Thursday July 25, 2024
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Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) is reminding residents that a new Louisville ordinance that took effect Tuesday requires the name of any person convicted of animal abuse in Jefferson County to be placed on an Animal Abuse Registry.

Metro Council District 8 Representative Brandon Coan sponsored the ordinance, which was approved by the full Council in April.

“Animal abuse registries are growing across the country as an important law enforcement tool to not only prevent animal cruelty, but also identify individuals who may pose a domestic violence or other serious threat to the public at large,” said Coan.

LMAS will notify convicted offenders of the requirement to self-register and pay an annual registration fee of $100. Offenders will remain on the registry for a period of two years. Pet stores, shelters and animal organizations that offer pet adoptions and sales are required to check the registry before allowing a person to adopt or purchase a pet.

“In the early months and years of the registry, a primary focus will be to minimize the burden on small businesses and nonprofits in terms of compliance,” said Coan. “We intend to work closely with stakeholders until the system works well for everyone.”

Kentucky consistently ranks among the worst states for animal rights, though Louisville’s animal ordinance goes beyond state statutes. The creation of an animal abuse registry is designed as another tool to keep animals from those who would abuse them.

Under the ordinance, LMAS will maintain the Animal Abuse Registry, updating it at least once every 30 days. Anyone convicted of animal abuse outside of Jefferson County must register within 10 days of establishing residency. Failure to register or comply with the registry could result in a maximum 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. To view the Animal Abuse Registry and read the ordinance, visit

Mayor Greg Fischer today joined Metro Animal Services and Friends of Metro Animal Services (FOMAS) for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open a state-of-the-art animal shelter at 3516 Newburg Road, which replaces the outdated facility on Manslick Road.

“Our community deserves a modern, full-service animal shelter that provides the best care possible for animals and the most efficient service possible for residents,” Mayor Fischer said. “Our Metro Animal Services has been doing an outstanding job in recent years, finding homes for a record number of animals and reaching ‘no kill for time or space’ status for the first time in its history. This shelter is the perfect place for the LMAS team to provide their top-notch, compassionate service.”

The 33,000-square-foot facility puts all animal-related services on one campus where residents can adopt a pet, purchase or renew a pet license or take a stray pet.

“Animals Services has operated from two locations for a decade, complicating how our agency operates and confusing the public that uses our services,” said Ozzy Gibson, LMAS Shelter Director.  “Not only is our campus now conveniently accessible to all Jefferson County residents, it saves us money that we can use to find more ways to help our shelter pets.”

The new facility can house up to 235 animals and features all climate-controlled kennels with isolation rooms to prevent the spread of illness.  A modern veterinary wing meets industry standards and includes the shelter’s first X-ray and ultrasound machines, allowing LMAS to quickly evaluate sick and injured pets. There are four operating tables as well as separate rooms for pets being prepped and recovering from surgery.

The nearly $11.6 million dollar facility also includes a fully furnished clinic, which will operate independently from the shelter, offering pet owners low-cost spay and neuter services, vaccinations and microchipping.  “Our community has few options for people who cannot afford the average cost of spaying or neutering their pet. An independently run, low-cost clinic encourages responsible pet ownership, decreases our stray pet population and prevents shelter overcrowding,” said Gibson.

Specialty areas that were missing from the old facility give shelter pets a greater chance of being adopted. A behavioral room allows staff to train or correct undesirable behaviors while a photo room will ensure pets look their best in photos for potential adopters. There’s also a dedicated enrichment room where volunteers and groups can make treats for shelter pets.

“A huge part of the success of Metro Animal Services is their employees and supporters. Friends of Metro Animal Services is honored to have helped make a modern shelter a reality, not just shelter pets, but also the staff and volunteers,” said FOMAS Executive Director Susanna Westerfield. “They have struggled for decades to properly care for animals in a rundown, outdated facility. These every day heroes deserve nothing but the best to continue providing quality care to shelter pets.”

A large laundry room with commercial washing machines and dryers replace the old shelter’s appliances intended for home use. Separate food prep areas equipped with commercial dishwashers make feeding time and cleanup more efficient.

Benefits of the new shelter go beyond the building to include more enrichment opportunities for shelter pets. The campus features six fenced-in play yards compared to just one at the old facility. There’s also a half-mile walking track where volunteers can walk a dog on their lunch break.

“Many of us have long awaited this day. This state-of-the-art facility is just the latest in a long series of changes we have made as a city to address the needs of Louisville Metro Animal Services,” said Metro Council District 10 representative Pat Mulvihill. “Public Safety is one of our many goals as elected officials, and now we are not only protecting the public but protecting the animals in need of a new home or returning them to their owners. It is a great day for those who love pets and want the humane treatment of all animals.”

