No Kill Louisville summary of policies and procedures


Posted on June 7, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 7 at 5:58 PM

1.0 Introduction

    No Kill Louisville believes in a proactive approach to animal sheltering that places the lives of the animals as the utmost priority. Our goal is to create a community in which no adoptable or savable animal is killed. No Kill Louisville firmly believes that there are alternatives to ending an animal’s life that must be explored and exhausted in every way for each individual animal. It is important to think outside the box rather than to accept the death of an animal. Animal sheltering simply does not have to continue in the same way it has for years. We can save over 90% of all animals that come through our doors. The procedures, programs and policies outlined here are meant to guide shelter operations in such a way that makes life-saving easier than it ever has been, all while maintaining the health and comfort of the animals.

2.0 General Shelter Operations

2.1 Locations

The physical addresses of the No Kill Louisville Animal Shelter are 3705 Manslick Rd, Louisville, KY 40215 (hereafter "Manslick location") and 3516 Newburg Rd, Louisville, KY 40218 (hereafter "Animal House" or "Animal House Adoption Center"). An offsite adoption location where adoptable animals may be seen daily is the Petsmart at 3580 South Hurstbourne Pkwy,
Louisville, KY 40299.

2.2 Telephone & E-mail

Animal House: (502) 473-PETS (7387). Manslick location: (502) 574-5511. The telephone system is subject to change in order to make it more efficient and user-friendly. E-mail system is yet to be determined.

2.3 Hours of Operation

The Manslick location is open from 12 noon to 7 pm Tuesday through Sunday for owned animal surrenders, lost and found services, and adoptions. Animal House is open 12 noon to 7 pm Tuesday through Sunday for adoptions only. Both locations are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The shelter will remain open with regular hours during all other holidays.
Regular Petsmart store hours & closings apply to the offsite adoptions at the Petsmart location.

2.4 Animal Records

2.4.1 In order to insure detailed records on all animals, staff must enter into the database all care and treatment (except routine cleaning and feeding) around the time such care and treatment was given.

2.5 Shelter Statistics

2.5.1 The shelter will release monthly statistics including but not limited to the following (each will be broken down further by species): intakes, adoptions, return-to-owners, transfers to rescue groups.

2.5.2 The statistics will also include the number of animals killed in the categories outlined in Section 5.5.3.

2.5.3 Comparison statistics will also be made available for the same month of the previous year.

2.5.4 The number of active volunteers, total number of volunteer hours, number of active foster homes and the number of each animal in foster care will also be made available each month.

2.6 Holding Periods

All animals relinquished as “stray” will be held for 5 days. Stray animals requiring immediate, emergency medical care offsite or immediate foster care (such as infants) will remain in the system for 5 days and will not be transferred to a rescue group or adopted out during this time. Detailed records of these “off site strays” will be made available to the public in a binder or bulletin board for anyone who comes searching for a lost animal.

2.7 Owner Requested Euthanasia

The Animal Shelter does not perform owner requested euthanasia. Owners requesting this service will be referred to their private veterinarian. If the owner cannot afford to take their pet to a private veterinarian, they may surrender the animal to the Animal Shelter. However, the animal will not be euthanized without passing through normal euthanasia protocol as described in Section 5.5.4.

3.0 Intake Procedures

3.1 Stray/Lost & Found

3.1.1 Anyone who brings a “stray” animal to the shelter will be asked to fill out paperwork, which includes specific information on when and where the animal was found. This information is entered into the computer by an intake counselor.

3.1.2 All stray animals will immediately be given a full-body scan with a microchip reader by an intake counselor. Any microchip information that is found will immediately be pursued.

3.1.3 “Finders” will be asked if they would be interested in fostering or adopting the animal if its owners are not found. If yes, they will be contacted after the 5 day holding period by the foster coordinator.

3.1.4 General physical description of the animal will be immediately cross-referenced against the shelterʼs database of all lost reports.

3.1.5 Anyone who brings in a cat with a feral ear-tip will immediately receive onsite counseling and Alley Cat Advocates will be contacted to assist in the return of the cat.

