Mayor joins LMAS in issuing community call to action to ease overcrowding at city shelter and retain no-kill status  

October 20, 2022

Mayor Greg Fischer joined the Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) today to issue a community call to action to address record overcrowding, which is jeopardizing its status as a No Kill Shelter for time and space.  

The Mayor noted at the start of his administration, he pledged to replace the city’s only open intake shelter, which had operated for decades as a high-kill shelter – and by 2017, LMAS attained its No Kill status. Two years later, the city officially opened its new state-of-the-art Harshaw Family Foundation Animal Shelter and in 2020 added Alley Cat Advocates headquarters – bringing all the city’s animal-related services on one campus. LMAS has since added a livery and barn for livestock, and added TailEnd VetCare, an independently run veterinary clinic, to the campus.

“We have done so much to improve our shelter facilities, including earning the No Kill status for five years in a row. We cannot go backwards,” the Mayor said. “This compassionate community must come together to resolve this immediate crisis – and take steps, like neutering and spaying our pets – to help keep us from future crowding challenges.”

Overcrowding has become an epidemic for shelters across the country, including at those operated by rescue organizations that typically pull pets from regular shelters to ease crowding. So far this year, LMAS has taken in 1,000 more animals compared to the same period in 2021.

Mayor Fischer and LMAS are asking residents to answer the call to action to save shelter animals’ lives through adoption, fostering a pet, volunteering, or donating to the Pay It Forward Program.

As part of this call to action, LMAS is waiving redemption fees for pet owners who come in to claim their pet, and all adoption fees for approved adopters with a bag of gifts and a voucher for a bag of food from Feeders Pet Supply. All adoptable pets are already spayed/neutered, microchipped, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Jefferson Country residents will be required to purchase a one-year, renewable pet license for $10.

Those who want to help but cannot adopt are encouraged to foster a pet, which will help address the immediate crowding crisis. LMAS especially needs foster homes for large dogs and will provide all supplies necessary to care for a homeless pet. Foster volunteers can choose for how long to foster a pet; some need only to be fostered for the required 5-day stray hold period while others could use a temporary vacation, while they wait to be adopted.

With the shelter over capacity, LMAS also needs volunteers who can assist staff with daily duties including walking dogs, helping with daily enrichment, and assisting visitors to the LMAS campus.

The public is also encouraged to donate money to the LMAS’ Pay It Forward program, which allows LMAS to waive adoption fees year-round for certain adoptable pets and supplements the shelter’s annual budget, providing for specialized surgeries and more. Or, donate supplies to make treats for pets, including canned meat (SPAM, Vienna sausage, chicken), crackers, soft tortillas, ice cream cones, canned pumpkin and vegetables, and canned or sliced cheese. Donations can be dropped off from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily at 3516 Newburg Road.

For more info about LMAS adoptions, fostering, volunteering, or donating, visit


Mayor Fischer honored

Also today, LMAS held a groundbreaking ceremony for an additional parking lot for shelter employees and visitors, and unveiled a plaque inside the lobby that acknowledges Mayor Fischer’s contributions to the shelter’s mission over his 12 years in office.

Mayor Fischer thanked LMAS officials and supporters, including the non-profit Friends of Metro Animal Services, which helped the city pay for a new parking lot.

“The best thanks of all, though, is for people to come together to adopt or foster these animals,” the Mayor said. “Please help spread the word about this crisis and help us continue to care for and protect our furry friends.”

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