New Digs

Humane Society celebrates opening
of its new facility in La Grange, Ky.

The society helps find the right owner for its pets

LA GRANGE, Ky. (December 2021) – The Humane Society of Oldham County finally realized its dream of opening a larger facility within the county on Oct. 29. Years of hard work to reach this goal have paid off with a new permanent 5,200-square-foot building.
Located off Commerce Parkway in La Grange, ground was broke on Nov. 14, 2020, for the first phase of the $900,000 project. In 2017 the Humane Society of Oldham County staff learned that its would be losing their rental building on Hwy. 53. The nonprofit, no-kill shelter immediately began searching for a new home.
The new space “is working out pretty much as planned,” said Michele Culp, the society’s president. The only hold up is that “we don’t have everything inside to make it efficient. We have not totally moved out of the old building.” Despite this, “it has just worked out beautifully the way we planned it.”

Humane Society

Photo provided

The newly opened Humane Society of Oldham County is located on Commerce Parkway in La Grange, Ky.

“It’s wonderful to be moved in finally,” said Humane Society Director Laura Yates. “All of the rooms are so much more functional, easy to clean, and with proper lighting. The new space really allows us to have a better workflow especially in the spay/neuter clinic, which is so important to our organization.”
“We’ve had five clinics so far,” Culp said. Since January 2005, the society has conducted more than 2,200 surgeries. “We expect to have over 2,300 by the end of the year. We haven’t had as many as last year because of COVID.”
Throughout the pandemic, board members and volunteers were hard at work. Approximately 350-400 animals are adopted annually from the facility, said Culp.
Generally, there doesn’t seem to be a preference between dogs or cats or cats when it comes to adoption in Oldham County. “It can vary from year to year due to outside influences, such as the economy and COVID-19,” Culp said.
In 2020, “dog adoptions were down considerably due to our having to pull our dogs from Kentucky State Reformatory because of the COVID outbreak in the prison.” The society prepares rescued dogs for adoption in partnership with the Kentucky State Reformatory through Camp K9, its dog training program.
Despite COVID, “cat intakes and adoptions were up,” as they have been for many facilities across the country during the pandemic. Culp said that in the previous space “we did not have a building suitable for sheltering dogs; we always have more cats in our building than dogs.” This has changed with completion of the new center.

Michele Culp

Photo provided

Michele Culp serves as the society's president.

Yates said, “We have been raising funds to go toward extras that weren’t included in the cost of the building such as play yards, perimeter fencing, outdoor dog runs and a storage facility. The old building had a large basement and garage for storage, which we currently do not have. Now that we can have dogs on the premises we are really looking forward to having the proper fencing installed for their playtime and safety.” A dog walk will be installed around the property as well.
Still in the midst of phase two on this project, the society is currently fundraising for three dog play yards and outside kennel runs, and still working on perimeter fencing, Culp said.
“One thing we have lost is outside storage. We do not have as much as we had in the old building.”
But the new facility “is set up to expand as we do,” she said. They will be able to take in more animals and conduct more clinics.
The society can always use fosters and volunteers. The organization has about 90 active volunteers, and can always use more for tasks such as caregivers as animals recover after surgeries and clinics and cleaning.
The society has gotten lots of support from the community as well. Judith M Millinery in La Grange will be holding a Kids Holiday Hat Workshop on Dec. 4. Cost of the workshop is a suggested $20 donation and Judith M is donating all proceeds to the society.
Bart Pfanenstiel and his wife, Jenny, own Judith M. Bart said, “We are huge animal lovers and active in animal rights. Even when we used to live in Chicago, I ran for PAWS Chicago’s walk/run events.” PAWS Chicago is a no-kill facility that aids homeless pets.
The Pfanenstiels have also been involved in the Shamrock Pet Foundation in Louisville. The foundation shares the society ’s mission to spay and neuter animals. “We support all the animal shelters. It’s a great cause,” said Pfanenstiel.
His wife said, “In the past we’ve supported other animal charities. Being in La Grange, we wanted to support a local cause and give back where needed.”
Additional ways to help the society include making donations to “our fencing project or make donations to help us with other projects at our website, OldhamHumane.com,” said Yates. “Our biggest Christmas wish, of course, is for the animals in our care to find loving homes, for those looking to adopt a cat, barn cat, dog or puppy.”
The society holds several events throughout the year as fundraisers. One event not taking place this year will be Picture Your Pets with Santa, usually held at Feeders Supply, because of COVID-19 concerns again, said Yates. “But they are holding a Christmas giving event where people can donate items from our wish list.” More info about the latter event will be available after Thanksgiving.

For more information, visit www.humanesocietyoldhamcounty.com.

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