3.1.6 Once a kennel card has been generated and printed, the animal is ready for evaluation.

3.1.7 There are no stray surrender fees.

3.2 Owner Surrenders

3.2.1 Animal owners that wish to surrender their pet will first be counseled in pet retention. The purpose of pet retention counseling is to find a solution that may allow an owner to keep their pet. Surrender paperwork will not be supplied until after an attempt at counseling is made.

3.2.2 Animal owners must fill out a basic owner surrender form that includes an animal survey. This information is entered into the computer by an intake counselor and a kennel card is generated and printed.

3.2.3 When the situation allows, animal owners that are unable to present up-to-date vaccination records will be asked to take the animal home for one (1) day after intake staff administers vaccinations. This allows the vaccine to begin to take effect on the animalʼs immune system before the animal is exposed to pathogens. This reason is thoroughly explained to owners, who will sign an agreement form. Once the animal comes back the next day, the owners will complete the surrender contract.

3.2.4 All animal owners must sign a surrender contract, which states that the animal is, in fact, their own and they relinquish all ownership of the animal. This completes the surrender process. The animal is ready to be evaluated.

3.2.5 There are no owner surrender fees.

3.3 Intake Evaluations

3.3.1 All animals will receive an initial medical examination, which will be recorded on a medical exam form and entered into the computer. Examinations will be performed as long as the animal can be handled safely without immediate danger to the intake team or the animal itself.

3.3.2 Animals in a physical state of distress, thought to be pregnant or severely ill will not be examined by the intake team. They will immediately be taken to the vet area for their examination and additional medical assistance.

3.3.3 Except as outlined above, all animals will receive the following upon intake:
DHAPP (dogs) or FVRCP (cats) vaccinations, rabies vaccination (only animals 4 months and older), intestinal parasite dewormer, and topical flea & tick medication. Dogs will also have blood drawn for a heartworm test.

3.3.4 The intake team will give a second full-body scan for a microchip. Any microchip information found will be confirmed with previously entered information. The animal will also be examined for any other identifying information, such as a tattoo.

3.3.5 An initial behavior assessment will be noted. These are very general observations to be used as a benchmark. It is useful to know if the animalʼs behavior is improving or deteriorating after acclimating to the shelter, and can help determine placement of the animal.

3.3.6 Cats that are very frightened should be given a feral cat box, with a towel sprayed with FAP, to assist them in their adjustment to the shelter. (More information on feral cats can be found in Section 4.8)

3.3.7 Pictures will be taken by the intake team. Pictures need to be of the highest quality possible because they will be used immediately to help animals find rescue or foster care, be returned to their owners or be adopted. Each animal should have a side profile picture and a full-on picture of their face.

3.3.8 The intake team must collaborate and make an initial determination/ suggestion of the appropriate placement of the animal, which may include foster care, return to its colony, adoptions, rescue, or euthanasia. The intake team must enter these suggestions into the computer as well as communicate directly with the appropriate coordinators and caregivers about new intakes.

3.3.9 Once the intake process is complete, the animal will be moved to an appropriate available cage by animal care staff (see section on animal movement) or be put into temporary housing in the intake area until a cage is made available.

3.3.01 Appropriate sanitation measures will be taken after handling each animal, including but not limited to disinfecting all surfaces and washing hands.

4.0 Animal Care

4.1 General Policies

4.1.1 All animals will be treated with respect and compassion by all staff and volunteers.

4.1.2 Utmost care will be taken to reduce cross-contamination among animal populations through careful cleaning protocols and segregation of adoptable, stray, and medical isolation animals. Dogs should never be housed in the same room as cats.

4.1.3 All shelter staff and volunteers should strive to meet the basic needs of all shelter animals, except those animals which pose an immediate danger. This includes but is not limited to fresh water and food on a daily basis, time outside of their enclosure on a daily basis, appropriate grooming and health care, and mental stimulation.

4.2 Cleaning

4.2.1 Animal housing areas will be cleaned thoroughly once a day, in the morning. Cages and kennels will then be spot cleaned throughout the day.

4.2.2 Cleaning duties fall to the Animal Care staff and specially trained volunteers. Animal Care staff are assigned to specific areas of the shelter to avoid cross-contamination.

