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Kentucky animal shelters help rescue 270 pets from overcrowded shelter

The Kentucky and Lexington Human Societies traveled to Arkansas to move 240 dogs and 30 cats out of the Humane Society of Delta.

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — Two Kentucky shelters helped an animal nonprofit save nearly 300 cats and dogs living in an overcrowded Arkansas shelter.

The Kentucky and Lexington Human Societies traveled to Helena, Arkansas, alongside BISSELL Pet Foundation and 14 other shelters to move 240 dogs and 30 cats out of the Humane Society of Delta.

BISSELL said the shelter in rural Arkansas was overcrowded with few staff members and little hope of adoptions. 

“No one was coming to adopt so it was kind of like a life sentence for these animals,” BISSELL Pet Foundation Communications Specialist Bri Olson said. 

Due to harsher winter climates and so many outdoor kennels, they planned a rescue mission to lower the population and provide more supplies to the shelter.

"To get them to a place where they can be exposed more to potential adopters is just an amazing thing we’re happy to be a part [of],” Olson said.  

Kentucky Humane Society took in 11 dogs, and brought 10 dogs to the Lexington Humane Society. Both also helped give the Humane Society of Delta more supplies. They were joined by shelters in Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

Kentucky Humane Society Animal Care and Behavior Manager Melissa Pezzuto was part of that rescue effort.

"Dogs were super excited to see us, all of them pretty much came up just looking for attention," Pezzuto said. 

All pets received up-to-date vaccinations before the trip. Dogs were tested for heartworm, given parvovirus tests and were given flea and heartworm prevention. Cats were tested for feline leukemia virus.

KHS said six of the dogs it took in were ill from heartworms, and one dog needed an amputation. Four dogs are recovering in foster homes, while the others are up for adoption.

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