Sunday June 24, 2018
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Mayor Greg Fischer today joined Metro Animal Services leaders and staff in celebrating a history-making 2017, which includes achieving no-kill status for time and space.

“Our city value of compassion absolutely extends to the animals that enrich our lives,” Mayor Fischer said. “That’s why I’m so proud that Metro Animal Services has achieved a live release rate above 90 percent, thanks to the hard work of the LMAS team, their partners and volunteers.

“We want to celebrate the work they’ve done, completing a really dramatic and impressive turnaround.”

The Mayor thanked the LMAS team and Director Ozzy Gibson, who has guided the agency’s turnaround since 2016.

“Since I got here, I’ve been impressed with the dedication of our team, partners and volunteers to the compassionate care of animal,” Gibson said. “We’re going to keep working hard, and we’ll stay committed to coming up with new ideas that lead to good outcomes for animals.”

Louisville Metro Animal Services, the city’s only open intake shelter, finished 2017 with a 93 percent live release rate — the best in its 52-year history.

And, for the first time, no animals were euthanized because of time or space. LMAS also found homes for 909 more cats and dogs compared to 2016 (3,141 vs 2,232).

Gibson said the launch and overwhelming success last year of the Pay It Forward Free Adoptions Program was a primary contributor to the turnaround. Pay It Forward is funded solely through donations, which allows LMAS to waive adoption fees for certain cats and dogs.

Key 2017 Animal Services stats:

Zero animals euthanized for time or space

  • 90.8% live release rate for canines
  • 93.8% live release rate for felines
  • 37% increase in animal returned to owners
  • 41% increase in animal adoptions

More information about Animal Services and Pay It Forward can be found at:

Photo: Louisville Metro Animal Services

Sometimes happy endings aren’t so close to home for homeless pets who come through the LMAS shelter. One shelter dog, rescued from a life of neglect, traveled nearly 1,000 miles to North Dakota where he was adopted into a forever home.

Rusty’s story began in October 2015 when he first entered our Manslick Rd. shelter. Two months later, a rescue group from Cokato, MN took in the 5-year-old Beagle/Border Collie mix. From there, Rusty found himself on a farm where a kind woman spent 6 months working with the fearful dog, until he was ready to go to his forever home.

A couple from Forman, ND drove five hours to Minnesota to bring home their fur baby. Dan and Trish Pearson adopted Rusty and opened their home to the sweet natured dog. The couple wrote a letter to our shelter with an update on Rusty, two years after he was rescued:

Rusty is still fearful of strange people and it takes multiple visits before he will let a new person pet him without cowering. At home on the farm though, he is relaxed and very funny.

What a personality our fur-baby has. He has learned how to play with toys and people. He loves to run from one end of the house to the other and back again when my husband plays “gonna getchya” with him. His tail is held high and he has a big grin on his face.

He loves all our animals and isn’t’ even afraid of the horses or cattle. He is very healthy now and quite spoiled. He has finally found his forever home. Here are a few pictures to brighten your New Year.     


Dan and Trish Pearson                                                                         

Forman, ND

Photo: Louisville Metro Animal Services


Louisville Metro Animal Services expected its Pay It Forward free adopton promotion to last about a month, but Louisvillians proved LMAS wrong! Six months later, the free adoption promotion is still going strong, thanks to Jefferson County’s compassionate animal lovers who continue to pay it forward.

The free adoption promotion got underway in January when LMAS offered $1,000 worth of free adoptions. LMAS asked adopters to pay it forward with donations to help cover adoption fees of other shelter pets. LMAS promised to continue offering free adoptions until the money ran out. Today, the Pay It Forward free adoption promotion is still going strong, thanks to those who continue to donate!

As a result, more than 400 additional animals have been adopted, compared to year-to-date 2016, in which 150 animals were adopted! LMAS hopes to continue this life-saving promotion indefinitely. Continued support from compassionate community members gives LMAS hope that this goal will become a reality.

Help save a shelter pet today and pay it forward! Click here to make a donation to LMAS’ non-profit fundraising entity, Friends of Metro Animal Services. FOMAS is dedicated to saving animals’ lives. Help them help the shelter pets of LMAS!

Pay It Forward FREE adoptions include vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery and microchip. All cats (6 mos. or older) and dogs (40 lbs. or more) are free. Puppies and kittens are not included in the Pay It Forward FREE adoption promotion. The promotion is meant to encourage the adoption of animals who are often overlooked in the shelter.

As people make preparations for Fourth of July celebrations, Louisville Metro Animal Services asks that you keep your pets in mind. Each year, pets across the country find their way into shelters during this festive time. While many look forward to the traditional celebratory sights and sounds of fireworks glowing and booming across the sky, this can be a scary experience for pets.

Louisville Metro Animal Services is bracing for an influx of stray animals to hit the streets of Jefferson County. The loud noises associated with this holiday weekend often result in a spike in stray animals. When dogs experience a large amount of fear and anxiety at once, their initial response is to retreat. However, there are some preventative measures you can take to protect your pet(s) and keep them feeling safe.

  • Leave pets inside
    • Close all windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks, and always provide plenty of food and water. Turning on a radio, television or fan also may help calm your pet. For pets who experience severe anxiety, owners may want to consult their veterinarian about prescribing a mild sedative to ease the pets’ stress. Owners who are leaving town for the holiday should consider boarding their pets.
  • Leave pets at home during firework displays
    • Animals have a heightened sense of hearing. The loud “booming” noise can be deafening and cause pets to panic and want to hide. Take pets for quiet walks before the festivities begin or after they end.
  • Distract distressed or anxious pets
    • If pets exhibit uncharacteristic behaviors, such as incessant pacing, crying or whining, owners should help distract them through play or another enjoyable pet activity. There are several products designed to help reduce anxiety in dogs, such as relaxing music and snug calming vests.
  • Make sure pets are wearing collars with identification tags at all times
    • This even applies to pets who only live indoors. The ID tag should include the owner’s current address and phone number. Microchipping is also important, in case pet’s collars or tags are lost.
  • Keep pets away from alcohol
    • Alcohol is extremely dangerous to dogs. Small amounts of alcohol can cause your dog to become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Even beer is toxic. Fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.
  • Clean up firework debris before letting pets outside
    • If pets eat the debris, it may cause digestive problems or serious injuries. Owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if their pets have been exposed to any potentially toxic or poisonous substances.

LMAS To Host Yoga Cats Event

Shelter life is not easy for any animal. It takes a toll on them. Imagine yourself cooped-up in a kennel. Staff members and volunteers at Louisville Metro Animal Services do their best to interact and engage with the shelter animals, but it’s not enough. That’s why LMAS Foster Coordinator, Stephanie Jackson, wanted to organize a Yoga Cats event. “The benefits of an event like this are four-fold. It promotes adopting and fostering, raises money for our foster program, and gives our shelter animals a chance to socialize.”

yoga_cats1LMAS will release its shelter cats to roam freely as yogis practice. Picture yoga mats, dim lighting, relaxing music and calming scents, with curious kitties thrown into the mix. “We hosted our first Yoga Cats event on February 13th and it was such a success, we decided to host another! Everyone had a smile on their face as they interacted with cats and enjoyed yoga. This is such a unique event that benefits everyone involved.”

LMAS’ next Yoga Cats class is set for Monday, March 13, from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at the LMAS Animal House Adoption Center (3516 Newburg Rd.) A $20 donation to benefit the LMAS foster program will grant you a spot in the class. To secure your spot, please send an email to LMAS has room for 40 yogis. All participants must sign a waiver to interact with cats during the class. Please bring your own yoga mat.