4.2.3 Kennels and cages should be completely cleaned as soon as an animal is moved out to make room for an incoming animal.

4.2.4 Complete cleaning protocol for the 2 main dog kennels is as follows:
Do daily evaluations using the forms in the binder. Record ill-appearing animals on the veterinary log.
Mark cages with animals that appear to be ill with a red “Iʼm not feeling
well” kennel tag on both the inside and outside run doors. These will be
cleaned last once all the other kennels are completely finished.
Get all dogs on the inside of their runs and securely close all guillotine
doors. Cleaning will begin on the outside portion of the runs.
Don clean protective clothing, located at the south end of the building - suit,
boots, gloves, hair protection.
Get the cleaning cart from the south end of the building.
Collect any laundry and place in the hamper. Collect any food bowls, empty
uneaten food into the trash, and stack bowls on cart. Collect any toys and
place in basket on cart.
Measure out the proper amount of detergent cleaner into the spray hose
Identify any severely soiled kennels and spray them down to give them
time to soak.
Poop scoop the kennels, emptying all feces into the trash.
Place poop scoop into the detergent bucket to soak.
Hose down all kennels with detergent spray, covering every inch of
concrete and chain link.
Scrub all kennels with the stiff bristle brush. Place bristle brush in its
detergent bucket to soak.
Spray the walkways.
Remove the detergent spray attachment from hose and rinse kennels with
water. Rinse walkways as well.
Attach the disinfectant spray attachment to the hose and spray all kennels
down with bleach, including kennel doors. Spray walkways as well. This needs to sit for 10
minutes. Move the bristle brush and poop scooper to the bleach bucket.
Rinse kennels and walkways with water.
Squeegee all kennels dry. Let the kennels dry completely to the air.
Open guillotine doors and close them again after the dogs have moved
Repeat the process on the inside portions of the kennels.
Pay special attention to the dog beds. Flip them over and spray thoroughly.
Refill water buckets.
Once the healthy animalsʼ kennels are done, bring them all to the inside
again and close their guillotine doors. Repeat above cleaning process with any animals that
appeared sick.
Be sure to spray the wheels of the cart with detergent and bleach.
Using hand-held sprays, wipe down door knobs and all “common” elements
           such as guillotine door pulley handles.
Tie up the trash bag and laundry bag.
Remove protective clothing. Put suit in the laundry hamper and put boots
in their detergent basin. Thoroughly wash hands after removing gloves.
Consider washing face, too! Use hand sanitizer after washing.
Open guillotine doors again for the sick animals, closing them again after sick animals are on the inside of their kennel. Vet staff will examine animal and isolate if necessary.
Open all guillotine doors so that healthy animals may go in and out.
Move laundry bag to the laundry room. Wash hands thoroughly and use
hand sanitizer.
Replace blankets and toys where needed.
Perform general cleaning of the kennel area.

4.2.5 If dogs go out for walks throughout the day and are given ample opportunity to relieve themselves outside of a kennel, the need for spot cleaning is greatly diminished. However, any feces in the kennels should be promptly “spot cleaned” as follows:

Close guillotine doors to keep animal on side you are NOT cleaning.
Wearing a pair of gloves, remove feces from kennels with a clean bag. Wipe floor of kennel with clean paper towel if necessary.
Abnormal incidents of diarrhea or vomit should be immediately reported to the vet staff, and not cleaned until they have examined it or taken samples, if necessary. To reduce potential cross-contamination, use boot covers if you must spot-clean a kennel where a dog appears to be ill, and remove them immediately.
Remove any damaged toys that the dog has torn apart.
Remove & replace any soiled bedding.
Use a fresh pair of gloves, fresh paper towels, and fresh bags between each kennel.