The LMAS Animal Care Facility is located next to Animal House Adoption Center, which was built in 2009. Shelter construction began in July 2018 with funding from Louisville Metro Government and gracious donations from FOMAS and the Harshaw Family Foundation. The LMAS Animal Care Campus is also the future home of Alley Cat Advocates, which manages the Community Cat Program.

The LMAS Animal Care Facility is open 12-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  Animal House Adoption Center is now open seven days a week, excluding holidays. Meet adoptable pets daily from 12-6 p.m., and Fridays from 12-7 p.m.. For more information about MAS and Pay It Forward Free Adoptions, visit

The Louisville Metro Animal Services shelter has reached maximum capacity, so in an effort to reduce the kennel population, all redemption fees are waived for pets currently at the LMAS shelter starting, Friday, December 7th through the end of the month.

“We know that all of the dogs picked up as strays or turned into us have owners,” said Ozzy Gibson, LMAS Shelter Director. “The problem is people aren’t coming in to claim their pets. That’s the overall major contributor to the shelter being at capacity. Last year during the holidays the shelter was full; we want to take a proactive approach this year, in hopes of remaining a No Kill Shelter. We want them home for the Holidays!”

Jefferson county residents are required by a Louisville ordinance to license their dog or cat with LMAS. Unfortunately, many are not aware of the requirement. Pet owners can be fined for failure to purchase or renew a pet license, expired Rabies vaccinations or for a pet that is not spayed/neutered.  LMAS will offer owners who come to the shelter to claim their dog a voucher to help with the cost of spay/neuter surgery, while the Blue Grass Boxer Club has made a donation to Friends of Metro Animal Services to cover all licensing for altered animals or ones that will be, saving the pet owner from having to pay the fee.

“We don’t want to be tasked with finding new homes for pets that already have one,” said Gibson. “The majority of dogs in the LMAS Shelter are over 40 lbs. We’d much rather return these dogs to their owners instead of letting them sit for months on end, hoping someone will adopt them. There are simply just not enough homes for all of them.”

Pets can be claimed at the LMAS Shelter located at 3705 Manslick Road, Monday-Friday 12-6pm; and Saturdays 11-2pm.  All redemption fees are waived through December.  

To view a list of fees associated with the impoundment of a stray pet, click here.

Louisville Metro Animal Services is encouraging pet owners to take advantage of an upcoming Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic on Saturday, November 10th from 9am-12pm at Wyandotte Park, 1010 Beecher Street.

In addition to one ($10) and three-year ($15) Rabies vaccinations, LMAS will offer microchipping services for cats and dogs for just $25.  So far in 2018, more than one-thousand pets in Jefferson County have been reunited with their owners. But sadly, the majority of cats and dog that entered the LMAS Shelter was not microchipped and could not return home.

“Microchipping is a crucial component to remaining a No-Kill shelter and saving more animal lives,” said Teeya Barnes, spokeswoman for Louisville Metro Animal Services. “Microchipping helps us quickly reunite missing pets and their owners. That means more open kennels for the city’s truly homeless animals. When the shelter is out of space, lives are placed in jeopardy.”

A pet license for cats, dogs or ferrets is required by Law for Jefferson County pet owners, and can be purchased or renewed during the Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic.  A one-year pet license for an altered cat or dog is $10; a three-year, altered pet license is $27. LMAS also offers discounted licensing rates for senior pets: $5 (1-year altered) or $10 (3-year altered).

“A pet license is assurance your pet’s Rabies vaccination is up-to-date, so if they become lost they won’t receive the vaccine unecesssarily if they were to enter the shelter,” said Barnes. “Another benefit is if your pet is lost and picked up by an animal control officer, we can bring them home instead of to the shelter. Your pet won’t be exposed to germs and illnesses commonly found in animal shelters.

The Low-Cost Rabies Clinic is open to all pet owners. Dog must be on-leash and cats must be in carriers during the clinic.

Friends of Metro Animal Services (FOMAS), a non-profit organization, announced today the Board of Directors unanimously elected Susanna M. Westerfield as Executive Director, to spearhead fundraising efforts in support of Louisville Metro Animal Services and the much anticipated completion of a new, state-of-the-art shelter in 2019.

“The Board of Directors and LMAS are truly excited to bring Westerfield on board. Her experience, commitment to caring for homeless animals, and progressive vision made her the ideal choice for FOMAS and our community,” Amy Wisotsky, Chairman.

