The Kentucky Humane Society (KHS), located in Louisville, KY, is a private, nonprofit organization that is Kentucky's largest pet adoption agency and largest no-kill animal shelter. KHS is also the state's oldest animal welfare organization, founded in 1884.
- KHS advocates the humane treatment of companion animals through leadership and proactive solutions to pet overpopulation, including adoptions, education and spay/neuter efforts.
Our Vision for the Future
- KHS envisions a day when every companion animal is given the care, resources and lifelong home they deserve.
Our Commitment to Pets
- As a no-kill animal shelter, the Kentucky Humane Society will never euthanize a pet due to lack of space.
- We are committed to saving every healthy, behaviorally sound animal we take in.
Our Life-Saving Efforts
Our success is measured in the number of dogs, cats and horses we save – through adoption or placement in another rescue, or those who are returned to their owners.
- In 2016, 6,271 dogs and cats ultimately found new homes through KHS; this includes 6,050 who were adopted at one of KHS' 10 adoption centers and 96 who were transferred to other rescue organizations for specialized placement.
- In addition, 125 lost dogs and cats were returned to their owners or guardians.
- In 2016 KHS also found homes or rescue placement for over 60 horses.
KHS saves every single adoptable animals and has no "time limits." In 2016, 96% of all the pets we took in were saved; KHS only euthanizes pets who are too gravely ill, too dangerous or too behaviorally unsound to be rehabilitated and adopted. Read about our euthanasia policy. Learn more about how our percentage of lives saved is calculated.
Below is a chart that shows the tremendous progress we've made in just 13 years.
This progress is due to a number of factors:
- The number of pets we have taken in has decreased dramatically, as proactive measures to end pet homelessness were implemented, such as spaying/neutering, behavior modification programs, and programs designed to support pet owners do they can keep their pets instead of turning them in to shelters.
- The number of pets we adopt has tripled in 13 years.
- Our lifesaving medical and behavioral programs and our robust foster programs have helped us save many more medically or behaviorally fragile pets.
- In 2012 we transitioned to admissions by appointment to ensure that we have adequate kennel space, eliminating euthanasia due to lack of space.
Care for Our Fragile Pets
- KHS takes in approximately 7,000 needy pets a year. Most of these pets are healthy and can be immediately placed up for adoption; however, some of the pets we accept require extensive medical care or behavior help before they can be adopted.
- The KHS veterinary staff addresses the medical needs of all pets while in our care, from simple upper respiratory infections to more serious conditions such as heartworm and traumatic injury. We also work with local veterinarians, who assist with specialty needs, such as diagnostics or orthopedic work.
- KHS has a behavior modification team staffed with a full-time animal behavior expert, an assistant and trained volunteers who provide behavior training for our shelter pets. This team provides treatment for fearful dogs, small dogs with big attitudes, dogs with resource guarding issues and those who are reactive to other dogs. KHS also provides behavior help for shy cats through a positive reinforcement approach to reduce stress and increase sociability.
While KHS is most known for adoptions, we have many programs—all designed to strengthen the bond between people and pets, and ultimately end pet overpopulation and homelessness. Our programs include:
KHS finds loving homes for 6,000+ cats and dogs per year through its 10 permanent adoption sites in the Louisville area: the East Campus in Lyndon and nine adoption centers in Feeders Supply stores. All KHS pets are spayed or neutered, microchipped, wormed, given flea preventative, heartworm tested and are up-to-date on vaccinations.
KHS has special behavior programs for shelter pets who exhibit behavior issues that make them harder to adopt.
- Working Cats. Through our lifesaving Working Cats program, cats who are not suitable for home adoption because of behavior issues are placed in appropriate indoor/outdoor locations such as barns, warehouses and garages where they have caretakers. About 100 cats a year find new homes through this innovative program. Working Cats typically are undersocialized cats or cats with litter-box issues. Alley Cat Advocates
- In-shelter Behavior Training. KHS has a behavioral staff team that specializes in providing behavior modification for shelter animals, as well as enrichment to help reduce stress. In January 2017, we announced the opening of our Sam Swope Pet Retreat, which provides a peaceful facility where our behavioral team helps animals recover from abuse, neglect and lack of socialization.