4.2.6 Complete cleaning for cats (also generally applies to puppies housed in
cages) is as follows:

Do daily evaluations for all cats. Mark cages where cats appear ill and clean these last. Record ill-appearing animals on the veterinary log.
Wear a fresh pair of gloves with each cat. Use hand sanitizer before putting on a fresh pair of gloves.
Prepare fresh bowls of water and food for the cat and place on the cart.
If cleaning a cage with a feral or frightened cat, remember to wait for them to enter their “feral cat den” and close & latch the round door. Remove den from the cage and place on a table or in the cat exercise room, never on the floor during cleaning. **Note: if necessary, use cat tongs to aid in closing & opening the round door if the cat is particularly aggressive.
If cleaning a cage with a friendly cat, move the cat into its own carrier. Each cat cage should be assigned a carrier. Try not to “hug” the cat when moving it. Carriers should be placed on a table or in the cat exercise room, never on the floor during cleaning.
Dump uneaten food in the trash and dump water down the sink. Put bowls on cart to be cleaned.
Remove toys and place on cart to be washed or throw them away if severely damaged.
Remove any towels to be washed and place them in laundry hamper.
Remove paper and dump in trash.
Use a paper towel to remove feces or “urine cakes” from litter box. Completely dump and replace cardboard litter box if needed. Add extra litter if needed.
Remove litter box and place temporarily on cart on a clean layer of newspaper.
Spray the cat cage with a detergent to remove organic matter. Follow-up with a disinfectant and allow this to sit for the appropriate amount of time. Be sure to spray & wipe the cage doors, too.
 Allow the cage to air-dry.
 Add a fresh layer of newspaper.
 Add a fresh towel.
Replace the litter box and add the bowls you prepared in step 3.
 Place new toys in cage.
Retrieve the cat carrier & put cat back in cage. Or, replace cat den and open the round door.
 Thoroughly spray and disinfect the cat’s carrier.
Remove gloves, use hand sanitizer, and move on to the next cat.

4.2.7 Spot cleaning for cats can be done throughout the day or each morning for cats that are particularly clean. Cats can become stressed by the cleaning process and, because they are stressed, more susceptible to disease. Spot cleaning does not involve removing the cats from their cages. Spot cleaning protocol for cats is as follows:

Wear a fresh pair of gloves with each cat.
With one hand, gently prevent cat from escaping by blocking its chest with your hand. Or, in the case of feral or frightened cats, wait until the cat enters its feral cat den and close the round door.
With your other hand, use a paper towel to remove feces or “urine cakes” from the litterbox.
Replace any bedding if soiled.
Replace food and water bowls if they are soiled or empty.
Open the round feral cat den door, if applicable. Close cage door, remove gloves, use hand sanitizer, and move on to the next cat.

4.2.8 All intake, animal care, and adoption staff will participate in a rotating schedule that involves keeping common areas (such as hallways, lobbies, and bathrooms) clean. Staff will not be asked to clean an area outside their normal workstation. For example, adoptions staff will not clean the intake lobby and vice versa. Vet staff will maintain laundry in the vet trailer, and animal care staff will be responsible for keeping the laundry going in the animal care area. Staff will be responsible for the cleanliness of their everyday work environment, including but not limited to desk space (personal and shared).

4.2.9 Animal Care staff will be responsible for maintaining the appropriate exercise areas for the animals in their care. For example, the Animal Care staff focused on cleaning the adoptable dog kennel will also ensure the cleanliness of the adoptable dog exercise yard, including but not limited to trash pick-up, poop-scooping, and perimeter checks. Sociable cats will have exercise rooms available so that Animal Care staff can let them stretch outside of their cage at least once a day. These rooms should be cleaned and disinfected between each cat.

4.3 Feeding

4.3.1 Appropriate food type and measurements will be given. Measurements will depend on the quality of the food. We intend to enter a contract with a pet food company for free food. However, the company has not been determined yet so feeding charts are not available at this time. Regardless, animals will be fed an appropriate diet based on their species, health, weight, and age.

4.3.2 Healthy adult dogs and cats will be fed once a day in the evening in clean bowls.

4.3.3 Underweight, obese, very young and very old animals will be given smaller portions throughout the day, a minimum of twice a day.

4.3.4 For any unhealthy, very young or very old and underweight or obese animals, the feeding schedule and specific diet will fall under the discretion of the veterinarian.

4.3.5 Water bowls should be kept full and clean at all times.

4.4 Animal Movement

4.4.1 Animals need to be moved into foster care, adoptions, rescue, and out of medical isolation as quickly as possible to insure adequate space. Staff members responsible for moving animals are primarily the foster and rescue coordinators and animal care staff.