In addition to an extensive background in Business Development and Organizational Learning, Westerfield brings to the board her expertise in non-profit administration, organizational leadership and program development. Westerfield’s new role will also include working with the dedicated, compassionate staff at LMAS to expand community outreach in support of programs critical to caring for the thousands of animals which enter the shelter each year.

“I will help advance LMAS’ progress as the county’s largest and only open-admission animal shelter that provides a temporary home for more than 7,500 animals last year and reached No-Kill Status for the first time ever,” said Westerfield, executive director of FOMAS. “We can make a difference in the lives of those living in our community by providing a state-of-the-art location where healthy, adoptable pets reside waiting for adoption. There is nothing more fulfilling than helping people in our community experience the steadfast love and companionship of a pet.”

Westerfield assumed her role as Executive Director of the Board in April 2018. Westerfield holds an MS degree in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University, has served in several leadership roles as Pastoral Council Secretary, Board of Director of the Catholic Athletic Ministry, Hand-in-Hand Ministries and various time and talent activities within her children’s school and church, bringing to FOMAS a wealth of knowledge about boards, volunteerism, and stewardship.

Metro Animal ServicesThe Louisville Metro Animal Services Animal Care Facility is operating near maximum capacity so LMAS has waived adoption fees for all adoptable pets  the month of July, to make sure there is room for incoming stray animals.

“We put an end to euthanizing animals because there wasn’t enough space for them in 2017.” said Ozzy Gibson, LMAS Shelter Director.  “But that’s a real possibility the longer the shelter operates near, or at max capacity.”

The city’s only open intake shelter took in more than 7,500 homeless pets last year, and for the first time ever no animals were euthanized to make room for incoming stray animals.

“We’re asking the public to help us remain a shelter that doesn’t euthanize simply because it’s out of room by adopting one of our homeless cats or dogs,” said Gibson.

The waived adoption fees will be paid for by the non-profit, Friends of Metro Animal Services (FOMAS) and the Pay It Forward Program, a donation based initiative launched in 2017.

Adoption fees are waived, but not the adoption process. Potential adopters must complete an application and be approved.

All adoptable shelter pets are spayed/neutered, microchipped and up-to-date on vaccinations. Each adoption also includes a 1-year, renewable pet license, which is required by law for Jefferson County pet owners.

Animal House Adoption Center (3516 Newburg rd.) is open Tuesday-Sunday 12-6pm and Fridays until 7pm.

The shelter (3705 Manslick rd.) is open Monday-Friday 12-6pm and Saturdays 11-2pm.

FOMAS is accepting donation to keep the Pay It Forward Program going. Those who cannot adopt can make a donation at Animal House, the shelter or online.

To make a donation to FOMAS, click here.

Metro Animal ServicesMayor Greg Fischer today joined Metro Animal Services and Friends of Metro Animal Services (FOMAS) for the groundbreaking of a state-of-the-art animal care complex located at 3516 Newburg Road, which will replace the outdated shelter built in 1966.

“This modern, full-service animal shelter will help us provide the optimal care that our animals deserve,” Mayor Fischer said. “I’m pleased to see yet another sign of the tremendous progress we’re making as a city and another reflection of our core value of compassion.”

The 33,000-square-foot facility can house up to 235 animals. The nearly $11.5 million facility will include a Community Spay and Neuter clinic that will operate independently from the shelter, offering low-cost vaccinations and microchipping.

A modern veterinary wing that meets industry standards will include the shelter’s first X-ray machine and four surgery tables. The new facility also includes space specifically for small mammals.

The benefits of a new shelter are not limited to the building: It will allow LMAS to increase enrichment opportunities for shelter pets waiting to be adopted. The campus features six play yards compared to just one at the current shelter, as well as a half-mile walking track.

Grooming and photo rooms will ensure homeless shelter pets look their best for potential adopters viewing their online profiles.

“We’re not just building an animal shelter for today, we’re ensuring LMAS can meet the needs of Louisville’s homeless pet population in the future,” said Ozzy Gibson, director of LMAS. “This will be a shelter that citizens can be proud to support.”

Mayor Fischer said it was part of improvements and innovations at Animal Services, including programs such as the Pay It Forward free adoptions, that have helped increase the agency’s live release rate for both dogs and cats to over 90 percent, earning it “No Kill” status for time or space.

The new animal care facility, located next to Animal House Adoption Center which was built in 2009, is expected to be complete by late summer 2019.