Saturday May 25, 2019
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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.

Metro Animal ServicesLouisville Metro Animal Services is investigating the death of a dog that was shot with an arrow in the Fairdale area, and a $500 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction for the unacceptable act of cruelty on a defenseless animal.

On Wednesday, June 21st at about 5p.m., a man brought to the LMAS shelter an approximately 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier with a large arrow protruding through its body.  Despite the efforts of staff, the dog died on the way to Jefferson Animal Hospital.

The LMAS Animal Control Division is investigating, and the non-profit Friends of Metro Animal Services is offering a $500 reward for information in this case. Shooting a pet with an arrow is a criminal act.  

The dog was found Wednesday afternoon in the vicinity of the 8900 block of Brown Austin Rd. in Fairdale.  The approximately 2-foot long arrow entered the dog’s left hip area and was protruding from the right side of its abdomen, near the left shoulder. The dog did not have a microchip and so far, its owner has not been located.

LMAS Animal Control is interviewing residents in the area in an effort to get justice for a helpless dog that suffered tremendously before its death.

LMAS will gladly accept donations to boost the $500 reward being offered by FOMAS. Anyone with information about the dog’s owner, or knows who may be responsible for its fatal injuries is asked to contact Louisville Metro Police at 574-LMPD.


Metro Animal ServicesLouisville Metro Animal Services recently received a $40K grant from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, to help reduce the pet population in Jefferson County. LMAS is using the grant to offer spay/neuter vouchers to Jefferson County residents, which can be redeemed at any Jefferson County Veterinary office or the Kentucky Humane Society SNIP Clinic.

“We are thankful PetSmart Charities awarded LMAS this grant so we can offer discounted vouchers to the public,” said shelter director Ozzy Gibson. “It’s another tool in our arsenal to maintain our hard-earned status as a No Kill Shelter for time and space. Reducing the pet population in Jefferson County is a key factor in keeping that title.”

By offering assistance for discounted spay/neuter surgeries, LMAS will increase in-house surgeries (2,700 in 2017) and those performed by outside providers. The voucher not only encourages responsible pet ownership, it helps reduce uncontrolled breeding of stray cats and dogs and allows LMAS to be proactive about future shelter overcrowding.

Female cats can breed up to four times a year and have an average of 4 kittens per litter. In just 7 years, an unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens; an unspayed female dog and her offspring can produce 97,000 puppies.  With the grant from PetSmart Charities, LMAS can cover the entire cost, or provide a significant discount on spay/neuter surgeries for up to 400 cats and dogs in Jefferson County!

”By establishing this spay and neuter voucher program, Louisville Metro Animal Services is taking a proactive approach to preventing unplanned litters and reducing pet homelessness in the community,” said Kelly Balthazor, regional relationship manager at PetSmart Charities.  “Not only are they advocating for lives of local pets, they are further establishing themselves as a vital resource for local pet parents, too.”

The voucher covers up to $100 of the cost to spay/neuter a cat or a dog. Vouchers can be obtained at the LMAS Animal Care Center located at 3705 Manslick Rd. Monday-Friday between 12-6pm, or Saturdays 11-2pm; or at Animal House Adoption Center located at 3516 Newburg Rd. Tuesday-Sunday from 12-6pm. For more information about how to obtain a spay/neuter voucher from LMAS, email or call 473-PETS.