4.4.2 New intake animals should be moved to the appropriate housing quarters by the animal care staff responsible for the section where the animal will be housed. This requires good communication among intake and animal care staff.

4.4.3 Unclaimed stray animals should be moved into foster care or into the adoption buildings at the Manslick location as soon as possible after the 5 day stray holding period is complete.

4.4.4 Owner surrender animals in good health and of sound temperament may immediately move into the adoption areas, to be “worked up” for adoption at a later time, but as promptly as possible.

4.4.5 Adoptable animals from the Manslick location should be moved to Animal House Adoption Center and offsite adoption locations on a daily basis when space becomes available.

4.5 Animal Handling

4.5.1 All staff will be trained in how to safely and compassionately handle all animals, including frightened, fractious, questionable and feral animals. Once trained, staff will be held accountable for proper animal handling. Volunteers will also receive handling instructions on their first day of training, but will only be handling adoptable animals unless approved by the director.

4.5.2 The use of safety equipment should be reserved only for those animals who truly pose a danger to staff. Overuse of safety equipment will warrant further training.

4.5.3 Staff and volunteers should know to request assistance from another staff member if they are unsure how to safely or appropriately handle a certain animal.

4.5.4 Catch poles should never be used on cats. Safety equipment used must be appropriate for the species of the animal.

4.6 Veterinary & Health Issues

4.6.1 Daily evaluations will be performed first thing every morning by Animal Care staff. Any appearance of illness in an animal should be immediately recorded on the veterinarian’s log and the kennels should be marked with a tag. Tag must be on both inside and outside doors in the case of double sided dog runs.

4.6.2 Veterinary staff members are responsible for examining animals that appear ill or injured, dispensing medications daily, spay/neuter surgeries, and euthanasia of animals.

4.6.3 Cleanliness of the veterinary area is of utmost importance. Exam tables will always be cleaned immediately before and after use, the floor will be routinely mopped, staff will change into clean scrubs (provided) after handling an ill animal. Staff will use gloves when appropriate.

4.6.4 All staff will be trained in medical “red flags” to know what needs to be reported to the vet staff.

4.7 Socialization

4.7.1 All animals require daily socialization for mental and physical well being. It falls to staff to care for all stray animals, but staff may share socialization duties with volunteers for adoptable animals.

4.7.2 Most dogs should be walked a minimum of once a day, ideally 3 times a day. Use common sense: walk under-the-weather dogs last, but any dog that appears severely ill should not be touched and should be moved to medical isolation as soon as possible.

4.7.3 When appropriate, dogs should have a daily opportunity to run in a fenced area, preferably with other friendly dogs.

4.7.4 All dogs should have daily opportunities for “people time”, including being pet, brushed, talked to and given tasty treats.

4.7.5 Kennel enrichment, such as toys or peanut butter-stuffed kongs should be provided to dogs whenever possible.

4.7.6 Healthy cats should have the opportunity to walk in a room at least once a day and receive human interaction.

4.7.7 Toys should be provided to cats either inside the cage or hanging on the outside.

4.8 Feral Cats

4.8.1 Cats thought to be feral upon intake will be provided with a feral cat box
with a towel that has been sprayed with Feliway (feline appeasing pheromone). A towel must be placed over the catʼs cage and may be slowly raised over several days to help the cat adjust. Cats thought to be feral on intake may turn out to be frightened house cats who, after an adjustment period, are social.

4.8.2 Unclaimed stray cats that are unsuitable for adoption should be neutered and returned to the location where they were trapped. Educational information (such as door hangars) will be distributed in the neighborhood.

4.9 Died In Kennel

4.9.1 When an animal has died in their cage/kennel, staff or volunteers must report the incident to a veterinary technician immediately so that the body may be examined.

4.9.2 The cage or kennel must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected immediately.

4.9.3 If the animal was in group housing and the animal is suspected to have
died of a contagion, the animals directly exposed must be moved to medical
isolation for monitoring.