- At our S.N.I.P. Clinic (Spay/Neuter Incentive Program), more than 9,000 dogs and cats are spayed or neutered each year – helping reduce pet overpopulation and eliminate future animal suffering.
- This high-quality, low-cost and donor-subsidized clinic offers financial aid for those who need it, thanks to grants from Best Friends Animal Society, PetSmart Charities and the ASPCA.
- Our S.N.I.P. Clinic partners with Alley Cat Advocates to offer spay/neuter surgeries for community, unowned cats, also known as feral cats. KHS endorses the use of T-N-R (trap-neuter-return) to humanely keep cat populations in check. Community cats are brought to the S.N.I.P. Clinic in humane live traps, sterilized at the clinic and returned to their environment, where they live out their lives unable to add to the overpopulation problem.
- The S.N.I.P. Clinic provides free surgeries to all pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes thanks to generous grant funding from Best Friends Animal Society and private donors. Next to cats, this is the most at-risk pet population in our area, as there are simply not enough adopters for the number of available dogs. In 2016 the S.N.I.P. Clinic provided more than 1,000 free surgeries for these dogs.
- Since opening in 2007, the S.N.I.P. Clinic has spayed or neutered more than 93,000 pets. This has helped lead to a decrease in the number of cats and dogs surrendered to our city's shelters. Our community has seen a more than 51% decrease in the number of animals admitted to local shelters since 2007.
Behavior Training for Owned Dogs
- Dog Training Classes: KHS offers a variety of training opportunities designed to keep pets in their original homes and out of shelters. KHS' behavior trainers are professionally trained and certified. We offer a wide-range of classes from puppy and basic manners, to classes for dog-reactive dogs and shy dogs, canine sports classes such as agility, and even group therapy sessions for special issues. KHS instructors use only positive reinforcement techniques, and classes are taught at locations throughout Louisville.
Pet Help Line
- In 2013 the Kentucky Humane Society launched a free Pet Help Line, 502-509-4PET (4738). Anyone in our community can call to receive free advice on all things pet-related. The Pet Help Line, which is funded by grants from Banfield Foundation and the ASPCA, is designed to help keep pets in their homes and out of shelters by giving pet owners the tools they need to have great relationships with their pets. KHS experts provide advice for common behavior problems and help pet owners connect with local pet resources, such as pet friendly apartment guides, local pet food banks, behavior trainers, and rescues for other species.
Educational Camps for Children
- KHS has provided Humane Education programs to children in the Louisville community for 29 years. Each summer children attend KHS' summer camp programs, where they care for animals and to be compassionate pet guardians.
- The KHS Eastpoint and Fern Creek Pet Resorts offer safe, comfortable boarding for owned cats and dogs. Pet owners can choose from a rustic setting with outdoor trails at our Fern Creek Pet Resort or luxury lodging for pampered pets at our Eastpoint Pet Resort. All-breed grooming, á la carte activities and Doggie Daycare are available at both locations.
- Not only do we keep pets safe, healthy and happy while their owners are away, but all proceeds from the pet resorts support KHS' lifesaving mission, benefiting less fortunate pets.
Equine C.A.R.E. (connect, assist, rescue & educate)
In 2015, KHS launched our Equine C.A.R.E. (connect, assist, rescue & educate) Program to focus on helping the companion or recreational horse, as this fits our mission to advocate for the humane treatment of all companion animals. Equine C.A.R.E.'s focus areas include moving horses from crisis into safe homes or rescue, providing online re-homing services to horse owners who can no longer keep them, matching available horses with adopters, implementing gelding and wellness clinics, and making educational tools and resources available to our equine community. Learn more
Our Financial Accountability
- KHS maintains an operating budget of approximately $6 million annually through the generous support of our donors, and through self-generating revenues, such as fees for services at our two pet resorts, humane education and behavior training programs.
