Mayor Fischer, Metro Animal Services and advocates celebrate opening of new Animal Shelter

October 21, 2019

Mayor Greg Fischer today joined Metro Animal Services and Friends of Metro Animal Services (FOMAS) for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open a state-of-the-art animal shelter at 3516 Newburg Road, which replaces the outdated facility on Manslick Road. 

“Our community deserves a modern, full-service animal shelter that provides the best care possible for animals and the most efficient service possible for residents,” Mayor Fischer said. “Our Metro Animal Services has been doing an outstanding job in recent years, finding homes for a record number of animals and reaching ‘no kill for time or space’ status for the first time in its history. This shelter is the perfect place for the LMAS team to provide their top-notch, compassionate service.”

The 33,000-square-foot facility puts all animal-related services on one campus where residents can adopt a pet, purchase or renew a pet license or take a stray pet.

“Animals Services has operated from two locations for a decade, complicating how our agency operates and confusing the public that uses our services,” said Ozzy Gibson, LMAS Shelter Director.  “Not only is our campus now conveniently accessible to all Jefferson County residents, it saves us money that we can use to find more ways to help our shelter pets.”

The new facility can house up to 235 animals and features all climate-controlled kennels with isolation rooms to prevent the spread of illness.  A modern veterinary wing meets industry standards and includes the shelter’s first X-ray and ultrasound machines, allowing LMAS to quickly evaluate sick and injured pets. There are four operating tables as well as separate rooms for pets being prepped and recovering from surgery.

The nearly $11.6 million dollar facility also includes a fully furnished clinic, which will operate independently from the shelter, offering pet owners low-cost spay and neuter services, vaccinations and microchipping.  “Our community has few options for people who cannot afford the average cost of spaying or neutering their pet. An independently run, low-cost clinic encourages responsible pet ownership, decreases our stray pet population and prevents shelter overcrowding,” said Gibson.

Specialty areas that were missing from the old facility give shelter pets a greater chance of being adopted. A behavioral room allows staff to train or correct undesirable behaviors while a photo room will ensure pets look their best in photos for potential adopters. There’s also a dedicated enrichment room where volunteers and groups can make treats for shelter pets.

“A huge part of the success of Metro Animal Services is their employees and supporters. Friends of Metro Animal Services is honored to have helped make a modern shelter a reality, not just shelter pets, but also the staff and volunteers,” said FOMAS Executive Director Susanna Westerfield. “They have struggled for decades to properly care for animals in a rundown, outdated facility. These every day heroes deserve nothing but the best to continue providing quality care to shelter pets.”

A large laundry room with commercial washing machines and dryers replace the old shelter’s appliances intended for home use. Separate food prep areas equipped with commercial dishwashers make feeding time and cleanup more efficient.

Benefits of the new shelter go beyond the building to include more enrichment opportunities for shelter pets. The campus features six fenced-in play yards compared to just one at the old facility. There’s also a half-mile walking track where volunteers can walk a dog on their lunch break.

“Many of us have long awaited this day. This state-of-the-art facility is just the latest in a long series of changes we have made as a city to address the needs of Louisville Metro Animal Services,” said Metro Council District 10 representative Pat Mulvihill. “Public Safety is one of our many goals as elected officials, and now we are not only protecting the public but protecting the animals in need of a new home or returning them to their owners. It is a great day for those who love pets and want the humane treatment of all animals.”

The LMAS Animal Care Facility is located next to Animal House Adoption Center, which was built in 2009. Shelter construction began in July 2018 with funding from Louisville Metro Government and gracious donations from FOMAS and the Harshaw Family Foundation. The LMAS Animal Care Campus is also the future home of Alley Cat Advocates, which manages the Community Cat Program.

The LMAS Animal Care Facility is open 12-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  Animal House Adoption Center is now open seven days a week, excluding holidays. Meet adoptable pets daily from 12-6 p.m., and Fridays from 12-7 p.m.. For more information about MAS and Pay It Forward Free Adoptions, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/animal-services.