4.9.4 If the shelter is open to the public, the body must be covered with a towel
before being moved.

4.9.5 The body is to be handled with respect and care at all times.

4.01 Volunteer Program

4.01.1 Volunteers must fill out volunteer paperwork (See Appendix H) and attend a general orientation.

4.01.2 Volunteers will also receive a copy of the Volunteer Handbook

4.01.3 Additional training sessions will be made available to increase the capabilities of volunteers, such as adoption training, cleaning protocol training, lost and found training, etc. Additional handbooks will be made available to volunteers who go through these training sessions.

4.01.4 A strong volunteer program is the backbone of a successful animal shelter.
We would like to see an increase to at least 300 active volunteers.

5.0 Disposition

5.1 Return to Owner


Anyone wishing to view lost animals may do so during regular business hours.
A lost report must be filed before animals may be viewed.
Staff or volunteers must walk people through the lost holding areas.
Once an owner has successfully found their lost pet (and the pet matches the description on the lost report they filed), the owner will be required to give additional identification of the animal, such as pictures, medical records, or a receipt of purchase.
Staff will fill in a Return to Owner form and the owner will sign stating that this is their pet and they are claiming it.
Fees must be paid before the process is complete. Fees will be based on vaccination, licensing, microchip, and spay/neuter surgery at cost, plus $5 per day that the animal is housed at the shelter. Fees may be waived at the discretion of NKL management.

Field Returns

A financial incentive is available for every “field return” that an Animal
Control Officer successfully facilitates. No Kill Louisville will provide half of this monetary allowance to Louisville Metro Government and half to the Animal Control Officer, per field return. Animals must be completely processed and entered into the shelterʼs database to be considered for this incentive.

Volunteer Lost & Found Team

A volunteer lost & found team will be assembled. They will report to the Intake Team. The Lost & Found Team will be proactive in facilitating reunions among lost pets located at the shelter with their owners.
The lost & found team will cross-reference all lost pets with listings on various media sources.
The lost & found team will use a flyer template and intake photos to create flyers for each animal. These flyers will be faxed or e-mailed to veterinarians within 10 miles of where the animal was found.
The lost & found team may also create large, bright posters for individual animals and post these at major intersections near where the animal was found. They will also be responsible for removing these posters once the animal has been found or has otherwise left the shelter system.
The lost & found team may also maintain online listings of lost animals in order to give the public a way to search for their lost pet.
The lost & found team will assist with taking calls or e-mails from the public who wish to file lost or found reports with the shelter. The lost & found team will file these reports and counsel people about other steps they can take in order to find a lost pet (or to find an owner).


Adoptable animals will be located at Animal House Adoption Center, the Manslick location, in foster care, and offsite adoption centers such as the Petsmart on Hurstbourne Pkwy. will be the primary internet media for promoting all adoptable animals, but other websites (which may include and will also be used.

Adopters will be encouraged to fill out an application (See Appendices F & G) first before going to see the animals. However, potential adopters may “just look” without having to fill out an application first. Applications will be required before animals will be taken out for potential adopters.

 Adopters will be escorted through adoption areas.

5.2.5 Adoption counselors will interview adopters and will promote animals that seem like a good fit for their lifestyle.

5.2.6 Adoption counselors will check landlord and vet references.

5.2.7 Adoption counselors will handle adoption agreements and fees.

5.2.8 Adoption fees will be no higher than $135 for dogs and puppies, and $85 for cats and kittens. Promotions may be run at any time and may include lower adoption fees.

5.2.9 If more than one person submits an application for the same animal, backup applicants will be notified when the animal is adopted.

5.2.01 Adoption counselors will also be responsible for follow-up calls at the following intervals: 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months.

5.2.02 People looking for a specific breed of dog or cat may file an adoption application. These “breed request” applications will be kept for up to 90 days. Applicants will be informed when an animal fitting that description is available for adoption from the shelter. Intake team will be able to access these applications via the database so that people may immediately be alerted to animals.

5.2.03 All adoptable animals will be spayed/neutered (unless considered unfit for surgery by veterinarian), microchipped, up to date on vaccines and preventative medicine, and licensed before adoption.

