The Lawrence County Humane Society in Louisa, Kentucky was established on December 4, 1990. In 1994, the primarily volunteer run organization was able to expand from a foster care network to opening the only animal care facility in their community. Most of the animals in the shelter have been abandoned or found roaming the streets. Many of them have suffered serious injuries, are sick or have not received proper preventative veterinary care. By taking these animals in and giving them proper care and attention the Lawrence Country Humane Society is saving lives and providing an invaluable service to the community.
Volunteers are one of this organization’s greatest assets. Their involvement has been significant in assisting with one of the organization’s newest programs, Animal Transports for Long Distance Adoptions. The visibility adoptable animals receive through internet placement resources has increased adoption rates from areas outside their immediate community. Many of the animals have found new homes in the New England states. Once an animal has been approved to be adopted the organization’s volunteers assist with the logistics and transportation of the animals to their new home.
Volunteers are also readily available to speak to school, civic, community, or religious groups upon request. These free presentations include information about responsible animal care, dog bite prevention and the benefits of spaying or neutering a pet.
For 14 years the humane society has also administered an effective Spay and Neuter Assistance Program. This program, along with the option of keeping animals in foster homes until a suitable permanent home can be found, has lead to a decrease in the organization’s euthanasia rate of adoptable dogs and cats from 60% to 0%.
It is the organization’s practice that animals will not be euthanized solely because of space limitations or because they have been in the shelter beyond a specified period of time. Every effort is made to accommodate animals when they arrive and when this is not feasible, foster homes are utilized. This has resulted in less over-crowding at the shelter. It is not uncommon for the staff or volunteers to take these animals home and provide foster care themselves until the dogs and cats are returned to the shelter, or adopted. While in foster care, animals with behaviour issues are given one-on-one training.
Wishing to provide the most comfortable environment possible for the animals, the organization is in the process of establishing a separate building on their property which will become the home for their cats and kittens. In this building the felines will be afforded the space and freedom to live cage free while in at the shelter. Space will be allocated to include a kitten playroom, space for sick animals to recuperate, a potential adopter visiting room, and plenty of room for the cats and kittens to play, socialize, eat and sleep. This new environment will result in healthier, happier animals thereby increasing their adoptability. While it is the organization’s hope that all of the cats and kittens who live in this new facility will find a forever home with a loving family, this new cat sanctuary will replicate the closest thing to a forever home for as long as they are residents at the Lawrence County Humane Society.
It is the feeling of the Lawrence County Humane Society staff and volunteers, that you can tell a lot about a community by how it treats its animals. This organization is definitely setting the highest standard possible.