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Kentucky Humane Society veterinarian living childhood dream by saving animals

Dr. Emily Bewley and her team help bring animals from Louisville and beyond back to health so they can go to loving families.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Every day, inside the noisy walls of the Kentucky Humane Society, veterinarian Dr. Emily Bewley and her team work to save as many lives as they can.

“As a little girl, I would wrap up my stuffed animals in toilet paper and pretend to take care of them. And now I do it for real,” Dr. Bewely said.

The KHS team takes in animals that have been abandoned, abused or are suffering from serious medical conditions and brings them back to full health. Then, they find them a new home.

You probably recognize some of Dr. Bewely’s patients – like Ethan, a dog that was abandoned outside the shelter in January. He was in bad shape, emaciated and near death when he was discovered.

RELATED: Ethan the dog 'throws' first pitch at Louisville Bats game

Thanks to the dedication of the KHS staff, Ethan made a full recovery and is now living his best life with a new family. 

However - not all of Dr. Bewley's stories have happy endings.

“There are definitely days that are really hard,” she said. “You can kind of tell it in the shelter when you walk around.”

The KHS team experienced one of those days last month when a puppy they named Liam was left in a cardboard box outside the shelter. Despite their best efforts, he did not survive.

Credit: Kentucky Humane Society
Friday, September 17, 2021 | Malnourished, emaciated puppy found in box labeled 'Help Me' outside Kentucky Humane Society.

“You know that if we had one that we were really rooting for and we tried everything and it doesn’t make it, it can really weigh on…everybody here,” she said. “But the success stories are many more than the failures.”

Many of the animals Dr. Bewley sees come from outside Louisville – ones that are dropped off at shelters that don’t have the people power or money to treat them. 

These animals would likely be put down, but the Kentucky Humane Society steps in, giving them a second chance at a healthy – and happy – life.

“Everyone is here to save as many animals and to do a really good job doing it,” Dr. Bewley said. “There’s not a more loving, kind organization that I’ve ever been a part of that really wants to make a difference.”

Every patient may not get social media fame – but they’re all stars in the eyes of the KHS staff.

WHAS11 is partnering with the Kentucky Humane Society for a fall giving event on Wednesday, Oct. 13. If you want to support the shelter as it cares for animals in need, click here.

Contact reporter Rob Harris atrjharris@whas11.com. Follow him onTwitter (@robharristv) andFacebook.

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