Louisville Metro Animal Services may have to euthanize adoptable pets – Courier Journal

Pets

Within the next 48 hours, Louisville Metro Animals may have to start euthanizing animals because of a space crunch at its shelter.
Deputy Director Jerry Foley announced Friday the shelter at 3528 Newburg Road is expecting to have to begin euthanizing animals in anticipation of an influx of strays because of the Fourth of July weekend. The shelter is the only stray-holding facility in Jefferson County. 
“I never felt like we’d find ourselves in this situation again,” Foley said.
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This would be the first time that the LMAS administration would have to resort to this measure in over five years. In 2017, LMAS qualified as a no-kill shelter for the first time, achieving a 92.8% live release rate for animals it took it. LMAS’ live release rate increased to 94.99% in 2021, and, up until this point, it has continued its status as a no-kill shelter for time and space.
But in the last month, the agency has seen more than 700 dogs enter the shelter, which is built with 165 kennels, and it already has housed 850 more animals this year than it had a year ago at this time. On Thursday, only four kennels were empty. And this weekend through July 5 is expected to be one of the highest intake periods for the year, in part because of fireworks.”We just need people to take care of their animals and do the right things with them,” Foley said. “At our shelter, the dog grows to love us, and we love the dog. So [euthanasia] is a terrible thing to ask of somebody just for kennel space.”
LMAS is also offering advice to help ease their burden during the holiday weekend. Pet owners should leave their animals at home during firework displays, as many animals can get scared and run off due to the loud blasts. Officials recommend that people should keep their pets inside and to make sure they are always wearing a collar with identification tags. 
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For those who come across strays, LMAS is urging people to do their best to watch them themselves through at least July 5. There are plans for a transport vehicle to take some of their currently housed dogs to other facilities out of state on July 10, but the strain on the shelter will be incredibly high until then. For questions, if you find a stray, Foley suggested calling the Animal Care number: (502) 4753787. 
And for people looking to adopt and foster, Foley said they should come in as soon as they can, including Friday until 6 p.m. The shelter will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 12 to 6 p.m.
Adoption fees have also been waived.
There also will be no fee, through July 6, to reclaim a dog given to the shelter by a previous owner, Foley said. All adoptable pets have been vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped and spayed or neutered, LMAS said.
“What better way to celebrate independence than giving a homeless pet freedom from life in the shelter?” said Teeya Barnes, public information specialist. “We encourage families looking to welcome a pet into their home to make adoption the first option. When you adopt, you are ensuring there’s space for the next stray pet entering the shelter.”
Contact reporter Krista Johnson at kjohnson3@gannett.com. Reach reporter Thomas Birmingham @TBirmingham@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @cthomasbirm. 

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