Safety Net Programs

Helping Pets and Owners

The Kentucky Humane Society is a leader in “pet safety net programs,” which provide assistance to pet owners so they can keep their beloved pets. When pets stay in their homes and out of shelters, everyone wins: the pet who doesn’t want to leave, their owner who loves them, and the shelter that can focus on animals who truly need the help. Here are just a few ways we are assisting pets and the people who love them.

Beloved Dogs Stay in Their Home

When Linda Spencer contacted KHS, she was ready to surrender her dog. Molly was a rambunctious Pit Bull/Hound mix who could knock Linda down and who was a destructive chewer. In addition, Molly was not spayed, and male dogs were very interested in her. Linda could not afford puppies or the spay procedure.

KHS Pet Help Line Coordinator Shelby Schulz spoke to Linda about her issues with Molly. As they talked, Shelby learned more about Linda and Linda’s other dog, Mickey, a neutered Chihuahua whom Linda adopted after his owner died. Shelby learned that Mickey was a door darter who, in the past, had been turned in as a stray to local shelters numerous times.
Shelby believes in establishing relationships with her callers. She has found that listening and learning more about the person and the issue sometimes brings to light possible solutions.

Shelby offered Linda a free voucher for Molly’s spay surgery and gave Linda a crate to use for crate training. Shelby also offered Linda advice for Mickey’s door-darter ways and provided collars and identification tags for both dogs.

After Molly’s spay surgery and with crate training, Linda feels she can keep her. “If it weren’t for the help Shelby provided, I don’t think we could have kept Molly, but now we can,” Linda says with relief in her voice.

The KHS Pet Help Line, 502-509-4PET, provides free behavioral advice over the phone and referrals to local pet resources to thousands of local pet owners a year. This proactive pet retention program supports owners so they can keep their pets in their homes and out of shelters. Anyone can call to receive free advice on any pet-related questions.

Senior Gets to Keep Companion

Donna Key was at her wit’s end when she contacted KHS. Donna is a senior citizen living on a fixed income. Her husband passed away several years ago, and she adopted Toby, a Jack Russell Terrier/Beagle mix, to keep her company.

Toby has always been dog reactive, but Donna was not concerned about it when she lived in a house with a yard. Recently, some health complications required she move into a senior living apartment complex. The complex is dog-friendly, and Toby was barking and straining at the leash at other dogs every time she tried to take him for a walk. It was getting to the point that she wasn’t sure she could keep him.

Donna called our Behavior Manager, Kat Rooks, to ask about private training. Living on a fixed income, she couldn’t afford our normal rates. However, grants from the ASPCA gave us funds to help those with limited resources.

“I wish that I had a recording of the joy in her voice when I told her that we would be able to help. We both ended up in tears (happy ones) by the end of the conversation,” says Kat.

Donna and Toby completed two private lessons. She can now walk him through the lobby of her apartment building without issue, and his comfort level with other dogs has improved to the point that he even had a play session with our trainer’s dog. This was the first time Donna had ever seen Toby play with another dog.

Thanks to the ASPCA, we can help families like Donna and Toby. We are grateful for their support.