ZOO CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
502-238-5331 (Media Cell 502-744-5639)
Following the devastating tornadoes in Western, KY on December 10, 2021, the Louisville Zoo offered families a way to donate to help animal organizations that were impacted. Thanks to the generosity of Louisville Zoo guests and fans, the Zoo is happy to announce that $2,550 each was sent to the Kentucky Humane Society shelters in Marion and Caldwell counties earlier this spring.
The Kentucky Humane Society shelters plan to use the money for refurbishing kennels with exterior fencing, vaccinate animals on intake and provide food, supplies and crates to families in need.
A number of communities in Marion County were impacted by the December tornadoes, with several families displaced. In the days and weeks after the storms, the shelter staff searched for lost pets and worked to reunite them with their owners. One senior dog named Jake was picked up in his doghouse and flung the length of a football field by the tornadoes. The shelter there was able to provide him with veterinary care. They also provided free pet food and supplies to needy families and even offered free boarding for their pets until families could get back on their feet.
“Any and all help means the world to us! We were so excited that the Louisville Zoo and Zoo goers wanted to help the animals in Marion County,” said Candi Taylor, director of the Marion County Animal Shelter in Lebanon KY. “We’ve seen a large influx in lost and surrendered animals, and the Louisville Zoo’s donation helped us keep the animals healthy by allowing us to provide intake vaccines to all pets entering the shelter.”
Caldwell County Animal Shelter also jumped into action after the storms. They distributed over 5,000 pounds of donated pet food, crates and other supplies to pets whose owners lost their homes. Two dogs continue to be boarded at no cost to the owner who lost his home. The small shelter in Princeton, KY received funds from the Louisville Zoo, which paid for spay and neuter surgeries for dogs and veterinary care for shelter pets including Cookie, a 3-year-old abandoned dog suffered from heartworms, skin infections, dental pain, and incontinence from being bred so many times. Cookie is now a happy, healthy dog.
“We have been able to help so many animals thanks to the donations we received from the Louisville Zoo,” said Whalen. “There is such a huge need in our county. Between the tornadoes and the economy, pets are suffering, and every donation makes a difference.”
About the Louisville Zoo
Since 2011, under Mayor Fischer’s administration, the Louisville Zoo celebrated its 50th anniversary, opened nine new exhibits and attractions, and won national awards for Glacier Run and School at the Zoo. Considered Kentucky’s most popular not-for-profit paid attraction, the Zoo welcomed nearly 9 million guests in the last decade. In 2021, the Zoo was voted “Best Place to Take Kids in Summer,” by LEO Weekly, “Best Kid-Friendly Attraction” by Kentucky Living Magazine and Boo at the Zoo made the Top 10 Halloween Festivals list by thetravel.com. Community Access Memberships, deep-discount days, the Future Healers Got Zoo Buddies partnership and the accessible playground are among prime efforts to make Louisville Zoo even safer, more engaging, and more inclusive. Among the Louisville Zoo’s most successful conservation programs, the black-footed ferret breeding effort produced 1,100 kits and repatriated more than 800 of these most highly endangered, American mammals to the wild.
The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state Zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
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