Dozens of adoptions help stave off euthanizations at Louisville animal shelter

·2 min read

Louisville Metro Animal Services is no longer facing threats of overcrowding over the holiday weekend thanks to a flurry of adoptions and foster home applications, officials said Sunday.

Department officials announced Friday the shelter was in danger of being forced to begin euthanizing animals due to lack of space, but will no longer have to, LMAS spokesperson Teeya Barnes said.

"We have open kennels for incoming pets because the community stepped up when it was needed most," she said.

Fourteen dogs and 15 cats were adopted Saturday, and over 100 foster applications were submitted to the department in less than 24 hours following the announcement, Barnes said.

"We ask applicants to be patients with the approval process. Foster homes will still be needed in the coming weeks," Barnes said.

Background: Louisville animal shelter may begin euthanizing adoptable cats, dogs due to overcrowding

On Friday, LMAS deputy director Jerry Foley announced the shelter expected to begin euthanizing animals due to an expected influx of strays due to the holiday weekend.

LMAS hasn't euthanized animals in over five years. They qualified as a no-skill shelter for the first time in 2017 after achieving a 92.8% live release rate for the animals it took in. In 2021, that rate jumped to 94.99% and the shelter continued to live up to its no-kill status. The shelter is the only stray-holding facility in Jefferson County.

Capacity at the shelter has become an issue in recent months. The department saw more than 700 dogs enter the shelter and has already housed at least 850 more animals this year compared to 2021 as of Friday.

There were only four open kennels at the shelter on Thursday, but Barnes said on Sunday there were more than 30 large dog kennels open thanks to the increased adoptions.

"We do not anticipate euthanizing any animals and continue to get pets places in foster," Barnes said.

LMAS advises pet owners to leave their fur friends at home during fireworks shows this weekend since many animals get scared and could run because of the noise. Officials recommend keeping pets inside and making sure they have identification.

Foley, the deputy director, said there is no fee to reclaim a dog given to the shelter by a previous owner until July 6. All animals are vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped and spayed or neutered by the department prior to adoption.

Officials also ask those who find strays to try and watch out for them on their own until at least July 5. Plans for a transport vehicle to take some of their currently housed dogs to other facilities out of state on July 10 remain unchanged.

A recent promotion that waives adoption fees will be extended until July 11, Barnes said.

More in pets: 'Deadly' heat grips Louisville, prompting warnings and fears for unsheltered population

The shelter will be closed on the July 4 holiday and will reopen Tuesday at noon.

Contact reporter Rae Johnson at Follow them on Twitter at @RaeJ_33. Reporters Krista Johnson and Thomas Birmingham contributed.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Louisville Metro Animal Services avoids euthanizing adoptable pets