Pet Service

Admissions FAQ

Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

lake dogAdmissions




What is your admissions policy?

The Kentucky Humane Society will not euthanize pets for space; therefore, we require appointments for admissions. This ensures each incoming pet has a temporary place to call home and receives the attention he or she needs until permanent placement can be found. Priority is given to pets in immediate danger.

The Kentucky Humane Society accepts owner-surrendered pets as space allows by appointment at our Main Campus in south Louisville, 241 Steedly Drive, 502-366-3355. Pets adopted from the Kentucky Humane Society less than 30 days prior have priority status in the admissions process.

We also accept stray dogs and cats as space allows and by appointment; we hold pets for the legally required stray hold period, giving owners the opportunity to reclaim their pets. After the stray hold period has passed, pets that pass our health and behavior assessment are placed for adoption.

There are occasions when KHS is unable to accept a pet. If we are unable to accept a pet, KHS will provide the owner(s) with a list of alternative resources.

KHS is a private nonprofit agency and charges a $40 admissions fee per pet. Discounts are offered for litters.

Owners or finders may choose to receive notice should their pet ever be deemed unadoptable. Once notified, owners/finders have 24 hours to reclaim these pets if they wish.

Back to Top


Why do you charge an admission fee?

Because the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) is a private, non-profit organization, we rely on support from people like you. We do not receive any state or federal government funding. The admission fee is funneled back to our mission programs, helping us combat pet overpopulation and provide food, shelter and care for thousands of homeless pets each year.  

Back to Top


Do you put animals to sleep?

Yes – in the rare cases when animals are too dangerous or too ill to be rehomed, KHS humanely euthanizes by lethal injection. We are save every healthy, behaviorally sound pet we accept, and we never euthanize because of overcrowding.

Back to Top


Can you guarantee my pet won’t be put to sleep?

At KHS, we do not euthanize pets simply because of overcrowding. We will only euthanize surrendered pets who are unadoptable because of severe behavior problems or illness. Owners or finders may opt to receive a phone call if their surrendered pet is ever deemed unadoptable, and they have the option to pick up their pet.

Back to Top


Can I call and check on an animal that I’ve surrendered?

We only release information on a surrendered animal if their owner signed up for the STAR program. You can, however, ask at the time of surrender to be notified by KHS in the event the animal becomes unadoptable due to health or behavior reasons.

Back to Top


How many pets do you take in each year?

We admit approximately 7,000 dogs and cats each year.

Back to Top


What types of animals do you take in?

At our shelter, KHS takes in cats and dogs only; we can provide referrals to rescue organizations that specialize in other species. Through our Equine C.A.R.E. program, we help at-risk horses. 

Back to Top


How many pets are at your facility?

Our intake facility is called the Sam Swope Pet Treatment & Lifesaving Center. It has the capacity to hold approximately 250 animals, and our other locations can hold an additional 100 pets.

We also use foster care volunteers, who open their homes and hearts temporarily to special needs animals for a few days, weeks or months. Foster care parents help us throughout the year by fostering kittens, puppies, nursing mother cats and dogs, animals recuperating from injuries, and adoptable pets during times of overcrowding. Learn more about becoming a foster volunteer.

Back to Top 


What happens to stray animals surrendered to KHS?

As all other Jefferson County animal shelters, KHS is mandated by law to hold all stray dogs for five days. Stray cats with identifiable signs of ownership, such as a microchip or collar or those who are declawed, are held for five days as well. After that time frame, our trained staff perform health and behavior evaluations to determine if the stray pet can be placed up for adoption.

If you have lost a pet, please check our "Lost & Found" page.


Back to Top



How do I report animal abuse?

KHS does not have the legal jurisdiction to handle animal cruelty/neglect investigations or ordinance enforcement within Metro Louisville. Please contact the city government’s Metro Animal Services at (502) 363-6609 to report animal cruelty or neglect within Jefferson County, as they are mandated by law to handle such cases.

Back to Top


Who should I call if I see a stray animal?

In Metro Louisville, please call Metro Animal Services at (502) 363-6609. They are responsible for stray pick-ups and animal neglect investigations in the Metro Louisville area.

Back to Top