Originally founded in 1889, the Lexington Humane Society is the largest animal shelter in Central Kentucky. This shelter, which offers a tremendous amount of services, works closely with surrounding community animal shelters. Since LHS is the largest in the area, they take in animals that other animal shelters do not have the capacity to hold.
On March 29, 2019 I personally visited LHS and interviewed with one of their staff members. Throughout this interview, I received a lot of great information and even a tour of the facility.
So, allow me to give you a personal inside look.
What types of animals does LHS house?
Surprisingly, LHS houses much more than only dogs and cats. At the moment, they have eight pigs on their property, a rabbit, and even a Gekko! They have also been known to house horses. LHS takes in most animals that are brought to them, or that are in need of a place to stay until they are adopted into a forever home.
Do they hold the animals until they are adopted? What if that process takes years?
LHS actually keeps all of their animals until they are adopted. That’s great, right? Although they dislike using the term “no-kill shelter”, they do not euthanize their animals simply because they are not adopted quickly. LHS keeps their animals for years, if needed. Something that really helps with housing these animals for lengthy periods of time includes fostering and help from volunteers.
What services does LHS offer?
Honestly, this list could go on and on. LHS offers a variety of services! A few include: Fostering, First Contact Service, Check Me Out, Train-A-Bull, Spay’sTheWay, Veterinarian procedures, and more! To keep this post from being a novel, I have linked the services that are offered so that you can check them out, if interested! I highly suggest looking into these services, especially if you love animals or are looking for a pet to adopt.
What does housing look like for the animals?
I learned about housing for the animals from the tour, and let me just say, I absolutely loved what I saw! Three of the pigs, one of which is named Notorious P.I.G. which I think is hilarious, are housed outside in a paddock. They have plenty of room and there is actually a staff member that is directly responsible for caring for them, since they are very social animals.
The kittens/cats are housed, for the most part, in kennels like you would normally see. However, they do have a large room with windows, where the cats are able to walk around freely (I cannot remember the specific name of this room). Visitors and volunteers have access to the room, so the pets (which are rotated in and out of the room so each animal gets recreation time) receive a lot of love. Additionally, visit rooms are set up near the cats so that you can take some time to get to know the cat before you decide to officially adopt.
The puppies and dogs, which are separated into two different rooms, are kept in kennels. Although these dogs are kept in kennels, there is actually a yard area where the dogs are let outside to play. The dogs also have a visit room where you can get to know your potential future fur baby!
What can volunteers do?
The limit does not exist. If you didn’t get that reference, please watch Mean Girls — you won’t regret it! Volunteers are able to do things ranging from answering phones and working with files all the way to caring for the animals and helping with events.
During this interview, I learned about two amazing things people can volunteer for that I did not know existed. The first is that you can volunteer to walk the dogs. If you are cleared (luckily, LHS checks to make sure that their volunteers have never received any animal cruelty charges), you are able to come inside and take a dog outside for a nice walk. Sounds great, right? Well, let me tell you about something even better! Through the Check Me Out program, you can actually check a dog out for the day! You are given the dog, along with supplies for the animal, and have the freedom to leave the property and spend the day with the dog. Personally, I think this would be great to do if you are interested in adopting a particular dog, but it would also be great in general because… well, who doesn’t want to spend their day with a dog?
Although I am a person who hates a statistics course, I love reading through statistics that are offered from animal shelters! So, here are the statistics for LHS.
- 23,000 hours of service contributed by dedicated volunteers.
- 4,700 animals adopted into loving homes.
- 3,500 free and low cost spay/neuter surgeries performed through LHS.
- 2,600 individuals educated through campus, school outreach, and shelter tours.
- 700 animals provided life-saving, in-home care by volunteer foster parents.
- 600 animals adopted through First Contact service.
- 97% exceptional save rate.
I particularly enjoyed my time spent at the Lexington Humane Society. Before this interview, I had previously visited the shelter, but I had never viewed the shelter in its entirety.
Lexington Humane Society is doing excellent work. Since 1889 they have expanded greatly, and they are continuing to grow, which is great news for all of the animals that they will house in the future! When asked what they wish the general public would know, staff members responded that they simply want more exposure (follow their Instagram by clicking here) and would like people to understand that although they work closely with Fayette Animal Control, they are a different organization.
If you are interested in helping the Lexington Humane Society, here are your options:
- Donate money.
- Foster parent.
If you live near Lexington, Kentucky and have never visited LHS, you definitely should. The shelter is amazing and members of the staff are very friendly!
LHS has one mission: They give love, teach love, and adopt love.