The Kentucky Humane Society is Kentucky’s oldest animal welfare organization and this is their story of how the organization came to be and how they are creating more compassionate communities across the state.
When was Kentucky Humane Society founded?
The Kentucky Humane Society is the state’s oldest animal welfare organization and was founded in 1884. In 1884, two women from Frankfort founded the Kentucky Humane Society to fight the cruel treatment of “commerce animals”– horses. In 1921, the “Animal Rescue League” was established in Louisville to prevent abuse of domestic animals. In 1945, the Kentucky Humane Society and Animal Rescue League merged and soon after were incorporated, obtaining non-profit status. This is how the Kentucky Humane Society came to be.
What does the organization do?
KHS is the oldest animal agency in Kentucky and the largest animal welfare organization and no-kill shelter in the state. As a private, non-profit animal welfare agency, KHS finds loving homes for approximately 6,000 cats, dogs, and horses a year. Along with adopting out over 6,000 animals a year, KHS also has many other programs/services to help our community. We have a S.N.I.P. clinic that offers low-cost spay/neuter surgery for owned pets. We also have a Healthy Pets Clinic where we provide low-cost veterinary care and preventives for owned pets. In addition to these services, we also offer Behavior Training, have two Pet Resorts for owned animals (100% of profits benefit our shelter pets), we have an educational camp for children and our free Pet Help Line provides free advice for whatever animal issues you are experiencing. Our mission statement is, “The Kentucky Humane Society is a champion for companion animals. Through leadership, education and proactive solutions, we are creating more compassionate communities.”
How big of an impact has the organization had?
The Kentucky Humane Society has had a huge impact on our community. Since opening in 2007, our S.N.I.P. Clinic has spayed or neutered more than 105,000 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. Along with this, we transport about 62% of our animals in from overcrowded shelters where the animals had little to no future. By doing this, we not only save the lives of these animals, but we are also helping rural county shelters from being overcrowded.
What is the inspiration behind the Kentucky Humane Society?
We are constantly inspired to keep the Kentucky Humane Society going because we are fierce animal lovers with a passion for helping others. KHS is constantly evolving to suit the needs of our community and saving the lives of animals makes us so proud. We are humbled by the support of our community and love being able to make an impact any way we can.
Tell me a story about one of your missions
As for a story, I would love to tell you about a dog named Charming who found his way to KHS in Feb. of 2018. Charming is a young Pit Bull Terrier who was found with his ears missing and his body covered in bite wounds by Barren River Animal Welfare Association’s shelter in Glasgow KY. Along with his injuries, Charming was also infested with maggots and was very underweight. But despite the terrible abuse Charming suffered, he quickly proved to the staff that he was a sweet, loving dog who wanted nothing more than to be loved back. Charming – named by the BRAWA staff because of his wonderful personality – spent four months recovering at the shelter. Over the months, BRAWA staff and volunteers became very close to Charming. They contacted the Kentucky Humane Society in Louisville to see if we could help Charming find a forever home. KHS runs the Sam Swope Pet Retreat, a unique behavioral rehabilitation center for animals who have suffered from neglect, abuse and lack of socialization. Behavior Manager Kat Rooks talked with BRAWA general manager Connie and reviewed videos of Charming interacting with other dogs. Kat agreed to take Charming in for an assessment to see how he would do with people and other animals. Charming spent two weeks at the Sam Swope Pet Retreat. Kat found that Charming had amazing resiliency and was one of the most courageous dogs she’d ever met. Charming went up for adoption in March of 2018 and was adopted by the incredible Chambers family. Charming – renamed Happy because he is always so happy – is now a very beloved and spoiled member of the Chambers family. He attended a Kentucky Humane Society behavior training class with his family and graduated with flying colors! We are thankful for the Chambers family, who adopted this sweetheart.
The interview took place on 1/28/19