In the service of the furriest among us

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022

When Best Friends Animal Society ranked Kentucky as, unfortunately, the no. 10 state in the United States for pet shelter deaths, it may have sent shudders through animal lovers across the commonwealth.

However, the Clark County Animal Shelter looks to continue making a positive name for itself throughout the community and be an exception to that rule by being in service to the furriest among Clark County residents.

“We accept any domestic animal from Clark County or Winchester, whether it is a stray or an owner-surrendered,” said Addie Wills, the Director of Clark County Animal Shelter. “We take in an unlimited number of animals. That’s what an open admission shelter does.”

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At present moment, this equates to nearly 40 dogs and close to 100 cats.

The animal shelter – which is county-funded – includes a staff of four full-time workers, plus a bevy of volunteers.

Employees and volunteers perform a number of tasks  from caring about animals at the shelter to doing animal control services that are available 24/7 in order to keep the area’s animal population safe.

It can be a rewarding experience.

“The best part of the job is always going to be the success stories,” said Wills. “When we see an animal come in that we know is in more need than some of the others … Then we get to see it go through that process of healing and going home, those are always our favorite stories.”

However, as with any position, their can be trying times too.

While euthanasia is extremely rare, it may be necessary if factors such as very poor medical conditions are at play, and dealing with animals in avoidable scenarios can be emotionally troublesome.

“I would say that the most challenging part is the preventable situations that we see,” said Wills. “We try to help people seek affordable pet care in situations where their pets are in need.”

To remedy these concerns, learning materials are readily available at location such as the organization’s website,

For adopters, an interactive Home to Home program allows people to locally list pets so that individuals hoping to adopt can observe the animal before bringing it into the shelter.

“We always encourage people to do the research before handing the animal over,” Wells said.

Plus, certainly not least of all, a low-cost spay and neuter clinic and vaccine clinic is available for use.

“I am a firm believer that the only way we can keep more pets out of the shelter is if we prevent them from happening by accidental litters,” Wells added. “I’m a huge proponent … And [we] want people to know they’re available.”

The shelter can be reached by phone at 859-737-0053.