanent homes. We will accomplish this goal by continuously educating the public on the importance of spay/neuter, selecting the right pet, and the benefits of behavior training.

Learn more about our Euthanasia Policy

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Myth: Most shelter animals have behavior problems.

TRUTH: Most pets do not have behavior problems and make great companions!

Many people seem to believe that the pets (particularly dogs) available for adoption at KHS or other animal shelters are there due to behavioral problems. While it may be one of the top reasons why pets are surrendered, that does NOT mean  these companion animals actually have behavior issues. Many of these "problems" actually are common canine (or feline) behaviors that were not addressed properly by their previous owner.

To help some of the adoptable dogs become the type of pet that adopters prefer, KHS offers a wide variety of in- shelter and other training programs.  They are designed for canines with special behavioral needs, as well as young, energetic dogs who need basic manners training prior to adoption.

Adult animals in our care respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques. "You cannot teach an old dog new tricks" is a false statement. Canine Coach volunteers exercise and socialize our adult dogs, and many of them learn basic commands such as "sit" and "down." It's always important to remember that you need to be consistent, patient and understanding when training any animal.

Sadly, some pets do come to us with very serious behavior problems, such as aggression towards humans. If an animal shows any signs of aggression while in our care, we cannot knowingly adopt out that dog or cat -- it is our social responsibility to only adopt out healthy, temperamentally sound pets. We take our responsibility to the community very seriously. The safety of our staff, volunteers, adopters and other animals is of the utmost importance to us at all times.

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Myth: We handle pet licensing and/or enforce the Metro Louisville animal ordinance.

TRUTH: Licensing and the animal ordinance are handled by the city’s government agency, Metro Animal Services.

Access the Metro Louisville animal ordinance FAQ, as well as review the entire ordinance and fee schedule from Metro Animal Services. You can contact them by calling (502) 363-6609.

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Myth: The Kentucky Humane Society isn't a non-profit and actually makes money from adoptions and other programs.

TRUTH: We are a private, non-profit organization that is fiscally responsible, using your donations to fund our life-saving programs.

The Kentucky Humane Society is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All of the money raised via adoptions, donations, special events and other pet services, like the Pet Resorts, directly fund our lifesaving programs. By using our services, you help us continue serving pets and people via our mission programs, including adoptions, education and spay/neuter efforts.

In 2011 Worth Magazine and Charity Navigator selected KHS as one of the nation's top most fiscally responsible charities. View our Charity Navigator profile and see how our money is spent.

For example, adoption fees help cover the cost of caring for the thousands of homeless animals we serve each year. It costs us approximately $250 to care for each homeless pet that comes through our doors. This includes vet care (spay/neuter, vaccinations, medications and other treatments if needed), food, water, shelter and more.

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Myth: The Kentucky Humane Society is a statewide organization that governs other animal welfare groups in the state and has legal jurisdiction in all counties of the state.

TRUTH: We do not have legal jurisdiction, nor do we govern other Kentucky animal welfare groups.

If you do witness animal abuse, here are some recommendations that may help you:

  • First, if you live in Jefferson County, KY, contact Louisville Metro Animal Services. If you live outside this county, contact your county sheriff's office to report your concerns.
  • Then, contact the local government animal control agency or dog warden to report any concerns. Try the county clerk's office first, if needed.
  • Consider contacting a non-profit animal welfare agency in your county, as they may be able to offer additional help or recommendations. Please click here to access a list of more than 125 animal welfare organizations located in Kentucky.

Unfortunately, Kentucky's animal cruelty laws are relatively weak and poorly-defined compared to other states. We strongly urge people to voice their concerns by contacting their state representatives. Contact information can be located by visiting www.lrc.ky.gov or calling (800) 372-7181. For more information on animal cruelty laws in Kentucky and other states, visit www.hsus.org or www.aspca.org.

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