New Director of Animal Care Society Aims to Increase Visibility, Adoptions

A Louisville no-kill shelter has named a new executive director.

Megan Gonterman, who has has more than 14 years of experience in animal welfare, says she was drawn to the Animal Care Society for its dedication to the proper care of all its animals.

The shelter held an event on Saturday to welcome Gonterman and celebrate its annual fundraising partnership with Raising Cane’s. The fast food chain donated approximately $4,600 to the Animal Care Society.

“Coming to the Animal Care Society, I’m hoping people will learn more about us, help us increase our adoptions, help us increase our community outreach and use us as a support for the community,” Gonterman said.

The shelter, which is located at 12207 Westport Road, has more than 20 dogs and more than 10 cats available for adoption.

Louisville’s Animal Care Society Gets Pet Rescue Right

At 10:45 this particular Saturday morning, Louisville, Kentucky’s Animal Care Society (ACS) is still fifteen minutes from opening to the public, but pairs of humans and canines stroll in and out the front door in a steady stream of traffic. The shelter’s dogs get their first walks of the day as administrators prepare for the weekend’s potential adopters. I’d been told that ACS is a “small organization,” but the volunteer participation already impresses me.

Bunny Zeller is the shelter’s assistant director and she shows me around the facilities. One of our first stops is the “new moms” area and I’m allowed to peek in at what appears to be a Maltese mix tending to her week-old pups. (I imagine that glimpses like this are worth the volunteer hours alone.)

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“We keep them here where it’s nice and quiet,” Zeller tells me, beaming as if she’s responsible for the impossibly sweet scene we’re witnessing. It dawns on me that in a way, she is responsible.

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Animal Shelters Nationwide Continue to Deal with Hardships of the Pandemic

Current animal shelter data shows that nearly sixty thousand more dogs and forty thousand more cats are available for adoption now compared to last year.

What You Need To Know
100,000 more dogs and cats in U.S. shelters are awaiting adoption this year compared to last

60,000 more dogs and 40,000 more cats are available for adoption

Shelters across Kentucky are feeling the squeeze

Many are dealing with an increase in pets as a result of the pandemic
2021 was a busy season for Wendy Bade and the Animal Care Society in Louisville.

“In 2021, we adopted almost 550 pets compared to previous years,” Bade said. “I think our high was in the 250 range, so there were a lot more adoptions and people were very interested in adopting.”

Now as people return back to work, animal shelters across the nation are experiencing a strain from the pandemic. According to Best Friends Animal Society, nearly 100,000 more dogs and cats in US shelters are awaiting adoption.

“We do have a wait list. We’re starting to see it throughout the pet rescue community where people are returning their pets now that COVID is kind of over and getting back to life is [more] normal,” Bade said.

Animal Care Society has nearly 100 pets on their wait list and can only house 25 dogs and 20 cats. For others like the Louisville Metro Animal Shelter, they have even waived redemption fees for owners who claim their stray pet to avoid reaching capacity.

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