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'It's heartbreaking'; Louisville animal shelter loses 6-year status as 'no-kill' shelter

Here's how you can help right now.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Animal Services says it has lost its six-year status as a 'no-kill' shelter as the shelter has had to start euthanizing animals due to lack of space and time.

The shelter is now in dire need of the public’s help. Officials say the shelter has been at full capacity for over a year and a "large influx" of animals during the holidays made matters worse.

Interim Director Ashley Book says the shelter took in a thousand more animals in 2022--817 of those were dogs.

"If we don't slow down, I just don't foresee this being a great outcome," she said.

Book points to inflation as the reason for the record breaking number. She says many people can't afford pet food or to take care of fur babies.

"So they're coming in faster than they can go out," she said.

The overwhelming amount of animals is forcing the shelter to house dogs in their hallways and turn to euthanasia for the first time since 2017.

Spokesperson Teeya Barnes confirmed LMAS euthanized two dogs on Tuesday.

"It's heartbreaking for the staff to have to do that, Book said. "And I know the citizens of Jefferson County don't want this either. None of us want this. We've done two at this point. We hope that doesn't continue."

What you can do to help

LMAS is begging people with missing pets to check if they've been found.

Though you can find which pets have been reported missing on the LMAS website, officials say owners must visit the shelter in person to begin the reclaiming process. 

The shelter is also waiving any reclaim fees for owners who pick up their pets.

Employees also encourage the community to help by fostering pets, which foster mother, Theresa Rogers says will ease the strain put on the shelter.

“You're saving lives. I mean, we're at capacity right now and we don't want any more animals euthanized. So if you have the time a space, why not?" she said.

Another way you can help the overworked shelter is by adopting cats and dogs.

According to LMAS, cats ages 6 months and older and adult dogs 40 pounds or more are always free to adopt.

For more information, click here

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