KHS Celebrates Another Year of Saving Lives
For the third year in a row, more than 6,000 pets found homes through the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS), the state's oldest and largest pet adoption agency.
A total of 6,091 cats and dogs were rehomed by KHS in 2012. This includes 5,908 who were adopted at one of KHS' nine permanent adoption centers and 183 who were transferred to other rescue organizations for specialized placement needs.
"We are so grateful for all the wonderful individuals and families who opened their hearts and homes in 2012," says Susan Oppel, KHS operations director. "Thanks to them, Louisville is becoming a more humane community, and every day becomes brighter for our pets."
The number of pets taken in by KHS decreased for the fourth year in a row, largely because spaying and neutering efforts are working and because of proactive solutions that help keep pets in their homes, according to Lori Redmon, KHS president and CEO.
Spay/Neuter Is Working
"Every year, more and more people in our community are spaying and neutering their pets," says Redmon. "This is leading to fewer unwanted cats and dogs being born, which is leading to fewer pets admitted to local shelters."
In 2012 the Kentucky Humane Society's S.N.I.P. Clinic spayed or neutered 11,038 cats and dogs—1,038 more than the goal. The S.N.I.P. Clinic provides high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for owned pets and community unowned cats (often called feral cats), as well as pets from other shelters that do not have adequate spay/neuter surgery resources.
Keeping Pets in Their Homes
In July KHS launched its Pet Help Line. Any pet owner in the community can call 509-4PET (4738) to receive free advice for common behavior problems. For dogs that need more extensive help, KHS introduced new dog training classes for fearful dogs, dog-aggressive dogs, and dogs that suffer from separation anxiety.
"These efforts are designed to keep pets in their homes and out of area shelters by strengthening the human-animal bond," says Redmon.
Helping Behaviorally and Medically Fragile Pets
KHS also expanded programs to help shelter cats and dogs with behavior issues. Last year 86 cats were adopted through the KHS Working Cats Program. This program places cats who are unsuitable for home adoptions into appropriate indoor/outdoor locations such as barns, garages and warehouses. And last year 86 shelter dogs were adopted after they received behavior modification to teach them manners and appropriate interactions with people and other pets.
KHS also saved the lives of many medically or behaviorally fragile pets. KHS spent more than $24,000 in 2012 for medical treatment or behavior help above-and-beyond normal shelter care. Care was paid for by a special donor-supported fund that is restricted to medical and behavior help for KHS shelter pets.
The Kentucky Humane Society is a local, private nonprofit organization that relies on donations to care for needy cats and dogs from Louisville and surrounding counties. KHS is not a branch or affiliate of any national humane organization and does not receive government funding.