Grant saves Kentucky pit bull terriers and community cats

Kentucky is known for bluegrass, bourbon and an infamous horse race, but Best Friends-inspired grant programs that put local rescue groups on the inside track to success is a new reason for pet lovers to cheer. The funding is helping to get animals out of Kentucky shelters and into homes, thanks to an anonymous donation through Best Friends Animal Society, earmarked specifically for that purpose.

The grant will help three key groups to collaborate more with Louisville Metro Animal Services  (LMAS) to save more of the most at-risk pets in the shelter — community cats (strays and ferals) and pit bull terriers.  “The organizations have been working together for a while, and the additional funding brings more pieces to the no-kill equation,” says Michelle Logan, Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network supervisor. “The resources are aimed at helping Louisville Metro Animal Services increase its save rate (the percentage of animals who enter a shelter and are not killed).”

Donald Robinson, assistant director of LMAS, says, “We don’t want to silo our efforts, and Best Friends has enabled us to work more efficiently by supplying the money and marketing for lifesaving endeavors, such as mega-adoption events that bring many people and pets together.”

Saving more pit bull terriers

Gordy the pit bull from Louisville Metro Animal Services Saving Sunny, Inc., a local organization focused on saving pit bull terriers, now is able to help families keep their much-loved dogs through their Community Dog Resource Center. With additional funding from the grant, Saving Sunny offers assistance to the pet-loving public by giving people access to dog food and one-on-one dog training opportunities. This holistic approach is helping the most at-risk dogs stay out of the shelter system and in their forever homes.

In addition, the grant provides new pit bull terrier adopters with more resources, such as success packages containing important training and behavior tools like large dog crates and harnesses — essentials to help transition the dogs into their new homes.

To help reduce the number of unplanned litters in a community already flooded with puppies, Best Friends presented Kentucky Humane Society with a grant of $41,085 to spay or neuter 747 pit bull terriers, a 43 percent increase from last year.

Saving more community cats

Spencer the cat from Louisville Metro Animal Services The grant has provided a big boost to the work done on behalf of community cats by helping LMAS and Alley Cat Advocates work together more closely. LMAS has been providing spay/neuter for healthy community cats entering the shelter before they are returned to their colonies. With the extra funding, LMAS alerts Alley Cat Advocates about crucial trap/neuter/return (TNR) opportunities. The pickup locations of community cats are shared with Alley Cat Advocates so they can fix the rest of the cats and, effectively, provide TNR for the whole colony.

“Our funding is earmarked to help Alley Cat Advocates spay or neuter 856 cats, and by working with LMAS they are able to target areas that have the most need,” says Michelle. “It’s all about working strategically to increase the save rate.”  All the groups working together are partners in the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network, a program that works with rescue organizations and municipal shelters across the country to end the killing of dogs and cats in our nation’s shelters.

Donald, of LMAS, sums it up best when he says, “The funding is essential to raise the save rate, while raising awareness about pit bull terriers and community cats, and helping to save more lives in our community.”

Learn more about how Best Friends helps shelters and rescue groups across the country.

Photos courtesy of Louisville Metro Animal Services