Rescue Groups

5.3.1 A full time Rescue Coordinator will be on staff to facilitate the transfer of animals to rescue groups.

5.3.2 Animals will be spayed or neutered prior to being transferred unless an animal is considered by a veterinarian to be unfit for surgery. Rescue groups wishing to be exempt from this policy must receive approval from the director.

5.3.3 Rescues will be charged for medical services (at cost) performed at the shelter.

5.4.3 The shelter must have a completed “Rescue Registration Form” (See Appendix E) on file and must receive approval from the Rescue Coordinator, with guidance from the Director as needed, before animals may be transferred to their care.

5.4.4 Any shelters or rescues that wish to have animals transferred to their care must have a euthanasia policy that agrees with our own.

 Foster Care

5.4.1 Foster caregivers must fill out foster paperwork (See Appendix I) and attend a general foster orientation before they can receive their first foster animal.

5.4.2 Foster caregivers will also receive a copy of the Foster Handbook

5.4.3 Additional training sessions will be made available, such as how to care for bottle feeding puppies & kittens.

5.4.4 Free dog training classes will also be made available for foster caregivers to attend with their foster dogs, with the goal of making the dogs more appealing to adopters, more likely to have success in their new home, and to provide a supportive resource for foster caregivers.

5.4.5 Foster homes increase the capacity of a shelter. We would like to see an increase to at least 1,000 animals entering foster care every year.

5.4.6 Foster homes will not be limited by county or state, but will be limited within 50 miles of Louisville unless approved by the shelter Director.


5.5.1 Euthanasia is reserved for terminally ill and suffering animals or those with aggressive behavior that is dangerous to the public. Discriminatory factors such as age, breed, color, time, space are never acceptable reasons for euthanasia.

5.5.2 Euthanasia decisions will never be made by one person. Behavior assessments must have been performed at least 1 day apart by different evaluators before any animal is considered dangerous, and the animal must also be evaluated by a veterinarian who may conclude a manageable medical reason for any aggressive behavior seen (such as an undiagnosed injury or ailment). If this is the case, the animal will start treatment and be observed over time. A veterinarian must also make the determination of an animal that is terminally ill and suffering. The director must also approve all euthanasia cases. In the event that an animal is irremediably suffering and the director is not available, the decision to end the animal’s life will be made by a supervisor in consultation with a veterinarian. The supervisor will review the decision with the director at the earliest possible time.

5.5.3 The following sub-outcomes are to be used when an animal is killed and logged into the PetPoint database:   

Healthy (animals who are not aggressive, sick, or injured)
Medical-Treatable (animals who are sick or injured, but whose prognosis for rehabilitation is excellent, good, fair, or guarded)
Medical-Non-Rehabilitatable (animals that are sick or injured with a poor or grave prognosis)
Irremediably Suffering (Non-Rehabilitatable animals in severe pain)
Neonatal (motherless animals aged one day to approximately 3 weeks who require bottle feeding because they are unable to eat on their own and are unable to survive without bottle feeding)
Court Order (animals determined to be vicious by a hearing officer or court of law after a dangerous animal hearing)
Feral (dogs and cats totally unsocialized to people)
Behavior (animals that manifest a behavior condition, such as resource guarding in dogs, but who either do not pose the type of direct and immediate public safety risk that a truly vicious dog does, or whose prognosis for rehabilitation is guarded or better)
Vicious (animals who are aggressive with a prognosis for rehabilitation which is poor and who pose a direct and immediate public safety risk)
Rabies (animals required to be killed under state or local rabies prevention regulations. A dog or cat is not a “rabies” outcome if a ten day holding period is a legally acceptable alternative. If such an animal is killed, they should be logged under the other relevant criteria, including “Healthy”)

5.5.4 It is the policy of No Kill Louisville that savable animals not be killed. This commitment requires all legal and reasonable alternatives to be exhausted before an animal is scheduled to be killed. To meet this goal, killing of an animal will not occur unless and until the director has certified that all efforts to save the animal have been considered, including:

Medical and behavioral rehabilitation;
Foster care;
Rescue groups;
Neuter and return; and

Furthermore, the director will determine that such effort will either:

Not alter a poor or grave prognosis;
The dog is vicious and poses a direct and immediate threat to public safety;
The cat is feral and all attempts to relocate or neuter and return the cat have failed;
The likelihood of success in any of the steps appear poor in the reasonably foreseeable future such that continued holding of the animal would not alter this prognosis; and/or,
The animal has been determined to be vicious and ordered to be destroyed by a court or hearing officer under law, and all appeals have been exhausted.