- KHS is not an affiliate of any local or national animal welfare organization and does not receive government funding. Because KHS is a local nonprofit agency, donations to KHS stay in our community, helping our pets.
- View our 2015 990 form (PDF)
Surrendering a pet to a sheltering agency should be considered a last resort. The Kentucky Humane Society encourages pet owners to consider all available alternatives prior to contacting the KHS Admissions Office. These may include rehoming animals with friends, relatives or neighbors. Pet owners have a number of choices, and surrendering pets to KHS is just one of them. If owners cannot find alternative placements, the KHS Admissions Office can help.
- Since KHS will not euthanize for space, 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 by appointment at the Sam Swope Pet Treatment & Lifesaving Center (TLC) at 241 Steedly Drive in Louisville.
- 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 $25 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.
- KHS offers an optional admissions package called the S.T.A.R. program (Social media, Television And/or Radio). S.T.A.R. pets are featured as pets of the week, helping them get into loving homes faster. In addition, owners can reclaim at no charge pets enrolled in this program while they are under our care, and owners are notified once their pet has been adopted. S.T.A.R. Program enrollment is $75 per pet. Discounts are offered for litters.
- In 2016, less than 4% of the pets who came through our doors were euthanized; these animals were humanely euthanized because they were too ill, too dangerous, or too behaviorally unsound to be adopted, or because their owners needed assistance with humane euthanasia for end-of-life decisions for their beloved pets.
- Euthanasia is always the last resort and is an option only after every attempt to provide medical treatment, behavioral modification or transfer to another rescue organization has been exhausted. Each decision is made carefully using criteria outlined by national standards within the humane industry.
- We offer low-cost euthanasia services to pet owners facing end-of-life decisions for their aged and terminally ill pets.
How You Can Help
As a private nonprofit agency, the Kentucky Humane Society relies on donations of time and resources to care for thousands of needy pets. You can help by:
- Volunteering at KHS is a fun and lifesaving way to give back to the community. Young and old are encouraged to lend a hand by working directly with the animals in our shelter or by providing much-needed help in outreach or community programs. Among the rewards you receive, the greatest is knowing you've made a difference in a needy animal's life.
- Our volunteers walk dogs, socialize cats, assist with adoptions, provide care for pets at the S.N.I.P. Clinic, take photographs of adoptable pets, provide clerical assistance, and work at KHS fundraising events.
- Help the Kentucky Humane Society take in more cats and dogs by being a foster caregiver. By providing a temporary home for a pet for a few days, weeks or months, you help to "expand our shelter walls." Fostering is rewarding and directly impacts pets who need a temporary home as they recover from illness or surgery or for puppies and kittens who are too young to be adopted.
- We have volunteer programs for adults, teens and even children as young as 10 who are accompanied by a parent.
Donations from individuals, organizations and corporations in our area allow us to continue our life saving work. You can make a gift by:
- Donating online
- Calling (502) 515-3143
- Mailing a check to the Kentucky Humane Society, 1000 Lyndon Lane Suite B, Louisville, KY 40222
- Other ways to donate
Donor Policy - Our Commitment to Protect Our Donors
KHS staff will maintain an accurate database of all donors and prospects. It is the ethical responsibility of all KHS employees and volunteers to protect and consider confidential all information on donors and prospects that are maintained in KHS files. In accordance, all board, staff and volunteers sign a confidentiality agreement agreeing to this statement.
Donor names and contribution levels are public information unless the donor requests anonymity. Background information and other prospect research is not public information.
A donor or prospect may request to see his/her personal file at any time during regular business hours with 24 hour notice. A donor can also choose to have their name and/or contribution level remain anonymous. Email email@example.com or call 502-515-3143 to discuss.
Prospect and donor files (including computer databases) are property of KHS. An employee or volunteer may not use, extract, duplicate, use for personal endeavors, provide to non-organizations or persons, sale or distribute for non-authorized purposes or hold any unpublished files for any use other than the advancement of the KHS mission.
KHS does not give trade or sell donor lists.