5.5.5 Euthanasia will be performed in the vet area by vet staff trained in euthanasia, and under the direction of a veterinarian.

5.5.6 Emergency, off-hours cases in which an animal appears to be irremediably suffering will be transported to a local 24-hour vet, for examination and euthanasia if the animal’s prognosis is poor or grave and the animal cannot be stabilized. Veterinary observations must be documented in writing and given to the Director at the earliest possible time.

5.5.7 Animals will be euthanized by lethal intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital, except as follows:

Intraperitoneal injections may be used only under the direction of a licensed veterinarian, and only when intravenous injection is not possible for infant animals, companion animals other than cats and dogs, feral cats, or in comatose animals with depressed vascular function.
Intracardiac injections may be used only when intravenous injection is not possible for animals who are completely unconscious or comatose, and then only under the direction of a veterinarian.

5.5.8 All animals will be sedated or tranquilized to minimize their stress or discomfort and to ensure staff safety. However, neuromuscular blocking agents may not be used.

5.5.9 No animal will be allowed to witness any other animal being killed or being tranquilized/sedated for the purpose of being killed.

5.5.01 Following their injection, animals will be lowered to the surface on which they are being held and will not be permitted to collapse without support.

5.5.02 An animal may never be left unattended during the entire euthanasia process.

5.5.03 Death must be verified before the body is disposed. Verification of death will be confirmed for each animal in all of the following ways:

By lack of heartbeat, verified by a stethoscope
By lack of respiration, verified by observation
By pale, bluish gums and tongue, verified by observation
By lack of eye response, verified if lid does not blink when eye is touched and pupil remains dilated when a light is shined on it.

5.5.04 Once death is verified, bodies will be stored in the freezer and will be incinerated as needed.

5.5.05 The room in which animals are killed will be cleaned and disinfected between each procedure.

5.5.06 The room in which animals are killed will have adequate ventilation that prevents the accumulation of odors.

5.5.07 The following verification process will be used to ensure the appropriate animal has been retrieved for euthanasia:

Two people must confirm that the correct animal is in the room. One person reviews the animal’s notes and calls out identifying information of the animal (such as “Neutered black lab, 2 years old”) to which the second person responds “yes” or “no”. This continues until all identifying characteristics have been verified.
The animal is scanned over its entire body for a microchip.

5.5.08 The entire euthanasia process from start to finish is as follows:

Sedate aggressive or fractious animals before handling.
Check paperwork with the animal to ensure a proper match. Criteria to be reviewed are:
Animal Identification Number
Spay/neuter status
Primary color
Attempted contact of owner has been made
Verification of sign off by Director & Veterinarian
Scan each animal for a microchip, even if this has already been done by another staff member. Scan the entire body because microchips can travel.
Check the “Lost” animal database and rule out any possible matches.
Inject animal with prescribed dose of sedation as warranted before injection of pentobarbital.
Two employees are to be present when pentobarbital is administered to any animal.
One (1) cc of pentobarbital is administered per 10 pounds of body weight through intravenous injection. Exceptions to intravenous injection have been outlined in Section 5.5.7
Verify the death of the animal as outlined in Section 5.5.03.
When the animal is dead, employees administering the pentobarbital will complete the disposition portion of the animal’s record.
Enter amounts of pentobarbital and sedation used in the Controlled Substance Log along with the data regarding each animal killed and the initials of both employees.


6.0 Appendix

A. Medical Exam Form
B. Owner Surrender Form
C. Stray Animal Surrender Form
D. Lost & Found Report
E. Rescue Registration Form
F. Adoption Survey – Cat
G. Adoption Survey - Dog
H. Volunteer Application
I. Foster Application
J. Daily Evaluation Form - Cat
K. Daily Evaluation Form – Dog